Building a historically authentic core/corps

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MightyG
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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by MightyG » Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:53 am

I'm probably late to the discussion, but I have two cents.I was rampaging through france the other day and I wondered what the germans actually did to break the line defending paris.I flipped through guderians "panzer leader".the index has the exact numbers for a panzer corp(1939-1942).He devouts a chaptr to Poland,france and Russia.I found it really interesting how the equipment was really used rather than how its best used in the game.germans were outmanned and outgunned in all these campaigns.Its a great read.It has added to the roleplaying aspect for me.guderian was a general and not an author so its an easy read.its organized well enough that you don't have to read much of the book for the military points.

danijocker90
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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by danijocker90 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:01 am

Sounds interesting, thanks.

MightyG
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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by MightyG » Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:03 am

It also covers the end of the war as well.when guderian was in charge.He only talks about what he did,but he was the driving force in the panzertruppe formations.I mentioned the book because one of the other post said it was hard to find the info.its arranged like a family tree would be.You don't have enough core slots to build an authentic corps.it's still worth a look though.

hs1611
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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by hs1611 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:28 pm

I have that book too.
I find the last part, the OOBs, very interesting.
MightyG wrote:You don't have enough core slots to build an authentic corps.
Actually you do.
I normally use the 1939 Organization:
Panzer Division
2 Panzer Regiments of 2 Battalions each - 4 Battalions
1 Infantry Regiment - 3 Battalions
1 Artillery Regiment - 3 Battalions
1 Pioniere Battalion
1 Recon Battalion
1 Anti Tank Battalion
1 Anti Air Battalion

If you consider each game unit to be a Battalion you get 14 units per Division.
A Corps is 2 or more Divisions, so a 2 Divisions Corps is 28 units, plus whatever support units you decide.

Of course there's some comprimise here, no signal units, no motorcycle unit, etc... but it is workable.

danijocker90
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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by danijocker90 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:43 pm

I dont use too many tanks, im more Luftwaffe style

MightyG
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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by MightyG » Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:28 pm

those comprimises are what I meant.when the used to run war games before the war all the equipment had to be represented by men in cardboard boxes because they had no equipment except motorcycle battalions.I cant get motorcycles until Russia.In the beginning I like to make my groups,usually 2,with 2 tanks 2 infantry,1 art.Add art later to have 2 in each group.Since the enemy suffers from the same equipment handicap,these smaller representations still give you the thrill of the blitzkrieg.especially low countries.When I started trying to hold to a more historical campaign(equipment & tactics),I was really surprised by how disorganized the enemy really is when you show up in their rear.Some cities that I thought were well defended in my first run throughs weren't defended at all when I really started blitzkrieging.Alot of fun either way

MightyG
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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by MightyG » Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:33 pm

I think 2 panzer divisions & 1 infantry division were under guderiens command in Poland and the west.Thats really what I was thinking of when I wrote "authentic corps.".

danijocker90
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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by danijocker90 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:38 pm

I found a very interesting website: http://www.wwiivehicles.com/default.asp

And searching Countries > Axis > Germany > Organization > Tables you can find some pictures about the organization of the panzer divisions from 1935-1944 and more :wink:

Example:
1939-panzer-division.png
1939-panzer-division.png (41.37 KiB) Viewed 4097 times
I will try to play with this core (unit = battalion), so:

* 2 Infantry
* Pak 36
* Kradschütze (all eqp or mod)
* 4 Panzer I
* 4 Panzer II (this 2 regiments will be upgrading to panzers 3 and 4 when possible, maybe using heroes or medals as alert to do it :) )
* Armored car (Sdkfz 222 mainly as we start with one)
* 105 mm howitzer (lefh18)
* 75 mm howitzer (fk16)
* Pionere
* Sdkfz 10/4 ( or 20 mm flak 38 with truck, but hey! self-propelled :twisted: )

** The signal squad: I don't know what to do with this, but, since radio is mostly used to mark objectives, i will represent the signal squad as the luftwaffe support so: 1 bf109 and 1 stuka.

[ Attachement units as the gebirgs that GC give you from start can be added too, i haven't take in count the core limits. This its only a quick guide that i found interesting. ]

Scholomancer
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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by Scholomancer » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:31 am

This is all awesome stuff and I commend everyone for the accuracy. I think this would be great for the Western scenarios where the Allied unit compositions are accurate (I find too many German tanks in the West scenarios make it too easy).

