A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Discuss

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Andy2012
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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by Andy2012 » Thu May 17, 2018 8:44 pm

Alright, Halfaya Pass is mine and my poor crewmen have lugged their 88s there to turn it into Hellfire Pass if necessary.
Medium diff, no losses, all primaries and secondaries. Close call, 20 turns.
Background documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqGo57Drs24

This one is a bit tricky. So pay attention. (I struggled at first during the beta, too.)
I upgraded my two PzIVs to the latest version and deployed them with my PzIIIJ and Rommel facing towards Sidi Azeiz. I backed them up with a new mobile AA.
On the road south, I set up two Bersaglieri with transports. No Luftwaffe yet.
Now, here's the tricky part: You have to fight three battles at once, each one differently. Race your tanks and mobile AA to Sidi Azeiz in the north west, knock out the British. Let the mobile AA cover them, hit the RAF fighter plane. The two Bersaglieri race south, one to Fort Capuzzo to dig in, the other toward Sollum to dig in. Your aux troops retreat toward Sollum, reinforcing along the way. Your italian AT is lost, use it to delay the British. Let the aux troops dig in around Sollum. Meanwhile your tanks defend Sidi Azeiz and take out the British desert force, flanking where possible.
The Luftwaffe finally shows up, one Me109 with Marseille and a Stuka hit the RAF and the British attacking Sollum. With the 88 AT and some extra CP and credits later in your account (I deployed an engineer and arty), you can turn the tables. Move one infantry to Sollum and Sidi Azeiz for safety (never know what lurks in the desert) and now move all your troops towards Halfaya Pass. (Sidi Azeiz should be safe, of course.) Let the 88 take out the Matilda tank, move the unit into the Pass (on transport is fine, too) and boom, you're done.
Sounds easy, but does have the potential for screwing up if you make a single mistake. I highly recommend activating the new autosave function that saves for each turn individually (press O, bottom left). Otherwise, you will bite your keyboard.
Anyways, on to Crusader. Tobruk is already mine. How are you guys doing?

Andy2012
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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by Andy2012 » Thu May 17, 2018 8:54 pm

Oh yeah, another great documentary / lecture for Crusader. A ton of detail and worth watching.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCNDEoRDp6I
All subscribe! And watch, of course.

cutydt02
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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by cutydt02 » Fri May 18, 2018 1:46 am

Shards wrote:
Shards wrote:It's still uploading, but all objectives on level 3 of Tobruk, just because people wanted to see it done :)

https://youtu.be/IpqgrMnJVh8
Finished uploading now
I saw it, truely maneuver wafare. The italian tank still disappointed and ridiculous bro
Please release more, i love it. Your tactic is superior to me

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by Andy2012 » Sat May 19, 2018 9:00 pm

Alright, men (and women, of course :wink: ). Tobruk is still mine and the British desert force is a smoldering wreck in front of my 88s. Take notes, Erwin.

Medium diff, 15 turns, no losses. All primaries and secondaries done except for the British supply base. If anyone can show me how to do this, post here. This is a tough one, but winnable. You need to be sharp and position your troops just right. I can post replays, just ask. (Always think this is a bit patronizing...but still check out Mojko's replays! :D )
I upgraded specs with scrambling for the Wehrmacht and flight school for my hapless Italians.

First of all, all those aux units around Sollum and Bardia are lost. You may be able to save one or two if you reach the paved coastal road, but dont count on it. They are roadblocks for a superior British force.

I upgraded my airforce to 3 FW 190s, latest Stukas and 2 latest italian fighters plus one recon plane each. Also bought three 88s (essential!) and for my Italians 2 semovente mobile switch guns (AA/AT, kind of like the italian version of the Stug. Just worse... :mrgreen: ). Also, upgraded my Italian arty to 2 heavies and a medium one.

