DLC 42 #01 Vitebsk

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El_Condoro
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DLC 42 #01 Vitebsk

Post by El_Condoro » Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:03 pm

Vitebsk

nikivdd
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Vitebsk report

Post by nikivdd » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:50 pm

First of all, my eternal gratitude for the opportunity to test DLC42.

I encountered no problems while downloading the new beta and DLC 42 and installing both.

As i did with the previous DLC, i opted for General difficulty. I'm getting comfortable with it.

I imported my DLC 41 core.
First order was to upgrade all german tanks (PzIIIH to Pz IIIJ/1 and PzIVE/F to F/2). Captured units remain unchanged.

If you ever want to feel like a double cheese burger, simply play Vitebsk. Guarding both flanks against the red hordes and in between more russian units, it all adds up to a high level of desperation and the nowhere-is-safe feeling. But a commanding officer must keep his head cool and follow orders. The orders are simple if you want to achieve a DV. But the more simple it feels, the more difficult it gets in a DLC scenario, IMO. There are a lot of hexes available to deploy your troops but ofcourse you don't know which units you will face.
As i expected, the Russians make the first move *ouch*. Poor Romanian auxiliaries...

The Russians come from everywhere, and to my surprise, they managed to surround me at Novosokolniki for 2 turns. At this point, i could no longer send the rail transports south.
It all starts out as a rather static defence but later you require to be more on the move. When the initial waves are contained, they start approaching from different sides at different times. So you have to move units here and there as a counterweight for the well-equipped russians. One wave i missed, due to the too late trigger (after turn 13) - as you can see on the screenshot.
Only later i started to probe towards the left VH in russian hands, which gave me another captured T-34. The T-34 who captured the town and the new one were both blown to bits by a combination of nasty KV-1, T-34/41 tanks and guard infantry. I also encountered a new russian unit to give your rear some stings (in future scenario's???), the russian partisan (oh i don't like them lol).

If it was the devs intention that you have to be on your guard all the time to keep the railway free of russians, they definitely succeeded. With exception of the north, where the rail transports appear and south of the Dvina river, don't consider any hex along the railroad safe. There is no turn here to rest.

For a first play, i managed in 13/19 turns (DV) with 1378PP

Here's the screenie after victory.

Image
Last edited by nikivdd on Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

andrewmazlim
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Post by andrewmazlim » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:58 pm

Thxs for having me as beta tester; I'm SO happy I'm keep playing (and testing)...

I had no problem with the downloading, only that was WAY TOO slow...

I run the beta exe, imported the gore '41 of mine, recruited for almost all my units "vet" newcomers (to make all my units, at least "10") and I started the 1st senario.
Looks fine so far (4th turn), but the senario seems a bit odd; I mean, the units' deploy. The Jerries in two "columns", Russians in the flanks BUT ALSO in the middle.
Since isn't a siege senario (that would verify the Russian presence in the middle and the Jerries arround them) and it's a "race" senario (to place the convoy units south), I found it (the deploy) quite strange.
Also, since there is a large Jerries base in the south (our senario's goal), WHY AREN'T german units southern of the river and HELP YOU during the Russians' attacks?

Generally, in the 1st senario, the only thing I found very unusual, is the units' deploy.

HeinzG
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Post by HeinzG » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:42 pm

I'd to follow the compliments of the previous posters.

Thank you for this beautiful christmas present :D . And thank you for letting me join the beta test again! :D

Now back to business:

Vitebsk
Level: FM
Starting prestige: 7853
Uprades: None
Reinforcement: Elite
Result; after n-turn: DV; 13/19
Losses core/aux: 0/0


Starting with my DLC 41 beta core, had to be reinforced. (Can't find that thread with the end cores of DLC 41 anymore :?)

What a nasty surprise. Heavy attacks everywhere in the first few turns. As I lined up my forces spread out along the railtracks , uh oh, I was quite forced in some defensive fights. Seeing this, I guess I will have to sacrifie some aux.

Well, after the initial attack, there was not that fierce resistance I expected. My Pz IV had a hard time but if one can manage to keep the tracks free all the time, it is somewhat (too) easy to get a DV. I expected more ambushes on the rail track after reading the briefing.
Last edited by HeinzG on Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kerensky
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Post by Kerensky » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:08 pm

niki, do you mind cropping or resizing your image please? It stretches the forum. :)

Longasc
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Post by Longasc » Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:29 am

As usual, FM+everything, no reloading.

