The final three America scenarios of the campaign

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Longasc
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:38 pm

The final three America scenarios of the campaign

Post by Longasc » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:38 pm

This is my report about the new and final America scenarios of the 1939 Campaign.
If you are allergic to SPOILERS, stop reading now.

This will be no typical AAR but rather a summary of my thoughts about the final three scenarios of he campaign.
I will discuss my take on the balance of the three scenarios US East Coast, US Mid West and US West Coast and how much I liked them in general. They are a notable departure from the rather dull „Washington“ scenario of Panzer General.

I got to the US East Coast invasion after knocking out Russia late in 1943, after the Kursk scenario. You get access to the latest weapons, Me262 and other modern fighter bombers. You should consider upgrading your Stukas to Do335 Pfeil, as the US Air Force has 3 star veterans and high quality fighters plus it is so numerous that your fighters alone won’t be sufficient. I even recommend making certain key units like tanks and Me262 overstrength. You will spend most of your prestige on upgrades and rapid conquest will allow you to replace losses.

Nevertheless, it is a brutal invasion. I lost core units in this scenario and in general lost a lot of core units during the final three scenario. In fact I didn’t lose core units in Russia at all, not even at Kursk! But I lost some 10 or more in the three America scenarios. I played at Colonel and they were difficult.

But don’t worry, in the first scenario it’s only the initial onslaught that is hard. After that it is a walk in the park. But I lost core units at sea to bombers, coastal batteries and a strong US Navy. Don’t ever dare to leave your level bombers or tac bombers unescorted. Not even the formidable Do335. The modern era weapons are more lethal, they make for -10 wipeouts and similar horrible results. It’s a double edged sword. A pity, as I liked the less dramatic results oft he earlier scenarios.
Move your Navy north and support it with level bombers, fend off the initial fighter onslaught and accept losses in the early beachhead phase. Then you are already done with the East Coast.

The next scenario, Mid West, is a panzer battle that makes Kursk look tiny in comparison. While Kursk was a great map I actually didn’t get the „Panzerschlacht“ feeling that this map provided. Unfortunately it also told me that I should have upgraded my tanks to Tiger II instead of Panther G. Why? The M26 Pershing is supreme to the Panther G which is also somewhat vulnerable to lesser tanks. The major problem is without support it is unlikely that you can destroy it easily as its armor is better than your main guns penetration! I think I could not use the faster movement to my advantage as much as I could in Panzer General. I also used Jagdpanthers, a very good design though it lacked a little punch against Soft Targets like most tank destroyers do in Panzer Corps compared to Panzer General.
While the Maus is a wonder-tank with huge close defense, it is a 3 movement tank and useless for offense. You simply won’t ever make it in time. Nevertheless the aux unit provided to me proved very helpful in dealing with strong enemy tanks. I lost core tanks in this scenario, a pity. I really should have upgraded my Panzer IV to Tiger II instead of Panther G.

Something that strikes me as wrong is that level bombers are always so much more useful than tac bombers. OK, I didn’t have the Ju87G anymore and the Do335 is a rather mediocre ground attack craft. While it seems to be very much the intention of Panzer Corps to limit airpower somewhat I am afraid that level bombers and artillery outperform tac bombers too much. US Infantry also has extreme air defense and can fire back that results in more or equal losses to attacking strike craft. Some level bombers like the He177 also have strong ground attack values while being much sturdier than the tac bombers who became more auxiliary anti-air fighters in the America scenarios.

The key is to win this scenario while minimizing your losses – you will need numerous and experienced tanks for the final push in the final scenario.

