Afrika Korps (Manstein) (Completed)

Battle Reports & After Action Reports (AAR's)

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huckc
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Afrika Korps (Manstein) (Completed)

Post by huckc » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:34 pm

This is my first playthru of Afrika Korps. On Manstein, so +5 enemy strength. Was originally going to do it on Ultimate but you miss out on a lot of content (fun) due to having to game the system and -5 turns. After playing the first few scenarios and seeing how hard it is, I'm glad I didn't!

All default options, except limited dice chess being on.
Last edited by huckc on Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Afrika Korps (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:50 pm

Scenario 1: Reconnaissance in Force

"In force" indeed. Start out with a ton of troops, all pretty much tripping over each other eager to take over the desert!

Turn 1 I surround and destroy the first two enemy units within reach. I also bought an 88 to beef up my AA.

Turn 2 I reach a line of enemy tanks, destroying one of them while lining up in good position for the response.

Turn 3-4 I finish mopping up the rest of the units in this second screen, also taking the town of Msus.

Turn 5 I begin the siege of the first objective Benghazi, defended by a British HW infantry and towed AA gun.

Turn 6 Benghazi falls and I continue my way east along the coast of Libya.

Turns 7-8 I overrun the objective town of Barce while moving east still.

Turns 9-13 were pretty sloppy, but I finally take the objective airfield Derna.

Turn 14 I reach the outskirts of Tobruk, but as advised I make no attempt to take it.

Result:
Turn 16 MV, 3 objectives captured
Attachments
(02.09.2017) Reconnaissance in Force, Turn 16 MV.zip
(62.75 KiB) Downloaded 78 times

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Re: Afrika Korps (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:59 pm

Scenario 2: Ras el Mdauuar

Can we get some more fortifications here? :lol:

Took it a bit easy on this map, only going for the two low-hanging-fruit objectives, the open desert one in the north and the one on a fortification in the south. Those over-strengthened fortifications present a big problem due to their high attack rating, taking a big toll when attacking but also during the attack from the enemy's turn.

Result:
Turn 15 MV, 2 objective captured
Attachments
(02.09.2017) Ras el Mdauuar, Turn 15 MV.zip
(60.31 KiB) Downloaded 69 times

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Re: Afrika Korps (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:12 pm

Scenario 3: Brevity

The first scenario where I'm glad I didn't go with the Ultimate difficulty, quite difficult due to the overwhelming enemy strength.

I'm stuck deploying only in the very north. My plan is to relieve Sidi Azeiz ASAP, from there moving in formation slowly south to take at least enough objectives to win.

Turn 1 I'm second to act, I begin moving south to Sidi Azeiz carefully, making sure all my units are covered from the air. The aux units in the very south are all but destroyed, nothing can save them at this point.

Turn 2-3 I wrestle for control of Sidi Azeiz, destroying most of the enemy units in the first wave.

Turn 4 I form an echelon, driving south as a slow moving bulldozer of tanks and artillery.

Those Matilda IIs sure are tough, the biggest pain point of these early missions.

Turn 11 I finally reach the next objective, Fort Capuzzo. At this point the enemy is all but destroyed and I fan out taking the remainder of objectives for a DV.

Result:
Turn 16 DV, all objectives taken
Attachments
(02.09.2017) Brevity, Turn 16 DV.zip
(66.8 KiB) Downloaded 82 times
Last edited by huckc on Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Afrika Korps (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:31 pm

Scenario 4: Battleaxe

Same map as before but this time even more difficult. Much more so, in fact, due to the extreme enemy strength as well as getting flanked from the north about half way thru by another mass of enemy units.

My plan was to form two primary zones of defense. One around the town objective of Fort Capuzzo and the other around the hill objectives of point 208 and Hafid Ridge. The key being that the two zones are close enough to transfer units across when needed in order to help each other out. I'm given four aux units of 88s, which I was going to have serve as anti-tanks primarily. Also deploying my own two 88s for an 88 jamboree!

I also placed my best infantry unit, a two star Bersaglieri, alone in the objective town in the north of Sidi Aziez where the enemy will try to flank and capture. He'll have plenty of time to dig in and max out entrenchment, to the point where the enemy won't attack him (at least I hoped). Even still, my plan is to move a few aux units to support him so he doesn't get surrounded.