I imported my core: http://www.filedropper.com/000002 (click to DL)
Only 2836 Prestige! Did worse than in my Beta play! :(
compared to 4000 for the DLC-Core.
End Prestige: 236, DV after 13/19. After turn 9 the battle was won.
Losses: 1 Char (sigh), 1 StuGIIIF, 1 Nebelwerfer

I bought 4 StuGIIIF and a Nebelwerfer (I must be crazy today), they were meant to replace Char and Matilda, but the Matilda funnily became valuable in this scenario. Just to spite me!
I was a too wasteful in Moscow, sigh! Unit XP also suffered.
But let's focus on Vitebsk: Briefing OK, Debriefing "You have thanks of all Germany"? A native speaker should take a look at this, doesn't sound right. I don't pretend I remember any of the Russian city names, but Dvina River was correct. :)


It's a wonderful battle. You get to explore and never know where the enemy will attack. The T-34/41 with 1-2 stars XP are formidable foes, even more so the KV's. My own KV's were invaluable. The StuGIIIF proved they can take a beating, but weren't too effective this time. But I still have 3, one didn't make it but it took several Infantries till a Cavalry killed it.

The fight for air supremacy was also quite interesting. In general it is the large distances and the enemy attacking everywhere that gives an excellent impression of an Eastern Front scenario, I really liked that. Lots of room to maneuver and not enough units to defend it all. Very nice!

A somewhat new experience for me, a very exciting scenario though I had serious losses and now I am scared! But somehow I am playing shite lately.

On to Kharkov!


Addendum:
1. Really wish the map was WHITE right from the start when you deploy in Winter
2. I found it odd that some enemy units were behind my lines after deployment.
3. Couldn't save in the last turn -> this is a bug, it's impossible to save in the last turn if the AI is on the attack in this scenario. Ritterkreuz IIRC reported it already to Rudankort
4. This is a promising start!
5. The minimap should also be white in Winter

andrewmazlim
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Post by andrewmazlim » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:43 am

About the "winter", I HATE the white on my screen - I can't see the bloody units. So, it's more realistic the "white map", but I don't know if it would be handy (for our eyes).

El_Condoro
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Post by El_Condoro » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:51 am

@ nikivdd: I count 14 core tanks in that screenie. I can't make out what type, of course, but I will start DLC42 with 6! Can I expect that this scenario will be my death? :)
[Edit] Needed to scroll up - 15 core tanks.

monkspider
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Post by monkspider » Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:43 am

Vitebsk

Starting prestige 5000
Prestige after upgrades/purchases 3700
Ending prestige 2700
Losses 1 88

Marginal victory

Alright, it's time to go back to active duty! Thanks for keeping me around as a beta-tester. It is a a real honor! I am playing this campaign on General level as usual with an imported core. I know the general trend is for the opening scenario to be a step backward in difficulty from the last couple scenarios of the previous campaign, but this one was far from easy! One thing I adored about this battle, and really it is absolutely unique in this regard, is that going into the final turns, both a loss, a marginal victory and a decisive victory were all three in play. But I am getting ahead of myself.

When I was starting off the battle getting attacked from both sides, it threw me for a loop. But once I got my bearings, things weren't too bad...at least for a while. I managed to get the first two trains through to Vitebsk without incident. I also thought the armored train needed to go down there too but I guess it could have stayed and helped me. The third one was a bit dodgy, with some battling on the tracks going on for a while but it got through as well. The fourth one came to an unfortunate end when I moved it onto the path of an unseen KV during one of the snow turns. Doh. So it all came down to the fifth transport.

Unfortunately, about the time the last transport spawned, a massive Soviet armored push started coming in from the west. It was so ridiculously strong, it completely held up my rail traffic until the last turn when my transport finally started moving south but was unable to move all the way across the river. While this battle was raging, the Soviets nearly took one of the objectives that would have place below the threshold for even a marginal victory but I narrowly held on. But even my beloved 13 strength panzer IVs were pretty badly bloodied by the end of it all.

I found the Soviet airforce to be tougher than I was expecting and as if I didn't have enough problems, I started seeing Western equipment in this battle too! It was a nice touch to see the Soviet Hurricane and M3 tanks.

