DLC 42 #11 Stalingrad Docks

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OmegaMan1
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Post by OmegaMan1 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:04 am

Stalingrad Docks. MV in 22 turns.
Start prestige: 215. End prestige: 124.
New units purchased: Two recons, pioniere (all at deployment).
Units lost: Core – Recon, grenadier, Sherman; auxiliary – 6 Italian infantry, 3 Ju-87s, 2 AAs.
Medals: 3. Heroes: 4.

When I first saw this map, I was afraid it would be “Storming Stalingrad” all over again: an uphill fight that would either see my core destroyed or an outright loss. Thankfully, the docks scenario turned out to be mercifully easier – although not by much. I decided to set out for a minor victory; since I already controlled two objective hexes, gaining four more seemed to be a reasonable goal. I cautiously moved east, making sure that almost every attacking unit was backed up by one or more artillery units. This really is the only way to make headway in the Stalingrad scenarios, since the AI did another fine job of counterattacking weaker units (like the hapless Italians).

I took my first two objectives (hex 6,17 on turn 3 and hex 15,4 on turn 4) and, other than the aforementioned Italians, my casualties were constant but not too heavy. (The fact that there are so many flag hexes definitely helps get the prestige count up.) Meanwhile, as suggested by the commander, I used the auxiliary Luftwaffe units to hit as many Russian transports as possible. While I put a serious dent into the Red shipping supply, I always felt like there were just too many to kill (and a tenacious Red Air Force made the job that much harder). I took a lot of losses with the Luftflotte 4 units, but I figured the more Russian units I could sink before reaching the docks made the losses worthwhile. (I was able to maintain air assets over the Volga until turn 13, by which point my Ju-87s were all shot down and the lone strategic bomber was crippled.)

Continuing my advance, I took two objective hexes (11,21 and 15,9) on turn 8. At that point I figured I’d dig in and settle for defending my minor victory. Yet the lure of advancing further was too much… so while I halted operations in the center (where resistance was heavy from the onset), I decided to move in the north toward the T-34 factory and in the south toward the docks themselves. While the southern advance wasn’t too heavily resisted (I captured my first dock hex on turn 9), the battle for the T-34 factory turned into an epic slugfest. The Russian AI did a fantastic job of moving forces into the area and kept up a fierce defense of the hex. Finally, on turn 13 I took the factory – and then things got REALLY interesting as the Russians threw even more forces at me (and, on turn 18, the first snowflakes started falling). Despite the AI’s commendable performance I held on to the factory until the last turn, thus gaining the minor victory with one objective hex to spare.

A few issues with this mission: First, the AI still left some of its flag city hexes to attack nearby units, although not as often as it did in the previous mission. Second, the Russian transports make foot-marching sounds when they move rather than oceanic sounds. Finally, a strange thing happened three or four times: I used my strategic bomber to hit Russian units in city hexes for suppression purposes. However, on at least three or four occasions, the city hex was also neutralized, and a flag appeared where there had not been one before! This seemed strange, since it allowed me to thereby take the hex (after the occupying unit was destroyed) and thus gain prestige for the capture. Is this intended, or is it a bug (as I don’t recall seeing this happen in previous scenarios)?

As tough as this scenario was, it was a nice “cool-down” from the Storming Stalingrad mission. While the Russians were still tough here, it seemed that a victory much more likely to happen here than in the mission before. Again, I really do think these scenarios are capturing the “feel” of urban warfare – a torturous, agonizingly slow advance through block after block of dug-in forces. So far, the ’42 DLC is doing a marvelous job of placing the player into the mindset of the German forces in Stalingrad.

With the campaign branching after this scenario, I’ll play through both courses and report on each. I’ll tackle the “sit-tight-and-do-as-you’re-ordered” scenario line first, then go for the breakout scenarios afterward.

El_Condoro
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Post by El_Condoro » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:55 am

Finally, a strange thing happened three or four times: I used my strategic bomber to hit Russian units in city hexes for suppression purposes. However, on at least three or four occasions, the city hex was also neutralized, and a flag appeared where there had not been one before! This seemed strange, since it allowed me to thereby take the hex (after the occupying unit was destroyed) and thus gain prestige for the capture. Is this intended, or is it a bug (as I don’t recall seeing this happen in previous scenarios)?
This as designed. Strat bombers can neutralise a flag (it turns white, which has the effect of not being usable by the AI to build new units (for 3 turns?) as well as the suppression and ammo-chewing functions.

OmegaMan1
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Post by OmegaMan1 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:39 am

Hi EC! :)

I know that pre-existing flag hexes can be reverted to a neutral (white) state. However, in this case, the act of bombing creates a neutral flag where previously no flag was present. Conceivably, every city hex on the map could be thus "converted" to a prestige-giving flag hex. Again, this might have been present from the beginning, but I thought supression (i.e., changing a enemy flag to neutral) only occurred where the flag was already present. Here, the act of bombing is creating new flags. Does this explanation make more sense?

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Post by Kerensky » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:48 am

Hmm that is some strange behavior indeed. It's not particularly harmful, but it's certainly not intended. City hexes with no flags may see a change because of this, but perhaps not. Trying to milk prestige out of this would undoubtedly be more trouble than it's worth (needing so many level bombers+requirement for enemy unit to be present+time constraints+weather restraints).

