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Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:20 am
by BiteNibbleChomp
I remember this scenario from when I was playing GC 41 with patch v1.11. I was wondering these as I was considering replaying the GC41-2 in the East...
- What cahnges have come to it since 1.11?
- Any rewards for a DV other than the Moscow scenario?
- Any point in the Moscow scenario?
and...
- How do you play this without being ground into meat pulp?

- BNC

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:16 am
by captainjack
I think that Vyazma is intended to be a hard and frustrating slog through mud, and if so, it usually does a pretty good job of that.
The most reliable tactic for me is to aim for MV and if the weather is kind have a go at Moscow.

The last time I played Vyazma I had slightly better weather than usual and had made a few tweaks to tactics and troop balance. I was aiming for a MV and missed out on a DV by a turn - I think if I'd really wanted it I could have managed but would have lost a lot of units for not much gain. I had modified my tactics slightly - everything fires at entrenched troops until they have only 1 or 2 unsuppressed, then my Oleh Dir Pioneeren (with +3 attack hero) attack. If it doesn't shift them the first time, the following turn will work. I thought it would be slower than my previous approaches, but the unit destruction rates went up so I didn't have to go back and clear out units that survived on 1 or 2 points and then reinforced. I am also getting better at surrounding troops to force a surrender, which is good for conscripts (low prestige gain but hard to get rid of all the strength) and the difficult targets - KV1, KV2 and the armoured train, which are good for prestige and hard to kill.

I upgraded trucks to half tracks for all units in the scenario to better cope with mud and brought every artillery piece I could field and bought a few extras. The airforce was relatively weak - four fighters - enough to gang up and take out a fighter and provide cover the rest of the time, plus Rudel and probably a Strat bomber.

I learnt quickly that bridge engineers don't work in heavy rain, but the weather was relatively kind and once it cleared I got enough Char B's and Panzer IV into the central area to mince up the artillery and air defence, and non-entrenched infantry and then surround the city complex.

I am pretty sure that the main difference was a bit of luck with the weather, slightly more ground forces than usual, and slightly improved tactics. Of those, the weather is least controllable and makes most difference.

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:28 am
by BiteNibbleChomp
Seems like the strategy is : "Wait and see if half the turns are good weather - if not restart!"

Probably got squashed because it rained for 18 of my ~20 turns :evil:

Thanks for your help (maybe 1.22 makes it easier to beat - probably more fun to make and play my Verdun in WW1 scenario)

- BNC

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:44 am
by Tarrak
Sorry for my late answer but it was a while since i played Vyazma last time so my memory was very cloudy. Luckily i played Vyazma again yesterday during my GC replay under the 1.20 rules and i didn't find it frustrating or overly hard. Yes it is sadly, as are a lot of russian scenarios, a bit weather dependent. To much turns of mud and you simply get bogged down in the mud and DV is hardly possible. On my last attempt i had around four days of mud in the begin and around two or three additional days later. With that i was able to pull of a DV with two turns left while clearing the whole map except the two non victory Moscow hexes.

My strategy was as follows: Leave only one infantry unit backed up by a artillery piece in Safonovo to ensure the AI doesn't break through the bridge and causes havoc in your back.

Split the rest of your troops in two about equal battle groups North and South. The Northern Group takes Zhirkovsky then a infantry unit, a tank and an artillery (preferably a Wurfrahmen) moves to take the two cities in the north while the rest takes Sychovka and moves into position to attack Vyazma from the north.

The Southern Group takes Velnaya, Ugra and if the times allows Yukhnov. This depends on the progress of your Battle Group North as you want them both to attack Vyazma at same time.

Now you both pincer arms crush on Vyazma. This is the deciding battle. Strike hard and swiftly. You need to pave your wave to the AA guns to silence them so your dive bombers can take care of the enemy tanks, especially the KVs. Alternatively you can try to bait the AA gun to swap to AT mode and then bomb it to peaces. Don't bother sending your tanks against the KVs, its waste of time and resources. Either simply bomb them, Rudel is doing wonders here, or lure them into close terrain and attack them with grenadiers. After you took Vyazma leave a few troops behind to deal with the enemies between Vyazma and Safranovo, don't forget here you two units still holding Safranovo, and let the rest race east.

