Order of Battle is a series of operational WW2 games starting with the Pacific War and then on to Europe!
Absolutely excellent post.prestidigitation wrote: ↑Tue Dec 08, 2020 8:18 pmCampaigns will alter any composition massively. You will want substantially less armor fighting in Burma in a bunch of rugged jungle than in Eastern Europe with a bunch of woods and flat lands and marsh. Island landings can make use of a little armor, but you won't want as much as you'll want marines.Epperaliant wrote: ↑Tue Dec 08, 2020 8:57 amAbout force composition, what do you guys suggest?
I know this probably varies between different campaigns, but generally speaking what's a good infantry/armor/support ratio?
About recon, in panzer corps 1 it was essentially a wasted slot, as you could easily scout with tanks/planes and then reload the game.
I read that in Panzer Corps 2 recon gives real combat bonuses. How does it work here?
I personally think armor is extremely weak and bring the minimum necessary. For me in the Soviet campaigns that meant 1x heavy tank (later ISU) for each infantry group and 2x medium tanks for the mechanized group for four tanks total, two of which were mostly fighting as artillery. This allowed me to strike a good balance between the need for a fast moving mechanized formation to maneuver at the operational level and the need for the workhorse units -- infantry, artillery and support weapons.
Land recon is IMO essential. Many units -- snipers, bunkers, most infantry, ATG, mines -- cannot be detected by air recon and they make up the bulk of the forces you will be fighting in many campaigns. Land recon also has the quick retreat ability that allows it to absorb hits from the heaviest of tanks while taking only 1 or 2 dmg which is fantastic. In addition the recon ability to double move and ignore supply allows it to work its way around an enemy defensive position giving you the very nice mass attack bonus from the rear as well as the ability to hit artillery or chase down weakened units. Finally land recon is a mechanical unit, meaning it will easily defeat any early game infantry in the open and even late game will handle itself competently. The downside of land recon is that it is very much road bound and on maps with lots of difficult terrain it can struggle. I always bring one for my mechanized group and if I can fit in 1 for each of my infantry groups I will as well. They also happen to be supremely CP efficient although unfortunately the req cost of reinforcement is higher than I'd like.
In campaigns with lots of enemy tanks -- the Soviet ones in particular -- you will absolutely want an anti-tank gun for every single one of your groups. I would always and everywhere recommend using the more mobile 2 movement ATGs over the sluggish 1 movement ones. I also always take my infantry ATGs dismounted as they can keep up just fine along a road and if there isn't a road you won't be desperate for them anyway because you'll probably have plenty of difficult terrain or forest to ensure your infantry are fighting well against tanks. I do recommend bringing a self propelled ATG for your mechanized groups as tanks and mounted infantry are too fast and mobile for even a towed ATG to keep up, but otherwise I think these units are overkill in most cases due to the high CP cost.
Another situational but very valuable unit is the AA gun. In some campaigns -- the Soviet and Finnish campaigns in particular -- you will not have the option of seizing control of the skies without paying an unaffordable price and giving up all your strike capability. In these situations, AA makes all the difference. I strongly prefer the 40mm caliber AA with 2 foot movement for infantry formations and the same caliber AA self propelled on a truck or mechanized platform for mechanized formations. These calibers typically perform the best against light enemy aircraft, the bulk of targets. You can go through the entire first Soviet campaign with only two fighters while still dominating the sky even on the hardest difficulty through proper use of positioning and AA. In other campaigns -- UK in Burma, US to an extent -- you'll thoroughly dominate the the skies with superior planes or will be fighting over open water where AA isn't accessible.