Here's the most important thing: Positioning. You once again fight three battles, but not at once and they are all different. I positioned my 3 Bersaglieri around Bir el Gubi (frontal town in the south, those names are hard) with one semovente gun truck in AT mode in the town and one in AA mode behind it. I put my Wehrmacht tank force around it, too. Two PzIV, one PzIIIJ with Rommel. Around Sidi Rezegh, I put my Wehrmacht inf with two 88 AT, italian arty behind and my mobile Wehrmacht AA to secure it. Your two Italian fighter planes and recon also start here. Make this an AT bastion, the 88s will have to work hard here, barrels will be red hot. Put another 88 AT at Gambut airfield, make it cover those heavy Wehrmacht inf. (Leave the airfield open.) Put your Luftwaffe here, all of them - 2 Stukas, 1 recon, 3 FW 190s. Maybe put one Italian inf in Tobruk if you own it. (Somebody should post a strategy here after not taking Tobruk early on...come on, guys.)

There will be three battles: The British will hit you hard in the south and in the middle. You need AA to cover your whole force and AT to cover your infantry. Gambut airfield is safe for now, position your 88 AT and infantry for an attack along the coastal road in maybe 7-9 turns. A lot of tanks will hit your positions here on all fronts, have all infantry covered by AT all the time. Your tanks can counterattack, but have them hug Rommel in his PzIIIJ all the time and flank&cut off stragglers constantly. Around Sidi Rezegh, the Desert Rats will impale themselves on a screen of 88s. First wave will be tanks in the south and middle. After that, the arty will creep up on you. Around turn 7, the British will hit you with Matildas and a ton of inf along the coastal road.
If you took Tobruk, you will also have to face a maritime invasion. To counter this, focus your FW 190s on the fighter cover and your Stukas on the landing crafts. Keep in mind: If you block their landing hexes, they cant get on shore. This gives you ample time to kill them with Stukas and fighters. Your Stukas will be mostly occupied with this. Deploy aux italian inf and fast recon units for the blocking part. None should get on shore.
Finally, to get the tank commander: Dont just beat back their tanks, finish them. Getting him is tough, but worth it.

Alright, on to Sea Convoy. How did everybody else do?

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by Shards » Sun May 20, 2018 9:43 am

The supply base is represented by the air strip in the centre right of the map.

It's been well placed. If you push for it, you can get there, but you'll also be disorganized and square in the path of the central tank counter attack...

Andy2012
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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by Andy2012 » Sun May 20, 2018 12:11 pm

So, I have shepherded my supply ships to Tripoli and sunk the British fleet. Yeah.
Background documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axjn5-Twtr8

17 turns, medium diff, all primaries and secondaries, no core losses.
This is a fast-paced mission, rather short. So instead of a detailed walkthrough, I'll just post general rules of engagement here. They should win you this battle.

1. Deploy your two most powerful fighters with the fleet in the north, have the rest start around Tripoli.
2. Chase damaged fighters and bombers. The sooner you down five, the sooner you get the Italian air hero.
3. Prioritise attacks in air and naval battles. Shoot down torpedo bombers first, then fighters. Focus fire and sink single ships instead of damaging several - which can all fire back next turn.
4. When more air points become available, deploy two Stukas and let them focus on the British supply ship moving from east to west and on Destroyers. They are most effective here.
5. DDs torpedo salvos are best saved for capital ships.
6. Most important, zigzag with your supply ships. Keep them together, but away from the Royal Navy with your Italian vessels between the enemy and the slow supply ships.

Alright, on to Buq Buq.

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by Andy2012 » Mon May 21, 2018 8:10 am

Another thing I noticed while testing deployment options for Buq Buq - I am not deploying all available CP.
I bought all new Pz IV F2s and upgraded my infantry to 42. But that's it. I am not so sure how that plays out over the course of the campaign in the release version. Also, I have developed this odd burden sharing that the Wehrmacht handles tanks, tactical bombing and will pick up mobile AT with the Stugs. While the Italians do heavy arty and infantry.
How are your cores doing?

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by kondi754 » Mon May 21, 2018 8:46 am

Andy, your "walkthrough" is priceless to players as usual.
I played Tobruk yesterday and I have to admit that I am very pleasantly surprised.
Scenario is clearly more difficult now compared to the Beta test period.
I admit that I was one of the advocates of increasing the difficulty in Sandstorm, but even I had some problems completing all tasks at level 5th now.
I won Bardia and Sollum, but Tobruk looks like a hard nut to crack, so I will leave him for long winter evenings. :wink:

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by CoolDTA » Mon May 21, 2018 9:14 am

kondi754 wrote: even I had some problems completing all tasks at level 5th now.
:shock:

Has some less skilled player i.e. a mere mortal hijacked Kondi's account? :wink:

Good stuff, Andy! :) Keep them coming. I just played Tobruk - excellent scenario.

