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7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR

 
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7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/13/2011 2:19:38 AM   
ComradeP

 

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No idea whether I'll actually get to battle 97, but the beginning is there as I've just finished the first battle.

I'll write an AAR including screenshots and descriptions of my tactics.

I'll play every scenario as if it's a puzzle map, as I hate losses in tactical games so I try to avoid those or restart when something goes wrong. Of course, you can load turns in PCO, but if you don't have a good plan, all the loading in the world won't save you from disaster. When it comes to tactical games, I'm a perfectionist.

After playing the tutorial mission in the demo and the first battle in this random campaign, I can say that I have the feeling that the AI's pretty...static at times. Many enemy units start in "ideal" defensive positions which is fine, as those are challenging to remove no matter what, but for example in the first battle there were dozens of squads in the woods/orchards next to the objective that didn't really do much, aside from charging my tanks.

That's also what made the first battle a massacre for the Soviets: their infantry was completely powerless against my tanks. My 3 infantry squads waited next to their trucks more or less in the spawn area, they would've been mowed down in moments on this map.

I'm hoping that, when the AI gets more armour, it will become more active, although the scenario setups themselves are already quite challenging because of the small force I have at my disposal.

On to the first battle.

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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/13/2011 2:24:33 AM   
junk2drive


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One thing you will find is that green Russian infantry cost 2 or 3 points as opposed to tanks that cost 60. Soviets get lots of infantry in most battles. I have had a German tank wander into a meadow and had three Russian squads charge from different directions. My turret couldn't turn fast enough to suppress them all and they close assaulted taking out the tank.

Looking forward to your progress. Don't let the early battle easy victories get you down.

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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/13/2011 2:27:47 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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The AI will move on defense, when it thinks there's a benefit to it. In the early war, the Soviets are generally less mobile and very green, so the early battles can be a bit easy in that regard, but the important thing is to preserve your force. You should be getting legendary or decisive victories and focusing on zero or minimal losses to your core forces so that when you get to fall and winter, you have elite units to deal with what's coming.

Regards,

- Erik

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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/13/2011 2:41:54 AM   
ComradeP

 

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The first battle's briefing made it clear that this would be a pretty tough battle if I made the wrong plan. The enemy was reported to be in strong defensive positions, with artillery support and minefields in place. My own support consisted of 2 Ju 87's and 6 81mm mortars.

I decided to concentrate my forces on one side of the map, hugging the border of the map as I figured the minefields were most likely located in the central part of the map. Sadly, I don't have an overview screenshot, but the minimap should give you an idea.



The first screenshot: my forces have just destroyed 4 T-26 M39's and several Rifle squads and are slowly moving towards the first objective. The woods you see are full of Rifle squads (well, now there are a couple less). There were some pretty scary 203mm strikes as I moved up there, but luckily none hit my forces.

After this, I moved the Panzer 38(t) Es' to the other objective, across the plowed field which was occupied by a BA-6, 76mm guns and Rifle squads in foxholes. The orchard you see in the right half of the end battle screenshot was shelled repeatedly by my mortars, as I knew at least one 122mm gun was located there (I could see that one when I started the battle, before moving my forces to the other side of the map). The mortars destroyed the 122mm guns with help from a Ju 87.

Meanwhile, the Panzer II's cleared out the woods on the other side of the map. As you can see on the minimap, there were no Soviet survivors.

The Soviets had a total of 19 Rifle platoons, many of which were killed.

Oddly, some 50mm mortar and Maxim units just stood at the edge of the map near the objectives. Still a decent position when facing infantry, but suicidal when my Panzers charged them.

The end of the battle, after I won a legendary victory.



There were no German casualties. One tank was immobilized, another one suffered track damage and a Sd.Kfz. 222 lost a wheel. All vehicles were recovered.

Kills, awards and medals:

1/1/2-6 PzG 1/2/3 and their transports: none.

1/1-37 Aufklaerung/1: Veteran Driver
/2:Wound Badge (Black) for losing a wheel, which is somewhat odd as nobody was injured.

