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Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:24 am
by bebro
IMO it would be nice to keep the tradition of review threads (as originally made by Andy) for new DLCs.

I'll leave the actual "review" part to other players for obvious reasons, instead I'll throw some background info about individual scenarios or the campaign in general. So, if you wish, feel free to discuss and comment :)


RS 01 Prokhorovka

This was an easy choice for the opener. The larger Kursk North/South scns or even a battle with the entire salient may be cool from the German side, but they would have be too large and cumbersome for a new Soviet DLC. A Soviet player would sit behind several rings of fortified positions and watch the AI banging its head against those defences most of the time - not so great, IMO.

So we are at Prokhorovka -- a fierce clash of steel, esp. since the AI has a decent amount of high XP units, with some of the most advanced models at this point. Your main goal here is to smash stuff, preferably enemy armour. Suffice to say, importing a core army from Red Steel with all those unlocked specs and shiny commanders can help a lot.

You will also see AI units using camouflage patterns, and on top of it you get asked whether you want to keep this, or go back to standard team colors (plain grey for Germany). Regardless of your choice you can always skin your own units at will.

In battle you need to find ways to wear down those nasty Tigers, Panthers and the rest of it. As we are in the 3rd DLC even this intro battle is not meant to be too easy anymore, but after all it should be no problem to win on normal difficulty...

Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:59 pm
by kondi754
I found this scenario as very fun and quite in line with historical realities
Big plus for using Waffen SS faction and new, beautiful and detailed skins

The most important thing is to recognize where and when the next German attacks are coming from and appropriate maneuvering of our own armored units IMO, because our mechanized forces are not enough to fight in 3 directions at the same time. I played at highest level.

Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:34 pm
by prestidigitation
Prokhorovka is depicted reasonably close to what actually happened according to Glantz and others, but there are a large number of bugs.

For instance I had a Panther "overrun" an infantry unit it did not kill, generating an error save. Another bug is that Soviet units appear to be displaying and using ONLY their lower mech attack value, which is pretty frustrating.

A design change I disapprove of heavily was changing the SU-122 and SU-152 from AT to TANK when in direct fire mode which is an absolutely staggeringly huge nerf that basically removes them from viability due to their weak flanks trait. I've been forced to downgrade both to SU-76M as a result, so not a single core 122/152 was present on my side. Went from a standard component of my mech/tank corps to a junk tier unit I won't bother buying.

T-34 backed by AT and ZiS-3 or SU-76M carried the day, along with a couple of KV-1 and B-4. On the 11 turn mark on a difficulty 4 run I've got 200 damage caused and 12 tanks destroyed to no losses and am rolling right over the scattered remains of the Nazis toward their rear area bases. Reaction fire is pretty good.

Of the "hard" Soviet missions this is definitely the easiest and I'm pretty sure it doesn't qualify. On either flank I formed the auxiliary units into a standard (for any vet of PzKorps) reaction fire blob with an AT unit at the center. The AI wasted a good bit of resources slamming into these, although they did finally work out that the SU-76M in the middle was the vital unit and started bombing it. That plus the 55 req per turn made it possible to brute force trivially.

As usual 37mm AA shredded all the Nazi planes, so after that I sent my fighters off to the flank to clear up the bombers that hadn't visited the main force.

edit: lol and there's a mercy rule win at the start of turn 13. GGEZ Nazis :lol:

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Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:18 pm
by Shards
"Another bug is that Soviet units appear to be displaying and using ONLY their lower mech attack value, which is pretty frustrating"

On this, there are two values for Hard attack and two for Soft Attack. The first is their attack in 0% cover (so the open fields, probably where you have your tanks most), the second is for 100% cover (e.g. a City). The value shifts between these depending on the location of your tank (e.g. in 70% cover forest, it's 70% of the way between the first and second number).

You'll notice that the Soft Attack for tanks tends to be inverted, so they get worse soft attack when in cover.

Also, I don't think that the designation was changed for any tanks? The SU-122 is an AT, but the ISU-122 (available in this time period) is a different tank that's better designated as a Tank/Arty. The SU is on the T-34 chassis, the ISU is on a KV variant chassis making them very different beasts.

Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:32 am
by prestidigitation
Shards wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:18 pm
"Another bug is that Soviet units appear to be displaying and using ONLY their lower mech attack value, which is pretty frustrating"

On this, there are two values for Hard attack and two for Soft Attack. The first is their attack in 0% cover (so the open fields, probably where you have your tanks most), the second is for 100% cover (e.g. a City). The value shifts between these depending on the location of your tank (e.g. in 70% cover forest, it's 70% of the way between the first and second number).

You'll notice that the Soft Attack for tanks tends to be inverted, so they get worse soft attack when in cover.
I'm aware of this, but it is displaying the lower values in detailed stats view when in open ground and using those lowered values when attacking into open ground (as can be seen in the unit comparison that shows up in the stats view) and seemingly when calculating combat.

