DLC 42 #14 Escape from Stalingrad

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DLC 42 #14 Escape from Stalingrad

Post by El_Condoro » Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:50 pm

Escape from Stalingrad

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Post by monkspider » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:29 am

Escape from Stalingrad
starting 4500
After upgrades 1900
Ending prestige 2100
Losses two recon mobiles
Marginal victory, turn 21

Well, Paulus may not have had the balls to break out from Stalingrad but I do, hard path be damned. This was a pretty cool scenarios in many ways, the long, epic trek across the map to try to break through the Soviet lines is cool, so is the huge counter attack at the end that me by total surprise and retook one objective and nearly another one. There are a couple issues that I would identify as serious flaws.

1. The decisive victory conditions talk about keeping some Hungarian auxillary units alive. I didn't realize that it was the units getting slaughtered at the beginning alive. They seemed so doomed I didn't think that you would seriously expect us to try to save them. i figured the REAL auxillary units would arrive at some point later. If you are going to force us to try to save those units that seem to be in an utterly hopeless situation, try to at least make the briefing more clear. Like, maybe say that the Hungarian units are under dire attack but at least seven of them need to be survive. I will have to play this scenario again with the mindset that it is possible to save those units, but it does seem a bit unfair that you can lose the chance for a decisive victory after only the first two or three turns.

2. There are also what I would identify as narrative issues with the briefings.
a. After the Stalingrad Docks level, whoever is briefing us says that trying to hold on to Stalingrad may be unwise but then if you choose to try to escape, it jumps to what is apparently some Hungarian commander who says that Habermann is furious with us. This doesn't make sense after Habermann was just saying a second ago that trying to make a break for it might be a good idea. If it wasn't Habermann de-briefing us after Stalingrad Docks, that needs to be communicated.
b. I knew that Escape from Stalingrad was the hard path but only because you told us beforehand. It would be nice if you could warn players ahead of time like you did on Sevastapol. Most players will know that trying to stay in Stalingrad didn't end very well for the Germans, and I think they would be justified in thinking THAT was the hard path.
c. This is a more minor nitpick, but it would be nice if you could build up the Soviet Counter-Attack that entrapped us a bit more. Maybe talk about the Soviets launching a surprise attack on our flanks and how our Hungarian and Romanian allies are being overrun. It just doesn't seem like the seriousness of the situation was being adequately conveyed in the briefings.

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Post by produit » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:57 pm

I rushed forward with my tanks and was able to maintain 11 auxiliaries units alive. DV at turn 9. FM level.

Air superiority is really easy to achieve with the new FW190. As a result, the Luftwaffe can weaken enemy armor during the whole scenario.
I don't know if I was too fast, but the T34/43 on the north west and east hadn't even started to move before I destroyed them.

After two maps of close combat, it was interesting to have a fast moving map.

I think it could be a plus to have more enemy tanks as yet the north enemy armored spearhead is a pushover.

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Post by monkspider » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:12 pm

Hmm, well clearly my theory that the Hungarians are impossible to save has been disproved. :)

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Post by billmv44 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:14 pm

I too opted for escape from that dreadful city. I lost several Hungarian units at the start but I was able to protect 9 of them by getting my tanks in front. I used a mobile pocket approach to getting to the safe hexes. I got the DV just as the final counter-attack was starting. No issues with the scenario. Great to be back in open country where I can use my tanks to their fullest. I also just love my captured Su-122 assault gun. Range of 3, ammo 5 and mobility of 6 with decent hitting power - what's not to love? Having these types of units are really enriching the game.
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Post by Longasc » Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:04 pm

First impressions:

-StuH42: VERY GOOD vs Infantry in direct fire mode. Excellent to wipe out attacking Russian Infantry, even better than the IIIB for direct fire. The high defense value of 15 and high SA make this possible. Very nice unit.

Maybe the range 1 isn't that bad in the end (@Kerensky & @impar)

- DV Objective: Uh, do I really have to count units. I understand that you want to give people a choice which unit to save but it's a bit cumbersome.
Is there not something easier possible, like "2 of 3 special (named?) cavalries" or sth like that?

- noticed how much more I like open terrain. :)

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Post by nikivdd » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:45 pm

Escape from Stalingrad. General difficulty.

I had enough of claustrofobic places and chose to disobey orders.
At the deployment phase i bought a FW190a, the first one in my core. All my fighters are still Bf109G.

