Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discuss)

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CoolDTA
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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by CoolDTA » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:46 pm

Andy2012 wrote:First, a general AAR and strategy post, then bugs and observations.

1. To hold the Northwest, deploy your troops along the river. Start with some engineers (two each) in front of the Romanian bridge positions. Keep some credits in the bank and let them lay mines in front of your positions here (two each per northern crossing). The AI really struggles with this and you can funnel them into kill zones, forcing them to attack over rivers...
Good work, Andy, and great tips! Naturally my tactics was rather different. :lol: I used the SS (two tanks now) to help the Romanians - K 17 and some infantry later when you get more CPs. The mine tip is very useful. I think the town of Surowkino is the best place to mine. My Romanians were pushed away from it and because it is in range of Soviet arty didn't want to use RPs to retake it. And you only need two objectives out of four anyway.

I used my airforce mostly for the push. Yep, there are more Soviet planes around now so I deployed a third Fw. It was much less efficient against the enemy fighters than the five star veterans which still wreak havoc on the enemy fighters. I suppose your fighters are quite experienced also, Andy, are they not?

The gebirgsjäger really shined on this one because of their speed. It is not easy for the enemy to run away. Towed artillery on the other hand is very slow. The long range of the K 17s was useful and I also used rail movement.
Andy2012 wrote:2. Second, the mission should have a crisper or more precise end trigger. I cut a corridor to supply Stalingrad and the northwestern attack force was basically gone after turn 20, never lost an objective - and still no end in sight.
Maybe this is because you didn't get to land both supply planes. For me the scenario ended two turns after the corridor was opened IIRC. Well before the last turn anyway.
Andy2012 wrote:4. Fourth, I think the Stug III G upgrade available over the course of this mission is a bit overpriced. For one defense point more, you should pay 100 credits? Guys, this thing was a money saver...
I skipped the F/8 variant so it was a bit better deal for me. Yeah, it is pricey, but it is much the same with the tanks. To save RPs it is better to skip some variants.
Andy2012 wrote:5. Finally, even when staying really stingy in this mission and dropping my habit of elite reinforcements, I feel like offering experimental Tigers here and Panthers for Kharkov 43 for 350 credits (or 280 as an upgrade) is not affordable. Sure, you want to keep them as a special treat for Kursk, but some units just stay out of reach here.
And they even have "unreliable" trait making them a really bad deal IMO.

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by Andy2012 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:45 pm

@CoolDTA: Thanks. Strangely enough, the light arty is really fast in the snow. Does not get a penalty, apparently.
My FWs are almost all five stars, but they do take some damage over time. So I need to freshen them up, but with pilot rotation, it is not that expensive.
I havent tested out your suggestion of skipping a variant to save money - but if this is true, this should be changed.
I mean, it is 100 credits from Stug III F/8 to Stug III G - 100 credits for side skirts? Come on...

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by CoolDTA » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:16 am

Andy2012 wrote:Strangely enough, the light arty is really fast in the snow. Does not get a penalty, apparently.
That's true. Actually all light towed units with 2 MPs are fast in snow and mud. I have a captured Bofors AA which is really useful because of this and the fact that it is one of the best AAs anyway. Based of your experience I think it would be very wise to deploy two of those move and shoot guns (7.5cm leichtes Infanteriegeschütz 18 to be exact) from the beginning. Without transport a mere 100 RPs and 4 CPs - a true bargain! Thanks for making me see their merits. :)

Andy2012 wrote:I havent tested out your suggestion of skipping a variant to save money - but if this is true, this should be changed.
I mean, it is 100 credits from Stug III F/8 to Stug III G - 100 credits for side skirts? Come on...
In Panzer Corps the upgrade price is the price difference between the models, so in Panzerkrieg for instance from Stug III F/8 to Stug III G it would be 25 RPs. Much more enticing. Besides, the F/8s were also often fitted with side skirts.

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by 13obo » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:02 am

I also sometimes skip a model to save on RP especially if the buff is minor like the stug one or the pziii j/1 to pziii L where you also get +1 defense against mechanical.

However, what I've recently started doing is if I notice a tank has an upgrade available, then I deploy it as is, and use it as front pusher, which reduces its strength but saves on strength of other units. Then when the tank is at 3-4 durability, the upgrade (which brings the tank to full strength and no loss of exp) for some reason becomes almost identical in cost with the upgrade at full strength.