What can I say other than my lines held barely, to the brink of collapse almost the entire time. Almost losing a core 88 due to a foolish move near the end.

Spent a lot of prestige on the aux units, including upgrading one of the Italian tanks for some much needed help.

Result:
Turn 17 MV, 8 objectives held.
No captured Matilda II sadly, I'm just happy just to survive with no losses :shock:
Attachments
(03.09.2017) Battleaxe, Turn 17 MV.zip
(72.86 KiB) Downloaded 70 times
Last edited by huckc on Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Afrika Korps (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:21 pm

Scenario 5: Dash to the Wire

Interesting scenario, set around the siege of Tobruk but you're not meant to take attack it yet.

The plan here was to turtle around the three objectives clumped together to the east of Tobruk. Also sending a small party to destroy the hangers to the south.

Turn 1 I'm first to act, I set out to get as many surrenders as possible from the defenders bunched up around Sidi Rezegh. Got a total of four surrenders this turn, and another one the following turn.

The defense holds superbly with very few losses, however I lose one of the hanger reward units an SE BF-109F, to a hidden AA then enemy fighter. I'd restart but I'd just lose other units, very hard scenario.

Result:
Turn 18 MV, all objectives held
Brutal loss of the reward SE BF-109F fighter :(
Attachments
(04.09.2017) Dash to the Wire, Turn 18 MV.zip
(84.48 KiB) Downloaded 76 times
Last edited by huckc on Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Afrika Korps (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:27 pm

Scenario 6: Second offensive

Another interesting scenario, this time you start off on the defensive and off-footed.

The plan here was a fighting retreat all the way back to Agedabia in the west. From there I'll see how things play out and counter-attack if the opportunity arises.

It did, and I was able to fan out and seize all objectives for a DV with four turns to spare.

Result:
Turn 18 DV, all objectives captured
Attachments
(04.09.2017) Second offensive, Turn 18 DV.zip
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Re: Afrika Korps (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:26 pm

Scenario 7: Gazala Line

Really tough one. My first try I misunderstood the enemy retreat notice and let them take a few objectives back that I couldn't wrestle back.

I turn off show enemy moves and attacks to speed things up. So a few times it's "Wait didn't I have a unit there?" *Restarts* :lol:

Result:
Lost! Going to have to retry.

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Re: Afrika Korps (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:41 am

Anyone have any advice for Gazala Line? I can't really attack with the provided Italians as the over-strengthened entrenched defenders are too strong. Using them primarily to defend the rear paratrooper drop and bating enemy aircraft into them backed by my hidden AA and away from my offensive inland forces.

Plan of attack :
Image
Red circles are known/expected strong enemy defenses. Red lines are the expected late stage retreat paths after capturing Tobruk in the northeast.

Starts out fairly well but unravels half way thru at the slightest mistake and/or my inland forces on the offensive get hammered to death by enemy air.

Need to capture all objectives for an MV.

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Re: Afrika Korps (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:00 pm

Scenario 7: Gazala Line (retry)

Same plan as pictured above.

Things went nearly perfectly until I lost a Piaggio Strat bomber to a Spitfire about midway thru the scenario. Also got two rugged defenses in a row against the same enemy infantry which hurt two of my Panzer IVs badly.

I lost count on the number of destroyed enemy aircraft, they had an unlimited amount it seemed!

Triggered the retreat a bit earlier than expected but it turned out fine.

Result:
Turn 31 DV, all objectives captured and only a couple enemy core troops remaining.
Lost a core Piaggio strategic bomber :(
Image

Notes (for this difficulty level)
1. The aux pioneers are mostly useless in their intended role of breaking thru to the north. Best to save them at full strength for the final push after retreating. Also, the airfields in the north have no strategic value.
2. Similar to 1, the other aux infantry units are best saved until the very end. They can barely cover the airborne defense and are needed to bate enemy aircraft.
3. Going the southern route with almost my entire core, it's key to clear out everything around the french position by turn 3 so that they're not spotted thus the powerful first few waves of enemy aircraft are forced to attack the aux units instead back by my powerful AA.

Easily one of the hardest offensive scenarios I've played in the series, perhaps second-most behind US Corps' Wargames.

