DLC 42 West 01 - St. Nazaire

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Kerensky
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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Naizare

Post by Kerensky » Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:24 am

ThvN wrote:Colonel level, I did not import a core (don't have any). DV on turn 14, prestige on last turn: 498, no losses altough I loaded twice to prevent those. Yes, I'm lousy.

HMS Cambelltown showed up from the west, but got stuck in (12,17), expended its ammo and remained there for the rest of the scenario? The two other destroyers nibbled one strength point off of one fortification (10,15) but otherwise remained at (11,14) and (12,15). No paratroopers, etc. Strat bombers showed up near the U-boats and left after I shot them up with the aux Flak and the Bf-109, they did not damage a single sub. They returned later to bomb my artillery, nearly running them out of ammo, which caused some problems. The Bf-110 was very useful, as was the SE Panzer IV.
Interesting, because the Campbeltown randomly spawns, it apparently picked a location that caused it to drive to 12,17 instead of its intended destination. We'll definitely be adjusting that, and probably the default core of this scenario too.

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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Naizare

Post by ThvN » Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:40 am

This time HMS Campbeltown did indeed make it to the docks (it came in from -roughly- the south this time), so I finally got the full experience. Again with stock core. The results, after about three attempts in which at least half of my troops were completely wiped out due to the immense toughness of the British, and after I switched to the Lieutenant level :oops: :

MV, ending prestige 2183. They scuttled one sub with a Crusader tank, bombings were mostly evaded (when in a harbor?), The docks were almost completely captured, the paratroopers were doable but a certain Mr. Newman insisted on staying. After I finally got him I had lost the Flammpanzer to him and an insanely lucky air attack. He was the last Brit in the dock, so I was able to recapture it.

I'm not very good at this game, so quite a tough scenario for me, after all.

On a side note, Kerensky, now that you mention adjusting the core, it may indeed be a bit on the light side for my ability and the amount of resistance the player encounters. Maybe because of the small core, the tough opposition and close terrain killing those British infantry units can be quite a challenge, because one really bad combat can turn the tables. The tanks and artillery where generally easier to deal with.

My thoughts on unit performance from the stock core (I played about six times now?):

Bf-109: essential, the short range is a bit of a handicap, generally halves a bomber in a single attack.
Bf-110: very useful, used it almost exclusively for ground attack on hard targets or artillery.

The infantry performed OK, but without support they would simply disappear when attacked by several units at once. The Kradschutzen was very vulnerable. An extra infantry unit would help a lot, but maybe it would be too much.

Artillery was invaluable, the towed 105mm with an aux Flak next to it was excellent, but the SiG33 kept getting bombed, reducing its already low ammo, so its effectiveness was dissappointing. I was never able to cover it quickly enough with a Flak, so I had to choose between using the Bf-109 to cover it or have it bombed. Maybe a mobile light Flak would help, without breaking the balance? The SiG33 is also a rather strange unit to show up, since it was only used in North Africa and only very few were built. But I don't really mind about that, it fits the character of such a special command. BTW, I really like the mixed bag of troops they player is given.

Speaking of mixed bags: The tanks. By the time larger numbers of hard targets showed up they were usually damaged by constant infantry attacks. I did however numerous times succeed in flanking and destroying the British towed artillery with them. For the rest they mostly spent time on the roads between city blocks trying to delay the British, not being able to attack without artillery support, and even if they were attacked the results were generally unimpressive. The Panzer IV was good, but fragile. I found the Somua generally better value than the SE Panzer III, due to the larger ammo supply. The SE Panzer III did have a usuable niche in engaging tanks, but placing it effectively and surviving counterattacks was difficult. Flammpanzer, again a strange unit, combat results were quite variable, I did not remember this from AK, maybe it's all the close terrain? The French armored car was very tough, and very effective. Harbour defenses were on the light side, but OK.

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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Naizare

Post by El_Condoro » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:06 am

Colonel, standard core.

Foolish 14/14 MV - lost the flammpanzer and a sub.