Andy2012
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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by Andy2012 » Mon May 21, 2018 10:02 am

CoolDTA wrote: Good stuff, Andy! :) Keep them coming. I just played Tobruk - excellent scenario.
Thanks, I will do that. Hopefully, this gets more views than chasing trolls. (If anybody is contacted via PMs to check out 'forbidden mods' or other HBalck stuff, please forward them to a mod or a Slitherine employee.)

Anyways, I thought that text walkthroughs might be old-fashioned in the age of youtube and replays. But those take a bit more effort and/or time to upload, download or watch instead of reading about strategy for a few short minutes.

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by CoolDTA » Mon May 21, 2018 11:18 am

I'm gladly old-fashioned and definitely like these text walkthroughs. Besides, it is sooo much easier to find the precious tactics tips from text than from a video (oh, so it was at 42:25 and I thought 35:10 was the correct timestamp and just couldn't find it). Good old text rules. :)

Played the second scenario. Well, actually twice but much the same results for me. The fuel shortage seems to be a random event because it didn't happen in the first run. AI used different tactics in the second run which is one of the best things in OoB. I have seen too many (other) games in which it always does the same things.

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by Halvralf » Mon May 21, 2018 6:19 pm

For those interested, here is my Tobruk replay.
Fast but might have cost a bit to much.....I did avoid the north completely and went east and south.

Done in 24 turns diff level 3 all secondary objects checked.
Attachments
Tobruk By Halvralf.zip
(12.63 KiB) Downloaded 42 times
"They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance."

CoolDTA
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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by CoolDTA » Wed May 23, 2018 12:15 pm

Okay, played couple of more scenarios.

Crusader: A lot happens here which makes it a great battle portrayed in other games also. I bought two of those Cannone da 90/53 on Lancia 3Ro truck -units and one 88. Then I put some juicy infantry baits in the front backed by these ATs. As usual for me, the AI never attacks anything protected by the 88 no matter how well I try to hide it. But the Lancias didn't have such a downside. I did lose the German Engineers to consecutive armor attacks by the Brits, but two of the tanks were one shotted (!) by the Lancia and two others almost dead. Well worth the price. However, they are very vulnerable to artillery so if possible keep them away from those 25 pdrs. Another odd thing was that after I changed them to AA (useful in this role also) and then back to AT mode, it looked like they no longer fired in support. Maybe I just didn't catch it, but do pay attention to this if you use them. Btw., taking the supply dump practically ends the battle, because the Brits can't do anything after that. Imo it should be better protected.

Naval Convoy: A nice little snack between two big land battles. Quite easy because you are given ample time to complete the mission. I actually have one Italian tactical Breda-bomber and it is adequate against the enemy ships (and also against soft land targets like arty, towed AT and trucks). My advise is to take it slow and destroy the enemy ships in detail. The enemy medium bombers seem to go after the Italian DDs making them the least important targets for your fighters. Now if the Wellington had torpedoes it would be more exciting... Otherwise just see Andy's great tips.

Image

Andy2012
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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by Andy2012 » Thu May 24, 2018 8:32 am

Alright, I still haven't fully completed Buq Buq, but I thought I might already post some short musings and observations.
Hopefully, I'll be able to finish this soon.
First, in beta (last time I played this), this was a bit too easy. This has now been corrected.
I now have to choose quite carefully what I want to buy since there are more CP for both air and ground than I can afford to fill. At least it feels like that for me.
I chose to get a third Stuka and two Italian tanks as well as upgrade all my Wehrmacht tanks to Pz IV F2. This is quite expensive, but worth it in the long run.
I still have a lot of money in the bank, but I plan to invest that into upgrading my 88 AT into Stugs along the road.
Another thing I noticed: The division of labour between my two cores is now even more pronounced: The Italians do infantry, artillery, some fighters and generally serve as a bulk force for me. But the tip of the sword - to borrow that phrase from De Gaulle - is my Wehrmacht, especially tanks and Stukas as mobile arty.
Anyways, I hope I can do some flanking action in Buq Buq through the desert because the coastal road is pretty heavily defended. I will keep you updated over the next few days.
How is everybody else doing?