The US West Coast is a very difficult scenario. You won’t get much prestige and syou hopefully saved up some before. Otherwise you won’t get more than a marginal victory if you win at all. A surprise tank counter attack in your flanks from the north – which isn’t a surprise anymore if you have to try again ;) – can easily be countered through two Jagdtigers. Just place them behind the river. The main difficulty of this scenario is that you take a lot of damage and get not much prestige initially or through conquest. Remember, your fancy modern units also cost horrendous prestige for standard reinforcements already. In this scenario I lost many units and barely made it in time. Funnily saving my units would not have saved them either, your prestige comes from conquering a lot of minor objectives on the march and it will barely be sufficient to replace losses. I think my tank losses in the US Mid West scenario were crippling, my core units number reached its peak in Moscow 43 and went downhill in the USA. The other major problem was the weather. It changed every 2 turns and turns without airpower are advantageous for the defender. Without my level bombers I had to rely on 4 artillery units to advance, and you really need both to advance quickly and without losses.

The end is a bit like Panzer General – debriefing and it’s over. Combined with the heavy losses I suffered during the America scenarios it felt a bit sour. But how to make a proper ending video, debriefing or whatever?

All in all I like the three new fictional scenarios a lot. While I very much prefer historical scenarios they do a great job in showing how difficult if not outright stupid it would have been to invade America. These scenarios are more difficult than the whole campaign before, so take care!


P.S. some minor oddities I noticed:
* the 21cm Mrs 18 had a range of 4, not 3 as shown in the unit data.
* B17 Flaying Fortress – flaying, really? A Freudian typo says hello!

Fritz
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 251/1
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz  251/1
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Post by Fritz » Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:44 pm

Did you finish West Coast decsisive?

Kerensky
Content Designer
Content Designer
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Post by Kerensky » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:21 pm

Thanks for the comments, nice to hear some strong feedback. :D

I'll say a few things later, but in the short term:

Your 21cm Artillery Gun has 3 range actually. If I were to place a bet, I would bet your gun actually has a leader attached to it that provides +1 range. Can you check this for us? Load your save, alt click your 21cm, and check for leaders. Also, I'm certain if you buy a new 21cm, it will have 3 range. I tested that myself.

The B-17 is definitely spelt wrong though, good catch. I added a note to a list of changes for the first patch. :)

Longasc
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:38 pm

Post by Longasc » Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:45 am

@Fritz
decisive, turn 17. Was a very close thing, didn't expect a major victory anymore. I think I should have upgraded my Infantry to Grenadiers. I mostly used Opel transported Wehrmacht/Wehrmacht 43 Infantry throughout the campaign. They are cheap to reinforce with elite reinforcements, have lots of ammo and a movement of 3. Try the same with specialists like Pioniere in a halftrack, that will cost you quite a lot more. I upgraded my Gebirgsjäger SS and normal Gebirgsjäger to Grenadiers in 43 as they lacked a proper hard attack in their Gebirgsjäger 43 versions.
The American Infantry in the final three scenarios are overstrength monster units, this is why I was mentioning maybe upgrading Infantry to Grenadiers next time.


@Kerensky
You were right. This particular artillery unit had indeed a +1 range leader attached to it. :)
Apparently I got lucky and got the premium leader type for this kind of unit.
So no typo/bug.

Suggestion:
Maybe for future games of the series as inspiration leader/bonus increased stats could be displayed as (e.g.) RED number on the F7 stat panel.
If people would like to see the normal unmodified value they could still right click the unit.

Units could also use a special field that lists their special ability. Sure, the abilities of entire classes are described in the purchase panel and there is no need to state them again.

But let's take infantry for example.
Pioniere/Engineers: It's not obvious that these units ignore entrenchment
Bridge Engineers: Their ability to serve as a bridge is usually discovered by players while playing
Gebirgsjäger: Their mountain terrain movement bonus... is it actually there or do I just imagine it? Very easy to miss special ability.

One more typo:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl-Ger%C3%A4t
"Karl-Gerät" (040/041) (German literally "Karl-device"), also known as Thor and Mörser Karl, was a World War II German self-propelled siege mortar (Mörser) designed and built by Rheinmetall.
-> ingame it's Karl-Gerat, missing the Umlaut of Gerät. This big ass mortar had a ton of names and nick names though "Mörser Karl" seems to have been the most common German designation for these 7 mortars and their attached cranes and ammo transports. Anyways, needs an ä or ö Umlaut in any case.

