Allied: Cauldron

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uran21
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Allied: Cauldron

Post by uran21 » Fri May 03, 2013 3:41 pm

Please post here your comments about this scenario.

omegabet
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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by omegabet » Sat May 04, 2013 10:50 am

Missing units:
New equipment types are available for purchase and/or upgrade, 10 - 11 US units are missing, Like the M4A1 or B-24 Liberator (turn 6) & P-47 (turn 14). Probably the airplane HORSA is missing too.

Kamerer
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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by Kamerer » Sat May 04, 2013 12:34 pm

11) Cauldron – beta 1

Level: Field Marshal
Prestige: Begin: 2,825 (after purchases). End: 3,275. Net: +450.
Result: "Victory"/MV 16/16
Replacement policy: Sent air at 13, arty, tanks out at 12.
  • Core Changes:
    Disbanded:
    • 2x Matildas
    Purchased:
    • 2x Churchills
      1x Priest
    Upgraded: None.


Problems:
  • • Briefing says the scenarios is that I'm counterattacking after an already stalled enemy offensive. But the scenario starts with Axis attacking/having the initiative. This matters when deploying and it would be good to have a better indicator of who moves first.
    • In the opening move of turn 1, a Pioniere unit attacked a minefield unsuccessfully (4,9, attacking 5,8). Pio. Unit only did -1 damage to the minefield. Strange?
General impressions/comments:
  • • Scenario was challenging. I had to replay it as the first time, I thought saving 150 was important/possible. But even looping north with heavy units (it is possible to enter as the escarpment is broken above Sidi Muftah) and going straight there, it’s a slaughter. The full strength PG unit from Sidi Muftah is very hard to stop.
    • I replayed and went methodically through the screen and ignored 150 mostly. Retook all of the 150 victory hexes and did not have very much core damage.

LostAgain
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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by LostAgain » Sat May 04, 2013 4:35 pm

Playing FM.
1. Briefing Error. It states: "Unless he smashes through the fortified box held by our 150th Brigade and he cannot resupply adequately and he'll find himself trapped behind our line." It should say something akin to: "Unless he smashes through the fortified box held by our 150th Brigade he cannot resupply adequately and he'll find himself trapped behind our lines."

2. THIS is the kind of scenario I've been hoping for. Damn...they just kept coming. I managed a DV, by the last two turns there were no more Axis troops left, but my units were all sadly depleted. Thank you, I knew there were better scenarios to come, and this is a heart breaker, I loved it!
Last edited by LostAgain on Sat May 04, 2013 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by nikivdd » Sat May 04, 2013 7:10 pm

Colonel level.
Upgrades: 2x Cruiser I to Grant I, 2x Spitfire VB to IX, 1x Typhoon to Hur IID, 2x Humber to Daimler, 2xBeaufighter to Mosquito, 1xStirling to Lancaster
Purchases:none
Upstrengthed units according to their number of stars

This was a very intense scenario. The wall of 88s kept switching between AA and AT, making it difficult for my planes to hit them efficiently. Unfortunately i only have 2 artillery units in my core and i felt that. While breaching the wall, i lost a core daimler. The Grants are really great at attacking soft targets and good in finishing off tanks. The Mosquitos helped out the fellows on the B hexes and the spitfires easily picked off enemy aircraft. Only every two turns or so i had to send them back to the airfield due to their small fueltanks. The attack on the B box was hard to fend off and i had to reinforce the 150th constantly. Two of them died valiantly before my units could relieve the siege. In the end i managed to take the german held airfield.

Losses: crusader AA aux, 2 units on B hex, one daimler (core), DV 16/16, 2465PP

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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by Razz1 » Sun May 05, 2013 3:23 am

A blood sucking prestige scenario. The last one Crusader sucked blood too.

General
start 6961
end 3218

Victory!

Core losses: Lost Whitley bomber, forgot to move it. Lost my mobile AA.