Now the only noticeable defenses you should meet are around Mozhaysk and they are a joke compared what you faced at Vyazma. Just roll over them and press on Moscow. Bring your artillery into position, suppress everything, bomb everything for added fun and take the city. This works for me all the time unless i get more then around six days of mud because then you just can't move fast enough to cover the terrain. A MV tho should be possible with even 2o turns of mud.

As to the question if it's worth at all to go for the DV in Vyazma. I personally like to win as much i can but lets have a look at it purely from prestige point of view: For a DV you get 2000 prestige, for a MV 2400, for a Loss 2500. Considering you conquer more flags during a DV then during a MV or a loss you probably end earning about the same amount of prestige no matter of the outcome. The only possible exception is if you rushed for a DV and had due to this some high losses. Then you may even come out worse. Additionally after a DV you get an optional scenario to play: Streets of Moscow: It yields 2200 prestige for a DV, 1500 for a MV and 2100 for a loss. You get as well a Bf109 hero during the Moscow scenario. Streets of Moscow is a city fight so losses in here are usually quite high. Depending on the outcome and how you play you may even earn effectively some prestige, especially with a DV, but i wouldn't count on it. Coming out of it with +/- 0 prestige is already OK especially on the first playthrough.

So my conclusion is especially because of the bf109 hero it may be worth to play Streets of Moscow but it may as well bite you badly in your arse as urban combat tends to be bloody. From the fun point of view and simply to see all the content aiming for a DV in Vyazma is worth it, purely form the monetary pov probably not.

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:41 pm
by shawkhan
I think the big mistake many people make in this scenario is to try for the encircling pincer attack on Vyazma. Personally, I like to use the northern pincer to sweep around and continue on to Moscow. Stopping to attack Vyazma wastes too many turns when the weather turns foul.
The Southern pincer takes the airfield to the south of Vyazma, meets the Russian counterattack, then sends a small contingent on to capture the bonus city while the main column assaults Vyazma from the East.
Having separate kampfguppen saves the time you need to win this battle quickly enough for the DV. The tricky part is giving each force enough strength to do its job.
One thing to keep in mind is that this is one scenario where you cannot depend on the Luftwaffe to save the day. Tracked mobility is absolutely necessary in order to move in the unavoidable mud turns.

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:59 pm
by Tarrak
shawkhan wrote:I think the big mistake many people make in this scenario is to try for the encircling pincer attack on Vyazma. Personally, I like to use the northern pincer to sweep around and continue on to Moscow. Stopping to attack Vyazma wastes too many turns when the weather turns foul.
I personally totally disagree with this. Attacking Vyazma from north and south give you the advantage of getting into range of enemy artillery and AA guns no matter at which side of the city they stand. It allows you to bring units adjacent to the cities faster and so prevent the AI from buying replacements faster. It makes for the AI as well harder to withdraw wounded units and repair them. Overall a proper coordinated attack form both sides may take around 4 to 5 turns. If you just attack from one side it takes probably at least eight turns. Yes the flank not involved in the attack on Vyazma is already closer to Moscow but you appear there with half of your artillery (assuming you need the other half around Vyazma) and artillery is crucial to taking Moscow fast and painless in my experience. Additionally when you push with both flank at the same time you don't run into danger of being outflanked by the enemy on the move.

The other approach works probably as well but i am quite sure using both pincers to crush Vyazma fast is a lot safer and you are taking a lot less losses.

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:51 pm
by shawkhan
I am just saying what I do successfully at FM level.
The AI can be outsmarted quite easily if you approach from the East. The trick is to take out the AA, which is only accessible from the South. When you position your forces properly, the AI generally attacks, moving out of entrenchment then dies quite quickly. You defeat the AI's forces piecemeal, since you are fighting on a limited front. With 2 turns of decent weather, the KV tank and the train are neutralized, you are adjacent to Vyazma, and conquest is quickly completed. Remember, about half your forces are meanwhile making good progress towards Moscow. With half-decent weather I generally finish with 2-3 turns to spare.
If you haven't tried it, you shouldn't knock it. I believe even Deducter in his AAR did it this way as well.

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:04 pm
by PanzerTax
:D It is what you might call the 'perennial problem' of blitzkrieg tactics: bypass some targets in order to smash the distant ones before it gets too late; or concentrate on methodically getting them one at a time using maximum resources? I think for me it just depends how much resistance I expect to meet at each target, which might of course go horribly wrong...