This mission was a relief and a lot easier than the previous ones. After the russian's first round i retreated all the hungarian units with exception of the tanks.
Soon enough my core units caught up with them and started to engage the russians. It felt like good old blitzkrieg again. Unfortunately - depends how you look at it -, because the town
Vertiyachiy has no VH, the russian infantry completely ignored the bridge crossing there but chose instead to cross the river (they don't care about the penalty) just north of Peskovatka (which has a VH) to attack it. I also did expect more russian airunits.
The russian units in the northeast corner never made a move, either they are for decoration or their trigger is set too late. Anyhow, it was a nice change of pace and i finished the mission in 11/20 turns and 1614PP. No core units lost.

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Post by Longasc » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:45 pm

13/20, 166 Prestige left
Lost a Panzer IVG SE! The artillery behind didn't protect it well enough from the nasty Russian 85mm ATG behind the river.

It wasn't a difficult scenario, but my army was still battered from Stalingrad. But as it was mainly an expensive tanks army I had no trouble defeating the Russian attacks. I almost lost some Stukas, the Russian Airforce now becomes increasingly more powerful.

I like that!

Around turn 13 a BT-7 and some Infantry attacked from the Northwest but it was too late.

I think the objective could be clarified and maybe simplified, 7 units for 7 hexes. While there is a choice involved (lower or upper hexes) this barely does matter as once the player traversed the river the battle is already won anyways.

The StuH42s performed admirably, destroyed a lot of Infantry, this time mostly in direct fire mode. The StuG IIIF/8 were useful in destroying tanks.
All in all it was very nice and welcome change after the city fighting. Maybe I should stop reparing my air units exclusively with elite replacements. That's what cost me a lot of Prestige.

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Post by pickle » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:44 am

Played this one on general level. Lost some of the more exposed Hungarian units but had no trouble protecting more than enough to achieve the DV. Started out with a fairly spread out force trying to protect the aux units. Once concentrated, however, I pretty much rolled over Russian defenders. Finding one of the river crossings relatively lightly defended helped achieve a quick victory. Felt is was a 'breather' scenario but a welcome one at that.

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Post by deducter » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:20 pm

Back from vacation, so onwards with the beta testing.

Played in beta v1.

This was advertised as a “hard mode” scenario, yet I felt it was easier than the required scenario Storming Stalingrad and even Stalingrad Docks. Severely undertuned, IMO.

Won DV easily. Didn’t even bother to reinforce any of the Hungarian units once or retreat any of them so as to save the necessary number or even count the total number at any given time, and I got 8 units out. If I tried, the number would probably be 11-12.

AI attacks are way too weak. The Russians had surrounded the Stalingrad pocket and set up some tough defenses. I don’t know what the timeframe in this scenario is supposed to be, but the only chance of a German breakout was either the immediate abandoning of Stalingrad by Paulus (unlikely due to the fact that I don’t think anyone in the German High Command realized the gravity of the situation until the city became encircled), or when Manstein launched Winter Tempest AND if Paulus launched a breakout simultaneously. I would love if this feeling could be adequately recreated, which sadly it is not in its current state. Storming Stalingrad was a beautiful example of how PzC can simulate the advance into the city, so please make any breakout attempt equally or even more epic!

This needs to be a frozen tileset. It’s November in Russia, and I saw 2 turns of snow. I’d also up the snow chance to 40-50%, so as to create a nice blizzard feeling. This would also weaken the player, since there will be no stuka support, which is often critical. I don’t recall ever reading anything about it being unseasonably warm that year either. I think many German soldiers froze to death in the city because of a lack of heating supplies to warm themselves. Admittedly their situation was also exacerbated by the lack of food, medicine, fuel, ammunition, and pretty much everything…

Props to the AI for one-shotting my 6 strength Bf-110G. I did not think it would attack, but out came a La-5 to do its deadly work. In general, the AI needs many, many, many more units. I’d put 2 artillery behind the southwestern most VH for the AI, that way the player will need a bridge engineer if they want to cross the river there. With 37 core slots and 5 SE units, I’m sure he can afford it. Also each AI battle group needs to be buffed, many more T-34/43s should be added. Raise the AI experience level to 2 stars, not just 1 star.

