AK: Battleaxe

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Blitz1945
Master Sergeant - U-boat
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by Blitz1945 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:26 pm

I got that one too!

Zhivago
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by Zhivago » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:59 pm

I've been playing on FM setting throughout this campaign. My second time through Battleaxe, while better than the first try, was still a loss. At the end of the battle, the UK forces only had about five units left, but there was not enough time to recapture the objectives that were lost on the first couple of turns. The best units so far in the desert are the 88, the StugB arty unit, and the pionere unit. The Pak 38 is also effective when backed by artillery. Even though I had 3 BF-109f's, and a JU87R, and a BF-110d, I could rarely bring all of my air power to bear on the battlefield because after a shot or two, my fighters needed to get back to base to refuel. Most of the UK troops are as tough, or tougher, than their German equivalents. I've long since disbanded all of my Italian units and used the prestige to buy German units.

It appears that a lot of experienced players are having trouble with this scenario. This tells me that when released to a wider gaming audience of less experienced, or new players, this scenario (and even the other ones before it) are going to find these scenarios nearly impossible to overcome.

I also lost quite a few experienced core units in the UK onslaught in this scenario, which is kind of disheartening. Building up a core (one that could largely survive and gain strength from scenario to scenario) is one of the things I like best about Panzer Corps. Thus far, the Afrika Korps scenarios make it extremely difficult to build, protect, and strengthen a core set of units. Life is cheap in the North African desert, and the life-expectancy of most ground units is short.

I think my core will soon be comprised of StugB's, Pak 38's, 88's, and some fighter aircraft. German tanks are fairly useless unless backed by a StugB vs. UK matildas.

I'm not sure where the fix for these scenarios are...whether it is a better balance of unit strengths/weaknesses, less enemy units, more German units, more prestige, or longer scenarios. Maybe some of all of these things.

do335b6
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by do335b6 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:23 am

Finally finished with a DV and most of my forces. Captured all cities but didn't find the Matilda II in any. I figured out that having a strong force on the east side that could break up the attack then take out the airfields was the way to go.

Tarrak
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by Tarrak » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:19 am

I tried this scenario now a few more times with slightly different strategies and all the outcomes are even more catastrophic then my first attempt. Seems like i offended the god of RNG additionally to the already hard scenario. Around 75%, and i am really not exaggerating here, of my fights ends a lot worse then predicted. Quite often a 4:4 prediction turns 6:1 in favor of the AI. I am about to give up on this one and use a cheat to be able to test further.

Longasc
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by Longasc » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:18 pm

4. Battleaxe
Field Marshal, all options checked
Start Prestige: 2805
Bought/Upgraded: Bought 2x Panzer IVF.Disbanded IT Fighter for Bf109F, upgraded PzIVE to F.
Prestige at turn 1: 1695
Losses: Aux Fighter, Aux Tank, Core Recon
Captured: Matilda II
End Pestige: 2097
Result: 15/15 Decisive Victory
Comments:
The counter attack is very strong, a 15 STR Matilda II is IMO too much, there are enough Matildas already and they have 1-2 stars XP already. It killed my beloved Core Recon and it was a pain in the butt to stop, even with a 8.8. This scenario is quite generous with Prestige while there are few units fighting on your side. I suggest reducing prestige gain per turn a little while reducing the XP of the attacking British troops, which would make them less lethal.

P.S.: Quite some typos in the info popups, I will try to check the textfiles for them at the weekend, was too lazy to write them down from the screen.

do335b6
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by do335b6 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:21 pm

Where is the Matilda to capture? And is it only available if you capture it quickly?

Longasc
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by Longasc » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:53 pm

The city West of the Halfaya pass.