But in the later Eastern DLC the Russians are vastly over-mechanized and armoured - as an attempt to balance game play and game mechanics. In keeping with the spirit of your intentions you may want to hold on to your captured tanks and special units, and use them as Kampgruppe to deal with the armoured hordes.

captainjack
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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by captainjack » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:56 pm

Scholomancer wrote:But in the later Eastern DLC the Russians are vastly over-mechanized and armoured - as an attempt to balance game play and game mechanics. In keeping with the spirit of your intentions you may want to hold on to your captured tanks and special units, and use them as Kampgruppe to deal with the armoured hordes.
I tend to start off with a lot of infantry and artillery and expand the armour as I get captured units. Panzer 35t and 38t plus a Panzer 2 will usually start to struggle about the time captured units appear, which provide enough variety and strength to cope to around 1942, when some selected upgrading and retirement is useful. However, playing historic mixes can be a good way to improve tactics and awareness of how combined arms work ( a while back I started using the mobile 20mm AA unit and it can be very effective because the high speed allows it to get somewhere useful almost every turn, which compensates for lower combat stats. Playing more historic mixes has also made me keep 10.5 artillery much longer - greater ammo and higher RoF means it spends more time fighting and less reloading, and it remains effective against soft targets to the end of the game, even if it can't do more than scratch the paint on heavy Soviet tanks.

I also usually keep my SE units together and add captured units and special units (this could include the special hero units or special purpose units like my Flammpanzer and wurfrahmen team) to get a suitable force for their objective(s).

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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by JORiis » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:52 pm

I am doing something similar. My focus is on the Großdeutchland regiment/division/corps. I will begin at 39 and act of the 10th panzer division. It was according to slitherines research understrength with just a few units in it, (desicive campaigns case white), so it suits the starting position quite well. In 39´the regiments supposedly had 2 battalions of panzers, with each having 3 companies. 2 light panzer and one medium, as a basic. And a supporting battalion of infantry, 3 companies and a recon company. In total: 4 panzer I, 2 panzer II, and 3 infantry and a recon unit. Plus supporting units for the infantry, a pak company and a company of fieldkanone, and some 20mm aa support. Now I pretend that two battalions are assigned to the first mission Poznan, an infantry and the 1st panzer battalion 10th division, and that there is supporting infantry for the panzers, 1 unit. The aircrafts and the extra panzer II are what others could spare. I add an strategic bomber to the luftwaffe group, and call the non-core aircraft for a flügergruppe III, and the panzer II for a 5th panzer division unit. The infantry attached to the panzers I name pz.füs., panzer füsilier, mostly to remind myself that it belongs there. I plan on expanding the core troops so that they eventually become a full-flecthed panzer corps. The Grossdeutchland one. As it has its battallions and companies listed for the 42 and 43 expansions to regimental and divisional sizes, and it also had "more" panzers attached than most actual panzer groups. (3 divisions, instead of two). In 39´the SE units will be Totenkopf SS infanterie, as they went to Norway. As needed I will rename non-grossdeutchland units to suit the troops they joined, but in france it was the 10th so that fits for now. I expect to fight with 6 panzers in 40, 41 and 42, and expand to about 9. In 43´the corps should have 14 companies of panzers. A PzIV of 5, PzV of 5 and PVI of 4. The core will have the full compliment of supporting troops, but only half the infantry regiments 1 of the 2. So that what I fight with are the panzergrenadiers, and not the panzerfusiliers. I expect the 4 tigers to be se units, and will tranfer tankaces to those. ((All eqp) I get assigned tanks, disband them and "upgrade" hero units to se tanks). While the panzercorps GD didnt borrow tanks from the 502, and 503 where the tankaces came from, in 44´, I will assume they did. Other heroes I pretend are shifted about to stiffen newly formed groups and "prevent stagnation". I renamed the gebirgsjäger to jäger, one of the snipers will become attached to the stürmpionere that the Grossdeutchland had, as they had 10 ss snipers.. probably Oleh Dir as his picture is of a waffen SS sniper. Anyhow, thank you for the inspiration and help with naming units. I changed the naming a little... from 1 I./Pz. 10th, to 1st. I./Pz.Abt. 10, and the artillery from just I./Art., to i./Art.FK. (Feldkanone).
I am drawing up nicknames to help me remember some units. My first GD infanterie, se unit, will be the Landzoll ;-). The customs inspectors had armbands that looked just like theirs, it was changed year 40 to a black and white, ss lookalike. Any suggestions are happily recieved for naming, and ideas for what divisions the GD assisted. NB: As I count it the entire corps is 82 strong, so I won´t do more than 41 maximum on the field "core". 41 should match the game settings of 43 nicely, as the corps gradually lost strength. I am not sure how to match luftwaffe forces later on, as I havent played beyond 41. The assigned 45 forces have no less than 7 fighters. Oh, I counted all assigned forces, 39-45, to get an idea of what I should do on my first campaign run-through. I believe the numbers are 8+2 infantry, 10+3 tanks, 7 AT, 7 art, 2 AA, 7 figthers, 4 tac.bombers, 1 strategic bomber, 2 recon., to get a complete "set". ... yup, thats my 2cent..

