How to use 8.8cm FlaK 36 to best effect?

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GiveWarAchance
2nd Lieutenant - Panzer IVF/2
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Re: How to use 8.8cm FlaK 36 to best effect?

Post by GiveWarAchance » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:03 pm

I read a lot about hapless German soldiers in latewar WW2 and I felt sorry for them trying to survive the terrible Red storm grinding them down with massive artillery barrages and massed armor & infantry attacks, so I wish they had had more armored support. The infantry often relied on small numbers of Stugs during the Eastern fighting retreat like in this book https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/447 ... e_Faithful

And ya good idea putting arty behind the AT guns to help them out. Maybe an AA gun too if possible.

Buffalohump
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Re: How to use 8.8cm FlaK 36 to best effect?

Post by Buffalohump » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:33 am

I am not sure if this is still a thread about the 8.8 FlaK 36 but I have enjoyed reading the discussion. I love the 88 because of its early versatility and availability. It is available from the first scenario and is useful to the end. I have found it to be especially nice early for bunker busting. I tend to build and keep several depending on the hero’s they get as the war goes on. Move heros stay 88’s, range hero’s become self propelled, and attack hero’s become 12.8’s. I agree with Proline’s defense of antitank units. I like to play with the soft cap and you get just to much bang for your buck with the anti tank units if you use them properly. I tend to use only self propelled mainly because if you count the cost of transport you usually come out as cheap as the equivalent towed unit. The one exception is the dedicated towed 88 anti tank gun. I have had success with late war purchases of the 88 anti tank gun if used in favorable terrain or defending river crossings backed by artillery and supported by infantry. I completed the western campaign at Field Marshal level and attempted to complete the eastern campaign. I didn’t complete 45 east because about 4 scenarios in I got bored. It felt like the same thing over and over again and I had more than enough prestige banked and a large enough reserve that I did not feel challenged. After an extended break I have restarted at Rommel and just completed 40. I have 10 fewer units and 15,000 less prestige. I feel like AT units are probably going to be playing a bigger role this time around as I progress.

GiveWarAchance
2nd Lieutenant - Panzer IVF/2
2nd Lieutenant - Panzer IVF/2
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Re: How to use 8.8cm FlaK 36 to best effect?

Post by GiveWarAchance » Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:54 am

Buffalo, I will try using a towed 88 next time. I have to resist my tendency to go all tanks (about 6 actually not many cause I use a lot of infantry and aircraft) and infantry with a few arty and maybe have more AT and arty with less tanks instead.

The latewar in the East seems like the same thing over & over cause that is pretty much what they faced. I think it is the best designed of all the campaigns. To be fair, I prefer they keep it that way even though you may feel like the battles are similar. There is some variation each time and sometimes I disobey orders and attack instead of defending or retreating or something but I use up all my prestige each time too.

captainjack
Colonel - Ju 88A
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Re: How to use 8.8cm FlaK 36 to best effect?

Post by captainjack » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:15 am

I've just started a run through based mainly on Nico's mod but with AT having +3 init for towed guns and +2 for SPAT because they usually got in the first shot on tanks if deployed properly. Half way through Poland I'm thinking maybe +2/+2 might be better.

Anyway, StuccoFresco's idea to make AT artillery class has inspired me to add another tweak.
Quite a few SPAT and heavier towed guns were used in an overwatch role so I was thinking for AT that doesn't already have a switch (ie dedicated AT guns) I would give them a switch to Overwatch. They'd retain the same attack stats, 50% ROF, Range 1 and Move 1 (since they are on defensive duty) but would be able to provide support from the rear. In a defensive role, suppression is as helfpul as kills, so this should result in enough hard target suppression to provide useful support to neighbouring units without being OTT. By retaining the original attack stats, all but the biggest guns would have minimal effect on soft targets.
I'm thinking all SPAT should have this, and for towed guns probably anything 47mm or bigger as this was about the size where decent long range performance started (maybe not for the Italian 47 which was a useful field gun but a mediocre AT gun).

Molve
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Re: How to use 8.8cm FlaK 36 to best effect?

Post by Molve » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:19 pm

I like to pair the (towed) 88 with a self-propelled AA unit. This way you can drive up to the front and protect it (in its truck) using the SPAD. If enemy air comes a'sniffin, the pair can often shoot it down completely without you having to divert your own fighters.

captainjack
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Re: How to use 8.8cm FlaK 36 to best effect?

Post by captainjack » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:36 am

The mobile +towed large calibre pair works well for US and Germans forces. The SPAA can protect mobile froces while the heavy towed gun mainly weakens fighters and overstrength bombers. Can't beat a taking 10 off an enemt tac bomber when it attacks a unit guarded by a 3 or 4* AA.

Cerberus51
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Re: How to use 8.8cm FlaK 36 to best effect?

Post by Cerberus51 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:54 am

I'm just trying to get to grips with this unit myself. I'm currently partway through GC 41 and have just finished Smolensk 41.

From what I have picked up so far the first point is a historical one about the early war Wehrmacht. German units were trained to co-operate in all arms operations. So, unlike the British tank units, German panzers were co-ordinated with artillery, infantry, etc. So when moving forward the 88's in transport will ideally be towards the rear but within range of your forward elements. You will usually not have enough slots to include the luxury of SPAA so the only way to provide air cover as you move is by parking fighters above your ground units. If the enemy attacks your ground units with aircraft then the 88 will be ready to fire back in AA mode at the start of your turn. This is particularly useful because enemy aircraft can't shoot back at AA firing from range and the weakened enemy aircraft will inflict less damage on your fighters when you send them in.

As mentioned in a post above, careful positioning of an 88 one hex away from the location you expect to fire from in AT mode and on the flank of a formation that is either defensive or temporarily paused often allows you to move the 88 and fire at an attacking enemy.

The way to really rack up the experience is the ambush. Siting the 88 (in AT mode) where the enemy will drive into it without spotting it first. So position at bottlenecks where you expect enemy advances, preferably backed up with an artillery unit. Behind river crossings is particularly effective. At Smolensk I sited an 88 next to Mogilev with a bridge engineer in the city and a 15cm artillery backing up both. Advancing Soviet units simply drove one by one onto the bridge/river crossing tile. Bomb with a tactical bomber, shell with the 15cm and finish off with the 88. Rinse, repeat. Easy experience.

auda
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Re: How to use 8.8cm FlaK 36 to best effect?

Post by auda » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:04 pm

It's a delightfully rewarding feeling to successfully employ an otherwise difficult unit such as the 88. That's why this unit is probably my favorite, and each turn it gets special attention.

Another interesting way to employ it is in fighting a withdrawal. I just finished the Escape from Stalingrad scenario (deducter's mod) where I used both my 88s as a part of a rear guard. Because enemy units tend to be more aggressive in such scenarios, chances of ambushing the enemy with the 88 are higher.

Backing the 88 with artillery is mandatory. It will lose strength too quickly otherwise, even if it has good xp.

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