Having 950 prestige, two level bombers, a Stuka, BF109, and a BF-110, a panzer II, 2 artillery pieces, and lots and lots of infantry made this mission quite a challenge. I had to disband(!) a infantry and level bomber and the BF110 to get back my prestige, I never did that before except with the useless panzer Is (although in beta actually they are quite a bit better). I scrapped together just enough prestige for 2 panzer IIIs, a panzer IV, another Stuka, and 2 more fighters, and an artillery piece. Fighting was tough in Belgium, and I did not have the prestige to reinforce my aux units. I used the rivers to maximum advantage and tried my best to lure AI units onto it. Knowledge of how retreats work is extremely valuable, since attacking from the right direction on a heavily suppressed unit can force it to go in an ideal direction. I achieved DV, but this was not trivial.
- Using terrain to maximal advantage is key. For instance, past Sedan there was a french tank, normally barely a challenge, but wanted to minimize losses. Fortunately it wandered onto a hill, so I attack with Wehrmacht infantry, which had much better results than attacking with my panzer. Two infantry attacks and it was finished with minimal losses.
Stukas are much better than level bombers when it comes to devastating tanks, artillery, and antitank units. They are also quite a bit cheaper, which makes them invaluable imo. I regularly did 4-6 damage on those targets. Use them correctly and they provide superb fire support.
When I lost a Gebirgsjager due to careless positioning outside a French city to counterattacks, I felt that loss. There was no reason to rush, and I would've been better off waiting until all my units were in position to launch a massive attack from all directions on a fortified city.
This scenario is again fairly easy, I had enough prestige now to buy another Panzer IV and actually upgrade some of my units. Still several infantry did not have trucks, but it wasn't a problem. No chance to elite reinforce, much less overstrength units. Fairly unremarkable, except again using terrain is key, luring French tanks onto forests/hills open the opportunity for some devastating infantry attacks. In fact, I think the AI needs to be programmed to be very cautious in sending tank units into close terrain unless they have artillery support or something.... The only thing to note is that I loss a 6str panzer IV to an attack by a French antitank unit, and I very keenly felt that loss. Still using that panzer II, can be very good to mop up weakened units actually. Also I love recon units, even know now I have spoiler information. Great for quickly capturing city, finishing off weakened units, even giving some of your units a mass attack advantage. I tend to send it out a few hexes, then pull it back to safety with my main army. I always include a recon unit with a main army.
Admittedly now I have spoiler information compared with last time, so I knew where the Royal Navy was. As it stood, with 4 strategic bombers (two core, two aux) I easily wiped out most of the Royal Navy's capital ships in two turns. My own capital ships finished off the destroyers. I had no trouble landing my own units afterwards. This time, I avoided using panzers to attack even cities and used retreat/surrender mechanics to their fullest (I did not know about those the first time through) and London despite being heavily fortified was not hard to take. Just force a series of surrenders by using artillery on a surrounded unit, and I blitzed through London in no time. A flanking Bridge Engineer on the Thames is still invaluable. Stukas are best kept in reserve, once most of the Royal Air Force is devastated then unleash them on AT, artillery, tanks, etc. I easily made DV with few losses. Thoughts below.
- I also know that naval units obey ZOC rules, which frankly is fairly silly and probably should be changed so they don't. Also, I think it would be best to reposition some of the AI's Hurricanes and Spitfires to on turn 1 COVER the Royal Navy. In fact, those two changes may make the scenario quite a bit more difficult and realistic. I see the Royal Navy as sacrificing itself to go after my transports, which it would have done historitcally.. Losses should be inevitable in this scenario. Now I think most historians agree that Sealion 40 even with air superiority over the English Channel would be impossible, but this is a game after all.
I also notice that despite radar, the British fighters don't seem to be too tough. They launched some good attacks, one good AI attack on my paratroops, despite me arranging my planes in a nice pattern so that each is covered by two fighters. I lost a core Fallschirmjager to two spitfires, very well done. However thereafter the perform of the RAF was lackluster to say the least... Quite a few groups of my bombers only had one fighter covering it. The AI could absorb the initial screening attack, then send in a swarm of fighters to finish off the bombers, with all those RADAR stations they have perfect sight and should be able to execute this tactic. I also escorted with strength 6 or 5 fighters, they AI can dart in and finish those weakened units off. In fact, the AI needs to probably have the highest targeting priority on weakened fighters. That will force me to withdraw those fighters. The AI instead used its fighters mostly to screen their own bombers or to strafe surface units, to little avail. It seems the AI is coded not to purchase air units? I know they are expensive, but buying one or two after some losses can make a big difference, I do it when I lose fighters. I think the AI needs to concentrate more on finishing off my fighters, or if the opportunity arises, to do repeated mass attacks on my bombers. Even with strength 6-7 fighters they should attack, I notice the AI will retreat to an airbase even with some damage.
The Royal Navy could stand to have a more ships actually, I'd say in the north coming down from Scapa Flow. I think the Royal Air Force could stand to lose all its bombers and add more fighters. Or better yet, stop escorting the bombers just for this scenario. After all, I do see the British in the event of an invasion to throw everything they have at trying to shoot down the German planes, their own losses be damned. I guess if the AI were better the RAF actually would have enough units. The British land units are fine.