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-   -   AAR: "Enjoy the War." (http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?t=50783)

Wiking May 19th, 2015 10:19 AM

Re: "Enjoy the War."
Thats very much how I look at it. Its also partially a problem of how to represent a division that was effectively destroyed by early 1944 without just throwing a fight. Same problem how you play as Soviets from 1941 onwards as a coherent force, considering the grotesque losses.

Honestly, the real area where I'm being ahistorical is in the quantity and concentration of tank forces I'm fielding. While it was very normal to allocate a tank company to a schutzen / Panzergrenadier company, I'm still throwing quite a lot at the Soviets and often have local superiority if not numerical supremecy.

I try to at least acknowledge when I am deviating from history rather than just humming and pretending ignorance. If it makes you feel any better, I'm being a bit more historical with my new Japanese campaign, with foot infantry, only a company of slow, unreliable tanks, and low caliber dispersed artillery. Its definitely a different sort of war!

Zardoz May 19th, 2015 11:41 AM

Re: "Enjoy the War."
You could manipulate the generated scenario and increase the units for the Russians.

I do that very often to get a force that makes sense in my story telling, change the ranks of my soliers - even in 1941 captains were on a regular basis bataillon commanders etc in the Wehrmacht - and to make it more difficult for me. Especially in a German-Russian campaign it makes sense to do that.

You may know what is coming but you can do that after using your support points ...

Once I tried to simulate a "Bagration"-battle by having a 8:1 point ratio and having the AI making a rivercrossing. My force was destoyed but it was really extremly competitive and gaves you the feeling facing a behemoth. At least, the result was very historic ;)

I you like, I could also try to set up your enemy ....:cool:

Wiking May 20th, 2015 12:22 AM

Re: "Enjoy the War."
I may take you up on that offer at some point! As it stands, I find that I can win most battles but the real challenge to me is preserving my forces from battle to battle, rather than winning decisively every time. Sometimes I shorten turns or use the turn time limits to "encourage" me to push more aggressively and risk more.

Honestly by the end of July my armored forces were a shambles due to attrition (remember, I'm not repairing fully destroyed vehicles!). I allowed myself a rebuild in August but I fully expect that by December or even October I will need another rebuild and my overall force experience will be diluted.

Right now we're slugging it out around Kiev, lots of advances and meeting engagements over very open sight terrain. Means those scary Rat Tail's get free shots at me if I don't litter the area with smoke :eek:

Zardoz May 20th, 2015 03:12 AM

Re: "Enjoy the War."
I see.

I do not like the time pressure and, therefore, increase instead the number of enemies. To limit the replacements to a historical amount is also a good way to make it more challenging. At the moment I have fully replaced all losses which were marginal.

In my current "infantry"-campaign I had up to now to meeting engagements in which I was saved by a StuG-batteryI bought with my support points. In both battles the AI had 40 (light)tanks.In the first battle, I had the luck that the AI moved through woods and was ambushed by the infantry, in the second one the StuGs and my Pak did the work.

Up to now I have not augmented the enemy force and will remain cautious with this because the number of tanks was a nasty surprise. I write an AAR in German about it on http://www.si-games.com/forum/showthread.php?t=27979. I assume that you will not understand the text but there are some screenshots of the 2 battles.

The third one will be an advance-mission with sight of 2 hexes, i. e. a night attack.

Wiking May 20th, 2015 11:54 AM

Re: "Enjoy the War."
I can at least catch the gist of it, though my German is pretty poor to non-existent ;) Its a really cool AAR though, thank you for sharing it!

I do like big fights but the problem with them is that then the game can devolve into a bit of a slog. The enemy is everywhere so maneuver is impossible or pointless, and you're as well off going straight up the middle as anywhere else. That and its pretty exhausting to annihilate hundreds of Soviet tanks with just AT guns and close assault, so I prefer to integrate my tanks into my core early on.

It may not be a strictly "tanker" game, but it IS a combined arms game. So I forgive myself the toys I take sometimes. Overall I like having a strong infantry component that is supported by a powerful armored component, that works in close conjunction with the artillery. I do think that if you're playing strictly as Grenadiers/Infanterie you can be forgiven for being a full batterie of StuG's in 1941 onward. It was very common for them to be available (indeed, often the only armor that infantry ever saw was a self-propelled gun).