On to Malta!
Attachments
(24.11.2017) Gazala Line, Turn 31 DV.zip
(107.78 KiB) Downloaded 62 times

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Re: Afrika Korps (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:37 pm

Scenario 8 (bonus): Malta

Probably the funnest amphibious landing I've ever played. Very complicated, tactically in-depth, and no enemy bombers!

Deployment
Replaced the lost Piaggio strat bomber with another, then bought an additional two for good measure to help out with the naval destruction. I also bought two new BF-109G fighters to help out or in this case "contract to hire" as I might not add some of them to my permanent core due to the big FW-190 upgrade to come, we'll see.

Opening
On the northern island I opted to to hold back the landings until the 10 health enemy submarine guarding it was destroyed. I hit it with the one destroyer in reach for about half health and moved another destroyer within range for a turn 2 attack in order to completely destroy it. The landings on this island disembarked into the forest on turn 3 with my best infantry.

On the southern island I started the landings immediately, as there were no enemy ships left nearby after destroying them all with my strat bombers and destroyers. I also needed to capture the first airfield ASAP (orange in the pic) as my fighters have low fuel and only one re-fuel hex on the aircraft carrier, especially the aux Italian ones.

I'm provided with two infantry troops in gliders at 10 strength but a decent 2-stars of experience thus they are strong enough to be effective. I dropped the Fallschirmjäger one on the little island in the middle to destroy the fortress. The Gebirgsjäger I dropped in a forest on the southern island in order to help take one of the city objectives. The first time I've used gliders in a while and appreciate their precision and drop strength.

Mid
I played the battle mostly "by ear" as I wasn't sure exactly what it took to get a DV. Fortunately I had just enough strength to pip the last few objectives on the last turn by rolling onto them with my Panzer IVs after destroying the defenders.

A trick I employed heavily was to use destroyer attacks against the enemy ground troops guarding the objectives, depleting their ammo and making them defenseless against my ground troops. The admirals were not thrilled with this I imagine :lol: .

Plan of attack:
Image

Result:
Turn 15 DV. Captured all the objectives and destroyed the entire enemy fleet.
Gained a captured Spitfire.

Image
Attachments
(25.11.2017) Malta, Turn 15 DV.zip
(85.93 KiB) Downloaded 69 times
Last edited by huckc on Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:17 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Afrika Korps (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:06 am

Scenario 9: Alam Halfa

Gazala Line's little brother but more complicated and not quite as difficult.

Deployment
Deployed two engineers to deal with the initial screen of mines.

In order to help the Italians with their defense in the north I deployed the captured Grant backed by artillery and an 88. They will partially serve as aircraft bait as well. I also plan to move back another artillery piece and tank later on for good measure as they will be faced with a ton of 15 strength two-star infantry and artillery.

Opening
Very complex opening move, the engineers destroying their two key minefield hexes then moving forward with my tanks and artillery. Got five or six surrenders the first two turns, a key tactic with the +5 enemy strength.

Mid
The enemy wisely upgraded their AA I see, now at 3-range. Much of the map was a no-go zone due to this and the sheer number of them.

Was very careful not to make any mistakes, including leaving artillery exposed at the flanks or coming within an implied three hexes of the 3-range AA with any of my aircraft.

Stretched very far in the air, as I didn't capture a forward airfield until the very end. Wasn't too big of a deal since the map isn't that big. The aux fighters provided took all the big hits from the Spitfires thankfully, as they were weaker than my own fighters thus more appealing targets.

Final
I opted to stop at the four objectives needed for the MV, as I was facing a wall of strength to get the last two and it just wasn't worth it.

One weird thing I noticed looking at the replay is that the scripted AI attacked in the wrong direction! Away from the Italian lines and towards my captured objectives in the east. During the scenario I didn't have any of them spotted since I moved the Italians back one hex or so and was like aren't they supposed to attack by now ? :lol:

Plan of attack:
Image

Result:
Turn 18 MV. Captured four objectives.

Image
Attachments
(26.11.2017) Alam Halfa, Turn 18 MV.zip
(82.19 KiB) Downloaded 61 times

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Re: Afrika Korps (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:03 pm

Scenario 10: Suez Canal

Deployment
Heavily tweaked to force as many surrenders as possible as quickly as possible from the large block of enemy troops around Alexandria.