Almost made it but I think there is allot of chance on this map. By the time you reach the 150th they are only two left.
The planes and artillery kill the possibility of saving the 150th.

billmv44
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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by billmv44 » Mon May 06, 2013 1:42 am

Beta 1. General. Starting prestige 5982, ending 1902. Triumph on 16/16. Losses 1 Mosquito.

This was a very, very close run battle. I destroyed the 88 screen without too much difficulty. Heavy doses of artillery did the trick. The 150th brigade barely hung on. The desperate nature of the battle was well captured in this scenario. I was able to keep 5 of the 150th alive, but had to resort to re-strengthening several times. I was finally able to push some of my armor through to take the pressure off. The German armor almost cut me off again. My air power and artillery proved to be the difference.

By far the toughest scenario yet (I think I said that about the last one too :) ).
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ThvN
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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by ThvN » Mon May 06, 2013 6:53 pm

Cauldron
General, Triumph 16/16

Prestige before/after deployment: 7426/4844
Prestige on last turn/incl. victory bonus: 2950/3850

This was a very close call; even after two attempts. The most difficult yet. The second time I made use of the evacuation hexes to rotate my core units, this is a really nice feature, and helped conserve my core and prestige levels. I'm thinking this is a better feature than the overstrengthing-without-experience mechanic, which I don't use BTW. With the evacuation hexes you can rotate fresh troops but still limit the core size that is actually deployed.

The 88-wall was tricky, and only artillery could help here. I have four, but only two have range 3 so it still was difficult to get through quickly enough. I send some relief forces around the north, and they helped bolster the 150th, otherwise they will not survive. Maintaining air support to the 150th is vital, and the Mosquito is very useful here, but my fighters were quickly out of fuel. Enemy airforce gave some trouble, and I lost an SE Spitfire, and several units were almost wiped out.

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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by Tarrak » Tue May 07, 2013 5:32 am

LostAgain wrote:Playing FM.
1. Briefing Error. It states: "Unless he smashes through the fortified box held by our 150th Brigade and he cannot resupply adequately and he'll find himself trapped behind our line." It should say something akin to: "Unless he smashes through the fortified box held by our 150th Brigade he cannot resupply adequately and he'll find himself trapped behind our lines."

2. THIS is the kind of scenario I've been hoping for. Damn...they just kept coming. I managed a DV, by the last two turns there were no more Axis troops left, but my units were all sadly depleted. Thank you, I knew there were better scenarios to come, and this is a heart breaker, I loved it!
How on earth are you pulling this stunts off? I mean destroying all axis units and pulling a DV on the first go on FM. I would love to see that.

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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by Tarrak » Tue May 07, 2013 5:57 am

Scenario: Cauldron
Outcome: Triumph on turn 16/16
Starting Prestige: 5349
End Prestige: 4917 -> 5817 after victory reward
Core: 3 x Infantry, 1 x Engineer, 1 x SE Commando, 4 x Churchil II, 1 x RR recon, 1 x 6 inch gun, 2 x 7.2 inch guns, 1 x M7 priest, 1 x Hurricane Mk.IIC, 1 x Spitfire Mk. VB, 1 x SE Spitfire Mk. VB, 1 x Beaufighter Mk.IF, 1 x Wellington Mk.III

Bought M7 priest at the begin. Skipped the upgrade of the Spitfire to not lose the overstregth.

Initially the battle went well. Breaking through the wall of 88s wasn't that difficult with 4 artillery. Sadly got bogged down after by some armor counterattack while the 150th started to suffer serious loses after the mines was cleared. The mines seems to provide some defense but with the insane amount of pioneers there they do actually not. The artillery down to 5 strength max is quite weak and not helping much.

By around turn 8 i was down to only 3 150th units left. This forced me to do a mad rush to help them and thats where things went wrong. Due to all the rushing i managed to totally overextend my lines and lost 2 infantry units and one 6 inch artillery. I had to sink quite a few prestige into reinforcements for the 150th to keep them barely going.

