Struggling on GC '43 East

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dantu
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Struggling on GC '43 East

Post by dantu » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:23 pm

Hello everyone. Like most people here I'd imagine, I grew up playing Panzer General and the rest of the 5 Star Series. I've also logged a considerable amount of time playing this game so I'm not a total beginner. Usually on my first play through I'll go at Colonel with 200% player prestige. This usually results in a fun play through for me with not much frustration and the ability to have a really nice core force.

Anyways, this strategy bogged down for me when I hit East '43 on the Grand Campaign. Even at those setting my prestige starved core force eventually got ground to dust. Realistic, yes. Particularly fun, not for me on my first play through. I've read a bit about the prestige soft cap and see that I'm not the only this happened to. I just restarted the campaign with my imported core force, several times. Several times I played through Yakovlevo with a DV but still seemed to be stuck with a tattered core and less than 2000 prestige.

I just restarted again, this time I enabled the old rules, which from my understanding should help with the prestige soft cap. However, I'm still wondering if my prestige bank is just too low to have any hope of making it all the way through the GC with this force:

Belgorad, Starting Prestige 2067
Armor:
2x PzIIINs
6x PzIVG
4x SE Tiger I

Infantry:
1x Wehrmact Infantry
1x Grenadiers
1x '43 Mountain
3x '43 Pioneer
2x '43 SE Grenadiers

AT
2x StuG IIIG
1x StuG IIIF

AA
1x 8.8cm
2x Skdf 7/2

Arty:
2x 21cm Mrs 18
2x Sturmpanzer 1 (waiting for Hummel to upgrade)
2x SU 122(r)

Air:
4x BF109G
2x FW190A
3x Stuka
1x Bf410
2x He177

Most units are at around 400 experience with a nice mix of heroes the exception of 1 Tiger that was just awarded to me after my last DV.

huckc
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Re: Struggling on GC '43 East

Post by huckc » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:45 pm

Even with the soft cap on I was able to profit 38k prestige in '43 and 42k in '44 so your campaign should be salvageable, especially with 200% prestige gain. I noticed you only have two captured equipment, make sure you're disbanding the others for full prestige during deployment and of course make sure you're capturing all of them. Definitely keep the Su-122s however they're awesome.

You look light on artillery and strategic bombers. Get some wespes instead of hummels when they're available soon, they're an amazing value and have a strong ammo count. Get like four of them and wuhrframen or two.

PeteMitchell_2
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Re: Struggling on GC '43 East

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:41 pm

I recall there was at least one longer discussion on how much prestige is needed/worth having for GC 44 and 45. As with all these discussions, there were many different views based on playstyle and capabilities, etc. Some people will spend more, some will spend less (as in real life)…

However, I think my takeaway was that (as a rule of thumb) it is helpful to have ~40k prestige at the start of 44 and ~20k (net) prestige at the start of 45 to make it (safely) through to Berlin…
Comprehensive Battlefield Europe AAR:
http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=145&t=86481

pewp3w
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Re: Struggling on GC '43 East

Post by pewp3w » Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:39 pm

This will probably be hard. Not because your core is bad, but because you have so little prestige left.
I wonder what you spent all your prestige for? Repairs? Try to fight a bit more careful, if you have the time, just wait another turn. If you lose more than one strength with your unit, it is in most cases a bad idea to attack. Soften up targets with artillery. It wont give you anything, if you finish the scenarios earlier in the Great Campaign.

For your core composition: AA and AT is mostly useless, especially in the easier difficulties. In almost all cases, normal tanks are better than anti-tank units. AA is also not needed if you have air superiority. And even after you gained air superiority, AA is a wasted core slot, since they don't really help in land combat. Planes can scout and ground attack.