There needs to be much more opposition upon crossing the river. I advanced very slowly, because I was paranoid about AI counterattacks that never materialized. If I pushed ahead at full speed, I’d probably win DV 2-3 turns faster. A hard mode scenario should not be doable in 10/20 turns.

Hard mode should be hard, as the developers promised. Make the easier modes easy to compensate if necessary. I am confident based on the scenarios Vitebsk and Storming Stalingrad that this scenario can be made hard if desired. The AI needs a very significant buff. Please do so!

DV 13/20.

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Post by OmegaMan1 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:38 am

Escape from Stalingrad. DV in 17 turns.
Start prestige: 92. End prestige: 155.
New units purchased: None.
Units lost: Core – Recon. Auxiliary – 13 units of various types.
Medals: 1. Heroes: 2.

After fighting through the ruins of Stalingrad it was nice to come to a mission with lots of wide, open spaces. As the scenario started, it was rather depressing watching as the Russians blasted my hapless Axis allied units for the first two turns. In fact, after losing 12 auxiliary units by turn 3, I was beginning to wonder if I would have enough units left to shepherd to the other side. Thankfully, I was able to round up about 10 or so units and surrounded them with my core forces. I arranged my core units in the front and flanks, keeping the lowly auxiliaries safe and sound for the journey to the west.

Looking at my range of objective hexes (again, having labels on the hexes is a great feature), I decided to make a drive for the area between Peskovatka and Vertyachiy, and then cross the Don there. Despite some furious fighting for Peskovatka, I was able to hold the city and its nearby airfield. The Russians launched a huge armored attack south of the city on turn 6, and my SE Panzers fought their largest tank battle thus far. I managed to defeat the counterattack, and with that I began sending a few core units across the Don at hex 18,11. In the meantime I was able to fend off a small counterattack from the north, and even managed to retake an objective city (Samoflovka) that I had lost earlier in the mission.

I slowly but surely moved the bulk of my forces and the auxiliary units across the Don, facing another group of Russian units in the northwest. I defeated this force rather handily (although I lost an auxiliary unit in the process), and then pressed toward the exit hexes as quickly as possible. (It started snowing and all I could think was “great, I fought all this way just to run out of gas on the last few turns!”) Fortunately, I was able to secure the western edge of the field (I took Osinovskiy on turn 15) and managed to get seven auxiliary units to safety by turn 17.

This mission was very enjoyable, especially the huge armored clash south of Peskovatka. Overall the AI did a good job of trying to stop my units (although it failed miserable once again with the katayushas, rolling them right up to my tanks for easy killings). I found this scenario to be a lot easier than I expected; I assumed there would be a lot more Russian forces present. However, I was happy to get a “rest” considering this was right after the Stalingrad missions, so again I’m not protesting too much. (Although I have to ask, is this branch considered the easier or harder of the two post-Stalingrad mission pairs?)

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Post by taffjones » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:21 pm

Cononel level
version 2
Non imported core

After playing this on the 1st version I decided to adopt the same tactics of rushing re-enforcments to the hungerian army, fight off the russian attacks to the north, hold a defensive line on the river, then fight my way out to the south and bring the hungarians out across the river to safety.

Was I in for a nasty surprise. It looks like Deductor has got his wish in making it harder.

My core was tank heavy after losses to the infantry in Stalingrad/ Stalingrad docks and I didnt have enough prestige to replace them. All the outer hungerian units were lost by the end of turn 2 with no chance of saving them, but my forces had got to the surviving hungerian units.

Turn 3 and the russians attacked in force all over the map North, South and West. With a mauled core starting this mission they had no chance even with 10 tank, backed up by 8 Artillary units and 2 stukas + 2 Me 110's my forces were overwhelmed by turn 6. By having to deal with simutanious russian attacks you are left with the choice to keep your forces togeather and save a couple of the hungarians but not enough to get a DV. In fact I think for the Average player looking to have fun (like myself) it would be difficult to even get a MV this could by a turn off senario if you have no chance to keep any of you core intact to take on to 1943.

I have restarted twice and changed tactics by withdrawing as many hungarian units as possible into a ring of my troops but with the same result that the sheer number of russian units attacking (4:1 if not more) even in the air overwhelm my units.

I found this even more difficult than the Stalingrad missions which I managed to get DV's on. Maybe a slight reduction in the number of units attacking in each wave would help the average/ fun player.

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