Only deployed one fighter, the Spitfire with 2 overstrength at 12 health as I knew from my psychic powers that the big FW-190 upgrade drops on turn 2. Will upgrade four of my BF-109Gs when this happens then deploy them immediately. Didn't want to upgrade the Spitfire just yet partially because it already has expensive overstrength.

Also know that you need to destroy the enemy naval fleet that comes in from the west so I deployed all three of my Piaggio strategic bombers to take care of it.

Opening
Swarmed the block of defenders around Alexandria and took them out one by one, including two surrenders the first turn then five or six the next two turns. Taking the city on turn 3 then planning to swing around Cairo to the south and crossing the Nile river using a bridge engineer unit.

Mid
Faced periodic waves of Spitfires and Hurricanes, didn't bother keeping track just made sure my bombers and ground troops were always covered.

Plan of attack
Image

Crossing the Nile on turn 8
Image

Result
Turn 20 DV. Captured all the objectives and destroyed the enemy fleet.

Image
Attachments
(28.11.2017) Suez Canal, Turn 20 DV.zip
(87.89 KiB) Downloaded 59 times

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Re: Afrika Korps (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:28 pm

Scenario 11: Palestine

This one was harder than I expected and required the 'ole restart after losing a FW-190 to a mass attack of Spitfires.

Tasked with taking all the objectives for an MV then additionally saving all three pumping stations in the very far north for the DV. Not sure if the latter was impossible at this level, but it was just about and I didn't want to go crazy trying to grind it out :lol: .

Deployment
Purchased a Stug III, figured I should have at least one anti-tank unit :lol: .

Deployed half my force to attack up along the coast to scoop those objectives and the other half to go along east of the Dead Sea for those ones. A little transfer of units half way up to give the eastern task force more soft attack artillery for the final few objectives as they will be facing almost entirely armor in the open until then.

Plan of attack
Image

Mid
About half way thru the scenario a bunch of Spitfires spawn in at once, and in this case making it a total of five all together :shock:. Definitely on edge when seeing that and didn't want to give them any reason to attack my planes.
Image

Result
Turn 17 MV. Captured all the objectives but only saved one pumping station.

Image
Attachments
(03.12.2017) Palestine, Turn 17 MV.zip
(93.47 KiB) Downloaded 52 times

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Syria

Post by huckc » Sat May 04, 2019 12:23 pm

Syria
Image

Image

Resumed the last save from over a year ago, things seemed to be going well enough. The save was on turn 5 and being blighted by a reload wouldn't make sense at this point, about 95% sure of that. I do remember this scenario being a pain at the beginning with at least one restart so happy to get those turns behind me.

Almost lost the necessary FJs to get the DV with one getting destroyed.

Image

Image

Result
Decisive Victory turn 16 of 18
Image
Attachments
(04.05.2019) Syria, Turn 16 of 18 DV.zip
(89.11 KiB) Downloaded 6 times

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Iraq

Post by huckc » Fri May 10, 2019 11:50 am

Iraq
Image

The key to this one is to listen to your boss and capture the Baghdad airfield ASAP. Neutralizing it with strategic bombers is the easy and safest bet. Couldn't imagine facing all those extra air units.

Once Baghdad is secured it's easy street except for some armor in the middle that needed some softening up before engaging with my tanks.

Used three paratroopers, two aux and one core, to take the money hex in the northeast then had them move south to take a victory hex.

The aux strategic bombers are very useful for long-range missions with extra ammo and lots of fuel.

Image

Image

Result
Decisive Victory turn 15 of 22
Image
Attachments
(04.05.2019) Iraq, Turn 15 of 22 DV.zip
(86.12 KiB) Downloaded 7 times

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Re: Afrika Korps (Manstein)

Post by goose_2 » Fri May 10, 2019 9:27 pm

huckc wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:37 pm
Scenario 8 (bonus): Malta

Probably the funnest amphibious landing I've ever played. Very complicated, tactically in-depth, and no enemy bombers!

Deployment
Replaced the lost Piaggio strat bomber with another, then bought an additional two for good measure to help out with the naval destruction. I also bought two new BF-109G fighters to help out or in this case "contract to hire" as I might not add some of them to my permanent core due to the big FW-190 upgrade to come, we'll see.