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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by goose_2 » Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:07 pm

This sounds intriguing and something I may pursue once I get through my blind playthrough.
Right now I mostly enjoy playing people on the multiplayer.
I see myself enjoying this game for the rest of my life.
The possibilities are endless.
Going to buy Afrika Corps and Allied Corps and anything else Slitherine puts out for this remarkable game.
:D
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captainjack
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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by captainjack » Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:54 am

One of the interesting aspects of trying to create and use a historic force is what scale to work on.

For me, there always seems to be at least one group that is important but that doesn't quite fit - eg a mortar company when you are working at battalion level. I have created a few switchable or slightly uprated units to fill the gaps - bridge engineers that switch to normal engineers where both were present at company level, HW infantry that switches to artillery to represent the mortar company and MG suppression fire (both very useful but not over-powerful).

Using a more historic force has also made me start playing some of the less fashionable units - eg 20mm mobile AA as a (historically accurate) deterrent to air attack, and trying to keep the older tanks a bit longer. Some of these are surprisingly effective, given the low cost of some of these units and improve my play style at the same time.

However, all my good intentions start to go wrong somewhere in Russia.

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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by RVallant » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:03 pm

captainjack wrote:One of the interesting aspects of trying to create and use a historic force is what scale to work on.

For me, there always seems to be at least one group that is important but that doesn't quite fit - eg a mortar company when you are working at battalion level. I have created a few switchable or slightly uprated units to fill the gaps - bridge engineers that switch to normal engineers where both were present at company level, HW infantry that switches to artillery to represent the mortar company and MG suppression fire (both very useful but not over-powerful).

Using a more historic force has also made me start playing some of the less fashionable units - eg 20mm mobile AA as a (historically accurate) deterrent to air attack, and trying to keep the older tanks a bit longer. Some of these are surprisingly effective, given the low cost of some of these units and improve my play style at the same time.

However, all my good intentions start to go wrong somewhere in Russia.
I did the historical core challenge for the GC, and I got really crappy heroes (+1 Init consistently... -_-), though Oleh Dir's unit got a +1 Move hero on top of his move bonus which made him a lightning bruiser as a pionere.

Anyway, I found the historical core is very strong early on, the higher amounts of Infantry allow the core to take on city scenarios with ease, but also comes into play in France where bocages ruin things. Swamps also get in the way as we progress, and I found it pointless having huge amounts of tanks because, well Russian tanks pretty much steamroll things.

I did a 50/50 split of Pz3 and Pz4 and found the Pz3 were dire even at the anti-tank role. By '43 though the amount of tanks the Soviets throw at you just wastes things. I got fed up of the 3/4 split and went full on tiger/panther, which I think is the opposite of what the devs wanted right? Hence the soft cap etc? But then, if they're throwing fifty bazillion super heavy tanks my way, what do they expect? :roll:

Having said that, I have a greater love for mobile AA units, I had two in my core! They were getting superb amounts of exp from defensive and offensive fire, but they did need to be babysat, they had to stay central and not wide, as they'd get flanked an instant 8-10 kill... Still, they were vital as the campaign went along, leaving my fighters to escort the bombers who would bomb the tanks and carpet bomb the cities (mobile arty). I think I had three or four fighters in the end, but six bombers. My fighters were mostly on 'mop up' duty.

The other thing I fell in love with is Nebelwerfers. Oh my word, the suppress everything and usually murder infantry with ridiculous ease. Them + Pionere + Strat bomber = city gone in that turn usually. Regular arty just doesn't match up, and as tanks become super-frequent, I found defensive arty wasn't really doing much in the first place. Oh and Tanks were more than happy to go wading into close terrain and hitting 7+ damage on my dug in 3* infantry. On that note, I found Infantry really started becoming a liability later on, to the extent that combat predictions for Anti-tank guns were usually 2-1 in favour of the Russians.

I found, my tactics were suitable enough to achieve a Decisive victory in most cases, and where I failed to do so it was either from 1) Choosing not to press the assault, in full awareness of the legions and legions of tanks that would just ruin the core, or 2) Infantry getting held up by an Anti-Tank gun that needed a ton of arty and infantry to remove. In fact, I found AT guns harder to get rid of than bloody infantry in a city at 10 entrenchment. Surely that shouldn't be right? =/

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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by derEselausErgste » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:22 am

Sorry for unearthing this quite old thread...!