Fun scenario to start.

sp. St Nazaire - rather than St Naizare.

taffjones
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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Naizare

Post by taffjones » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:00 am

Default core playing on Colonel
Setting up I thought the core size was small so was expecting mainly some troops landing from the sea and trying to fight through to the docks/ U-boat pens, I notices the allied flag hexes to the north and deployed a recce and small screeing force to probe towards the airfield, with the remainder defending the dock areas. the main attack coming from the north took me by surprise and I had to quickly re-deploy my forces to counter this, unforchantly this ment leaving the dock undefended. I managed to hold the northen attack and form a defensive line, but then the seaborne enginners and paras turned up. I sent what units I could to deal with these while holding off the 2nd wave from the north.
The allied bombers were a hinderance but eventually I managed to destroy them with the AA and 109+110 used as a fighter. The 109 needed to constantly return to base to refuel so was only useful for approx 50-60% of the time.
End MV - no U-boats lost but the dock was damaged by HMS Campelltown.
A fun introduction to the DLC, I imagin it would be a lot eiasier with a imported core

Blathergut
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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Nazaire

Post by Blathergut » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:13 pm

On General level: Smuggly drove everything north to beat up the Brit infantry. Suddenly swarmed in the south by paratroopers and those annoying tanky things in the north scooted past me and began blowing away subs. :oops:

Will try again.

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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Nazaire

Post by semper_fidelis » Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:10 pm

I played this scenario through, twice. Both times were at Colonel level of difficulty and without importing any units.

I like the change in the supply dump graphics and the canal with surrounding anti-submarine nets are a nice touch.

First game went as the scenario planners intended. The reaction force responded to the British attack north of the city, slowing, then stopping them at the edge of the urban terrain. Then reports of paratroopers showing up throughout the city itself (thankfully at strength 5, because I do not think that they could be defeated otherwise. Then strength 15 destroyer with one ammo sails up to the shore, shells my AA gun there, then I receive reports of a major explosion and the destroyer is removed. I turn my reaction force around, contain the paras and wipe them out before any damage is done to the submarine. Decisive Victory.

The second go through was considerably more... boring as I think many of the scripted events did not "fire". I responded to the attack in the north of the city, stopped them cold, and was actually strong enough to start pushing into their deployment zone. The named destroyer sailed up the beach between the fingers to the west of the dock, fired once, and stayed there. The paras never spawned and the destroyer did not sail around to the canal, there was no reports of explosions, nothing. By end of the game, decisive victory again with all submarines intact. Decisive Victory, again, but very different experiences.

A recommendation for the artist department: For built-up areas like St. Nazaire, a tile for clear terrain with and without roads/railroads (perhaps plazas or low-density housing), but reflecting the urban environment would bring the urban nature of the battlefield together much better. Right now it looks like a bunch of disconnected cities, when in fact it is supposed to be one big, urban battlefield. Perhaps special rules could apply that urban "clear" terrain cannot become muddy because of the pavement to make make it a different experience and change some tactics.

Blathergut
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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Nazaire

Post by Blathergut » Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:14 pm

Again on General Level:

-held at the victory hex in the north with a ring of defenders (infantry + flak + flamm) supported by artillery...this held until overwhelmed on about turn 13
-held the south-east armour group in reserves down that way after about turn 7, expecting the paratroops and such...but they never appeared (at least not as of turn 13 when I stopped)...maybe the northern victory hex controls their entry?
-Brit armour (the second, more powerful wave from the northwest) managed to get through mostly because I had two tanks and the artillery sitting twiddling fingers down in the east edge of the city...one sub scuttled on turn 12 before I could get anything to the area
-never saw anything of a Brit ship heading towards the dock

1. The British forces are random each time you play?
2. I could not rebuild/purchase any units (Core Slots: 0) the entire game despite losing a couple units?

semper_fidelis
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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Nazaire

Post by semper_fidelis » Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:25 pm

To Blathergut, one thing that I noticed with this scenario is that the beginning force has two SE units and if you lose lose either of those, they do not free up a core slot.

Blathergut
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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Nazaire

Post by Blathergut » Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:42 pm

semper_fidelis wrote:To Blathergut, one thing that I noticed with this scenario is that the beginning force has two SE units and if you lose lose either of those, they do not free up a core slot.
One lost unit was the infantry in the northwest. Another was the captured French tank.

Even with both gone, it showed Core: 0.