When i finally managed to get some of my unit to support them one of the crazy counterattacks happened again ... 3 or 4 enemy planes attacked at once and quite a few German tanks appeared catching me on the move again. While the amount of tanks seems to be OK the air wave was way overdone. Even the Italian planes seems to be better then my Spitfires ... despite all of them being overstregth to 15 i had hard time dealing with the enemy. Big part of the problem is the range to the airport. My fighters can not stay over the battlefield for longer then 2 turns really and it takes them 3 to 4 turns to fly to refuel and come back.

At the end there was a crazy amount of Italian trucks driving like mad around the 150th. No idea where they was coming from or what was inside but there was around 6 to 8 of them. Considering how barely i was able to save them and AI that kept wasting lots of time shooting at mine fields way off with a bit less luck i would have lost them.

Suggested changes:
- Reduce the amount of enemy pioneers so the mines actually provide a bit more time and/or buff the defending troops a bit. For example the artillery at 10 strength could help a lot. This should give the player two or three more turns time to break through and help.
- Reduce the amount of enemy planes in the big wave or move the airport closer so the players fighters don't need 4 turns to refuel and come back to give them a fighting chance.
- check where the heck all the Italian trucks driving in circles was coming from and remove/fix them as it seems rather strange to have them there driving tour de desert.

Kamerer
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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by Kamerer » Tue May 07, 2013 9:31 am

Tarrak wrote: Suggested changes:
- Reduce the amount of enemy pioneers so the mines actually provide a bit more time and/or buff the defending troops a bit. For example the artillery at 10 strength could help a lot. This should give the player two or three more turns time to break through and help.
- Reduce the amount of enemy planes in the big wave or move the airport closer so the players fighters don't need 4 turns to refuel and come back to give them a fighting chance.
- check where the heck all the Italian trucks driving in circles was coming from and remove/fix them as it seems rather strange to have them there driving tour de desert.
yes, yes, and yes.

if the arty was 10, and there was one more defending 150 unit so you could make a right proper hedgehog/Igel, it could work. The fault is there's a gap in the defense, and that PG unit that starts around Sidi Muftah walks right into it and it's over for those poor Tommy Atkins.

Longasc
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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by Longasc » Tue May 07, 2013 12:25 pm

Cauldron


Level: General
Start Prestige: 5401
End Prestige: 1840
Result: 16/16, Triumph
Bought/Upgraded/Losses: Nothing or only Aux. Upgraded all tanks to Churchill and upgraded the Spitfire, bought a Mosquito.

VERY cool scenario!
As in the previous scenario, there is a real tradeoff between speed, firepower and armor. It seems no British tank has both, Churchills are weak against Infantry but make up with their armor. They are just slow and this will often make it difficult to exploit a break in an enemy line. I went for a pure Churchill tank force.

Fighting against the 88 was quite "historical": Artillery, Infantry, Tanks and even Aircraft combined were necessary to break through, difficult as it is backed up by Artillery and the AI was smart and switched half of the guns to flak mode. But nevertheless, I broke through at turn 4.

The German Engineers eating Minefields like Pacman himself were SCARY as hell but in the end air support could save the Box AND the fact that the 3 German tanks to the South did NEVER EVER MOVE (BUG? If it is scripted, it's rather awkward. But if they move they might make short work of the "Box"). Another problem was that enemy artillery and units were too focused on minefield clearing at times instead of leaving it to the specialists.

This was also the first time I had a real battle for the sky, though fairly late when I was already mopping up enemy units.

Generous Prestige is given at the start of the scenario. If the scenario gets lots its mostly aux units who will suffer so I am quite with the scenario as it is.

CRASH: This was the 2nd time Allied Corps crashed my computer so that I had to do a hard reset. This never happened to me with previous Panzer Corps versions, but I cannot reproduce it and have no idea what's causing it so far.
Last edited by Longasc on Tue May 07, 2013 9:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

uran21
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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by uran21 » Tue May 07, 2013 5:07 pm

Thanks to all for the feedback so far. The drama scenario. Clearing those minefields around the box really increases the tension. Scenario had several iterations including box being a fortification and having 10str artillery after fortification was removed. It makes stand trivial. Gap in the box is left open on purpose (send core infantry trough escarpment to fill it) as well as the gap in escarpment. Location of the friendly airfield requires logistical consideration otherwise attacker could be easily overwhelmed by air force. Skirmishes everywhere requiring attention without enough resources to provide proper attention everywhere. It is a game of prioritizing targets and recognizing threats. Sending help trough escarpment gap, moving airforce by a principle one leg is always on the move and preserving strength and ammo of 150th Brigade is the key.