Obviously you do not have prestige for that anymore, but in '43 you should probably replace all your tanks with Tigers and Panthers. In '44 and '45 I almost exclusively use Tigers and King Tigers as Tanks, only sometimes I use my three panthers. You could probably use some more Artillery as was already pointed out.

dantu
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Re: Struggling on GC '43 East

Post by dantu » Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:12 pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I tried to play a little more deliberately and am now entering Kursk South (Yakovlevo sp?) with 10250 prestige and all units at full strength but I have not done any of the upgrades yet. I definitely like the Wespe! I am reluctant to disband my 2 SPAA due to the ever present Red Air Force from here on out but I may try disbanding them and upgrading 2 of my Bf109s to FW190s to see if that will change the balance a bit. I will weigh my upgrade options carefully and try to conserve as much prestige as I can.

pewp3w
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Re: Struggling on GC '43 East

Post by pewp3w » Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:33 pm

I would upgrade my tanks to tigers fast and probably the fighters as well. It may seem tempting to save some prestige, but you will spend more prestige on repairs for your outdated tanks and planes in the long run.

captainjack
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Re: Struggling on GC '43 East

Post by captainjack » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:03 am

If you're using overstrength, that can suck up a lot of prestige - 11 and 12 aren't too bad but 13 or more gets very expensive and that's the first point(s) you lose.
I'm not saying don't use it, but more think hard about how useful it is for that unit.

I disagree with pewp3w on the AA.
AA is great for deterring attacks which is expensive if you are losing overstrength before you even get into contact. The mobile is good for protecting advanced groups when your fighters are at risk from 85s and SPAAG and the 88s for very good defence and for chipping points off overstrength enemy aircraft before sending in your (expensive) fighters. In heavy snow, maybe downgrade the 7/1to the 10/4 for the mobility (4 in snow in place of 3). Also I reckon the 7/1 is slightly better for defensive duties than the 7/1, where the 120% rate of fire in combination with -5 defence for low level attack makes it very dangerous. In this role, suppression is as good as a kill, so the slightly lower AA doesn't matter.

AT - I'd get that Stug F upgraded to a G straight away - it's better all round and not that expensive. At 3 or 4*, the +2/experience starts to become very useful, but the low base initiative is always a drag. Still they are much cheaper than tanks so you can afford overstrength more readily.

Personally I'd probably have almost 1/4 artillery a few more infantry, a few less tanks (and the KV1s would usually still be in service) and similar AA, but probably only three or 4 fighters and the 410 - no stukas means i can cut down on fighters as well which frees up ground slots for artillery. I'd normally field 2 strat bombers but maybe 3 for Stalingrad docks or for ammo stripping and suppressing Russian heavies. But bear in mind I tend to go for more methodical battle with the odd flanking movement rather than full on blitzkrieg.

Elkarlo
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Re: Struggling on GC '43 East

Post by Elkarlo » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:39 am

I started this last June or so. Before as a kid I played PG.
I did a colonel play through and basically ran out if prestige by the end of 44.
I'm on my second play through and am at Stalingrad. I still take some stupid risks and all, but I'm much more careful and don't need to use replacements as much during a battle.
Always be careful when using their airplanes. It's easy to park then over an area that is in unseen AAA range. Aircraft losses are huge money pits.
I would Def upgrade your armor. PZ III become a liability in 43 and Pz IVs in 44 are a liability too.
I now attack only if I'm pretty sure of not taking any losses. You can't afford to take much.
How did you beat Kharkov 43? Took me 10 tries to get a DV withiut taking losses. After that I really learned how to play correctly. Be methodical and don't drive towed artillery into places where it can be attacked. Because it Def will.
Also in 43 take the MV, as gunning for the DV means way more damage than the difference in prestige will give you.

dantu
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Re: Struggling on GC '43 East

Post by dantu » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:22 am

Just took a loss on Prokhorovka. Ouch, worse yet, I lost a +4 attack SE Grenadier in the process. Headed into Dnipropetrovsk with about 6k prestige before repairs. I think it's too late to pull this out but I may as well see it through to the end. For a change of pass I think I'll do the US Grand Campaign next and then revisit German one from the start.


With only 6 fighters and 1 88mm AA, I found my units were steadily getting bled out by the Red Air Force. They seemed to reappear as fast as my FW190s could down them. Welcome to Russia, I suppose.

dantu
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Re: Struggling on GC '43 East

Post by dantu » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:35 pm

I rebounded well and get a nice DV on Dnipropetrovsk and banked some decent prestige. Kremenchug was going perfectly, through turn 9. Then it happened. After decimating the artillery across the river my 495 experience 8.8cm Flak was in AT mode surrounded by river guarding the withdrawal back across. Russian arty hits it and turns it red, a T34 attacks across a bridge and forces it to retreat into a river square next to 3 Russian tanks. Dead. SInce I don't have the 5 star AA achievement I really should have been more careful. Faced with restarting the battle I think I just need to take a break from the game. Uggh. So frustrating. I hate losing core units. I don't know how many times I've redone turns to save them. Cheating? Yeah, I suppose but 90% of the fun of this game for me is watching units progress.