So this was a very unique and memorable battle. One hell of a start to the 42 campaign. To quote Lord Wellington. "It has been a damned nice thing — the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life. "

-Edit Also, I thought this might be a decent time to also upload a save file. it is from the last turn of the battle in case you wanted to see how my imported core looked or the strategic situation on the battlefield.
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=A9TZBBJW

-Edit 2 oops, I think the one I uploaded is from the middle of the battle. You can still inspect my imported core if you want.

nikivdd
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Post by nikivdd » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:39 am

@Kerensky: i hope it is better now with the screenie

@El Condoro: i quite got a number of tanks and i am glad to have them. I think with your 6 tanks you will be doing speed chess. Don't expect miracles from the Romanians.

After Sevastopol, here is my core of the core :)

Image

11 core tanks, 4 SE tanks and 2 self-propelled AT guns.

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Post by OmegaMan1 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:03 am

To echo my fellow testers, thanks to the devs for including me in this beta, it is always a pleasure and an honor. :)

Installation of the 1.06 beta and the 1942 DLC went smoothly as always, no problems in running the game. I decided to play on colonel level -- I know most of the testers here go for a higher level, but I know the devs like to get feedback on all difficulty levels, so I stuck with the level I feel most comfortable with. (Quite honestly, I'm not as daring as some others here LOL!) Also, I am using the default core that comes with the '42 DLC. I am currently working on building a multi-DLC core when I get free time (ha ha, what's that), but alas my guys are still slogging through Sedan back in the '40 campaign, so until they're ready I'm using the core provided.

So without further ado...

Vitebsk. DV in 13 turns.
Start prestige: 4300. End prestige: 1199.
New units purchased: Cavalry (turn 2), two Wurfrahmen (T3), infantry (T4), Marder (T6), Panzer IVE (T10).
Units lost: Core -- two AT (Marder/Stug), two Wurfrahmen, two Panzer IIIJ; auxiliary -- one Romanian infantry, one AA.
Medals: none. Heroes: none.

A good kick-off to the '42 campaign. Escorting the troop trains to safety is a nice switch from previous missions where we were out to search-and-destroy RR units. I like the rail depot terrain hexes, are they new (or just new to me)? To start with, the Russians put up a pretty determined offense in both the west, between Nevel and Pustoshka, and in the east around Velikiye Luki. One thing is very clear: the Russian AI has no qualms about hurling wave after wave of conscript units at you! While not difficult to deal with individually, they can be quite a struggle when fighting in groups. Also very potent was the Russian air force, which seemed to arrive in well-timed waves. I like how the AI is more conservative with its air assets; rather than just sending all of its available forces in at once, it did a decent job of using them in waves, which kept my air force on its guard.

I suspect I lost my fair share of units by being aggressive in capturing the Russian VP cities. I was able to take Kun'ya on turn 8, Idritsa (which was empty of defenders) on turn 9, and Staraya Toropa on turn 10. It was Idritsa I was rewarded with my first captured unit, a reliable T-34. I was lulled into thinking the worst was over when, on turn 8, the Russians got a second wind and launched a furious counterattack from the south. Fortunately, I had spaced my units so that I had a good defensive line running the length of the railroad, so at no time were any of my trains in danger. There was one Russian unit -- a KV1C, I think -- that was almost impossible to kill; it took out a Panzer and an AT before I finally bombed it into submission. Thankfully, all the trains arrived safely in their depots, and the first mission was a success for my forces.

Two questions regarding this scenario. First, I would like to again suggest that either the mission briefing be made available during the game, and/or the objective hexes in Vitebsk (and all other such objectives) be highlighted in some manner so that players can easily tell where they are supposed to go. My memory isn't what it used to be, so it becomes a challenge at times remembering just where I was ordered to send a particular unit. Second, is it necessary for the units to arrive in Vitebsk on the trains, or could a decisive victory be won by just having the units reach the city? I dismounted two of the four "convoy" units at particular stops along the tracks to help in the fighting. Could I have just then marched them on to their destination? Perhaps if the goal is to force the player to keep the trains on the safe track, the four convoy units could be made unmountable (not sure that's a word) so that they are more vulnerable and thus need greater protection from Russian attacks.

Overall, I found this a good challenge for a "starter" mission; not impossible, but not a cakewalk either -- a nice way of letting players know that this not France, and it is not 1940 any longer. Things can only get harder from here on out...

On to Kharkov tomorrow.

