Strategy question: best way to learn combined arms (Full Version)

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MPHopcroft1 -> Strategy question: best way to learn combined arms (10/29/2011 11:18:45 PM)

In the PBEM games I have played (and lost: although at least one is still in progress they are both in an inevitable total defeat mode) I am finding difficulties with combined arms. I've been doing things like placing the artillery on the front lines and keeping huge stacks instead of lines of defense. The latter makes it understandably easy to outflank me and surround my forces with overwhelming numbers.

What I'm wondering is what I can do to improve my basic strategy. I've mentioned two of the problems I have. Are there other tips that would make things even a little bit harder on my adversaries?





Jdub -> RE: Strategy question: best way to learn combined arms (10/29/2011 11:39:04 PM)

As for defenses. Analyze your frontline terrain and decide where to concentrate defenses based on what would hinder enemy movement the most. For example: If you have a road running through the frontline, place your strongest defenses around the road so the enemy are forced to take a longer route to attack through the frontline.

as for the large stacks, its a matter of judgement whether you want to push hard on an attack or not. Whether you should do this varies by scenario and it will take a few games of a certain scenario to really get a feel for how hard you can attack and maintain your force strength




Silvanski -> RE: Strategy question: best way to learn combined arms (10/30/2011 12:08:00 AM)

Keep your artillery out of the frontline, pure artillery units can be overrun all too easy...  Arty has at least a range of 1 hex.. So place them in the second line and put them on tactical reserve or dig it in when defending




1_Lzard -> RE: Strategy question: best way to learn combined arms (10/30/2011 12:45:05 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: MPHopcroft
In the PBEM games I have played (and lost: although at least one is still in progress they are both in an inevitable total defeat mode) I am finding difficulties with combined arms. I've been doing things like placing the artillery on the front lines and keeping huge stacks instead of lines of defense. The latter makes it understandably easy to outflank me and surround my forces with overwhelming numbers.

What I'm wondering is what I can do to improve my basic strategy. I've mentioned two of the problems I have. Are there other tips that would make things even a little bit harder on my adversaries?


Michael,

It's normally a bit wierd to ask for a 'whole concept' as you have, but I'll give it a try...........

1) First, 'Air power' units.... Go thro and figure out the range/power of your units. Units that are obviously ftrs should be set as 'air superiority'; Units that are 'high bombers' should be set either as 'combat support' or 'interdiction'; Units such as mostly ftr/bombers should be set as 'combat support' or 'interdiction'...more so than the 'high bombers'. Ftrs with short range should be moved into the 'fronts', with each succesion of longer range units set further back. What your looking for is having ALL your air set to work in the same area, preferably having ftrs set to cover any of the others. This is one thing that's important! If you set long range units to 'interdict' or to bride/airfield atks you really want ftrs that have the range to cover them.

Considering the whole of your forces, remember that any of your air units may be set to do 'air base atks'/'bridge atks'/'ground unit atks' without you neccesarily having to change their thier settings for the whole turn! Basically, one can charge a unit with a type of atk w/o changing what the unit will do during the oponenent players turn, just click on it and move the cursor to the target hex.

2) Support units (Artty/recon/AT/Eng): As Sil says, keep your Artty off the front line, unless it has a range of ONE, at which point you'll need to move it into the front hexes in order to have the range. Recon units may well be 'divided', and then moved outside the 'main line of resistence' as an opportunity to extend your view. AT units should be kept with Inf. Engineers should be kept in reserve until the time comes to either repair bridges or help dig a unit in.

3) Infantry: Most likely the strongest of your available units both in 'strengh' and in quantity, should be in the main what you use to form a 'line'. The use of AT or Armor assets (stacked with them) will make them considerably harder to kill. It's a very good idea to keep AT/Armor (even if one needs to divide the original units) with them at all times, assuming you have the assets.

4) Armor: The fun part! Armor is the point of the spear, but it's a good idea to have some Inf stacked with them when you can, moving with them all the time! It's nice to bring up parts of your Artty to support them (even if you need to divide the Artty units). Generally Armor has the fastest movement (in movement points) outranging any of the others. It's a VERY good idea to put your Recon in befor moving the Armor up.

5) HQ's : Keep these in reserve behind your lines! Often these units come in various levels with the Korps/Division types having Artty assets. Sometimes you'll want to move them up to pound the enemy, but be sure it's worth it! I usually move them last, just to let me know where they're going to do the most good.

6) Airborne : These units are usually quite fragile, so be careful! You'll need the assets of Inf/Armor units to support them after they land. Dividing them befor they are 'embarked' can give you considerably more area, but that really cuts their proficiency.

Toaw gives one the opportunity to SAVE! Do it! I generally make a folder for each scenario I play, and save whenever I come to a moment of truth. Having 12 saves in a pbem isn't a problem for me as it gives me a range of considerations...........something to consider, eh? Once you've figured out the best statagy/tactics for the move then execute.

Enough for now, maybe more later....













Oberst_Klink -> RE: Strategy question: best way to learn combined arms (10/31/2011 6:37:05 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: MPHopcroft

In the PBEM games I have played (and lost: although at least one is still in progress they are both in an inevitable total defeat mode) I am finding difficulties with combined arms. I've been doing things like placing the artillery on the front lines and keeping huge stacks instead of lines of defense. The latter makes it understandably easy to outflank me and surround my forces with overwhelming numbers.

