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Old April 30th, 2015, 11:27 AM
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Wiking Wiking is offline
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Medal "Enjoy the War."

So as someone who was a tremendous fan of RERomine's DAR reports, I thought I'd put together some general thoughts and a few anecdotal reports. Nothing as thoroughly detailed as what he did, though they were absolutely tremendous and very professional. But I figure after so many years of playing and so many versions of WINSPWW2 I might have a few thoughts worth sharing.

Generally I've spent most of my time playing US Army, German, Russian or Japanese forces. I tend to favor the Germans or Russians simply for the sheer variety of equipment. I find I enjoy longer campaigns where I can grow my forces from pitiful pre-war tankettes and poorly equipped infantry and "earn" the better stuff. That's half the fun for me, at least! The other half is trying to represent a historical unit, though due to the limitations of the game I do make some adjustments for playability A good example of that would be my current campaign with 5. SS-Wiking; historically this unit did not have a tank battalion until spring of 1942, and a StuG battalion was only attached in August of 1941, a month after they'd gone into action in Russia. Since I started it off as SS-Germania Regiment I did attach a tank battalion and in France a StuG battalion to the regiment, but with a twist: I have been issuing myself more out of date and foreign equipment.

Skoda 35(t)'s in France is definitely a bit of a challenge, to say the least.

Its only with Barbarossa that I allowed myself to upgrade to Panzer III's and IV's and replaced my few remaining Panzer I's with II's. Even then I was not overly generous; I kept about a platoon of the 3.7cm gunned III E's and the thinner armored Panzer IV C's and D's each. So my force is still a bit squishy, though very well rated in terms of experience thus far. Not too historical maybe, but not some kind of Teutonic death machine.

Some general thoughts and musings follow:

StuG's are some of my favorite pieces of equipment in this game, and its pretty historical to have a battalion of them to reinforce your infantry for almost any unit you can imagine. But boy, those shorter barrels early on really suck for accuracy. More than that, the limited number of shots means I find this unit more useful as a "fire brigade." As my SS-Pioniers tend to be my most experienced and deadliest troops, I like to pair them with the StuG's as a kind of rapid reaction force on the defense and in meeting engagements. Really, if there's something the StuG's and Pio's cannot handle, then nothing could. They'll really be a hard bitten bunch by the time of Stalingrad (which Wiking did not historically participate in).

I tend to enjoy the larger battles on the larger maps, the smallest I tend to play being 100x100 for earlier in the war and I expand that for Russia. I feel having more territory than you can realistically control at a given time is very true to the experiences of the German soldiers in the east, and it means that the A.I. often can infiltrate or flank you unexpectedly. Indeed, just like in real life I often anchor a flank with marshes or some impassable draw that I assume the Soviets cannot possibly penetrate; just to have them show up in my backfield much later on! You'd think I'd have caught on by now.

The humble (sw) Infanterie squad is probably one of my greatest assets. I don't much care for the 5cm mortar in and of itself, but combined with a sniper rifle and an AT rifle it can be used to "fill a hole" in the line anywhere its needed. Their large size also means they're much less likely to get killed off, like my normal AT rifle squads tend to be. Snipers in general are far more useful than I ever thought. It was during one of my Russian playthroughs that I started to really appreciate them (and I think everyone has a memory of a lone Polish or Greek sniper killing a tank with a hand grenade!). In my current SS playthrough they tend to have more kills than anyone and act as excellent scouts. You definitely get what you pay for, just don't expect them to be supermen.

While I generally agree with the common wisdom that 15cm and up is overkill for many battles and just makes your advance harder by breaking up the ground, I do have to say that of the infantry guns I much prefer the 15cm sIG over the 7.5cm IG. It carries a hefty number of rounds, has a decent rate of fire and pummels the crap out of whatever you hit with it. It also, surprisingly, does very well in bombardment. Not common practice as I understand it, but I find it more useful than trying to drag the thing right in front of the enemy and lobbing shells. Eventually I'll upgrade these to Sturmpanzers, wanting to experiment with using them more directly that way when they can take a few hits. I had good results using my ISU-152's and ISU-122's in this fashion.

A passing thought...anyone else feel like the LMG's don't get most of the kills? I suspect its due to the weapon multiplier on the first slot for rifles. Its not really a deal breaker, but I'd say the lowly Mauser K98 has caused many more losses to the enemy than most of my machineguns have. Not a complaint so much as an observation. I do find having a pair of LMG's per squad when I get Panzergrenadiers later is very tasty, and evens the odds considerably.

Most will probably think I'm a loon but I tend to buy the maximum core size possible, and here's how it currently breaks down as of June 1941:

Kommandeur der SS
Infanterie Kp SS+
Infanterie Kp SS+
Infanterie Kp SS+
Pionier Kp SS
IG Kp SS
Artillerie abt. (custom formation, for letting me field towed guns in a kp rather than in detached platoons)
off-map 15cm abt for counter-batttery fire primarily.
Panzer Kp (Panzer IV's and II's)
Panzer Kp (Panzer III's and II's)
Panzer Kp (Panzer III's and II's)
StuG abt (consisting of 3 batteries of StuG's with 4 vehicles per battery)
3x Panzerjaeger zug (a mixture of AT guns, self-propelled PaK 38's mounted on Sdkfz 10's and the odd Panzerjaeger I that survived France)
and a quartet of 8.8cm FlaK's that I keep in reserve for defensive battles.
I also have three AA FLaK batteries, building experience for later in the war when I'll really need them.

I tend to buy the trucks separately out of my support points, as I treat the kampfgruppe as a self-contained fighting force for the most part. I also built an SPW kp for later in the war so I can buy half-tracks in a large formation to move forward one or two companies when the division reaches Panzergrenadier/Panzer division status.

Overall I have found this is a combat-heavy battlegroup that can handle most things. It relies on the infantry to do most of the scouting and recce, making first contact so that the Panzers can strike from a favorable angle and gain the advantage. I will at times buy armored cars or motorcycle troops from support points if I have a particularly rough advance or assault mission and don't want to lose too many experienced troops on the approach.

More to come later.

Last edited by Wiking; April 30th, 2015 at 02:39 PM..
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