OmegaMan1
Captain - Bf 110D
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by OmegaMan1 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:00 am

Well, I've just finished my fifth try on Battleaxe (colonel difficulty) and I'm still getting hammered. I've tried several strategies -- attack immediately, hold the line, fall all the way back to Bardia -- and none seem to be working. My three chief issues with the scenario so far:

1. The pop-ups in this scenario are very confusing. Am I supposed to hold my cities, or destroy the attackers in the north west? The pop-up text and mission briefing need a lot of cleaning up.
2. The British completely overwhelm my forces every time with their armored forces. Having multiple tanks attack from both the east AND west seems impossible (for me) to handle (and don't even mention the 15 strength tank unit!).
3. While the British tanks (and air force) put up a tough fight, the AI once again uses all of its transport-loading units in a suicide fashion. Much like Brevity, the AI insists on driving its transports right up into my lines (and sometimes continues to do so after my units are revealed). I'm almost convinced the AI should have all of its transports removed, since it seems to be so reckless with them.

I'm certain this scenario has a "solution" that will unlock a victory, but at this point I'm feeling frustrated. This scenario just seems too tough (and the objectives too vague) so early in the campaign.

(Please forgive my crankiness -- I'm on my way to bed. Perhaps a good night's rest will give me a fresh perspective for winning this scenario tomorrow! :) )

uran21
Panzer Corps Map Designer
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by uran21 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:04 pm

Longasc wrote:P.S.: Quite some typos in the info popups, I will try to check the textfiles for them at the weekend, was too lazy to write them down from the screen.
You can check the messages here: AK: In game messages - Editing

Tarrak
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by Tarrak » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:24 pm

I finally managed to pull off a decisive victory with acceptable losses. DV on turn 14/15 and only lost a SdKfz 232, 5cm PAK from my core unit and a few auxiliary units but they don't really count. :P It did involve a lot of luck tho. I had quite a few lucky battle outcomes and the AI was especially persistent on suiciding it's trucks to my units. The captured Matilda II tank can be quite useful in later missions tho more as a bunker tho then a tank with it's movement.

El_Condoro
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by El_Condoro » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:11 pm

Colonel, 15/15 DV - or so I thought! I had every objective and yet I got a MV and a consescending message from the CO. :) I looked at the battlefield after the action and every objective was occupied (not by artillery or anything silly like that!) and yet only a MV.

It was tough and the flank attack a pain but manageable. The 88s are the killers and must be employed well against the Matildas.

The pop-up messages were a real pain as they appear directly over the action. Set them to appear during the player's turn, rather than the AI's.

El_Condoro
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by El_Condoro » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:16 pm

I looked at the victory conditions in the editor and can see why I only got an MV - they are different to the ones in the briefing/start of turn screen!!

As well as taking every objective, the player must kill every Allied unit on the map to get a DV according to the victory conditions. This last condition is not mentioned in the briefings - very annoying. :(

Tarrak
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by Tarrak » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:39 pm

El_Condoro wrote:I looked at the victory conditions in the editor and can see why I only got an MV - they are different to the ones in the briefing/start of turn screen!!

As well as taking every objective, the player must kill every Allied unit on the map to get a DV according to the victory conditions. This last condition is not mentioned in the briefings - very annoying. :(
There is a pop up saying something along the line: "All units of the Diversionary Group must be destroyed." This is the hint but i always thought it only means the diversionary group attacking from the flank and not all enemy units.

El_Condoro
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by El_Condoro » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:21 pm

Exactly what I thought. If it's a victory condition it should be specified more clearly. "For complete victory you mustdestroy all enemy units on the map" or something like that.

nikivdd
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by nikivdd » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:35 pm

Battleaxe beta2
Colonel.

Received a second SE PzIIIF (updated to H immediately), upgraded the italian 105 art to 149mm, upgraded the MC.200 to a MC.202. Bought a second StuGIIIB.

A very nice and entertaining scenario. Sofar my absolute favorite. Lots of enemy units but taking out the Mathilda's was not so difficult. The messages were informative but the last msg was a real pain, it just didn't want to go away at first.
It took me several clicks while the diversion force was attacking, and i couldn't see a thing. This is the only negative point about the msg system, it blocks the view of the battles.
The main hero of the scenario was my newly bought StugIIIB, protector of the three 88's near Haffa Ridge. It help protecting them while the 88's repulsed the attacks of enemy tanks. I took everything back what was lost during the scenario, and Christmas came early, for i received a captured Mathilda II.
DV 17/17, 3462PP
Losses: 2 aux italian tanks.

After the DV screen, while overviewing the battlefield, there was still a 12str british inf unit on hex (17,30). Perhaps something was scripted wrongly.