For ex, the pziv f1 to pziv f2 was about 95 rp, but when the tank was at 4 durability, the upgrade was only 125 or so (but 5 strength elite replacement at 10k exp costs about 90 rp by itself). I think this is intended and not a bug. I hope this helps.

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by Andy2012 » Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:42 am

13obo wrote:I also sometimes skip a model to save on RP especially if the buff is minor like the stug one or the pziii j/1 to pziii L where you also get +1 defense against mechanical.

However, what I've recently started doing is if I notice a tank has an upgrade available, then I deploy it as is, and use it as front pusher, which reduces its strength but saves on strength of other units. Then when the tank is at 3-4 durability, the upgrade (which brings the tank to full strength and no loss of exp) for some reason becomes almost identical in cost with the upgrade at full strength.

For ex, the pziv f1 to pziv f2 was about 95 rp, but when the tank was at 4 durability, the upgrade was only 125 or so (but 5 strength elite replacement at 10k exp costs about 90 rp by itself). I think this is intended and not a bug. I hope this helps.
To me, this does sound like a bug. Or at least a balancing issue. Some tank upgrades for variants are just too expensive.

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by WarHomer » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:23 pm

I love that updates are pricey and RPs few as this makes for a more challenging game and that all my units arent the best of the best all the time. If I play well and minimize losses I get more of the good stuff.

Hated the “all Tiger 2” side of PC.

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by CoolDTA » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:27 pm

Excellent points, WarHomer. It also makes the core more historical. In addition I would like to see the number of specialisation points reduced. As it is now, you can buy almost all of them. IMO it would be better if you had to settle for only a few specialisations.

@13obo: a good tip!

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by WarHomer » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:42 pm

Yes, fewer spec points makes for more replayability and better spread out during the campaign.

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by Andy2012 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:16 pm

WarHomer wrote:I love that updates are pricey and RPs few as this makes for a more challenging game and that all my units arent the best of the best all the time. If I play well and minimize losses I get more of the good stuff.

Hated the “all Tiger 2” side of PC.
Well, I do minimize losses and play really well. Still, it is a small upgrade for a very steep price. For example, the upgrade from FW 190A to 190F is way more powerful but costs a lot less. With a lot of them, you can easily hold the skies and have an advantage.

BTW, if you play all Tiger II in PzC, you will most certainly not get decisive victories. As you do in OoB. Also, I think it is fair that in Kharkov Tigers and Panthers are kind of out of reach unless you really pour all your money in them. Stugs however were a moneysaver unit. (Historically)

Another EDIT: What motivated me in PzC wasnt just all Tiger IIs, it was more that I could carefully husband my core over various clever upgrades which kept them on the battlefield in top equipment for a few credits. If incremental upgrades cost a fortune, this motivation and reward for careful stewardship of my army just isnt there.

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by Andy2012 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:18 pm

Alright, I have fought Operation Zvezda to a standstill. Even though the mission is still kind of bugged, I'll write a few lines.

I start with general strategy, then go for observations / bugs:

1. The Red Army is superior in numbers and in some core units, e.g. tanks. You have superior experience and your human brain should beat an AI. (For now.)
2. You will get more resources per turn and can deploy more units if you do a successful fighting retreat. I found the briefing a bit unclear - hold the respective cities for the required turns and more of your core and credits will be available.
3. In the start, you cant deploy everything and you dont get a lot of credits. So only repair the units / do the upgrades you need.
4. I found the Stug once again a very powerful unit. Fast, powerful AT and anti-infantry. Deploy some!
5. You get few air CP, deploy two FW 190 (most experienced ones) and get the upgrade to FW 190 F. Red Airforce does not put a dent in these. Preserve your aux airforce, let your FW 190s start next to your 109 to cover it a bit.
6. Deploy infantry and Stugs in a star-shaped pattern - if possible, Stug in the middle and infantry facing the enemy.
7. Check rail links as an escape route for slow units. Aux arty with horse transport and towed AA has a chance of escape this way.
8. Fighting retreat in general - keep your units together, low efficiency furthest away from the enemy. Dont just use one road, it will create the mother of all traffic jams. Formation, formation, formation - infantry around AT.
9. T34s venturing out far ahead of the strike force are cannonfodder for your Stugs. Isolate and destroy them.