Elkarlo
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Re: Struggling on GC '43 East

Post by Elkarlo » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:48 am

Don't sweat it. There are some battles in 44 and even 43 where losing a unit is super easy. I've had PZIVs blasted by Soviet heavy tanks, and that made me furious. Definitely don't worry about redoing a battle. Some get pretty rough

auda
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Re: Struggling on GC '43 East

Post by auda » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:31 pm

From GC 43 on things get bad really fast. One has to play much more methodically. Taking risks should be avoided really.

When encountering an enemy strongpoint, focus on air defenses, then hammer the rest with your air force, always protected with fighters. A good rule of thumb is to have two fighters protecting every bomber unit, otherwise the late-game MiGs and Lavochkins can wreak havoc. Your focus should always be the SPAAGs and 85s. Concentrate everything you have on one spot, so you can overwhelm the defense. Being decisive is the key; you should avoid prolonged sieges, as the Soviets will always buy new AA units to defend the strongpoint. Because the Soviets have the superiority in numbers and get lots of prestige to buy new units, you should always seek to destroy and advance as fast as you can.

In defensive battles, think offensively, but only to a limited extent. Your secondary focus should be enemy artillery. Do not let your own artillery get suppressed. Protect units with more than one artillery and always have the fighters one hex behind the first unit. Lure enemy tanks into cities and rough terrain, then counterattack with infantry. GC 44 is a mess. You should be frugal with your prestige up until 43 so you can save enough for elite replacements. Sometimes elite replacements in-game are a necessity, but try to avoid that. A good trick is to reinforce your units that are close to enemy units, which limits the reinforcement to increments.

heinzrondorf
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Re: Struggling on GC '43 East

Post by heinzrondorf » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:16 pm

auda wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:31 pm
A good trick is to reinforce your units that are close to enemy units, which limits the reinforcement to increments.
Is it cheaper to reinforce units close to enemy units than to reinforce units that have no enemy units nearby?

PeteMitchell_2
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Re: Struggling on GC '43 East

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:22 pm

heinzrondorf wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:16 pm
auda wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:31 pm
A good trick is to reinforce your units that are close to enemy units, which limits the reinforcement to increments.
Is it cheaper to reinforce units close to enemy units than to reinforce units that have no enemy units nearby?
No but being close to enemy units limits the reinforcements you can receive, so for example your unit is at 5 strength and you are close to enemy units you may only be able to receive 2 additional strength points which helps you buy only 2 elite reinforcements during the game instead of 5 if you are not close to enemy units... I think this was the idea...

However, the approach is also a bit risky, sometimes it is better to rotate a damaged unit behind the frontline and replace it with a full strength unit, if possible...
Comprehensive Battlefield Europe AAR:
http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=145&t=86481

auda
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Re: Struggling on GC '43 East

Post by auda » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:30 pm

No, the 'cost' in terms of prestige is the same. It's just that game mechanics work in such a way that adjacent enemy units prevent you from reinforcing back to full strength, similar as resupply works.

So if your tank is damaged from, say 11 overstrength down to 7, you can reinforce to 8 or 9. Depending how many enemy units are next to it. Therefore you can keep your unit fighting another turn.

IttoOgami
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Re: Struggling on GC '43 East

Post by IttoOgami » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:08 am

dantu wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:12 pm
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I tried to play a little more deliberately and am now entering Kursk South (Yakovlevo sp?) with 10250 prestige and all units at full strength but I have not done any of the upgrades yet. I definitely like the Wespe! I am reluctant to disband my 2 SPAA due to the ever present Red Air Force from here on out but I may try disbanding them and upgrading 2 of my Bf109s to FW190s to see if that will change the balance a bit. I will weigh my upgrade options carefully and try to conserve as much prestige as I can.
Don't listen to what that guy said. You need to have some AA because its counter-fire ability. An absolute necessity especially in the beginnings of the scenarios when its not unusual late game that they come at you with ten airplanes in a turn. Plus, in the late war scenarios AA is also super helpful for softening air units up. Keep in mind that your fighters often still can lose a point even against the weaker soviet fighters if those are experienced - and even that 1-2 points are costly in the end, if you have something like a 4-star FW 190 or so.

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