I'm very satisfied with the italian units in cooperation with the german units. This mix is doing well sofar. Some infantry i assign to rear guard duty and the rest i combine with the tanks (i got two of them).

OmegaMan1
Captain - Bf 110D
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by OmegaMan1 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:04 am

On my 6th try, I finally got a win in the Battleaxe scenario, a MV in 15 turns! I decided to "circle the wagons" and keep all of my forces in a tight group, which helped defeat the British attack from the east. For the desert flank attack, I let my air forces take care of the enemy units until I was able to send some forces from my main group up to help. (It also helped that I got several very high damage rolls against the British tanks in the desert flank group, including a -6 damage against the dreaded super-Matilda by one of my Ju-87s!)

Having played this scenario several times, I actually have come to appreciate its complexity. It is definitely a hard scenario that requires a lot of thought -- but I wonder if a scenario this difficult should happen so early in the campaign. This felt more like a late-campaign mission for sure. In summary, a highly difficult, but very rewarding mission.

This was the last game I played under the beta 1 build, so it's back to the beginning for me!

uran21
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by uran21 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:23 am

There was reduction of difficulty for first four scenarios in Beta 2. No mother of all Matildas in its previous form.

Kamerer
2nd Lieutenant - Elite Panzer IVF/2
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by Kamerer » Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:27 am

Bug in Beta 2?

Playing Battleaxe now.

1) Aircraft fueling: Placed aircraft on twin airfields at 12,12 and 13,11. Units above airfields refueled, one adjacent did not (Bf109 refueld to 28/53). Don't know if a bug, or not refueling if directly on those hexes?

Tried to take a screenshot to show, but FRAPS not working; will try to do that next time.

In prior scenario, I had a Bf109 refuel to 51/53. Other times planes refueled fully.

2) Message window: When the in-scenario message screens appear, after clicking "Ok" they stay on-screen, blocking view of combat and movement, until turn rotates. I believe they are supposed to disappear.
Last edited by Kamerer on Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

nikivdd
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by nikivdd » Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:37 am

Kamerer wrote:Bug in Beta 2?

Playing Battleaxe now.

Placed aircraft on twin airfields at 12,12 and 13,11. Units above airfields refueled, one adjacent did not (Bf109 refueld to 28/53). Don't know if a bug, or not refueling if directly on those hexes?

Tried to take a screenshot to show, but FRAPS not working; will try to do that next time.

In prior scenario, I had a Bf109 refuel to 51/53. Other times planes refueled fully.
I noticed that also. I guess that resupplying on a desert hex gives less fuel to the plane.

Kamerer
2nd Lieutenant - Elite Panzer IVF/2
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Re: AK: Battleaxe

Post by Kamerer » Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:49 am

After testing it, it appears you only get 1/2 load of fuel on an adjacent hex to a desert airbase.
a) this applies regardless if the airfield hex itself is occupied; you will get 1/2 load of fuel regardless.
b) hope this is covered in the AK manual when released.

Also, something though IS buggy about computing the safe flying distance. It one of my "tests," I flew a Bf109 out into the sea to empty it's tanks, then return to see how it refueled. It's outbound leg I placed it on a white hex, but then next turn it was stranded and could not make it back to the closest base by several hexes.

There were no captures/changes in between; I'd cleared the map at this point (last two turns just to test the fueling). Perhaps it was computing safe distance thinking it had just left with a full load, when in fact it left with 1/2 load from an airfield-adjacent hex.

Upgrade graphics: If you go to upgrade an SE tac. bomber, there are no unit graphics above the data column/panel. Went to upgrade my SE Ju87R and discovered this.

Last comment on Battleaxe: FUN. Played FM level, DV at 15/17. Nice scramble to shut the end-around down. Lost my first core unit (some wahoos out doing flank recon on a motorcycle. ;) ) in some time of playing.

On a side note, I'm sure it's covered elsewhere - I appreciate seeing the 88's towed by the SdKfz 7's. It always irked me in the main game and GC to see them towed by 250/251s. Those just weren't capable of it from what I understood.

Such a popular gun. Even Lego has a variant:
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