2/1-1 81mm mortars/1: none
/2:War Merit Cross 2nd Class, killed 1 Rifle squad and 1 50mm mortar team
/3: killed 1 76mm infantry gun crew
4/ War Merit Cross 2nd Class, killed 2 122mm gun crews
/5: none
/6:none.

Ju 87: /1: War Merit Cross 2nd Class, killed 1 Rifle squad
/2: killed 2 50mm mortar teams and 1 122mm cannon crew.

HQ 3/2-25 Panzer Regiment/1: War Merit Cross 2nd Class, killed 3 Rifle squads, 1 50mm mortar team and 2 Maxim teams
/2: killed 5 Rifle squads, 1 76mm infantry gun crew, 1 Maxim team and 50mm mortar teams.

2/3/2-25 Panzer Regiment/1: killed 3 Rifle squads.
/2: Iron Cross 2nd Class, killed 7 Rifle squads, 3 T-26 M39's and 1 76mm infantry gun crew.
/3: Wound Badge (Black), killed 3 Rifle squads and 1 Maxim team.
/4: killed 1 T-26 M39, 5 Rifle squads and 1 76mm infantry gun crew.
/5: Wound Badge (Black), killed 2 Rifle squads and 1 BA-6.

1/3/2-25 Panzer Regiment (now elite)/1: Iron Cross 2nd Class, killed 2 Rifle squads.
/2: War Merit Cross 2nd Class, killed 3 Rifle squads.
/3: killed 1 Rifle squad.
/4: War Merit Cross 2nd Class, killed 4 Rifle squads, 2 sniper teams (which took forever to kill, even from 15 meters and when fired at by 4 tanks).
/5: Iron Cross 2nd Class, killed 2 Rifle squads.

It feels odd to get wound badges without any actual injuries, the game seems to treat vehicles as if they're people when it comes to being "wounded" through damage.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 5/13/2011 9:54:05 PM >


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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/13/2011 3:26:21 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Thanks for posting this, you're off to a great start.

The AI doesn't like to move mortar and MGs much, especially when its on defense, as they are slow to move, ineffective while moving and vulnerable as well. 1941 Soviet Infantry against German Panzers, there's not that much they can do, the fun for the Soviets comes later.

quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP
It feels odd to get wound badges without any actual injuries, the game seems to treat vehicles as if they're people when it comes to being "wounded" through damage.


The assumption is that if the vehicle took some damage, one of the crew probably got nicked.

Regards,

- Erik

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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/13/2011 3:38:14 AM   
Mad Russian


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Selecting the "i" key will put the ID coins on your units and will make them easier to see in your screen shots. Both your forces and the enemy forces can then be seen.


Good Hunting.

MR


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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/13/2011 1:02:47 PM   
ComradeP

 

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quote:

The assumption is that if the vehicle took some damage, one of the crew probably got nicked.


If I were to make a suggestion, I'd suggest that mobility damage should not get you Wound Badges.

Unlike damage to a critical part of the tank like the main gun, track damage doesn't necessarily come from a penetrating hit. I'd even say it's unlikely to come from a penetrating hit. It's usually due to nearby explosions, something hitting a road wheel or simply throwing a track. The manual specified that the badge should be awarded to squads that earned an unrecovered loss, whilst the vehicles that threw a track or had a track/wheel blown off were all recovered. As other medals also use unrecovered losses in some way, it would be nice if mobility kills would not be seen as unrecovered losses provided the vehicles can be recovered.

quote:

Selecting the "i" key will put the ID coins on your units and will make them easier to see in your screen shots.


Will do.

I prefer to play without them as they can also obstruct the view, but I'll put them on for screenshots.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 5/13/2011 1:03:31 PM >


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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/13/2011 8:07:15 PM   
ComradeP

 

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All directions are: relative to the perspective seen in the screenshot.

I've installed the battle flags mod.

Second battle ended in another legendary victory, this time without any damage to my forces. I had to replay part of the battle after an extremely lucky 203mm hit knocked out a Panzer II.

The Soviets seem to get pretty serious artillery support, they had 152mm and 203mm support in this one. 203mm support means that you can forget about having your infantry anywhere near the front in the open.