Has anyone else been able to replace lost units?

ThvN
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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Nazaire

Post by ThvN » Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:42 pm

Blathergut wrote:Has anyone else been able to replace lost units?
Was your lost infantry in the nortwest the auxiliary one (strength 5) or a core unit?

Blathergut, I was using the editor to check the spawn locations of the destroyer HMS Campbeltown... I also noticed that the core size for the Axis is set to 8. You can import 8 core units + 4 SE, as they don't count against the core and you can have four SE by that time (DLC '41). The 'stock' core (without importing one) is 12 units, of which 2 are SE in the beginning. So effectively, you start out with two units more than the core limit allows. So losing two non-SE units would take the core to size 8, losing another non-SE would mean freeing up the first core slot for purchase, I guess? Maybe you could test that, if you are up for it?

Blathergut
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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Nazaire

Post by Blathergut » Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:56 pm

Third Attempt: (Always with original core at General level.)

-commandoes and such appeared on 4th turn, after a lucky hit on the German engineers in the north victory hex killed off 10 strength points in one hit!

At this point it seemed impossible to continue. If that northern victory hex is key to triggering the 2nd part of the raid, it is critical to hold it!!! I did try but oiiiiii, unit gone in one hit, and that with artillery support behind it!!!

Suggestions:

-perhaps a weak strongpoint on the coast road leading from the north to at least block the northern Brit armour units for one turn to give you a chance to rearrange forces
-perhaps not more initial units but a couple additional ones as the Germans realize this is more than a simple bombing run or such
-perhaps a message or two saying Brit ships have been spotting approaching the dock area to give you a turn to react
-perhaps a couple poor garrison types down in the south section to absorb the initial attack a bit more
-or a msg suggesting to keep close to the dock and sub pens

Blathergut
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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Nazaire

Post by Blathergut » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:07 pm

Managed a marginal victory. It seems impossible with the starting core to get a decisive victory.

deducter
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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Nazaire

Post by deducter » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:19 pm

Playing on Rommel, default core.

Harbor graphics look awesome!

I’m confused by the HMS Camden having only 1 ammo. It sat around without supply for most of the scenario, which seems like a waste.

The hero system on newly placed core units appears bugged. For instance, the core Somua tank has spotting = 3, which indicates it should have a spotting + 1 hero, yet this cannot be seen on its heroes information sheet.

Why does the M3 Stuart have CD = 5 in the default equipment file? This was a light scout tank, not a specialized close support unit.

DV 14/14, wiped the map clean of almost all British units except a towed AT gun at one of the air fields. I thought the scenario was very easy. It’s refreshing to command a small core after the 40+ unit epic battles of the Ostfront.

I recommend buffing the starting core a bit. The planes should be slightly upgraded with at least 2 stars and the Bf 109E should be a Bf 109F. I’d also remove the sIG 33 II, because this was a very limited unit, and the standard equipment file has it limited to Africa; you can’t even buy a new one in this DLC! I think it’s best replaced with a second towed artillery, perhaps a 15 cm one.

I understand the British having 0 stars; the Western Allies were still working on their amphibious doctrines, as the disastrous Dieppe Raid demonstrated. However, for flavor purposes, I think the Royal Navy should have at least 3 stars.

I love the historical factoid at the end of the briefing! I think it’d be awesome to include a paragraph at the conclusion of each scenario with information at this!

deducter
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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Nazaire

Post by deducter » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:25 pm

I'm reading through some of the other posters and noticed that some players had paratroopers dropping in their playthrough. I never had to deal with any paratroopers. I'm not sure what caused this, but the triggers need to be rechecked.

ThvN
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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Nazaire

Post by ThvN » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:23 pm

deducter wrote:I'm reading through some of the other posters and noticed that some players had paratroopers dropping in their playthrough. I never had to deal with any paratroopers. I'm not sure what caused this, but the triggers need to be rechecked.
I checked with the editor, the HMS Campbeltown has three random spawn locations. The westernmost one seems to cause it to get stuck (with me it was at 12,17), although it has movement orders to go to the dock and stay there. As soon as it reaches the dock, the extra British units spawn. There are warning messages when it arrives, which it seems to do around turn three or four, depending on the spawn location. But Kerensky already mentioned moving the westernmost spawn point to make sure the HMS Cambeltown reaches the dock. If it doesn't arrive even I, with the stock core, practically took over the whole map. Those extra units arriving at the dock make a huge difference in difficulty.