Infantry is of course the most important unit in the fight and the least understood IMO. It is exceedingly terrain dependent and a good eye for terrain will make the difference between infantry that loses 0-7 to enemy armor and the same infantry winning 2-1 against the same armor. The key element here is the difference in mech attack -- 50% or more! -- for infantry in close terrain (woods, cities, jungles, difficult terrain) and the reduction in the enemy attack modifier alongside the immense benefits of entrenchment (a scaling 0-10 modifier that will make all the difference). Generally your best bet in most non-jungle terrain is the standard infantry, and even in jungle campaigns (where a marine complement is helpful) you will want standard infantry for a good chunk of the fighting as they perform better against enemy armor and are much cheaper to reinforce. You will want a mechanized heavy infantry for your armored group as the light mortar it brings is very helpful and it has by far the best open ground performance against enemy armor, but the high CP cost (that of a medium tank) and low foot mobility means it is generally a poor mesh with foot mobile formations. Engineers are also key as they do 7 damage to entrenchment and have very low reinforce cost, allowing them to do the work of three rounds of artillery bombardment by a siege gun in a single turn. They can also clear mines, lay pontoon bridges, speed the entrenchment of nearby units, lay mines, inflict efficiency damage and -- a niche use -- repair the supply output of cities/airfields that have been hit by strategic bombers. Engineers are your utility knife.
Artillery is another vital unit, and here a close reading of the unit statistics is in order. A novice doing unit comparison through hover will only see 0% cover values compared. These values differ little between artillery pieces and are exceedingly uninstructive. However a more experienced player will note that small caliber artillery typically has poor soft attack values in 100% cover terrain, as much as 60-70% lower than their 0% cover values! Therefore small caliber artillery is usually of minimal use in attacking infantry dug into cover and should not be used against those targets (engineers will help here). Instead it performs exceedingly well in the job of suppressing enemy units in the open, where its values are usually almost exactly those of heavier artillery. Therefore artillery should be selected to cover the needs of the formation! For a mechanized formation that needs to move quickly and will generally fight in the open, siege artillery is of little use, while self propelled lighter guns will do just fine at suppressing enemy artillery or AA and you can simply use engineers to crack the fortified enemy defender and attack! By contrast for slower moving infantry formations siege guns are much more valuable as most of their fighting will occur in close terrain against dug in enemies while the need for speed is not at nearly so much of a premium.
Attacking enemy efficiency is a key part of the franchise and will make an enormous difference in the ability of your own and enemy units to fight. A max strength unit that is at 2 efficiency is far weaker than a half strength unit at max efficiency and will lose terribly to it! Therefore units like artillery, engineers, flame tanks and strategic bombers that attack efficiency are all critical. Tanks that can fight both direct and indirect (like the Calliope and ISU series) are FANTASTIC support for infantry formations.
In general I structure as follows, adding support units based on the needs of the scenario. Note that this is the OOB I hit mid campaign usually, not the one I start with as CP is limited early and gradually expands over the course of a campaign.
2x Footmobile Formation
Mission: capture heavily entrenched areas, when necessary fight enemy armor formations
Avoids: open terrain
* 2-3x foot infantry
* 1x short range siege artillery (at least 4 range, at least 2 damage to entrenchment, best performance vs entrenched units)
* (scen dependent) 1x AA (prefer 2 movement, prefer footmobile)
* (scen dependent) 1x AT (prefer 2 movement, prefer footmobile, prefer AT+ART)
* (if CP permits) 1x Tank (prefer TANK+ART)
* (if CP permits) 1x ENG
1x Mechanized Formation
Mission: move quickly to capture distant objectives
Avoids: densely forested terrain, lots of hills/mountains, dense urban areas
* 2x Tank (prefer medium, 5-6 CP, best in class)
* 1x Recon (prefer best combat stats)
* 1x Heavy Infantry (motorized or mechanized)
* 1x Engineer (motorized or mechanized)
* 1x ART (prefer self propelled or if unavailable longest range)
* (scen dependent) 1x SP AT (prefer medium, prefer AT + ART)
* (scen dependent) 1x SP AA (prefer mechanized)
In jungle heavy scenarios or scenarios with frequent landings I will often have 2-3x Marines that I will sub in to other combat formations.