I played Minsk (beginning of GC 1941) recently and I'm really excited about the rest of the campaign so it was good to hear about Vyazma. It has made me think however about the whole theory of the Grand Campaign which I'm told just gets more and more difficult until it is almost impossible. Are DVs easier to get when historically the wehrmacht did gain a victory? Are DVs 'almost impossible' when historically the wehrmacht did not gain a victory? In order to change history in Panzer Corps are we expected to be that much better at our game? Is that the design intent?

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:15 pm
by wargovichr
CLEARLY the best strategy is a southern one, waiting for clear weather then take Vyazma with a heavy concentration of amassed supported troops. Send a kampgruppe farther east from the south scooping up prestige and captured units, hook north, capture the airbase**, undefended Moscow, then take remaining major objectives from behind**.
Spliiting forces major mistake.

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:44 pm
by BiteNibbleChomp
PanzerTax wrote::D It is what you might call the 'perennial problem' of blitzkrieg tactics: bypass some targets in order to smash the distant ones before it gets too late; or concentrate on methodically getting them one at a time using maximum resources? I think for me it just depends how much resistance I expect to meet at each target, which might of course go horribly wrong...

I played Minsk (beginning of GC 1941) recently and I'm really excited about the rest of the campaign so it was good to hear about Vyazma. It has made me think however about the whole theory of the Grand Campaign which I'm told just gets more and more difficult until it is almost impossible. Are DVs easier to get when historically the wehrmacht did gain a victory? Are DVs 'almost impossible' when historically the wehrmacht did not gain a victory? In order to change history in Panzer Corps are we expected to be that much better at our game? Is that the design intent?
The game balances historically lost scenarios quite well with ones that were successful. A good example is Yakovlevo/Oboyan in GC43. I believe that the Germans got to about the start of the Oboyan scenario (Southern pincer) before they were squashed. I managed to get just short of a DV in Oboyan (DV would have got me Kursk - :( ) You will find that Smolensk41 is almost the exact same as Minsk41, but once you beat it, you get to choose "Leningrad or Kiev". I chose Leningrad thinking I would get to storm the city - it didn't want me to :evil: . I find that after GC43e ends, the game suddenly gets much harder (Almost given up on '44 - Korsun seems to be able to ruin a core). If I ever play '45 West, I would think that would be more fun (SEALION45 - BEST IDEA EVER), but again not keen on Dieppe in '42W

- BNC

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:58 pm
by AlienInTheNavy
Hmm, yes, Vyazma is quite a hard trick. It took me I dunno how many attempts (I think it was in the twenties) :roll: . Finally beat it when my brother Vova told me a secret on how to beat it. (NOT TELLING!) :twisted:

Good Luck Guys....

Sincerely,
Justus Ivo Wegner

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:52 am
by BiteNibbleChomp
Your not telling ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :evil:
-BNC

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:17 pm
by thgmusic
A couple of questions about weather:

1. In replaying a scenario, in this case Vyazma, is the weather pattern locked in or is it variable from one play through to the next?
2. Are the odds of more miserable weather (rain/mud) tilted in favor of the AI if one's force is stronger OR if one begins the scenario with more prestige? I ask this because I just started a replay of Vyazma (trying for a DV) with my best force yet and highest prestige yet (just north of 17,000 prestige), yet it seems the daily weather pattern has been identical to my previous playthrough with the same force/prestige (I.e., 5 straight days of rain/mud).

I love this game!

Thanks for any help/tips you can offer.
Brad
BTW, I don't think it makes a difference in this case, but I'm playing this through on an iPad.

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:44 am
by Victor_K
Hey Brad, to answer your questions:

1. the weather pattern is variable.
2. the variableness of the weather is random and is not affected by your prestige amount nor by your force's strength.

As for tips, check out Deductor's video AAR's in the AAR section. Definitely worth the time to watch.

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:16 pm
by thgmusic
Thanks Victor_K

I suppose it just felt that way to me in the midst of turn after turn of rain and mud! I replayed it again yesterday, had mostly clear weather and came within one turn of a DV. Ah, well, on to Demyansk!
I've watched some of deductr's vids on YouTube and have quite enjoyed them.

