Finished Campaign on FM, great game (SPOILERS)

Battle Reports & After Action Reports (AAR's)

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deducter
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Finished Campaign on FM, great game (SPOILERS)

Post by deducter » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:42 pm

I enjoyed this game immensely, it seems to be well balanced and truly easy to learn, hard to master. Some thoughts on select scenarios from the campaign on Field Marshall difficulty (SPOILERS):

Sealion 40
An interesting scenario indeed, I had 5 core Bf-109s and 3 strategic bombers core, in addition to the auxiliary units it was a sufficient air force. I loss 1-2 transports to the British fleet, but my bombers made quick work of the Royal Navy. Interesting to note the one aux Ju-88 I left in the open was quickly shot down by the royal air force. There were some intense air battles, but I seemed to get lucky with my air force which often inflicted 6-8 damage while taking little in return. London was so heavy fortified that it took most of my turns to take. A bridge engineer along the Thames was critical for reaching the upper northeast British city and for flanking London itself. I had to bypass several secondary objectives and even so just barely achieved decisive victory. Very well done scenario.

Moscow 41

Not a very hard scenario, probably because I got very lucky with the weather. There was almost no snow or continuous rain, and I think there were 1 or 2 turns of muddy terrain total. The red army was truly well entrenched, and the surprise counterattack by T-34s from the southeast was interesting. Still, I felt that the opposition wasn’t that bad, and really the weather should be made almost continuous rain then snow. I was looking forward to the Russian winter halting my panzers at the gates of Moscow, but alas I had to purposely get marginal victory in this scenario by delaying the capture of Moscow by 2 turns. I suppose if the weather was made much worse decisive victory could well be impossible, since in bad terrain units move so much slower.

Kursk

Frankly I was expecting far more Russian tanks to oppose me, and even more tiers of defense as was historically true. It seems once you penetrate the outer fortifications, this scenario is not too difficult. Even so, I only barely made decisive victory due to a clever counterattack by Russian forces at one of my western victory hexes, because I left a secondary city uncaptured. Even without knowing about the counterattack I still made DV. Tigers and Panthers were so superior to anything the Russians had, and I had enough prestige to upgrade all my tanks to those units. It was in this scenario that I learned the value of mobile artillery like Hummel, Wespe. Those units are very useful against soft targets. I also learned about how retreats and surrenders work exactly. A unit that is completely suppressed/destroyed will retreat in the opposite direction of the attacker if possible. If it is completely surrounded, it cannot retreat and will surrender. As long as a unit has more than 1 entrenchment, it cannot retreat or surrender. These mechanics are actually very important and not in the manual, which I felt should have mentioned how they work exactly.

Moscow 43

This scenario seemed quite easy frankly, at least with mostly Tigers and Panthers. Historically the Russians kept a huge reserve force to the east of Kursk, which they used to counterattack after Operation Citadel fell. Sure there were some nasty tank destroyers in the front tier, but they were easily brushed aside by Tigers/Panthers or led into close terrain and destroyed by infantry. Again, I was expecting there to be like 2-3 times the Russian armor I ended up facing, so DV is easily doable.

And then we get into the USA scenarios, which I have nothing by praise for, and the difficulty seemed just about right.

USA East Coast

I put all my transports in the northern deployment sector, and it took me quite a few turns to get them on shore. I also had 6 Me-262s, nearly all with 1-2 heroes and 2-3 stars, which I felt was invincible. Imagine my shock with the American air force came out and actually destroyed two in the first few turns. The American air response was very impressive. I was initially surprised by how few defenders there were in New York, Washington etc, but soon enough there were two armored counterattacks against me, one in the north and one in the south. It was interesting, but my armor was vastly superior and I easily crushed these columns. Fort Knox was a nice strongpoint, it took me some time to seize that objective. I noticed several victory hexes in the south were unguarded, and if I had sent recon units in those directions sooner I might have been able to make DV. I was short by 2 turns I think. Also, perhaps if I landed units in the southern deployment area I might’ve also been able to get DV. I lost quite a few units in this scenario, which was a nice twist.