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Note that the SOFT STR is correctly displaying 16 (the top value in open field +1 for officer) but the HARD STR is displaying the lower value (15!) instead of the correct 18. Unless something has changed and tanks now get their best HARD attack in close terrain this seems really wrong.
Also, I don't think that the designation was changed for any tanks? The SU-122 is an AT, but the ISU-122 (available in this time period) is a different tank that's better designated as a Tank/Arty. The SU is on the T-34 chassis, the ISU is on a KV variant chassis making them very different beasts.
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As you can see, the SU-122 is in the tank tab, not the anti tank tab. You guys mixed it up with the ISU-152.

Your comment includes some understandable confusion (the Soviets went wild with these things). The key differentiator was the gun, not the chassis. The ISU-122 was equipped with the same D-25 gun (a heavily modified A-19 howitzer) as the IS-2 and was used in the anti tank role heavily. The SU-122 was equipped with the M-30S howitzer and while it could perform in that role (the howitzer would pop turrets off or concuss crews to death) was primarily a self propelled assault gun capable of indirect fire (although as with all Soviet assault guns, it only did this when towed howitzers weren't available aka when operational maneuver was underway).

The chassis was indeed different and you're correct on that part, but you've reversed the roles. Also, technically, the SU-122 used a heavily modified T-34 chassis, not an exact one.

Meanwhile the SU-152 and ISU-152 both used the ML-20S and indeed here the key point of differentiation is the chassis. One uses the IS-2 chassis, while the other uses a KV-1S chassis.

For game purposes the 122mm SU/ISU should be anti tank weapons and the 152mm SU/ISU should be tanks with incredible performance against infantry and shock value. Both types should have artillery mode.

BTW the SU-85 should also be capable of firing indirect.

Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 3:00 am
by prestidigitation
Capture Kerch mission was indeed tough. The landing was a nightmare, the actual capture was a breeze. Once the skies were clear my 2x IL-2M3, 2x Yak-9T and 1x B-25C were able to go to town and that opened things up nicely. La-5FN did work, but the real hero was the AA.

I ended up with a _LOT_ of STR 2 ships. I sent 2x Morskaya Pekhota to hold Eltigen, then bounced them out as soon as I could. The last one had a bit of a tight escape! I also redirected the light tank and arty for the actual fight and never landed them at the Eltigen LZ. This turned out to be helpful.

I took a couple tries with the landing to get it right, and eventually decided a landing on the sandbar east of the objective was the right call (in retrospect I should have guessed the sandy beach was a BIG hint). My landing force was 2x heavy infantry and a T-34/43, a guard inf, an engineer, a ZiS-3 and an 37mm AA. Woof what a beating in that initial infantry counterattack backed by the werfer. I wanted to go after it, but all my air assets were tied up supporting the fight against the bunker on the sandbar or fending off the enemy air.

Once the beachead was established there was some brutal fighting in the woods and the piece of difficult terrain to the east.

Second wave brought the siege gun (B4), another T-34 and an SU-85. After that was mostly cleanup.

Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:25 am
by asuser
Try to play the first scenario, but...

Is it normal that I can't do anything with my troops, only see, what the AI is doing? I click on my units but I can't move them...???

Purchase and put new units on the map is also impossible.

Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:44 am
by Shards
asuser wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:25 am
Try to play the first scenario, but...

Is it normal that I can't do anything with my troops, only see, what the AI is doing? I click on my units but I can't move them...???

Purchase and put new units on the map is also impossible.
That's... Odd...

Do you have any mods installed or anything?

Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:46 am
by Shards
prestidigitation wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:32 am
snip.
Thanks for the detailed breakdown.

I'm pretty sure I'm right on the attack strength, but will run more tests.

Bebro is in charge of the unit stats in general, I'll let him respond with more authority to your tank reasoning!

Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:19 am
by bebro
Re Su-122 etc.

IMO it makes more sense to have it (and other Soviet heavy SPG) *not* in the dedicated AT class.

Most tank destroyers have high velocity guns with good penetration - but as written above indeed those 122/152 SPGs worked vs. tanks by using blunt force, so by knocking out tanks due to the pure power of their bigger calibers.

Having them with an Arty switch plus high powered AT cover ability would be rather OP. It also would make the actual tank destroyers (Su 85, Su 100) useless, and it does not reflect well the way how these 122/152er types worked.

Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:24 am
by bebro
asuser wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:25 am
Try to play the first scenario, but...

Is it normal that I can't do anything with my troops, only see, what the AI is doing? I click on my units but I can't move them...???
No, do you have a save for us?

Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:28 am
by terminator
prestidigitation wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:32 am
For game purposes the 122mm SU/ISU should be anti tank weapons and the 152mm SU/ISU should be tanks with incredible performance against infantry and shock value. Both types should have artillery mode.
SU-122:
Effective in its fire support missions in the service of the infantry, it was also occasionally used in the anti-tank fight in direct fire (hence the error of seeing it classified "Tank Hunter" in some encyclopedias). It is true that the power of its cannon could be lethal at short distance against the majority of German tanks in 1943, first for the Panzer III which was still widely used at that time (side and rear armour of 30 mm for the latest models.
:arrow: SU-122 should not be classified in the Anti Tank category

Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:49 am
by asuser
bebro wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:24 am
asuser wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:25 am
Try to play the first scenario, but...

Is it normal that I can't do anything with my troops, only see, what the AI is doing? I click on my units but I can't move them...???
No, do you have a save for us?
Yes, here it is:
RS_failure_190820.rar
(20.74 KiB) Downloaded 14 times

Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:58 am
by bebro
Thanks - just had a quick try, the save is turn 1 and I can move and attack normally. I see there is still free CP to deploy -- I can also purchase and deploy fine.

So right now I don't have any prob with your save. Is this happening repeatedly for you? Maybe just retry/restart?

Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:32 am
by prestidigitation
bebro wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:19 am
Re Su-122 etc.

IMO it makes more sense to have it (and other Soviet heavy SPG) *not* in the dedicated AT class.

Most tank destroyers have high velocity guns with good penetration - but as written above indeed those 122/152 SPGs worked vs. tanks by using blunt force, so by knocking out tanks due to the pure power of their bigger calibers.

Having them with an Arty switch plus high powered AT cover ability would be rather OP. It also would make the actual tank destroyers (Su 85, Su 100) useless, and it does not reflect well the way how these 122/152er types worked.
But it was how they were up until this patch, which makes this decidedly a weird change. It also makes them useless as why would I take an arty/direct fire with weak flanks over a unit like Su-85 with reaction fire + a specialist SPG? Reaction fire is way too strong to give up.

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And then of course the stats are so terrible that they aren't even usable in the direct fire mode. 8 str vs infantry? Even the M3 Stuart has more and that thing barely had armor! Hilariously it is reasonably effective against armor...

Hopefully you will at least have the ISU-122 as a tank destroyer/self propelled gun because it absolutely performed both roles, as did the SU-122 (most famously at Kursk...) but given your comment about balance I suspect not. Simply making them 6 CP would have made them a CP efficient but limited alternative to the SU-85/(SU-76 or BM-13) as they only have one action while the other units have two.

Hopefully you will also give the SU-85 an arty switch because it did indeed work that way and was used that way.

And hopefully the 85mm AA will get an anti tank switch to make it even close to a viable pick over the 37mm AA. Count the planes that are light vs heavy in any set of scenarios and you'll see pretty quick that specializing in heavy air attack is pretty worthless because all fighters and most bombers count as light. Compare the stats and you'll find a higher mobility alternative with better stats against the targets you'll be shooting at 90% of the time and a price so low as to make it disposable is preferable.

Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:39 am
by bebro
Don't underestimated the shock in direct fire. Also dual use - that's always nice.

Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:51 am
by kondi754
RE: arty/tank or at class

I myself had doubts several times in the past about the correct classification of some vehicles, but when I checked the history of their combat use on the IIww fronts in the available publications or on the web, the choice of Devs was usually the most reasonable. Also for game purposes.
However, I have always written here that I would like each main faction in the game to have its own unique weapons and specializations, so that the management and tactics, e.g. US Army and Red Army, would differ much more from each other.

Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:46 am
by prestidigitation
bebro wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:39 am
Don't underestimated the shock in direct fire. Also dual use - that's always nice.
Dual use is a unit that can only take one action instead of two units that can take two actions. The issue is most apparent when using an 88mm to defend against an attack that includes a tank and a plane. A 37mm AA + a 45mm ATG would handle the attack without issue, but the dual use unit can only fight one while the other takes it apart.

Shock effect is generally better delivered by units that will survive the delivery or are cheap enough that spending some health isn't a huge deal. Artillery, strategic bombers, rocket artillery, engineers. Armor with 8 defense against infantry? Not so much.

Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:59 am
by asuser
bebro wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:58 am
Thanks - just had a quick try, the save is turn 1 and I can move and attack normally. I see there is still free CP to deploy -- I can also purchase and deploy fine.

So right now I don't have any prob with your save. Is this happening repeatedly for you? Maybe just retry/restart?
Thanks Bebro for your help!

I deinstalled, installed it again on Steam, but nothing changed. The other DLC's works fine.

Is it possible, that the newest patch 8.6.0 destroy something or that the Installation of the patch was something unsuccessful?

Re: Stormy Battles: Red Storm Review and Discuss

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:12 am
by prestidigitation
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Who can stop the glorious all conquering IS-1 with a leader... except a StuH 42 in artillery mode.

Fun part is when I actually took the attack I got a 4-0 in favor of the IS-1, which indicates this is a display bug. Note that Mr StuH is in open terrain, but the IS-1 is using its close terrain hard attack value.