The maps thus far have been quite open, so my infantry is mostly sitting around and doing nothing. The Soviets have so many Rifle squads that moving my own 3 squads to the frontline would be pretty suicidal even without the Soviet artillery.

The battle was somewhat tricky in theory, but my plan worked.



The start. My tanks are in the northwestern part of the orchard, from where they are scheduled to outflank Soviet defensive positions in the field north of them (I could see the trenches in the setup phase). I figured that most of the Soviet AT defenses would be focussed on the road in the central part of the map, between the orchard and the dried up river bed/ditch in the east.

As the Soviets already controlled one of the flags on the plowed field, I knew there were at least some units there.

Like one of the briefing excerpts from a German training manual advises, concentration of force is essential. As my advantage at this point comes from quality and not quantity, massing my tanks in one spot to ensure that even though their guns are not powerful, they will get a large number of shots in on the target is the best way to deal with Soviet defensive positions. The orchard will also limit how visible my tanks are.

My infantry spend the battle hiding in foxholes east of the orchard. For some reason there was a Maxim crew in one of them, which was quickly killed.



As I predicted, 3 Soviet 45mm AT guns were located in the central part of the map (and more in a treeline in the northwest). By turn 5, the 45mm's in the central part of the map were destroyed by massed fire. 1 tank might have a poor chance to hit, but if you have 4 tanks with a reasonable ROF firing at one target, shells will inevitably hit it. At this range, the Soviet AT guns could barely hit me and all shells bounced off. The destroyed AT guns are to the left of the western Soviet flag.

As you can see, some BT-7's came charging at me from across the map. The icons you see in the northwest are 2 (out of 4) more Soviet 45mm AT guns, powerless against me at that range.



By turn 10, 6 BT-7's were destroyed, leaving only one at the question mark in the central part of the screenshot. It's difficult to see at this angle, but the orchard and the field my tanks are adjacent to are higher than the central part of the map, so the BT-7's in the foreground were hull down when they were destroyed. All I had to do was wait until they popped up after moving into the low ground in the center. The other BT-7's were killed with poor or average chance to hit shots. I moved my Panzer 38(t)E's forwards a bit. My Panzer IIB's didn't do much as it was too risky to have them around with the 45mm AT guns firing at me.



2 of the 45mm guns in the woods of the northwest have been destroyed, 2 were abandoned by their crews after 2 damaging hits. All that remained was a massacre of the Soviet infantry, trying to move towards my tanks in despair (the trenches can only hold 2 squads). There were 2 BA-10M's at the position where the first AT guns were. They were quickly dealt with.



The end. My Panzer 38(t)E's moved across the plowed field towards the woods in the northwest to check whether the AT guns were really gone, but the scenario ended. A 76mm infantry gun got a final hit in on one of the Panzers, but it deflected.

Kills, awards and medals in the campaign thus far:

1/1/2-6 PzG /1 Close Combat Bar (Bronze) and War Merit Cross 2nd Class, all of that for killing one Maxim crew.
/2 and /3: nothing.

Transports: /2 Veteran Driver.
/1 and /3 nothing.

1/1-37 Aufklaerung/1: Veteran Driver
/2:Wound Badge (Black)

HQ 3/2-25 Panzer Regiment/1: War Merit Cross 2nd Class, killed 5 Rifle squads, 1 50mm mortar team, 3 Maxim crews, 1 45mm AT gun crew, 1 BT-7, 1 BA-10M.
/2: killed 6 Rifle squads, 1 76mm infantry gun crew, 1 Maxim crew, 1 50mm mortar team, 1 AT Rifle squad, 1 BA-10M and 2 BT-7's.

2/3/2-25 Panzer Regiment/1: killed 6 Rifle squads and 1 45mm AT gun crew.
/2: Iron Cross 2nd Class, killed 11 Rifle squads, 3 T-26 M39's, 1 76mm infantry gun crew, 2 Maxim crews, 1 BT-7, 1 45mm AT gun crew and 1 AT Rifle squad. 20 kills in two battles.
/3: Wound Badge (Black), killed 3 Rifle squads, 1 Maxim crew, 1 BT-7 and 2 45mm AT gun crews.
/4: War Merit Cross 2nd Class, killed 1 T-26 M39, 5 Rifle squads, 1 76mm infantry gun crew, 2 BT-7's, 2 Maxim crews, 1 AT Rifle squad, 1 45mm AT gun crew.
/5: Wound Badge (Black) and Iron Cross 2nd Class, killed 2 Rifle squads, 1 BA-6, 1 AT Rifle squad and 1 Maxim crew.