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Post by Sleezly » Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:32 am

Just finished this scenario with DV in round 13! All in all a great scenario! The enemy KVs surprised me more than once which I thought was really cool! Only thing I noticed was that a str 11 enemy fighter didn't move to attack although it could have hurt 1 of my Stukas really bad which was within its sight radius in round 12! One other thing, after the DV in the debriefing it should read, "You have the thanks of all of Germany". Great job guys! Keep up the good work! :D

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Post by Longasc » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:05 am

Yeah, don't nerf it even if people lose prestige. People seem to have more than enough anyways and I don't start being creative and thinking before my PP drop below <1000! :)

I would also like to second dshaw: We should be able to read the briefing all the time. Needs a button!
And the hex zones for the trains - though south of the Dvina is quite sufficient IMO, at least for me - could be highlighted so that people who forgot what to do (some people NEVER read the briefing, really!) find them. :P


Edit:

Also - SWAMP hexes are almost invisible and hard to discern from clear hexes in winter.

HeinzG
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Post by HeinzG » Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:46 pm

Just curious: I noticed I got this unit form Vitebsk:

Image

The Name (I could change it, I know 8) ): 40th T34/41 (r)

I was used to the following scheme of captured units:

Image

Captured T34/40

Maybe this needs to be corrected?

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Post by deadtorius » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:16 pm

Thank you for asking me to take part in this beta too.

One odd thing I noticed and did post as a separate post was that the deployment counter did not count any units as I deployed them. It showed 1/19 the for the whole deployment so I just kept dropping units till it would not let me stick any more down.

Started off importing my 191 army and played on default level for first time out. One mistake I made in deployment, I left a Stuka without an adjacent fighter, yah so my core started off down one Stuka :oops:

Deployment makes it look like typical Russia, wide open desolate and lonely, how misleading of the devs on this one. First surprise when turn 1 started, I thought I had deployed behind my artillery. The game starts and I find out that the Russians (Partisans) are all around me as in beside my artillery, some of my arty took a bit of a beating on turn 1. Fortunately I had bought two extra 17 cm guns for the last scenario of 1941 and they came in handy for the start of 1942 although the snow seems to curb their effects some what. I upgraded my Pak 50 to a Stug AT but kept the Marders. All Panzers were upgraded to the newest models so PZ IVG and PZ IIIJ/1. I left my engineers and FJ in reserve and took out the Marders, extra arty and the new Stug instead. Looks like the old Stug III's may not be quite as devastating as they used to be though. Perhaps it was just the snow.

I was also shocked to see that the partisans have 85mm flak guns, so my surviving Stuka took 2 hits right off the bat. I found the armoured train was a nice touch, I sent it south first to help blast the Ruskies. I also made the mistake of deploying troops up north near the rail head where there are no partisans lurking about so I had to start moving them south quickly (and there is not much quick in the snow I noticed)

The Partisans are easy to deal with, pretty much the equivalent of conscript infantry, but they are not alone. Of course good old "Uncle Joe" has plenty of armour to send in to back them up. And they have AA guns on either side of the rail line so the Luftwaffe has to be careful where they attack. One thing about the Russians they just keep spawning lots and lots of tanks. After beating off the initial attacks and getting 2 trains into their rail heads down south, I found my Matilda sitting about doing nothing so I embarked it on a train to try and get it somewhere else quickly (it does not do much quickly to put it mildly) Of course that was also the turn another train appeared up north and I ended up moving both trains into the rail head thinking the scenario would be over with time to spare and then it kept on going. After looking at the 4 full rail heads I realized one of them said captured Matilda and not convoy :oops: again. Of course all this happened after I had captured both Soviet objectives and their nearby airfields, and the Soviets had launched an armoured counter attack to retake the western objcetive. They did manage to retake the airfield for a turn but I was able to shift enough tanks that way to destroy all but the KV which then moved towards the rail line where it eventually died.

In the end I managed to capture most of the Soviet cities, except for the most North West one which I never ventured towards and the South East one which my Rumanians triggered a KV and Reg Infantry spawn. It also led to them being the most lucky Romanian unit in the game as they were reduced to 1 step and retreated and I reinforced then the Russian KV and infantry attacked again and they were reduced to 1 step and retreated, then it started to snow and I managed to run them away and reinforce them.

