Originally Posted by Tim James
False alarm. It must have been a second special battle in a row. I just jumped to May 1940.
One of the challenges for me in the long campaign will be knowing when I get new equipment and whether it is worth upgrading. I have a strategy guide that assigns each tank a letter grade relative to the year of the war. Other than that, I'm kind of lost on scount car, artillery, AT gun, and infantry (if relevant) upgrades.
Forgot to answer the bolded bit earlier, I see.
upgrades - really the weapon of the scout car is its eyeballs, and in Real Life its radio. In wargames you the Player-God get to see what it found out even if it got killed off (usually) or at least a hint about what shot it to death (e.g. a tiger..). In Real Life of course without the radio and being able to survive to use it, it would just fall off the net with the HQ none the wiser.
Scout cars main assets then tend to be speed and small size. Maybe a weapon that can bother other scout cars, like a 20mm or a 37mm popgun.
Some later war armoured cars have larger guns, perhaps more than tinfoil armour too, and so can act as "tank destroyers - lite" but if you try to do that too often then they usually die.
A scout car (or little light tank - I love my T60s!) with a 20mm cannon and co-ax is a nice little infantry support pillbox against enemy infantry hordes. Provided
you have determined there is no local anti-tank threat, they can shoot the enemy grunts up happily, and the 20mm has effect in the adjacent hexes so is really great for dealing with clumps of enemy "orcs"..
upgrades - range is king. If your guns outrange all of his (or most of the time) then counter battery on you is nil, and by you is good too as he cannot reply. Generally I stick to a 80-105mm battery with decent range. Larger calibres make shell holes, and that can sometimes benefit the enemy. Core arty should be mediums anyway, and 155mm stuff was heavy in the day so reserved for the divisional level.
On map howitzers I usually never bother with, unless self-propelled. Too much hassle to pick up and move with trucks, should (when!) they come under counter battery fires. On map mortars can be pushed forward a hex if needed. The AI might forget about those, if it lost sight (or it may have plotted on the area already..). Katyushas, I only buy on trucks (USSR has a nice cute little armoured one too). But they do need a lot of care and attention from ammunition trucks. Towed MRL are pretty much spotted on firing, and so wont last that long.
60mm and smaller mortars have a real range problem. They may be useful in the defence, but not so in the mobile battles. If USA then you may want to use a small truck to shift the company 60mm unit, but I usually replace them with 81s. I cannot be bothered with shifting mortars around so I get ones with decent range, find a rough hex somewhere to emplace them in
and leave them there. Don't put them too close to the baseline or the crew may run away off-map though.
Towed AT Guns
. You'll probably be stuck with 37mm popguns at war start. Germany can use a decent captured 47mm Czech one, which I think gets APCR by France 40 so more useful. Once you get to 50-57mm ATG I tend to stick with these. If UK, the 6 pounder gets a model with APDS later on, well worth upgrading to. Soviets get a decent long 57mm reasonably early, and I tend to stick to it.
The 50-57mm category can be manhandled a hex. That can make all the difference in survival, or jimmying them about a defensive position if you did not emplace them right or smoke etc has screened off the line. Or a truck can drop them behind a contour line in more mobile warfare and the crew can manhandle them up onto the hill later on, without the enemy spotting them (you hope!). 75+mm guns are immobile once dropped so have no such advantages, the truck has to tow them up onto that hill, and so if it is in LOS of the enemy then artillery will get plotted.
Since light ATG can be pushed forward a hex, and the 57mm category is rather "hot" in 40-42, I quite often manhandle some forwards behind my advancing leg companies. Especially if advancing through fields which make spotting them less easy, and also gives some light cover to return fire.
So I'm not a fan of large towed anti tank artillery. I might have some sometimes, with halftrack towers. But I'd rather have an M10 SPAT than a 3in ATG towed by heavy truck.
larger ATG are useful in the defence, as they get dug-in for free. Or you can buy a bunker equipped with one. In the delay, you may have some set up out front which you pop off at him, then pick up and scoot to a second defence line - out of line of sight of his advance!
- for a second shot at him. But these heavies (and their tows) can be support troops.
. The key characteristics of infantry really is
- does the section have an LMG?.
If not, upgrade the rifle only ones to a type with an LMG ASAP.
If your enemy is primarily infantry (Japanese, Chinese spring to mind) then if there is a section type with 2xLMG in it then that is a worthwhile upgrade.
- What is the AT weaponry?
Most of the majors bring tanks to the mix. Anti tank capability of your troops is therefore important.
e.g there is a UK section with 3 or 4 low value HEAT rifle grenades. That section works fine for me the whole war, deals with Italian and early German tanks just fine and as an assault weapon on other stuff later on since the HQ will have PIAT by then.
Ranged stuff like the bazooka, panzerfaust, PIAT are double plus good. get them when you can.
I tend to avoid molotovs and flame throwers since they cause fire hexes which can block the LOS of your longer ranged weapons who were trying to support your grunts.
Anti-tank rifles are worth squit IMHO they are a wasted weapon slot. So platoon HQs or whatever with those get changed to something else with another weapon (e.g. an LMG) as soon as possible.
If your opponent is not a tankie army then the AT weapon is less relevant. LMG will be, little mortars nice to have, and perhaps designated marksmen (internal sniper rifle) or maybe SMGs.
NB - The chief anti-tank weaponry of each of my rifle companies however resides in the tank platoon
I have operating in close support!.
NB2 - close support does not necessarily mean mixed in with the leg grunts. Tanks are easily spotted and so tend to draw artillery. Grunts no likee!. So if advancing then they should be a little bit away from the infantry phalanx (Perhaps way in the rear till first contact).