What I'm wondering is what I can do to improve my basic strategy. I've mentioned two of the problems I have. Are there other tips that would make things even a little bit harder on my adversaries?



A collection of TOAW 101 can be found at Silvanski's blog

and of course my Tutorial at the Gefechtsstand :)

Klink, Oberst




tankboy -> RE: Strategy question: best way to learn combined arms (10/31/2011 8:43:29 PM)

Depending on how many units you have and how you need to defend (delay, defeat); then there are different ways to defend.

BLUF - never let him surround you.

Delay - make your enemy punch into clay. Have non-overrunable (is that a word?) stacks - but just barely - set adjacent to each other but not all on the front. A couple back. The trick is to constantly retreat back onto your own units. Use units with high recon value to extricate units in contact. I find that some units will disorganize so they allow the rest to retreat. Then move back a hex with the units that weren't in contact and start the process over again. A trick is to retreat back onto your own artillery stacked with a little bit of "stiffening". During your turn you move the artillery back one hex, dig in and start all over again. If a disorganized unit is used to cover a retreat then make sure it is on minimize losses by the end of your turn so it will retreat in the next turn.

Defeat - make him punch through clay until he is at your main line of defense. Try to use terrain to your best advantage. Units in good shape are dug in with ignore losses. Go after his artillery with your air. He may make the mistake of leaving an artillery pure stack. Hammer it with your air and artillery; ignore losses. A smart player always stacks a burnt out infantry division with artillery on the attack or defense. For some reason it will absorb the losses.

Always try to muster a reserve based on a HQ unit; preferably on a rail line. A shot up mech division or cavalry division with an AT unit flung into the teeth of a breakthrough will often buy you a turn or two. Remember, he is as tired as you are; especially if he has been advancing for a few turns.

Avoid the blowtorch. If your opponent has a bunch of good artillery dug in and is rotating units up and back in the attack; consider giving up a couple hexes. Sometimes an attacker will suffer big casualties up front to burn up and disorganize a defender. The risk is that the defense may become disorganized and fall apart. Fall back a hex or two.





Nowi Ribak -> RE: Strategy question: best way to learn combined arms (11/2/2011 9:10:26 PM)

The real question is, if "real life" tactics would work in this game [;)]

Any officers here in this forum?




1_Lzard -> RE: Strategy question: best way to learn combined arms (11/3/2011 3:15:15 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Nowi Ribak
The real question is, if "real life" tactics would work in this game [;)]

Any officers here in this forum?


Item 1) More or less. Depends if you know the game.....some parts are so deep into the mechanics it's sometimes hard to tell, LOL!
Item 2) Define 'Officers'......There are moderators (tho one doesn't see them all that often unless someone asks for one). Several of us are playtesters for Toaw, but not 'officers'.




Oberst_Klink -> RE: Strategy question: best way to learn combined arms (11/3/2011 11:27:13 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: 1_Lzard


quote:

ORIGINAL: Nowi Ribak
The real question is, if "real life" tactics would work in this game [;)]

Any officers here in this forum?


Item 1) More or less. Depends if you know the game.....some parts are so deep into the mechanics it's sometimes hard to tell, LOL!
Item 2) Define 'Officers'......There are moderators (tho one doesn't see them all that often unless someone asks for one). Several of us are playtesters for Toaw, but not 'officers'.


'Der Krieg ist das Ende aller Pläne'

and

'Die Unteroffiziere sind das Rückgrat der Armee' Generalfeldmarschall von Haeseler (1836 bis 1919)

Klink, Oberst




Curtis Lemay -> RE: Strategy question: best way to learn combined arms (11/3/2011 3:11:18 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Nowi Ribak

The real question is, if "real life" tactics would work in this game [;)]

Any officers here in this forum?



My principle playtesters for CFNA were Major Chet Pool and his son Lt. Col. Jim Pool. They were addicts. Long gone, though.




Nowi Ribak -> RE: Strategy question: best way to learn combined arms (11/3/2011 6:35:35 PM)

Very interesting. Did they play very differently or did they adjust their "tactics" to the game?




Curtis Lemay -> RE: Strategy question: best way to learn combined arms (11/3/2011 7:46:46 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Nowi Ribak

Very interesting. Did they play very differently or did they adjust their "tactics" to the game?


Not sure just what you mean. They were life-long wargamers and had been involved with the development of TOAW even before it's initial release. I found them to be skilled opponents when I played them. In real life I think they were supply officers.




ogar -> RE: Strategy question: best way to learn combined arms (11/4/2011 7:14:31 PM)

@MPHopcroft,

Lots of solid advice in the replies.

I'll add that how I play depends on the scenario - some call for brute force and aggression; others call for more subtle approaches.

Also, playing against Elmer is good -- he never complains about un-dos, for instance. But it leads to bad habits -- that big stack approach sounds so Elmer-ish. It's what you have to do when playing PO, but against a human...

Here's a link to some AARs I found helpful. (There's a link to more at GameSquad inside the thread.) It's not everyone's style, but I really liked the way he explained why he was doing something as well as the details involved.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2468507




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