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Post by El_Condoro » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:52 am

dshaw62197 wrote:Hi EC! :)

I know that pre-existing flag hexes can be reverted to a neutral (white) state. However, in this case, the act of bombing creates a neutral flag where previously no flag was present. Conceivably, every city hex on the map could be thus "converted" to a prestige-giving flag hex. Again, this might have been present from the beginning, but I thought supression (i.e., changing a enemy flag to neutral) only occurred where the flag was already present. Here, the act of bombing is creating new flags. Does this explanation make more sense?
Oh man, that is weird! I don't think that's WAD. :)

OmegaMan1
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Post by OmegaMan1 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:34 am

Trying to milk prestige out of this would undoubtedly be more trouble than it's worth
In the Stalingrad docks scenario, I got it four times with two bombers; in the Stalingrad ruins (which I just finished) I was able to do it six times with one bomber. And I think I did it two or three times in the Storming Stalingrad scenario. Again, we're not talking big bucks here (I think each flag is worth 50 prestige?); but it's certainly not a lot trouble either. I wouldn't go building a strat bomber just to pull this off, as you'd have to work pretty hard to pay off the bomber through city hex conversions... but OTOH it is a nice way to get some spare prestige when things get tight. :wink:

Longasc
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Post by Longasc » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:29 am

Two elite level bombers doing this can provide income this way. dshaw62197 and me apparently were among the few who didn't have 10-20k Prestige but rather below 1-2K and there it is a viable alternative to bombing an enemy.

It's just extremely weird and IMO definitely not working as intended.

OmegaMan1
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Post by OmegaMan1 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:37 am

Two elite level bombers doing this can provide income this way. dshaw62197 and me apparently were among the few who didn't have 10-20k Prestige but rather below 1-2K and there it is a viable alternative to bombing an enemy.
Thanks for posting Longasc, I'm glad it wasn't only me that was in need of prestige... :wink:

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Post by Kerensky » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:52 am

Just because a few people are very vocal about content is too easy doesn't mean every single one of our players is breezing through. It's why we're always hesitant to make things 'harder'.

OmegaMan1
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Post by OmegaMan1 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:54 am

Just because a few people are very vocal about content is too easy doesn't mean every single one of our players is breezing through. It's why we're always hesitant to make things 'harder'.
Thanks for the reassurances, Kerensky... sometimes I feel like I'm the only one here who isn't racking up four- or five-digit prestige totals in every scenario! :D

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Post by Kerensky » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:02 am

When I play test or just have fun with a live version of the DLCs, I am constantly hovering in the 3 digit range of prestige. Sometimes I'll dip into critical 2 digits (Streets of Moscow or taking the Hard Path after Stalingrad) sometimes I'll be comfortable at 4 digits. Of course at the same time, I only ever play Manstein, so really it's all about people finding the difficulty that suits them the best.

OmegaMan1
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Post by OmegaMan1 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:41 am

so really it's all about people finding the difficulty that suits them the best.
I think that's a solid reason behind PzC's success: it appeals to broad spectrum of gamers, and offers a challenge to those who are looking for a truly "hardcore" experience (aka Manstein level) as well as the more casual gamer. There's enough substance to the difficulty levels that, like Goldilocks, it's easy to find the play level that is "just right." :)

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Re: DLC 42 #11 Stalingrad Docks

Post by dutmistrz » Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:45 pm

Hi,

DV on one but last turn.
Presitge around 25000.

This one takes about 3-4h to play. First of all - cautious approach.

NEVER EVER:

- leave infantry without wings protected in city (it will be instantly jumped on by 2-3 Russian infantry and either killed off or left with skeleton forces);
- drive a tank in city apart from clear situations - clear situation is where a tank can't be reached by enemy infantry, mopping up remnants left behind and coping with units in clear terrin is tanks role). Second test with Flammpanzer was made but you have to manage it like an egg - a moment of negligence and it goes poof (lost mine in 3rd turn);
- leave infantry without arty backup - it can save the day and damage the Russian attacking force significantly, so it can be destroyed afterwards;

Apart from that I tended to bombard the transports on the river - Ruskis are puring reinforcements that way - conscripts can be left alone but SMG inf and Guards (especially Guards) can't be left alone. I always try to cover bombers with fighters but in practice it's not always possible, but fear not, the Soviet airforce rarely comes in numbers exceeding 2 fighters at a time. But be aware of batteries on coast - they can be a pain in the you-know-what when you try to bombard transports which are near to shore. Just had a thought to scout the isle where the transports are coming from, it would give you more time for sinking Vasilij Zaytsev and his friends before you need to call mjr Konig in. Didn't test it though. :)

Italian motive - it's a blessing we have Italians in this one - I lost only Flak 88 and mentioned Flammpanzer in this scenario from my core but about 70% of Italian Infantry (oh my, what a shameful unit type!) and the guys with dead chickens on their hats (Bergslieri) were lost. Bersaglieri are a formidable infantry unit which can be used in serious combat, but Italian Inf is only for filling gaps, mopping up and making pesto rosso out of them. The AI tends to attack the units which he can deal most casualties, so the Italian forces are targeted quite often in this meat-grinder scenario. I always tried to back the pasta eaters with some serious arty - SiG or Wurfrahmen, SU-122 is also nice, so that Russians got a nasty surprise when trying to destroy Italians.

You also have a couple of AA 88's at the airfields in the north as well as some AT 75's guns - use them wisely and in a proper moment (they are useless alone but assisted by Infantry , arty and a tank - they can prove useful against T-34 found in the neighbourings of the T-34 factory).

Tanks may seem not to play a major role in this scenario and it's partially true, although I use them to fight units in open terrain, safe mop up actions and also using their zones of control. For example when Pavlov's house is captured, the rail station was the last point of defence for the Soviets. I moved ALL the aircraft to the rail station related tasks leaving the river uncontrolled and moved tanks through the corridor which leads from Pavlov's house north. Thus eventually if some Russian infantry was disembarked in the docks, it didn' reach the Railstation due to zones of control of my tanks making a sort of cordon.

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