These are pretty general since the mission right now ends at turn 11. Makes the secondaries impossible to achieve.
Even without that bug, knocking out that many tanks and airforce seems pretty hard to me - the AI retreats them all the time.
Another thing - I was hoping I could do some fancy strategy with minefields, but there is just no room or resources.
I found this one quite challenging. Had to retry two times before I was satisfied.
How did you guys do?

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by CoolDTA » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:10 pm

Andy2012 wrote:Alright, I have fought Operation Zvezda to a standstill. Even though the mission is still kind of bugged, I'll write a few lines.

I start with general strategy, then go for observations / bugs:
Using rail movement here is a very good tip indeed. In Izyum you have two hexes in which units can board a train. After the too early ending -bug is fixed (hopefully soon) check out the rail lines further back also so you can use them to retreat again when/if necessary.

Because of their speed and resilience tanks are very good at protecting soft targets when starting to retreat to a next defensive line. Note that StuGs can help tanks, too, making your tanks almost impervious against armoured units.

I replayed this to get the aircraft secondary and was able to do that within the ten turn limit by adjusting my tactics in the air battle a bit. The Bofors was quite useful in this and I also used RPs to replenish the aux 109 (didn't do that in the first try). Elite 190Fs are simply deadly like Andy said.

In this kind of a battle the long range of K 18s is a great advantage. Just be sure you have a retreat path open (preferably rails).

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by Andy2012 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:19 pm

Alright, Kharkov is (once again) in Wehrmacht hands and I am once again poised to slay the Russian Bear.
(Man, this has been going back and forth...fun.)

Anyway, as usual I go strategy first, then bugs and stuff.

1. As far as upgrades go, I invested heavily into Stug III Gs. My Wehrmacht now has four, Waffen SS one.
2. I deployed in a small pincer in the south (Waffen SS, two inf one Stug), a small pincer in the north and a major one around Krasnograd. I still have two PzIIIMs and one PzIVG as a tank force. Heavy tanks are just too expensive. My Stugs however do very well.
3. After deployment, I keep my Stukas on the ground for 3-4 turns. This allows my FW 190 Fs to clear the skies and avoid losses / costly replacements. (See how carefully I do this? And I still am broke mostly.)
4. Generally, advance your infantry constantly under Stug cover. The Russians throw a bathtub full of tanks at you and without AT protection, your infantry will be mauled.
5. As soon as the ISU 122 are spotted, sent your tanks after them. When they are crippled / low efficiency, the AI retreats them too far back and you will not knock them out in time.
6. This mission was fun - but what is the effect of the brown mud? Doesnt seem to slow you down.


Observations:

1. The AI is pretty suicidal. Quite a lot of tanks impaled themselves on my screen of Stugs. Especially first few turns.
2. End trigger should be crisper. I was done in 20 turns but was still loitering a few turns on.
3. After destroying a set number of enemy units, you get the message "enemy exhausted" (for me around turn 11). But then I faced a major counterattack on several fronts. Awkward.
4. I played this very carefully, had no losses (not even aux), preserved my Stuka strength and chose very carefully when to elite reinforce or just reinforce. Still, with the onset of the next battle at Kursk, Panthers and Tigers are mostly out of reach for me. So I stay with Panzer IIIs and IVs. Started with three tanks in Rhzev, ended with three tanks in Kursk. (Upgraded versions, of course.) Interestingly, upgrading my last 5cm to Stug III G would cost 160 credits. Upgrading to a more powerful Ferdinand, Elefant and so on 160 as well. Something is wrong here. During the beta, Panzer IIIs and IVs were overly expensive as well until it was toned down a bit. (People referred to the first few beta rounds as Infantriekrieg...) I suppose these early tanks were tweaked according to player feedback, but the later tank models were not. I am still having a lot of fun, but this should be changed a bit.
5. This was reported by me and several others already, but I guess with a fully functional Waffen SS II upgrade, most missions after Kalach will play and balance differently. I mean, I have 7 CP mostly undeployed here. That is a Stug and a light artillery unit.