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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Nazaire

Post by semper_fidelis » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:33 pm

This would be consistent with my experience and a good explanation for it.

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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Nazaire

Post by monkspider » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:30 am

St Nazaire

Imported core
General level
Marginal victory

I tried this scenario twice, once with a default core and once with an imported core. I like that the default core has a Panhard recon car in it, finally a way to get that unit without cheat codes! Both times though I only got a marginal victory, I am surprised to see so many others were able to get a decisive victory without much difficulty. I have been without internet for a couple days while we have been moving, so I am trying to catch up on my reports all at once.

I really like the idea of picking out a handful of core units and then getting reinforcement "second line" units as the campaign progresses. In fact, I like the idea of including the Allied Raids as scenarios in the campaign, they are something that is rarely covered in other game. Toward the end of using lesser units, my core units I imported were what I call the 40th Infantry division, which included 3x Wehrmacht Infantry, 1x Pak 3.7 (upgraded to PAK 7.5) a Panzerjager (upgraded to STuG), a 10.5 artillery, an ME-109 fighter, and ME-110

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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Nazaire

Post by maho1973 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:42 am

St. Nazaire: Colonel level, preset core, 1100 prestige

I've played this scenario several times and achieve both: DV and MV. The conclusion: The difficulty level of this scenario strongly depends on the randomly appeareance of the HMS Campbelltown.
If the destroyer appeared from the west, there were no paratroopers and engineers in the docks to fight off and no damage caused to the docks.
In all the other cases you have to deal with that intruders.
That could become to be difficult because of the weakness of the fortifications and lack of own troops.

Anyway, first of all I upgrade the Bf 109 E and Bf 110 D to the F-versions and one of the 3.7 cm AA guns to a 8.8 cm, later the 10.5 cm arty to a "Wurfrahmen".
There were some units with heroes but no hero pics were shown (already mentioned).

I think a little more Troops in the docks would be useful unlikely the OKW would not let the harbor unguarded.

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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Nazaire

Post by OmegaMan1 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:29 am

Much like everyone else here, I found this scenario rather hard with the generic core, I barely achieved a MV. OTHO my imported core fared much better. Overall, I really like the small size of this scenario, and does a good job creating the feel of having to respond to a surprise commando raid. Very enjoyable start to the DLC!

Two questions:
1. What are the little landing unit boats near the sub pens supposed to represent (the groups of three ships in several hexes)? I can't seem to click on them, and hovering over them with the pointer doesn't give any specific info about them.
2. In my first try, all four of my subs were scuttled, but I kept the British out of the Normandie dock hexes. I still managed to gain a MV, although the scenario briefing said that you need to keep at least one U-boat afloat. Is the briefing incorrect (i.e., holding the Normandie dock is good enough for a MV)?

Finally, I wanted to echo what deducter said above: the "historical" scenario description at the end of the scenario was very informative. It's a nice way of letting a player know how close they were to acheiving a historical result, which is awesome! I hope this feature shows up more in future scenarios! :)

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Re: DLC 42 West 01 - St. Nazaire

Post by billmv44 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:42 pm

Beta 2. FM level. Starting prestige 14,375 ending 1646. Imported core.

Even though I knew the prestige reduction was coming, I didn't like it. All that hard work in building it up, wiped out. I'd rather see a percentage reduction than a fixed reduction to 1000. Maybe lower the incoming prestige by 75% since the core force is reduced by approximately that amount (33 core units to 8).

Okay, enough whining about the prestige, on to the game play. This was much harder this time through. In my previous plays, the commandos never landed and I was able to hold the British forces far away from the docks. This time through, the commandos landed and were advancing on the docks, but I was able to hold them. The Kradshutzen units that were added to the scenario came in handy to slow the Brits down until my main forces could arrive.

The Campbeltown was very hard to destroy. I finally killed it on the last turn. All U-Boats survived and the dock was not taken by the Brits. DV on 14/14.
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