USA Midwest

I probably should have noticed that because there was plenty of time for DV something fishy might be going on. Initially I was cruising along, using mobile artillery + panzers to get past the first line of defenses. I ran into some armored opposition in the south and the middle, but was fairly easy to brush aside. But then I approached Omaha, and out came Patton’s Armor HQ, and imagine my shock when it flat out destroyed one of my 10 str Panthers. Surrounding it was quite a few American armor units too. I was pleasantly surprised by the American opposition. There were I think 2 more groups of armor in the north, and a Canadian counter attack, which I barely stopped by pulling my recon units and a Panther back just in time. It is interesting to note that while mobile artillery is not very useful against tanks, the towed artillery are much more effective. Stukas, despite their cheap price, are also surprisingly useful against armor. Ultimately I often used the rivers to my advantage against American armor, hiding my artillery on the opposite bank of a river and suppressing American tanks while attacking from a different direction with my panzers. Bridge engineers were very valuable. Very well designed scenario.

USA West Coast
At this point, I thought surely the American Air Force was finished after all the victories I won. I was down to 3 veteran Me-262s and 3 fresh ones, but I felt confident. But there were so many American fighters. If it weren’t for two lucky “ambushes” by my planes when the Americans tried moving them past Salt Lake City AB, I would’ve probably lost most of my air force. Initial opposition was fairly light, and it was not until I reached Los Angeles that I realized where the bulk of the American forces were concentrated. First the outer ring defenses with Paratroopers and AT guns, then the city itself with the “Secret Service” 5 star 15 str super unit, many 13 str elite defenders, and and quite a few M26s and Wolverines left. Heh, so much for the American Armor Corps being destroyed in the Midwest. It took many, many turns of brutal fighting to capture LA. In the north, I was actually expecting quite a few defenders around Seattle and I had sent a lot of units in that direction. Fortunately I scouted ahead with weakened fighters and realized the opposition wasn’t that bad, so I split off part of my units to help flank San Francisco from the north, which was the correct decision, not sure whether I would’ve made DV without that. There was a counterattack by American forces down the Rockies, which I delayed with my auxiliary units until I could split off a panther and several infantry to rush back to defeat it. Extremely fun scenario, I think I made DV with one turn to spare and absolutely no prestige left.

The American scenarios were truly great fun, although personally I was hoping for more epic battles on the Eastern Front.

And then the “named” difficulties appeared, kudos to the designers for including more challenges, a very nice touch, because I didn’t think FM was too bad. I beat most of the scenarios on DV on the first try without spoiler information.

I started playing on Rommel difficulty now, and wow, the game seems to truly start here. I had to apply all the lessons I learned and advance cautiously with artillery support and perfect positioning of units and getting maximum massive attack bonuses. It wasn’t too hard to get Poland DV and Norway DV. There was so little prestige I had to think about whether I wanted to spend 15 of them to reinforce infantry units. And now I am on Low Countries with 950 prestige, one Panzer IIC and 1 Bf-109, 1 Bf-110, and 2 strategic bombers, 2 artillery, and lots of infantry… There is no way I can even upgrade my units and buy enough panzers/Bf-109s or even fill up my core, much less elite reinforce or overstrength or even buy trucks for all my infantry… I will have to disband and cleverly manage my units. The only thing going for me are two SE Wehrmacht infantry equipped with half-tracks that I was given. I desperately do need these units down in the Ardennes. This will truly be an interesting challenge, and I do feel a bit like Rommel, having to do the impossible with some few units at my disposable.

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Post by Kerensky » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:07 am

That's some first class feedback, thanks for sharing. :D

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Post by Kerensky » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:27 am

Oh and actually, you are somewhat correct about the USAAF in West Coast. They aren't quite finished off, but they are definitely on their last legs. You can tell because although there still are a lot of American aircraft, the quality has seriously decreased. Instead of all the elite P47s and P51s you saw from before, there are several units of old P40 Warhawks and P38s in the last USA map.