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by CoolDTA » Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:51 pm

Andy2012 wrote:. I still have two PzIIIMs and one PzIVG as a tank force.
Krmh..., the game doesn't have PzIVG, but you really meant to say PzIVF2, right? :wink:
Andy2012 wrote:3. After deployment, I keep my Stukas on the ground for 3-4 turns. This allows my FW 190 Fs to clear the skies and avoid losses / costly replacements. (See how carefully I do this? And I still am broke mostly.)
Wow, that's really cautious! :shock: I use mine much more aggressively but naturally it sometimes backfires. The Soviets really like to attack the one with the commander.
Andy2012 wrote:6. This mission was fun - but what is the effect of the brown mud? Doesnt seem to slow you down.
It definitely does slow you down. The effect is best seen in the north. Elsewhere there are so many roads that the effect is much smaller.
Andy2012 wrote:4. I played this very carefully, had no losses (not even aux), preserved my Stuka strength and chose very carefully when to elite reinforce or just reinforce. Still, with the onset of the next battle at Kursk, Panthers and Tigers are mostly out of reach for me. So I stay with Panzer IIIs and IVs. Started with three tanks in Rhzev, ended with three tanks in Kursk. (Upgraded versions, of course.) Interestingly, upgrading my last 5cm to Stug III G would cost 160 credits. Upgrading to a more powerful Ferdinand, Elefant and so on 160 as well.
I think StuG is the best choice, because it has the best defense and is also effective against infantry. The big cats are also out of reach for me. They are simply not worth the price. I don't even dare to think how expensive elite replacements would be for a five star Tiger or Panther...

Andy, if you have taken a peek at the Kursk, did you get the reward for saving the 6th Army? I still haven't even started Kursk.

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by Andy2012 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:43 pm

@CoolDTA:
1. Yes, my bad. Right before Kursk, I upgraded my one PzIV to an H variant. (turret skirts) Even though I think the G variant is in there. Not sure. Upgrade messages would be great.
2. Both my Stukas have commanders and the Red Airforce does target them - which knocks out the commanders most of the time. And keeping them back while clearing the skies keeps them at full health gaining five stars fast. Thinking about switching them to Ju 87g for Kursk.
3. I did take a look a Kursk, but havent played yet or finalised deployment. Upgrading to Inf43 does cost a pretty penny. Upgrading to Ju87g interestingly just 50 credits. I got the ISU 122 as a reward, but I am not sure what you get for saving the 6th army. If it is just more CP to deploy, it is rather useless.

Even though I had a lot of fun playing this DLC, I think if all the kinks are evened out (especially balancing and Waffen SS II) with the next patch, it will warrant a second playthrough to fully appreciate its mature form. On the one hand, this is a bit sad. On the other hand, Panzerkrieg is already good enough to motivate me for a second try. :D

EDIT: Tried a turn at Kursk. Underlines what I wrote about keeping your Stukas grounded for a few turns. One turn, Batcher wounded - despite having two FW 190F as protection. Yep. Five star Ju87, two five star FW 190 protecting them - and 4 damage taken by a crappy 1 star Soviet plane. This is why I keep them grounded. On the one hand, this is historically correct - Stukas ruled the skies while the Luftwaffe had air superiority. On the other hand, why have a protection mechanic at all when it does nothing? (And I cannot afford to replace those losses....I might go for the Me410 Hornisse, though. )

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by CoolDTA » Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:48 pm

The PzIV G variant is probably in most games but not in OoB. I wonder why.

Ju 87 G is IMO not that good here. I think I'm going to save those points for something else.

For saving the 6th you get a few CPs and more importantly a new core armoured unit. It will be west of the aux PzKw III N and NW from the SU-122 (in the forest, three hexes away). Though I saved the 6th, my forest was empty. :cry:

This has been an excellent DLC. After the bugs are gone, it will be the best one IMO. Until we get new ones. :D
Andy2012 wrote:On the other hand, why have a protection mechanic at all when it does nothing?
I have noticed that the Stuka w/Batcher (I have the other leader, too, thanks to you, but the Soviets only hate Batcher) always gets 3 damage when escorted. It tends to be the same even when not escorted, so you raise an excellent point. I also have my eyes on the Hornisse.