1/3/2-25 Panzer Regiment (now elite)/1: Iron Cross 2nd Class, killed 2 Rifle squads.
/2: War Merit Cross 2nd Class, killed 4 Rifle squads.
/3: killed 4 Rifle squad and 1 Maxim crew.
/4: War Merit Cross 2nd Class and Veteran Driver, killed 5 Rifle squads, 2 Sniper teams.
/5: Iron Cross 2nd Class and Veteran Driver, killed 4 Rifle squads.

My primary edge over the Soviets will be unit quality, and I'm really hoping to get some good medals and awards soon, such as the Panzer Ace ability as I'll need that +1 Penetration against the T-34's in order to deal with them at reasonable combat ranges. The main advantage of such a long campaign is that statistically speaking, I should probably get all available non-wound badge medals and awards as long as I don't suffer losses. Of course, such a lengthy campaign is also more difficult to win, so I'll need every edge I can get.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 5/13/2011 9:09:24 PM >


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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/13/2011 8:43:14 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP
If I were to make a suggestion, I'd suggest that mobility damage should not get you Wound Badges.

Unlike damage to a critical part of the tank like the main gun, track damage doesn't necessarily come from a penetrating hit. I'd even say it's unlikely to come from a penetrating hit. It's usually due to nearby explosions, something hitting a road wheel or simply throwing a track. The manual specified that the badge should be awarded to squads that earned an unrecovered loss, whilst the vehicles that threw a track or had a track/wheel blown off were all recovered. As other medals also use unrecovered losses in some way, it would be nice if mobility kills would not be seen as unrecovered losses provided the vehicles can be recovered.


Mobility damage can mean engine damage, which could wound the driver, but I agree that track damage would be unlikely to wound the crew. The wound badge is actually for a recovered loss, unfortunately that's a typo in the manual. An unrecovered loss would mean the squad or vehicle is gone. With that said, it's a valid question whether taking track damaged should count. We can put that on the tweak list so that track damage does not count towards wound badges for the crew.

quote:

I prefer to play without them as they can also obstruct the view, but I'll put them on for screenshots.


By the way, have you tried the new Alt-key cinematic view?

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/13/2011 8:49:15 PM   
ComradeP

 

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quote:

Mobility damage can mean engine damage, which could wound the driver,


Ah, yes, of course. Just track damage then.

quote:

By the way, have you tried the new Alt-key cinematic view?


Not yet I believe, only the normal view and the commander's view.

As to typo's/unclear descriptions in the manual, the Panzer Assault Badge (Silver):

quote:

The Silver iteration of the Panzer Assault Badge required that its recipients take part in three
tank assaults on three separate days, to be wounded in the course of a tank assault, OR to have
earned a decoration for bravery in the course of a tank assault.


quote:

A Panzer squad with at least Veteran experience, a Wound Badge of any kind (Black, Silver, or
Gold), AND one other medal of any kind, which also has participated in three or more campaign
scenarios


Do we, or do we not need both a Wound Badge and another medal in order to be able to get the Panzer Assault Badge (Silver)?


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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/13/2011 8:51:29 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP
Like on of the briefing excerpts from a German training manual advises, concentration of force is essential. As my advantage at this point comes from quality and not quantity, massing my tanks in one spot to ensure that even though their guns are not powerful, they will get a large number of shots in on the target is the best way to deal with Soviet defensive positions. The orchard will also limit how visible my tanks are.


Great battle, I'm enjoying your AAR. I've played well into the 97 battle version of this same campaign myself, so I have some idea what's in store for you.