Cheers,
Brad

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:49 am
by Aloo
Ive just replayed Vyazma (first time in I think a year) and won with a few turns remaining. I felt sending 2 paras to moscow on start was cheating but tried it as I remember the mud-nightmare. There is almost no oposition there and no attempt to save it so 2 paras can do it. The risk is getting there as no fighter can give you escort so its good not to go there using the shortest route.

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:18 pm
by thgmusic
Aloo wrote:Ive just replayed Vyazma (first time in I think a year) and won with a few turns remaining. I felt sending 2 paras to moscow on start was cheating but tried it as I remember the mud-nightmare. There is almost no oposition there and no attempt to save it so 2 paras can do it. The risk is getting there as no fighter can give you escort so its good not to go there using the shortest route.
You know, balance of forces is one of the great challenges of the game. I have not used paratroops at all in my playthrough this time in my core force, from GC39 onward. Your idea is intriguing, though. I agree with the tactic of the "long route" approach, skirting around the edges.

Cheers,
Brad

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:34 pm
by wargovichr
A way the paratroop strategy might work would be their capture of the airfield on eastern edge of board south of Moscow. Then your fighter escorting the paratroopers could refuel after field capture. Of course, one might consider the knowledge of an undefended airbase a cheat.
But I'm telling you (see post above that no one read) a successful strategy is a southern one with massed supported attack of Vyazma from the south (only) as splitting forces for a pincer attack from north and south delays** Vyazma capture. Allow one infantry to garrison the city on axis side that Russia will try to take, and one infantry to take the major objective in northwest corner whose capture comes AFTER Vyazma capture with help (from behind*) from your enveloping Vyazma capturing forces. Ignore the minor cities in north and NW corner**. When your massed supported southern only attack on Vyazma appears to be going well, form a kampfgruppe to head east** taking minor objectives, snap up prestige and the captured KV, hook north, take the airfield*** south of Moscow and take weakly defended Moscow from the south (with bomber support from the airfield!). Then take remaining major objectives from behind** (avoid time eating assault from the west**) and relish that DV!

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:15 pm
by thgmusic
wargovichr wrote:A way the paratroop strategy might work would be their capture of the airfield on eastern edge of board south of Moscow. Then your fighter escorting the paratroopers could refuel after field capture. Of course, one might consider the knowledge of an undefended airbase a cheat.
But I'm telling you (see post above that no one read) a successful strategy is a southern one with massed supported attack of Vyazma from the south (only) as splitting forces for a pincer attack from north and south delays** Vyazma capture. Allow one infantry to garrison the city on axis side that Russia will try to take, and one infantry to take the major objective in northwest corner whose capture comes AFTER Vyazma capture with help (from behind*) from your enveloping Vyazma capturing forces. Ignore the minor cities in north and NW corner**. When your massed supported southern only attack on Vyazma appears to be going well, form a kampfgruppe to head east** taking minor objectives, snap up prestige and the captured KV, hook north, take the airfield*** south of Moscow and take weakly defended Moscow from the south (with bomber support from the airfield!). Then take remaining major objectives from behind** (avoid time eating assault from the west**) and relish that DV!
Thanks for the idea, wargovichr. One of the things I love most about the game is re-playing the different scenarios with different strategies. I look forward to trying the one you describe here.

Cheers,
Brad

Re: Vyazma in GC41

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:03 pm
by Zleepyhead
I had fun with this and got a DV in turn 18 on General level. I think I did get lucky with the rain - I only took two fighters and two Stukas. The rain always seemed to come when the Russian Air Force showed up in mass. Getting the first turn on clear weather helped a lot.

In the first phase, I sent primarily tanks around the north to take advantage of the open terrain and I sent primarily infantry from the south. I also launched some forays directly across the river via the bridge and with a bridge engineer. This helped me destroy a few key units and pulled some of the defense out of the fortifications, softening up things for later. I retreated back across the river when trouble showed up but still ended up with some easier kills. I captured Vyazma by turn 12 and everything fell fast after that. I started redeploying units towards Moscow at turn 10 and sent the paratroopers to the northeast corner of Moscow at Turn 14. Oleh Dir sprinted up the road and did plenty of damage on the way to taking Moscow.

I would say remember mud goes both ways - it is hard to get into position but you don't have to worry so much about your flank either. You don't have to worry about a T34 wheeling around the corner and destroying your artillery.