Red Star, my favourite so far, Why and a question..

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steevodeevo
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
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Red Star, my favourite so far, Why and a question..

Post by steevodeevo » Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:04 am

Hi Folks,

I just can't put down this game. As has been said interminably, OOB seems to have found the right balance between accessibility and depth, even for a hardened grognard. For now Messers Grigsby, Runacre, Carter and the HOI Team, my apologies.

Red Star is for some reason my favourite expansion so far. It isn't that its hugely different, more complex or challenging than its predecessors, it is just so emotive, story rich and refined. The new equipment, initial imbalance of forces and eventual resurgence of the Russian protagonists make the entire campaign seem almost like a roll play game.

... Changing subject radically, a more general question has been bugging me for years and has now surfaced. I could have picked up my first T34s quite early in the campaign, however the upgrade costs are phenomenal, compromising ability for full repair and full unit deployment between campaigns. This has been a huge challenge for me all along in OOB. It was the same for me when German advanced tanks come along in the German campaigns.

I appreciate that it is just a question of biting the bullet at some point, however I wonder what principles other use for plunging into tank upgrades when they appear?

I have a concern that as I am relatively poor at this game in general that my resources between turns are not where they are supposed to be (or my units so banged up that there isn't much spare after repairs) in order to have the luxury of occasional major armour upgrades that other better players may have.

kondi754
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Re: Red Star, my favourite so far, Why and a question..

Post by kondi754 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:27 am

Only played during the tests at the highest level.
I bought / upgraded 2x T-34 only before Smolensk scn and having 2 T-34 and 1 KV (unreliable) I transferred them to endangered sections of the front all the time :)
I also think Red Star is a very good piece of the game

Andy2012
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Re: Red Star, my favourite so far, Why and a question..

Post by Andy2012 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:43 am

@Steevodeevo: Try dropping elite reinforcements (except for fighter planes) altogether from your game. This allowed me to always buy all the fancy equipment I wanted and finish all campaigns easily (on medium).

steevodeevo
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
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Re: Red Star, my favourite so far, Why and a question..

Post by steevodeevo » Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:05 pm

Andy2012 wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:43 am
@Steevodeevo: Try dropping elite reinforcements (except for fighter planes) altogether from your game. This allowed me to always buy all the fancy equipment I wanted and finish all campaigns easily (on medium).
Ahh, interesting. I have to say there is something in this, I am obsessed with my row of yellow stars.

steevodeevo
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
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Re: Red Star, my favourite so far, Why and a question..

Post by steevodeevo » Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:47 pm

Anyone know when 'part two' .. is? :)

ln1214
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Re: Red Star, my favourite so far, Why and a question..

Post by ln1214 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:23 am

It seems like you're having trouble with your economy. Maybe you can try some low-cost strategies.

I play on difficulty III and I have more than 2000 RP available by the end of the campaign, despite the fact that I almost always use elite repairs.

My strategy is use artilleries extensively, since they can attack with impunity. Also, before I attack a fortified enemy I always soften it up with high-shock units like artilleries, strategic bombers, and flame throwing tanks. Engineers are useful too, because of their shock attack and low repair cost.

conboy
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Re: Red Star, my favourite so far, Why and a question..

Post by conboy » Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:16 pm

My problem is I get hooked on the stars. maybe I should stop at two for infantry. But the tanks... They need the 5 stars for the victory parades.

I'm still doing okay in Red Star but am just now starting on the first Barbarossa battle. Maybe I should lay off the experienced reinforcements to see how I do.

conboy

prestidigitation
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Re: Red Star, my favourite so far, Why and a question..

Post by prestidigitation » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:20 pm

I routinely end with a massive surplus on difficulty 4 and 5 playthroughs, including Red Star. I was able to upgrade all of my four tanks to T-34 on the very first mission they were available.

Your issue is that you are too aggressive in attacking with infantry and armor!! Infantry is a screening unit. It stays put and defends. If it is menaced by tanks, bring an AT gun behind it. You can attack with infantry if you absolutely must, but you should be very careful about it and make sure to end every turn possible in forests, swamps or cities. Open ground is death for infantry. And on the attack infantry is even more desperately in need of artillery backing.