The other alternative if you've hit 1942 would be to represent the Marder II's and III's that were added to the infantry division's anti-tank battalion TOE, but I think those were only the most fortunate units. I know one of those was the Reichsgrenadier-Division Hoch-und Deutschmeister (44th ID). Like Wiking, it was destroyed at least once during its career but it had access to an unusual amount of heavy weapons and equipment which makes things a little more interesting to me than the basic line divisions.

Someone should do a campaign for them, both pre and post Stalingrad!

Zardoz May 21st, 2015 02:57 AM

Re: "Enjoy the War."
Got the point concering moving/maneuver. I think you right that the big numbers lowers the fun with tank. Since I am an infantry-man (served in the German army as "J├Ąger", moving and maneuver is not so important for me or there is still enough space for me.

And you are right that the ordinary German rifleman never so a German tank. In my AAR I play that my batallion is part of the 9th army. And, having had a look on the OOB, the entire army should not have had a single tank. So my StuG support is already ahistorical ... but the game should make fun so I accepted this "incorrectness".

I will try to set-up a company of "prey-tanks" :-)

Wiking May 21st, 2015 08:35 AM

Re: "Enjoy the War."
You're absolutely right, its more important to have fun than to adhere blindly to historical convention. Also interesting to hear that you served, I notice an awful lot of vets seem to really enjoy Steel Panthers. I've always wished I could have done that, but it was not to be, sadly.

9th Armee? That means you'll be up for Operation Mars after 1941. Nasty business that, with von Model and all. I think you can definitely be excused a single StuG batterie quite frankly! It is often forgotten just how much the German landser had to do with very little. As for myself, I am under 1st Panzer-Armee, XIV-Korps under von Kleist. A bit more glamorous maybe, but we have our own hard share of fighting too.

Right now its the race to the Dnieper river! I don't have time for a full report, but I'll give you this much: So far its mostly not too bad, even the Panzer II's are able to help out with the lighter Soviet tanks. The heaviest we've seen is that single KV-2 back in June, so we're feeling confident. Our Panzerjaeger-kompanie was dispersed so was not able to accompany us any further. Replacement weapons and equipment have reached us steadily since our halt in late July, and we are approaching the suburbs of Kiev. Germania, Nordland and Westland are all mostly at full strength, and the Panzer-Abteilung has a number of the newly produced III Ausf J and IV Ausf F's to replace the III E's lost in the first two months.

Zardoz May 21st, 2015 10:06 AM

Re: "Enjoy the War."
maybe, "veterans" like me who had not to fight in a war, like wargames. I served in the early 80ies and fortunately the cold war remained cold. The border to the GDR was only some kilometres away.

Yes ... the big counterstroke will come, afterward the battles around Rschew in 1942 and, maybe, if the battlegroup performs well, it is thrown into operation "Wintergewitter", the attempt to relief 6. army. The Wehrmacht gathered everything on the whole front and even called 6. tank division from France. But we will see.

In 1943, 9th army attacked in the northern pincer of Kursk, was destroyed in 1944 during Bagration and, finally fought after some replacement on the Seelower height.

So ... many dramatic situations will occur


Wiking May 21st, 2015 10:29 AM

Re: "Enjoy the War."
Well, I'm glad your time in the service remained peaceful. It would not have been much fun for anyone if it had been otherwise. :) And yes, I've got Korsun pocket and Bagration to look forward to. And then the battles around Budapest and Warsaw. Hard times ahead.

A bit more detail: Right now I'm conducting a three pronged advance on Kiev. I've been experimenting with new artillery tactics than what I usually do. In the past I would only call artillery when I specfically spotted an enemy unit or pounding say, a roadway that I expected them to come down. This time I was more pro-active, and for my current Advance mission, I conducted a rolling bombardment right in front of a line of smoke missions. I do two "curtains" of smoke, with the artillery gradually shifting from West to East to suppress anything that my motor-infanterie will come across. So far its worked very well.

Stealing some ideas from the British works on occasion.

Zardoz May 21st, 2015 10:40 AM

Re: "Enjoy the War."
lol (concerning the Brits)

Funny, I have to perform a night assault (2 hexes sight) and was thinking about the same, i . e. trying to implement a fire curtain prior to contact ...

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