Ceek wrote:My lack of artillery wasn't by design—I would have liked a lot more, but I just couldn't afford it! And yes, your infantry will have to take it on the chin in this one, I'm afraid. If you wait for entrenchment to get to zero, it will be a long, hard slog, and you probably won't get very far. That being said, you can still force surrenders with lvl. 1 entrenchment, and I definitely took advantage of that when I could. Because space is so limited in this scenario, you really have to think several turns ahead in terms of where you want key infantry to be to take out the fortifications. You have to have your engineers well placed to take advantage of micro-breakthroughs in the defensive lines. Grenadiers and engineers are extremely important on this map, but they won't help you much unless they're placed correctly to take advantage of their anti-fortification abilities. Also, the fact that there are units in practically every hex when you get to Dunkirk means you get some prestige for forcing surrenders if you plan your attacks correctly. That helps, some.
I restarted campaign again. After a slogging repeat of 4-5 intro scenarios I got to Dunkirk again, this time I think I am better prepared. I have better core and more prestige. The result however is: SAME! I understand what you are saying about correctly positioning infantry. But that is just not important when AI has most perfect combination of artillery and AA guns behind almost every infantry unit that guards city hexes. Flanking is almost impossible... Also there is actually 10 flak units in the town itself! Not to mention 4 AA guns in very dense area around Grande-Synthe.. I also tried imploring your infantry sacrificing method, that gave me a little push (to a great cost), but ultimately I couldn't conquer it all. It seems that I'm missing 2-3 turns, and if I'm trying to rush things in the last 2-3 turns that creates a blood bath and decimation of my units.
I'm pretty disheartened by scenario design and lack of it reality (this looks more like Sevastopol the Dunkirk) but it is what it is and to progress it has to be won. I also must say that there are too many allied planes IMO considering that briefing says there will be allied planes "here and there and they will attack like mosquitoes, and quickly return back". In fact there are more allied planes then my planes, and they attack with confidence and stay!
Nevertheless, I have 2 new tactics in mind. First of all the small part of the Dunkirk close to the canal is remote Grande-Synthe. It is well guarded and hard to conquer from only one direction. Especially not only from the east or south, and god forbid west. So I came to idea to have a massive para-drop (I have 3 FJs for now, but maybe I will get a fourth one). That is drop all my FJs in front of the most western fort guarding that part of the Dunkirk. I could place them on the rough desert (beach) northwest. From there I will destroy the fort ASAP, and continue by destroying artillery and AA in that remote part.
In the same time I shall push hard from the east (as I did before), and (the new thing) divert almost all western forces across the bridges ASAP to the southern approach of the Grande-Synthe. The Gravilines outskirt could be taken by 3-4 units, without the need for major engagement. So in that way I shall attack from the south with larger force and from north with paratroopers almost at the same time. This simultaneous attack should create breaches on two sectors and problems for the perfectly placed defense of the Grande-Synthe, and should create a nice link with advancing main forces from the east, once they close in.
If this fails I don't know what else I could do. Of course all of this will be very tricky as there is bunch of allied aircraft and also large possibility of naval bombardment from allied cruisers on my paratroopers... Sigh
Regarding aircraft, I have found that if I don't put a priority on air superiority, I pay for it down the line. Letting even fighters pick apart my troops eventually hampers my offensive momentum. That doesn't mean I attack every plane I see immediately. I have found the containment strategy to be very effective in destroying aircraft without taking losses in the air or on the ground. Surrounding airplanes with at least two (preferably three or even four, depending on its strength) is so important for reducing its initiative and counterattack. If you're not doing that, you will pay for it (in prestige) long term.
Yes I know this. It's called mass attack, and I know that air superiority is very important. I have 4 Bf109s in this scenario, but I might need 1 more. I also try to use more flaks here and I bought two mobile Sdkfz7/1 which can come very handy. The problem here is that in the chaos of urban battle it is very hard to follow where all the planes are and weather everything is protected from air attacks and AI exploits that fact to the max. It is much easier forming solid air strategy when in open terrain combat. At least that is my feeling.
Again, it's a pretty brutal scenario, especially if you're going for a major victory. If the prestige bug wasn't in effect, it might be worth the effort because Dunkirk is loaded with victory hexes. As it is, I was only getting 1/3rd what I due, which led to problems in later scenarios where my units' lack of experience really began to catch up with me.
Try 1.14 as I did. It helped me out a lot
Prestige is more or less fine now...
On the VHs... Yeah there are many VHs but, in the same time all are heavily guarded, so I spent almost all that I earn on replacements... Sacrificing cannot be the only way to win this.