Wait until you can attack with zero or zero+ damage unless you absolutely have no other alternative to hold a critical position or take a VP before timer. Keep a keen eye on efficiency and rotate out units in non-critical positions that are at yellow efficiency. Make heavy use of artillery. By the end of the campaign I had 2x M1938 in trucks, 2x B4 and 1x Katyusha. That is an immense amount of artillery, no? I started the very first mission with just 2x T26 and 2x M1938 on difficulty 4. I then added the B4s as and when I could afford it. By Smolensk (the first mission vs the Nazis where you should attack) I bought a Katyusha so that I could use it to turn an enemy tank's efficiency to nothing in a single attack.

In addition I had 2x DB3 strategic bombers I upgraded to IL4 strategic bombers. Strategic bombers are essential for effective play because they attack enemy efficiency and have long loiter times. A 10 efficiency elite tank will murder infantry. A 0 efficiency elite tank is easy meat even for unvetted basic infantry.

AT guns are your best friend by far. A tank that would do six points of damage to your unit will only do 1 or 2, and it will take 4 or 5 points in return instead of 1 or 0. AT guns are truly awesome, even the light 45mm guns. BUT THEY ARE NOT FOR ATTACKING TANKS!!! Nor should they be on the front line!!! AT guns should be behind other units. When the unit in front of them is attacked they will return fire on it and do immense damage. If they are attacked directly they are weak, if they fire in support they are outrageously strong.

AA is very potent for saving points. Again, use the cheap 2 CP AA without a truck. It stays on the roads and chases after your units. It will keep up, and it will do good damage to enemy planes. Your fighters should escort your own bombers and hunt enemy bombers. Bait enemy fighters over your AA and engage them there. They will always chase a wounded low vet auxiliary fighter, so place it over your AA and let it go to town.

Veterancy is CRITICAL for good outcomes. Infantry should generally aim for 2 or 3 stars of vet but it is entirely possible to reach vet 4 with all standard infantry in Red Star on difficulty 4 (I literally just did).

Armor should absolutely aim for vet 4 (use standard reinforce when they are above it so long as it won't knock them below vet 4) and your instinct here is correct. Vet 4 or 5 armor is monstrously strong on the attack and will take little if any damage. The threats to high veterancy armor are efficiency attacks and enemy units supported by AT guns.

Remember how hard Raisenai is? I stopped the Hitlerites at the secondary objectives by using a primary line of standard infantry backed by AT guns and a secondary line of tanks. The enemy ran face first into my shield (the infantry + AT). I then hit back with my artillery, my strategic bombers and finally my tanks. By the end of this assault the first wave of Hiterlites was basically all dead or encircled. On the turn after I withdrew my tanks for rest and reinforce. This basic tactic is the essence of defensive play in this game.
Andy2012 wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:43 am
@Steevodeevo: Try dropping elite reinforcements (except for fighter planes) altogether from your game. This allowed me to always buy all the fancy equipment I wanted and finish all campaigns easily (on medium).
This is awful advice!!!! What you save in using standard reinforce over elite reinforce early you will pay many times over in the later missions when enemy veterancy rises and yours doesn't. This is a losing plan.

steevodeevo
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Re: Red Star, my favourite so far, Why and a question..

Post by steevodeevo » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:48 pm

Thanks folks. Whilst there may be some debate on some important specifics, I've picked up so much from this thread that it HAS improved my game to such an extent that I have started Blitzkrieg again from scratch. Unless the Devs have simplified difficulty or re balanced since I played it a few years ago I am doing way better.

A while back someone pointed out that generally the game tends to start hard and if played right gets easier. I was getting the other way round. Looking into this it was due to my bad tactics destroying my economy. I couldn't buy upgrades, new models and as I went through the campaign my unit numbers were dwindling, this was patently WRONG. Not managing my economy was bleeding me dry. I looked into why and so many suggestions in these forums helped for certain.

Main issue it seems I was or am poor at using combined arms. I don't or didn't use anywhere near enough support units: Arty, AA and AT. I was also way light on aircraft. Obsessed with Tanks, infantry elite unit status and aggressive tactics, I would win early rounds but at such cost that I was constantly exposing my front line forces to outrageously high losses. What aircraft and support I had as the game progressed couldn't afford to be replaced, repaired or upgraded.

Having somewhat redressed the balance - consciously selecting support units, fully utilising my points allocation for aircraft, playing with a more conservative offensive strategy, I am finding lower losses, lower repair costs, units that survive and hence more points to repair, replace, upgrade and groiw my core.

It is early days (i'm up to the first Barbarossa mission) but I am WAY further ahead than I have ever been.

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