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by hrafnkolbrandr » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:55 am

I'm not having any negative issues with the waffen SS ii specialization. I always play carefully, so I had a nice chunk of funds set aside for them.

Once I started earning 6 RP per turn for them, I was able to save up to upgrade to the 8-range artillery, and then a few scenarios later picked up some engineers and a panzer iv.

I've got a nice little SS assault force now, capable of handling most situations on their own, consisting of infantry (upgraded wiking to infantry 42), engineers, some artillery, and a panzer.

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by Andy2012 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:00 am

hrafnkolbrandr wrote:I'm not having any negative issues with the waffen SS ii specialization. I always play carefully, so I had a nice chunk of funds set aside for them.

Once I started earning 6 RP per turn for them, I was able to save up to upgrade to the 8-range artillery, and then a few scenarios later picked up some engineers and a panzer iv.

I've got a nice little SS assault force now, capable of handling most situations on their own, consisting of infantry (upgraded wiking to infantry 42), engineers, some artillery, and a panzer.
Dude, I am playing very, very carefully with a Costco Wehrmacht. No losses, always going for the cheap deal (that's why I invested so heavily in Stugs. Not a sexy unit like Panthers, Elefants and Tigers, but a capable workhorse like it was back then). But I began this walkthrough when the game was still unpatched and Waffen SS II still only gave a modest bump in credits per turn. (6 RP is still too little for sustaining 18 CP along with your Wehrmacht, especially if it just isnt support troops...)
Right now, I am at Kursk and I am once again holding my Stukas back at turn 8 because the Red Airforce is still present. I have just cleared out the bunkers and now have 12 Wehrmacht CP undeployed and 7 Waffen SS (I have 120 credits here, 28 Wehrmacht. Need the Waffen SS credits to keep their Stug going and the Wehrmacht credits fizzle away really fast under constant arty shelling, air attacks and so on. I started with more than 200 left in the bank. I really would have liked the Ju 87g version upgrade, but for my two Stukas that would have been 100 credits which I knew back then I would need to keep my core afloat.)
As a comparison, in Operation Zvezda, you get 30 credit per turn for a smaller core. In Kursk (28 credits per turn), you get more CP to deploy for fulfilling secondary objectives, but there are just no credits to fill them. Keep in mind, I never had any losses, completed all missions early and always got the secondaries (unless the missions were bugged...). And I play on medium.
So yeah, there is a balancing issue. Especially in the later, unpatched missions and with the late war tanks. Just to be clear, I am still having fun. :D But as with the early beta missions, most painstakingly modeled equipment I would love to see on the battlefield is out of reach.

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by hrafnkolbrandr » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:14 am

I've been dealing with the VVS by putting a heavily-escorted stuka out to act as a decoy. He gets hammered, but the attackers get hit by the two escorts. On the following turn, the stuka gets the hell out, and the escorts can generally attack the Russian fighters without losses.

The decoy stuka gets regular replacements only. I've noticed my air Force doesn't get chewed up as badly, because my fighters are almost always at full strength, and it's been saving me a bit of RP.

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by Andy2012 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:33 am

hrafnkolbrandr wrote:I've been dealing with the VVS by putting a heavily-escorted stuka out to act as a decoy. He gets hammered, but the attackers get hit by the two escorts. On the following turn, the stuka gets the hell out, and the escorts can generally attack the Russian fighters without losses.

The decoy stuka gets regular replacements only. I've noticed my air Force doesn't get chewed up as badly, because my fighters are almost always at full strength, and it's been saving me a bit of RP.
No losses for fighter attacks generally isnt always true. I have five star FW 190Fs which most of the times can do that against fighters, but not against bombers. (Strangely.)
BTW, I have 6 air CP in Kursk undeployed. Yep. When I take the railway station, I will get more. But they will stay undeployed as well. 2 strength points regular reinforcents for my Stug III G just cost me 20 credits, basically my whole allotment for the turn. And I field around 100 CP land, most of it infantry. Feels like Army Group North - 'perpetual war of the poor man'.... :(

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Re: Panzerkrieg-Onto the Plains of Russia! (Review and Discu

Post by CoolDTA » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:32 pm

hrafnkolbrandr wrote:I've been dealing with the VVS by putting a heavily-escorted stuka out to act as a decoy.
That's a cool trick, hrafnkolbrandr!

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