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by 13obo » Thu May 24, 2018 9:52 am

Your core is very similar to mine and I also share your view that my "tip of the sword" is the Wehrmacht. There is only a tiny difference that I didn't buy StuGs for AT, but the mobile Italian AT- they are squishy, but with a higher mechanical attack (also 4 CP instead of 5 and a bit cheaper too). I find either is legit as I do have to be more careful with deploying them.

I started playing Buq Buq as well, and was about to finish it on my first try yesterday when a PZIV F2 I was using to knock off artilleries inside the enemy formations got surrounded and destroyed. Typical overconfidence towards the end of the battle spoiling a perfect run, amirite? So I restarted and hopefully will finish tonight.

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by Andy2012 » Thu May 24, 2018 9:57 am

13obo wrote:Your core is very similar to mine and I also share your view that my "tip of the sword" is the Wehrmacht. There is only a tiny difference that I didn't buy StuGs for AT, but the mobile Italian AT- they are squishy, but with a higher mechanical attack (also 4 CP instead of 5 and a bit cheaper too). I find either is legit as I do have to be more careful with deploying them.

I started playing Buq Buq as well, and was about to finish it on my first try yesterday when a PZIV F2 I was using to knock off artilleries inside the enemy formations got surrounded and destroyed. Typical overconfidence towards the end of the battle spoiling a perfect run, amirite? So I restarted and hopefully will finish tonight.
I havent bought Stugs yet, too. But those Italian ATs are only good for mobile defense, I think. Stugs can very effectively back up your tank advance and provide a critical backbone to your tank force, especially in a second line when the enemy counterattacks. The Italian mobile ATs are a bit too flimsy for that.
Anyways, you can also activate autosave. (Press O for objective, bottom right in the box.) Highly recommended, saves a ton of nerves when you have each turn in an individual save. But does create clutter.

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by 13obo » Thu May 24, 2018 10:02 am

Saving every turn- what blasphemy! That's clearly cheating!

No, sir, I like to play my games and feel constantly frustrated about it. When a mistake is made, I should be harshly punished about it by having to replay the whole thing again. I also bang my head for half an hour in the wall after.

Edit: but I think you are right. The Italian AT is difficult to use in offensive capability and I find it sits idle often. Oh well, restart from Crusader it is then!

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by AgentTBC » Thu May 24, 2018 10:34 am

Eh, I don't think you guys are fully taking into account the two advantages of the Italian mobile AT. First, it can switch from a very good (but defensive, yes) AT to a very good AA. This is useful situationally but still useful. Second, and very importantly, it uses ITALIAN req points and not german ones.

So the question isn't "is the Italian mobile AT better than a Stug". It isn't. The Stug is as good defensively but better offensively. But you can spend those stug points on another Panzer IVF2 or something. So the question is "is a Stug + an italian tank (or infantry or whateveR) better than the italian AT/AA plus a Panzer IIIJ or Panzer IVF2" Which is a much more difficult question. I have one Stug because Stuggies are cool, but in general I think you have a stronger and more versatile corps with a german tank + the italian mobile AT/AA than a german stug + whatever other italian crap you can buy with those points.

Essentially there are very strong German units you can get instead of the Stug (even though I possess much stuggie love) but the italian alternative to buy the AT/AA truck is less obvious. Also pew pew pew suck it allied aircraft.

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by AgentTBC » Thu May 24, 2018 10:37 am

nota bene: the alternative to the italian AT/AA gun is probably spending those points on artillery. Which is good but it *is* possible to overdo it.

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by Shards » Thu May 24, 2018 10:38 am

AgentTBC has summed up my feelings exactly here :)

In Alam el Haifa, I had one Lancia in AT mode in the North and one in AA mode in the south, very useful bit of kit!

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