When pionieere unit encounters an ambush by a minefield it will receive and inflict only one point of damage.

uran21
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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by uran21 » Tue May 07, 2013 6:51 pm

Out of curiosity I needed to make an experiment. So here it goes.

Started scenario in standalone mode. Decided I am not going to move any of the units on the other side of the map except 150th Brigade itself.
Brigade will not receive any replacements at all, nor they will initiate a combat. I am allowed only to rotate them at will. Made just ONE move and hold out until turn 6 when my artillery and one of infantries got killed.

Decided to go with one more test. Not using any of the units except 150th Brigade but I will give them replacements, supply, initiate combat and move at will.
Succeeded in destroying 4 Pionieres and 1 Grenadier. M13/14 slipped trough with one strength point left before reinforcing after retreat. First unit to lose at turn 7, it was an AT gun. At turn 10 lost HW infantry, at turn 11 ordinary infantry. At turn 12 it was impossible to meet conditions for victory because I lost another infantry and artillery. They pushed me out of the box slightly.

Now imagine support from the air and some lonely ground reinforcement before main force arrives.

My conclusion is, this scenario does not suffer from overwhelming brute force, it is purely tactical consideration.

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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by ThvN » Tue May 07, 2013 8:16 pm

I don't think this scenario is too difficult. To give an idea, this scenario reminded me a lot of GC'40: The Hague. And that scenario is considered quite difficult, but not problematic or unbalanced I think. In Cauldron, the Axis airplanes are quite powerful, the rest is OK I think. But the percieved difficulty might be because the Allies require a slightly different playing style than the Germans, you can't count on your tanks to survive without support, for example. For my second attempt, I deployed:

2 x HW infantry (one green, one 11), 1x Chevy recon (12), 1x Daimler AC recon (10)

1x Matilda II (12), 1x Crusader Mk III (13), 1x Churchill Mk II (10, but with 2 stars), 1x Grant Mk I (green)

1x Bishop (14), 1x 25-pdr towed (14), 1x 6 inch towed (13), 1x 7.2 inch towed (11)

1x SE Spit Mk VB (11), 1x SE Spit Mk IX (11)

2x Mosquito (green), 1x Hurricane IID (green), 1x Wellington (13), 1x Beaufighter (13)

Due to some units getting at very low stength, I rotated in during the course of the battle: 1x Lancaster, 2x 2-pdr Portee, Humber recon, an engineer and a regular infantry I believe. Unfortunately one SE Spit was a total loss. The Lancaster was a disaster: it lost 8 strength points on it's second turn out and I had to rotate it of the map again. Luckily the Hurricane gave a very good can-opener impression, this unit is very useful in taking the edge of a Panzer counterattack.

Note that I do not overstrength beyond experience level. I play at General, I allow myself some load/save activity for very bad outcomes, since I'm not good enough for any ironman stuff. I had nearly 3000 pr left after deploying, but instead of reinforcing I decided to rotate units. Because of the lack of upgrade families I tend to just buy new equipment and only upgrade existing units that have decent heroes. One of my towed 25-pdr guns had gained a spotting hero, so this became a Bishop. All in all, not exactly a power core, but it got the job done.

It's important to get some help to the 150th quickly. I sent my Bishop and Chevy recon around north immediately (I should have sent my towed 25-pdr instead, but I was afraid of air/artillery attacks, so I sent the Bishop).