I have been playing Panzer General from the very beginning in early 1995, und of course Panzer Corps also. After a fairly long pause I've just decided to start autumntime with a nice reissue of the GC, and for some reasons I stumbled across this thread.
In the past I usually buildt up my forces like (as I think) most of the casual players are doing: get the best, newest and most expensive equipment whenever I can afford, and buy lots of it - leading to somewhat powerfull, but totally non-historical AND also non-realistic composition of forces. Latest in the beginning of 1942 my core was mixed from a huge assortment of tanks and artillery, some pioneers and a huge air group. As You can imagine, I got in trouble somewhere around Stalingrad...

For this reason, this time I decided to stick to a more fact based development of forces. After some investigation I have chosen for a batallion / Abteilung seized buildup, based on 7th Panzerdivision and GD-Regiment. This is not because I am a fan of WWII and Wehrmacht history, but for practical reasons - the core that fights Fall Gelb should correspond to "real" combat units somehow in mix and size. GD can be enlarged to Division level in '42, and the rest of cores I think I can organize as Kampfgruppen which should offer some flexibility in seize over the time. I will NOT switch units between scenarios to build up an experienced pool of reserves, but my core might include units which I can not deploy due to deployment restrictions.

Because I like quite a broad variety of troops to deploy, I have decided for the Amulet Mod (which I still know from my last try with PC). So in May '40, my core looks as follows:

VII Panzerdivision:
PzRg 33 (Pz 38(t), Pz IIIF, Pz IVD)
SchtzRg 13 (2x Wehrmacht Infanterie 39)
JgRg 21 (2x Jäger Inf 39) (ok, this is NOT historical)
ArtRg 17 (leFH 10,5 18, sFH 15 18) (one additional Abteilung can be attached in the near future)
KradSchtzBat 70 (Kradschützen 39)
AufklAbt 52 (Sd.Kfz 232 8Rad)
FlakAbt 107 (Opel 3,7 FlaK)
PzJgAbt 63 (3,7 PaK 36)
PioBat 83 (Sturmpioniere 39)
In total 14 batallions.

Infanterieregiment GD:
SchtzRg 28 (Elite Jäger Inf 39, Elite Grenadier 39) (one additional batallion can be attached in the near future)
ArtBat 15 (SE leFH 10,5 18)
KradSchtzBat 72 (Elite Kradschützen 39)
AufklAbt 52 (Elite Sd.Kfz 232 8Rad)
FlakAbt 111 (SE 8,8 FlaK 36)
In total 6 batallions.

Additional forces:
H.StuGAbt 640 (StuG IIIA)
LuftAufklärung Fi 156 (I dont have any idea how this one has to be designated: Division? Heer? Luftwaffe?)

Air group:
JG 32 Jagd (Bf 109E)
ZG 40 JaBo (Bf 110D)
StG 14 StuKa (Ju 87B)
KG 201 Bomb (He 112H2)

So in total I have 26 units to deploy (24 core, 2 SE), from which I can choose 21 for the first scenario. VII Panzer will deploy 12 (FlaK and PaK left behind), GD will deploy 5 (FlaK left behind), StuG, JG, ZG and StG. I am playing on custom Difficulty level: Player Prestige 100%, AI Prestige 180%, ^Player and AI Experience 100%, Normal number of turns, AI level 2, Player strength, AI strngth 2, new game rules...no idea if this will be challenging or not, we will see.

Any hints, ideas and critics are welcome.

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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by shawkhan2 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:55 pm

The main problem with an historically authentic core is that your opponents in the game will Not be historically authentic but quite ridiculously overpowered.

ycloon
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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by ycloon » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:24 pm

@derEselausErgste:

Happy to see there are people out there who are interested in a historical core.

My comments are based on the assumption that you will be doing GC East (you mentioned Stalingrad). I have never used the Amulet mod, so what I said may or may not apply.

Suggestions:
- Build a corps that is large and experienced enough to take on Prokhorovka. In the vanilla GC43E, the player can deploy 51 units (SE + core combined) for this scenario. A corps with three divisions (each about the size of your 7th Pz Div) plus supporting units should provide the necessary number of units. Thus, consider raising another panzer division in 1940 because you will need a fair number of tank and anti-tank units for Prokhorovka. Aim for 16 to 18 experienced panzer and panzerjaeger abteilungen by Prokhorovka, some of these should be schwere Panzer Abteilungen equipped with Tiger Is. Having corps level panzer and panzerjaeger abteilungen allows you to develop fairly historical divisions while still having enough units to tackle Prokhorovka. Alternatively, plan on having a corps with four divisions.