Opening
On the northern island I opted to to hold back the landings until the 10 health enemy submarine guarding it was destroyed. I hit it with the one destroyer in reach for about half health and moved another destroyer within range for a turn 2 attack in order to completely destroy it. The landings on this island disembarked into the forest on turn 3 with my best infantry.

On the southern island I started the landings immediately, as there were no enemy ships left nearby after destroying them all with my strat bombers and destroyers. I also needed to capture the first airfield ASAP (orange in the pic) as my fighters have low fuel and only one re-fuel hex on the aircraft carrier, especially the aux Italian ones.

I'm provided with two infantry troops in gliders at 10 strength but a decent 2-stars of experience thus they are strong enough to be effective. I dropped the Fallschirmjäger one on the little island in the middle to destroy the fortress. The Gebirgsjäger I dropped in a forest on the southern island in order to help take one of the city objectives. The first time I've used gliders in a while and appreciate their precision and drop strength.

Mid
I played the battle mostly "by ear" as I wasn't sure exactly what it took to get a DV. Fortunately I had just enough strength to pip the last few objectives on the last turn by rolling onto them with my Panzer IVs after destroying the defenders.

A trick I employed heavily was to use destroyer attacks against the enemy ground troops guarding the objectives, depleting their ammo and making them defenseless against my ground troops. The admirals were not thrilled with this I imagine :lol: .

Plan of attack:
Image

Result:
Turn 15 DV. Captured all the objectives and destroyed the entire enemy fleet.
Gained a captured Spitfire.

Image

Hey Buddy,

I am so glad you picked this puppy back up, as it helps me in preparation for my playthrough.

I finished Gazala last night...very much enjoy that map for its randomness and complexity.

So now it is time to prepare for Malta.

My question is this, I want any tips from the beastmaster that is you attempting this at Manstein...what ways do you recommend me to consider playing this to minimize losses?

I really look to avoid damage and remember that Northern Island being a difficult one to avoid damage on.

Any suggestions?
goose_2
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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRHQShaOv5PWoer6cP1syLQ

huckc
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Re: Afrika Korps (Manstein)

Post by huckc » Sat May 11, 2019 1:59 pm

goose_2 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 9:27 pm
Hey Buddy,

I am so glad you picked this puppy back up, as it helps me in preparation for my playthrough.

I finished Gazala last night...very much enjoy that map for its randomness and complexity.

So now it is time to prepare for Malta.

My question is this, I want any tips from the beastmaster that is you attempting this at Manstein...what ways do you recommend me to consider playing this to minimize losses?

I really look to avoid damage and remember that Northern Island being a difficult one to avoid damage on.

Any suggestions?
It's been awhile but I suggest using one of the aux paratroopers to take the airfield on the northern island ASAP for the captured spitfire. The other can land on the southern island, leaving a stuka to take care of the fort in the center island.

Free up the destroyers to harass ground units on the coast, reducing entrenchment and ammo.

Dude Gazala Line was so hard on Manstein that I almost gave up. Malta should be a cake walk for you after DV'ing that with -75% prestige and weaker tanks.

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Basra

Post by huckc » Tue May 14, 2019 11:25 am

Basra
Image

Image

Four tanks to Tigers. All infantry upgraded.

Hard opener with the entire enemy airforce hitting you on turn 1 after you act.

Image

Image
Missed a flag, blends in very well with my own.

Decisive Victory turn 20 of 23
Image
Attachments
(11.05.2019) Basra, Turn 20 of 23 DV.zip
(83.58 KiB) Downloaded 6 times

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Persia

Post by huckc » Wed May 15, 2019 11:35 pm

Persia
Image
Hex re-use

Image

The spitfires are so strong here that I needed to over-strength my fighters to 13 otherwise they'll simply over-power them either in direct engagement or choosing to attack bombers defended by them.

Bought two new artillery, a wespe and 105 with half-track. I find it's good to have one or two in half-tracks for off-road utilization.

Fifth tank upgraded to a Tiger mid-scenario as I felt I needed another strong tank.

Image

Image

Decisive Victory turn 19 of 25
Image

Going to put a month block on this game, been playing way too much lately :)
Attachments
(12.05.2019) Persia, Turn 19 of 25 DV.zip
(98.97 KiB) Downloaded 8 times

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