Air power is important, and I tried to keep air cover spread out, so one Spitfire was on its way back to refuel while the other was just coming back again, and sent a Mosquito and Beaufighter out to support the 150th. It's very important to keep the 150th artillery supplied, so I don't take pot-shots at units I can barely damage. Bad weather is used for reloading. The units of the 150th get shuffled around a bit, to be able to reinforce some units while a fresher one faces the toughest opponent. This requires one spot to be left open, and curiously this is exactly as they are put on the map, so I think that's a good hint.

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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by Tarrak » Tue May 07, 2013 8:48 pm

The problem with keeping the 150th alive is the randomness. One unlucky attack roll with high damage and you can't really recover from it as you are permanently surrounded and can't usually reinforce. The AI doesn't always do the same. Most of the times it keeps it's own artillery shooting at mines which are way out of the way but if it decide to bring it to support the attack at the 150th you are in deep trouble. Air support for the 150th isn't exactly viable due to the range to airfield. The British fighters barely got the fuel to get there, they can't remain over the area for more then one turn. Strat bombers, at least the types with more fuel, can for a while but without fighter cover they get devastated quite fast.

Don't get me wrong i am not saying that the scenario is suffering from overwhelming brute force but rather from the randomness. At the moment it is designed to work fine with average rolls but one unlucky roll and it goes down the drain without the player being able to counter this in any way. I rather give the player a bit more of safety margin in something he can not directly influence. If you have loads of planes in your core, like ThvN got, you can rotate your fighters and bombers to give constant support to the 150th but if you got a ground heavy core you can not directly help them as you need to punch through the 88's and the enemy armor counterattack first.

Longasc
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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by Longasc » Tue May 07, 2013 9:45 pm

P.S. I didn't overstrength any core unit but I kept reinforcing the flak and units in the box with elite reinforcements. This helps a lot!

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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by ThvN » Tue May 07, 2013 10:43 pm

I just used regular reinforcements for them, much cheaper.

And Tarrak, you have a good point and I agree, this is why I mentioned I do load/save occasionally. Even carefully placing and reinforcing the 150th won't protect from bad luck. But I think this is still reasonable because this does not prevent a 'Victory'. A 'Triumph' should be much harder to get, and may even require several playthroughs.

For DV's (Triumph) I have to tailor my deployed core a bit, which often requires a restart. For a MV (Victory) it should be less critical how you deploy. In this scenario, as long as you have decent tanks and artillery, you'll manage a Victory. A Triumph will need a more specialized core and some advance knowledge of what's coming. I had to play twice, if I can get a Triumph the first time while my luck is normal, the scenario would be too easy I guess.

And my airforce was very suited to this scenario, but there are scenarios were bad weather can keep my forces on the ground, and a DV will become very problematic. I use Mosquitos and the Beaufighter to support the 150th, for exactly the same reason you gave: they have the range and can survive encounters with enemy fighters.

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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by billmv44 » Wed May 08, 2013 12:25 pm

uran21 wrote:
My conclusion is, this scenario does not suffer from overwhelming brute force, it is purely tactical consideration.
I agree. Winning this scenario depends on your tactics and willingness to spend prestige on non-core units.
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Kamerer
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Re: Allied: Cauldron

Post by Kamerer » Fri May 10, 2013 8:22 pm

3) Cauldron – beta 2

Level: Rommel
Begin pp: 900. End pp: 1,175. Net +275.
Result: Victory 16/16

Core Changes:
  • Received: None
    Disbanded: 2x Typhoon bombers
    Purchased:
    • 1x 7.2” field artillery
      3x Mosquito bombers
    Upgraded:
    • 2x Spitfires to Mk.IX
      1x SE SAS transport to Bren (cheap gits at GHQ!)
Problems:
  • • Not a problem per se, but I have had weird heroes in Allied Corps, much more than others. This scenario, I got a d+2 on a Spitfire, then the very next turn, got an a+3 on it. Back-to-back heroes were, I thought, outside the award range?
    • Received medal award notice for a German Pioniere unit. ?
General Impressions/Comments:
  • • Felt the same as before. I was close to a Triumph: I was able to retake the box and have two of 150 Brigade left.

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