- The goal for GC42E should be to ensure that you have enough experienced infantry to handle urban fighting in the Stalingrad scenarios (Storming Stalingrad, Stalingrad Docks, and if you choose - Stalingrad Ruins). In my playthroughs, I used between 11 and 12 experienced infantry batallions (i.e., approaching the experienced cap). A corps with three divisions plus corps level infantry regiments will provide the structure for you to build up such a force. However, you will probably need to rotate units sometimes. It is much easier to train infantry in the early years, so I would encourage you to raise and groom as many infantry battalions as you can in 1940 and 1941.

- Each artillierie regiment should have at least three abteilungen ; this is consistent with the order of battle of most divisions I've seen. Panzergrenadier Division GD had four abteilungen in 1944. I am talking about each division's organic artillery here. Also consider building up your corps level artillerie abteilungen. StuG IIIA/IIIB are quite useful and your units would welcome additional StuG Abteilungen; at least four abteilungen were deployed in France/Low Countries if memory serves.

- Expand your Jagdgeschwader 32 to at least four gruppen; five would be better IMHO. The Soviet air force becomes stronger (in number and quality) as the years roll on and you need highly experienced fighters - in combination with anti-air - to deal with the Soviet air force.

Hope this helps. I enjoyed building and playing a historical core and I hope you do too.

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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by captainjack » Sun Sep 02, 2018 2:42 am

Given the 14 or so per division formation, In 39 and probably 1940 you can probably afford to play two divisions in alternate scenarios to acquire experience and heroes (if running at 100% prestige this should be affordable). You could probably create a third division mainly from captured, special and SE units. Allow yourself a couple of army or corps level units (pioneers/bridgies, gebirgsjagers, paras, heavy AA and artillery) and you should be able to field a reasonably historic veteran army of at least two divisions plus air and corps level support by 43.

I usually have a periodic restructure to make better use of my resources (maybe reassign all move hero artillery to the same fast unit, convert spotty infantry to krads, disband artillery with spotting heroes). This is particularly useful for a smaller (4 to 6 unit divisional structure) as it helps develop a bit of character (attacking or defensive) but should work OK for a larger division too. One of the unexpected bonuses I found from using divisions was that it can simplify planning for deployment - 3rd panzer can do this and the motorised infantry can do that, and can help focus on objectives (I need 3rd to get there, so I'd better divert 2nd to deal with this). Another bonus (at least for 4 to 8 strong divisions) is that they tend to acquire a bit of character which make playing a bit more fun.

Good luck with it. It will be interesting to see how you get on.

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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by ycloon » Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:47 am

I agree with captainjack's point that a corps-divisional structure can simplify planning; I've found that in my own playthrough. Many of the maps can be carved up into three zones/lines of advance, each of which can naturally be allocated to one division. Some maps require a fourth combined-arms formation, and that is when having corps level units allows you to form such a formation/kampfgruppe.

One interesting thing about the German approach to tactical/operational thinking is the openness to forming ad-hoc combined arms formations to handle specific situations. Of course, the desperate situation on the Eastern front certainly contributed to the use of such formations. The point is that ad-hoc formations did occur, are not unrealistic, and offer a safety valve if you feel your corps-divisional structure restricts you from dealing with a particular scenario.

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Re: Building a historically authentic core/corps

Post by AnalogGamer » Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:43 pm

Wonderful, vibrant discussion here. It is nice to see that I am not the only holder of books by and about the great panzer leaders. I highly recommend "Panzers On The Eastern Front" by Erhard Raus. Really anything Raus was able to get down in words is worth the look. What brought Herr Raus to mind were the discussions of how the Germans were able to perform tactical miracles with so few resources. The Soviets had his division pinned and badly outnumbered in one his many battles, but they attacked piecemeal in three different areas. Win for Raus. He made it look easy with a pitiful and badly tired force, in both men and machines. After the War, Raus helped write U.S. Army field and training manuals for armored warfare, so he has that seal of approval as well.

The ahistorical nature of the game would need to be addressed on both sides, or one will be facing a real issue from '43 on. As there is no way that I can currently see to simulate the atrocious communications of the Soviets, it could be a hard row to hoe to bring them into some sort of realistic behavior.

Remaking the entire GC to a much more historical formation status on both sides would be an honorable task. Keep the Soviet numbers of units, but make them all 8-strength or something. It is something to ponder, and a thought that will fester.

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