One thing I did notice that the AI frequently did was to run its tanks and infantry into ambushes against my units. Not that I mind as its easy XP for me but in some turns it was running into 3 ambushes in a row. Overall a surprising start to 1942, I see the infantry has improved with more regular and Guard units appearing now. Guards have good AA coverage as my Stukas discovered so I will likely leave them for the artillery to deal with as it is not nice to lose 2 steps on an air attack against them. The weather remained clear or overcast for most of the game, snow started up past the halfway mark and I only had 3 turns in a row for the longest run, which allowed me to repair my battered Luftwaffe. Most of my units had to be reparied, I had an 88 that was attacked by inf that was reduced to 2 steps and had to run away well to the rear and my recon also got taken down to 2 steps but managed to retreat and survived the game. A few of my tanks (including my S35) took a fair beating. The French tanks are no more as I have upgraded them to PZ IV's. The good old S35 does not hold up as well as it did in 1941and with 3 full stars I would rather keep it around in the core army as long as I can.

Time to carry on and see what horrors await in the next scenario.

Longasc
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Post by Longasc » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:41 pm

It's a bit difficult to tell the differences between captured KV-1A and KV-1B and T-34/40 and T-34/41.

But that's actually a general and not scenario related issue.

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Post by deducter » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:49 pm

Vitebsk

Imported the core from DLC 41 Beta, which I forgot I had.

I am not ashamed to admit that I got my ass completely kicked by the AI on Manstein without spoiler information. I am certainly not good enough to win on Manstein without knowing something about the maps, and I lost so many core units that continuing would be unplayable. Part of the reason is that I had very little prestige going in, having spent all of it previously, and I had severely neglected my core due to how easy DLC 41 beta was. So I restarted with the same core on Rommel difficulty. I could simply restart the scenario on Manstein, and I’d be confident that I can win, but that’ll probably apply for most maps (needing to restart), and I’d prefer to go through these scenarios without restarting. So I guess the first playthrough will be on an easier difficulty.

This scenario is weird in that MV is actually harder than DV, which doesn’t seem like a good design choice. This is due to the fact that by turn 13 you can have 4 trains south of the Dvina River, but otherwise you have to survive another 6 turns of the AI assault, and there are quite a few AI units in the last two waves of attacks. Moving the trains is trivial. I recommend making DV escorting all 5 trains south, and MV something like 3 trains. Alternatively, shorten the scenario to about 14 turns or increase the interval between the trains spawning. Otherwise, switch the MV and DV objectives. Something needs to be done about the victory objectives to make MV actually easier.

Balancing is clearly better, I lost two Gebirgsjager, both because I left them uncovered by artillery.

DV 13/19.

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Post by pickle » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:04 pm

Great thanks for choosing me for this beta test as well!

Began playing on 'General' level. I imported my core and did some upgrades of tanks (IVF's to IVF2's). Was still a little down on infantry after the Streets of Moscow so purchase a new Wehrmact infantry. It did not last long as I continue my bad habit of leaving infantry out in the open.

Overall, a good start to the new DLC. In the initial set up, I saw one or two of the partisan units and thought, this should be a walk...wrong. I spent the first three turns cleaning them up in the south to open that part of the railway. The attack on the east flank of the salient also caused some major headaches initially as the Romanians collapsed and left the rail line in peril. Luckily the attack on the west flank was a little more contained (the AI was reluctant to attack with my artillery in close support) allowing for a shifting of forces to and fro.

Belatedly, another attack started along the bottom of the salient from both sides...had this started earlier, I would have been in a world of hurt as there was just too much to deal with.

In the end, had a DV but it was a lot harder to achieve even though I had pretty much cleared the map of Red Army units by the end. Lost a Stug, the aforementioned infantry unit, a Char 1b, and my newly captured T34/41.

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Post by MH77 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:43 am

Thanks a lot for giving me the opportunity to help making a marvellous game a little bit better again. :D

Regarding the first map:
4000 + x experience on "Colonel level" seems quite fair.
Beating the ai is still tougher than it used to be before the release of the grand campaigns, but that's an improvement from my point of view.
Bringing in soviet partisans is a very good idea - it adds more depth to the game.

Most important: No bugs so far.

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Post by grabbysnatch » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:02 pm

Hi

just finished the virst scenario this morning. To look at things from a first starting scenario I did not bring my core units from 1941. This probably made what is a tough scenario even tougher. The Russians attacked doggedly from all angles making thinngs tough going and on a couple of occasions I had to beat them off the rail lines so the transport units could get through.

I like this scenario as it is different. I think as a stand alone scenario it is v tough going and I was thankful for the large amount of prestige as I did lose 3 or 4 units, which may make the next scenario tough as I am down 1 or 2 core units, but I will battle on.

Thanks once again for allowing me to game test DLC 1942.

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