Sort of the last ditch effort to stop the German war machine, throwing those old and obsolete aircraft into the fray. :)

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Post by monkspider » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:01 pm

Wow, that's fascinating Kerensky, are there any other imaginative details about why the US scenarios are as they are? Any other back stories you had in the back of your mind when designed these? (Sorry to interrupt your outstanding AAR, deducter. I can't believe you got a decisive victory on Moscow 41', on Feld Marshall no less!).

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Post by Shrike » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:54 am

Sorry for the slightly off-topic comment, but I too have been wondering about this kind of back stories. Much to my surprise, I encountered an Australian and a New-Zealand infantry unit in the Greece campaign map. I looked it up and found out that these forces did indeed fight in the battle of Crete and the defense of Greece in general. Kudos for putting such little details into the maps :)

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Post by Kerensky » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:56 pm

All the backstory for the USA scenarios are pretty much in the briefings (Guess who wrote those).

Trying to force the surrender by taking the Capitol, realizing that isn't working because of atomic bomb development, meeting Patton on the Great Plains, and finally going after the American President and finding him in Los Angeles, which is why that whole era is a ridiculous fortress. :)

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Post by Courham2 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Great read, I started Panzer Korps on the Hardest difficulty (why do you call them Rommel difficulty BTW?).

DV Poland
DV Norway
MV Low countries
DV France
DV Barbarossa
DV Kiev
DV Typhoon (this one was totally lucky, I got a couple of turns of rain and one turn of Mud, I dunno what the odds for that is)
MV Sealion 42 (Game ended).

I really wanted to see the States because I read that the scenarios had interesting triggers so I replayed Sealion 42 4 times to finally get a DV. I only got it by sending a 10 strength Stuka in on a 1 strength Brit Para, it took 4 AA Strength fire then 11 AA strength fire, with one Strength left on the Stuka it took out the Para!

Currently doing East Coast USA, bought 6 Me262 fresh, I now have 2 damaged ones :-). I will loose this scenario heh, but will analyse my Tank upgrades next time around. The Pershing I ran into was so hard to kill. Bombed to no ammo, surrounded it, bought a Nashorn to finish it off.

Having a blast and REALLY looking forward to the Campaign releases. Please add lots of counterattack triggers, they are fun.

I would like to see the ability for a Human player to play a Campaign and a Human player to play the other side. Is this possible?
Last edited by Courham2 on Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by AgentX » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:13 pm

Dalinski wrote:Great read, I started Panzer Korps on the Hardest difficulty (why do you call them Rommel difficulty BTW?).
Rommel is a bonus difficulty level that is unlocked when you beat the campaign on Field Marshall (the hardest default level). Once you win the US West Coast, 3 bonus difficulties are unlocked: Guderian (reduces the amount of turns for victory; I believe by 5), Manstein (all enemy units have +5 strength added, so most are going to be at 15; conscripts, for example, would be at 20!), and Rommel (prestige is earned at 50% normal levels: city capture, victory prestige, per turn prestige).
Last edited by AgentX on Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Courham2 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:17 pm

OMG you are kidding!? I can't wait.....

And here I was thinking I must be doing ok....lol

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Post by AgentX » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:22 pm

In my experience and the opinions of many others, the easiest of the bonus difficulties is Rommel since you only have to budget and plan your prestige better. Guderian is probably the hardest because trimming 5 turns will make some scenarios just about impossible to get a Decisive Victory. Manstein is in the middle; it is really tough with all the 15 strength monsters you have to deal with. You just need to take it a little slower and more deliberate, but it is somewhat balanced in that you earn a whole lot more XP than on any other level (there is potentially 50% more XP to earn since enemies have more strength).
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Post by Tarrak » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:22 pm

Dalinski wrote:I would like to see the ability for a Human player to play a Campigh and a Human player to play the other side. Is this possible?
You can play all the single scenarios included in the campaign in multiplayer but be aware the maps are not exactly balanced so one side will have some advantage (There are of course special balanced multiplayer maps available). The downside is tho that you can not take your core force from scenario to scenario but got to work with the predefined standard troops each scenario.