I should state at this point that of one the first things I checked in Panzer Corps was if all "Jadgpanzer X" got changed to Jagdpanzer. It was, This was the first thing that made me smile even before the tutorial campaign! :)


I will start a 1943 West or East campaign tomorrow!

Kerensky
Content Designer
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Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:12 am

Post by Kerensky » Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:20 am

It is interesting you mentioned a lack of prestige. At the very last stage of the BETA, the prestige allotment leading to USA and for the three USA scenarios themselves were all dramatically increased. Looks like that was the right decision after all.

USA Midwest provided an excellent geographical location for large scale tank battles. One weakness of the campaign, as its been mentioned before, is the reliance for the player to only utilize the best tanks. Midwest has a strong mix of American armor (there are only 6 M26s compared to 15 Shermans) but some of the Sherman variants turned out to be quite powerful, so Panthers do tend to suffer here.

The weakness of tactical bombers, especially in Late War, has been brought up before and even during the BETA. It will be addressed eventually. :)

That counter-attack in West Coast isn't too much of a problem, but it did make for a little bit of a nice surprise I bet! The weather for West Coast isnt that stormy, you may have had a unlucky streak. Only 15% for rain and 5% for snow. Casualties are definitely high, but the campaign does end, so best to give them a final campaign to go out in a blaze of glory. Would you really want a full core of all best equipment 5 stars 15 strength with no more enemies to fight as the end to your campaign? :)

From my own experience, you can see the casualty rates these scenarios inflict on high difficulty settings. It's severe, but it makes for a hard fought and rewarding finish!
Those three King Tigers are all that's left of my Panzer Corps, BTW. All my other armor was Panthers, and they kicked the bucket. lol


A bloody end in the USA.

Casualties after Midwest:
Image

And West Coast.
Image

Longasc
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:38 pm

Post by Longasc » Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:09 pm

Regarding the Prestige issue I think it was the right decision to raise it.
The campaign path for players arriving at the East Coast makes for a huge variance in core unit number and experience.
Before the invasion I had the maximum or close to the maximum of core units and did fine and only the West Coast scenario was a problem.
I think that makes sense as a Blitzkrieg over the Atlantic and all across America somehow really makes me think there might be supply problems.

Solving the tac bomber issues will be tricky, I think nobody wants them to become as powerful as in Panzer General either.

The counter-attack down the Rocky Mountains is really a nice feature of the West Coast scenario! :)
Your stats 15%/5% for bad weather show me I must have been really unlucky and I totally agree that a blaze of glory makes for a better ending.
You are right, losses don't matter if the campaign ends after that. Doesn't make the losses easier to swallow.

I see you got three SS tanks, wow, I only got 1 Gebirgsjäger in France!


I already started the 43 West campaign and didn't keep the save but the "C" screen casualties just inspired me!

Suggestion:
My units list their total strengthpoint kills, up to 500 for some early core units.
But the "C" list only shows full units kills. Why not add a 2nd layer to this screen that shows the STR point kills?
This would show a much more precise statistic of kills and losses. Also, so far the "C" screen it is hidden - if players don't know the hotkey they won't ever see this screen.


I am busy in Italy at the moment, let's see how this campaign turns out! The AI really loves killing my 8.8 Flak... :)

P.S. will upload some screenshots or rather I have already uploaded them, just have some issues with "circles", Google+ and Picasa at the moment. Sooner or later they will appear! :)

Korrigan
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:05 am

Post by Korrigan » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:30 pm

I just did decisive East Coast on Field Marshal (Weather, Supply and FoW obviously on) and it literally took me days and a huge amount of saving/loading... is West Coast even harder? Everyone keeps talking about it.

Fritz
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 251/1
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz  251/1
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:53 am

Post by Fritz » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:03 pm

West Coast is one of the hardest scenarios.

Kerensky
Content Designer
Content Designer
Posts: 7251
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:12 am

Post by Kerensky » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:40 pm

East Coast is a different kind of hard. Short clock and the vulnerability of your invasion fleet create difficulty.
West Coast difficulty is a result of rough terrain, entrenched opposition, and well positioned enemies of high quality.

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