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Post by Courham2 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:33 pm

"Rommel is a bonus difficulty level that is unlocked when you beat the campaign on Field Marshall (the hardest default level). Once you win the US West Coast, 3 bonus difficulties are unlocked: Guderian (reduces the amount of turns for victory; I believe by 5), Manstein (all enemy units have +5 strength added, so most are going to be at 15; conscripts, for example, would be at 20!), and Rommel (prestige is earned at 50% normal levels: city capture, victory prestige, per turn prestige)." - AgentX

Guderian sounds impossible, Manstien sounds impossible too! Rommel sounds like fun because you might see some lower quality hardware being used.
Last edited by Courham2 on Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

deducter
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Post by deducter » Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:21 pm

Indeed, I posted an AAR on Rommel difficulty too, I did not find it too much different from FM. I think cutting prestige by 75% would make it on par with the other difficulties.

Personally I think Manstein is the hardest/most interesting, although Guderian does make DV impossible for many scenarios.

Edit: Just noticed that you also won DV for Moscow 41 on FM, Dalinski, with one turn of mud, just like how I won it! What a coincidence? On other playthroughs, I've had much worse weather, which made DV impossible.

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Post by Dalinski » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:55 am

There is no way I can get a Decisive Victory on West Coast USA on Field Marshal , I'm going to have to cheat, just lost too much stuff through the other two campaigns in the US. Don't have enough prestige for King Tiger upgrades which seem to be the only thing I can think of to power through to San Francisco.....

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Post by Kaiser » Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:31 pm

Dalinski wrote:There is no way I can get a Decisive Victory on West Coast USA on Field Marshal , I'm going to have to cheat, just lost too much stuff through the other two campaigns in the US. Don't have enough prestige for King Tiger upgrades which seem to be the only thing I can think of to power through to San Francisco.....
I got a DV West Coast on Manstien, after 6 trys and a bit of luck, so you can do it on FM. You may want to start at the east coast again. I only lost one core unit thru the first two scenarios. I was also quite low on prestige when I got to the west coast. I was lucky enough to have 3 SS Panzers and Panzers with movement heroes, these are the ones I upgraded to Tiger II's, without those, I never would have got a DV. I sent them north first then down the coast in time for the final battle. The rest of my Panzers were Panther G's. Also very important to me were my Wurfrahmen artillery. I had 4 of these at 11* and 12* strength, with a couple other artillery pieces. They backed up my panzers especially in the south and were essential in rooting out that entrentched infantry. Though I did have a tough time with those pesky Secret Service guys. Finally, my heavy bombers played a key role, I had 4 of them at 15* and 14*, I had 1 fighter-bomber at 13*, and 2 stukas at 13*. After clearing the skies, what was left of my fighters weren't much good for anything. My infantry only seemed to be good at getting killed, so I used them to take empty cities and garrison or finish off weak enemies units. I lost A LOT of units here but who cares, it's the last one.

By the way, I thought the US scenarios were very well done and fun to play. Especially #2 for the tank battles.

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Post by Kerensky » Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:25 pm

Kaiser wrote:By the way, I thought the US scenarios were very well done and fun to play. Especially #2 for the tank battles.
What can I say? The vast open plains of the American MidWest are perfect for large scale tank combat. It's like the wide open terrain of Africa, minus all that sand. :twisted:

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Re:

Post by 4kEY » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:59 pm

Kerensky wrote:
Kaiser wrote:By the way, I thought the US scenarios were very well done and fun to play. Especially #2 for the tank battles.
What can I say? The vast open plains of the American MidWest are perfect for large scale tank combat. It's like the wide open terrain of Africa, minus all that sand. :twisted:

I was looking out onto the Sandhills yesterday and realized this. It felt like Normandy without the bocage, and many more hills to fortify :wink: Then someone mentioned satellites :|

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