The quote above is absolutely correct. If you take advantage of your mobility and concentrate your forces, you can win battles where the Soviets outnumber you and may have more powerful forces in the aggregate, but can't respond quickly enough to counter your spearhead. While these early battles are one-sided, there is a tactical art in winning them without taking losses and slicing through the Soviet forces to achieve quick and decisive victories that set you up for the rest of the campaign.

With the Panzer 38ts, you really do need some Panzer Aces and ideally you want them to have a few more key medals and the Elite bonuses as well. Even then, some of those upcoming battles are quite tough!

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/13/2011 9:01:08 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

quote:

The Silver iteration of the Panzer Assault Badge required that its recipients take part in three
tank assaults on three separate days, to be wounded in the course of a tank assault, OR to have
earned a decoration for bravery in the course of a tank assault.


quote:

A Panzer squad with at least Veteran experience, a Wound Badge of any kind (Black, Silver, or
Gold), AND one other medal of any kind, which also has participated in three or more campaign
scenarios


Do we, or do we not need both a Wound Badge and another medal in order to be able to get the Panzer Assault Badge (Silver)?



The second description should be correct. The first one is the historical description, the second is the game rule description. To confirm 100%, I'd have to check the code... hang on... yes, the second description is accurate.

It's also worth mentioning for the medals that have enemy destroyed as a component. The more impressive the performance of the unit, the better its chance of earning that medal. Even outstanding performances can sometimes be overlooked or the paperwork for the medal lost, but the chance is much greater than if you just meet the minimum requirements.

Regards,

- Erik

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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/13/2011 9:47:40 PM   
ComradeP

 

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By the way, my compliments for how relatively easy it is to get into the game, due to its functional UI and "easy to learn, difficult to master" approach. It's been years since I played 3D WWII tactical wargames and the last non-IGOUGO tactical game I played was probably CC:CoI, but it was very easy to learn the basic PCO principles and start playing.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 5/13/2011 9:48:18 PM >


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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/13/2011 9:49:54 PM   
RedCharlie65

 

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Great read with you AAR.  Could you give us some close in shots please?

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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/13/2011 9:52:08 PM   
ComradeP

 

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Sure. I'm running at the highest graphics settings (I have a 3 year old PC, I'm not experiencing any slowdowns), but as the screenshots would be .jpg's, the graphics would look a bit bland due to the compression probably.

-

I see I deleted the two screenshots of the first battle by mistake, I'll upload them again.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 5/13/2011 9:53:18 PM >


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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/13/2011 10:14:08 PM   
Mad Russian


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The screen shots taken in PCO are actually bmp's not jpgs. You have to convert them to jpg's to display them here in the forums.

Good Hunting.

MR


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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/13/2011 10:20:35 PM   
ComradeP

 

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quote:

The screen shots taken in PCO are actually bmp's not jpgs. You have to convert them to jpg's to display them here in the forums.


Yes, but I upload them as .jpg's.



Commander's View from a Panzer 38(t)E.



A wrecked BT-7 with the body of a rifleman under it. The tanks responsible for the destruction are looking for new targets in the background.



A 45mm AT gun with a dead crewman next to it and a dead cow in the background.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 5/13/2011 10:22:20 PM >


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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/14/2011 2:01:45 AM   
RedCharlie65

 

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Very cool.  I've always been interested in the first year of the war in the east.  Currently reading http://www.amazon.com/Bloody-Triangle-Defeat-Soviet-Ukraine/dp/076033434X Bloody Triangle: Defeat of Soviet Armor in the Ukraine.  Your screenshots remind me of those battles.

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Post #: 18
RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/14/2011 4:52:03 AM   
Mad Russian


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"Bloody Triangle" is really good book. I have talked with the author about PCO scenarios and had him help us with research for the Contact at Lipki scenario.

Good Hunting.

MR


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Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/14/2011 5:21:28 AM   
general_solomon

 

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thanks for starting this up. looking forward to seeing you play the full campaign.

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RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/14/2011 5:20:18 PM   
ComradeP

 

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OK, the third battle included the first big scare: 3 KV-1 M39's. When I saw that I got some Panzer IVD's for the mission, my wargaming instinct told me that this mission would include either T-34's or KV-1's, as it would not be logical to give me Panzer IVD's for dealing with BT's or T-26's. Of course, by winter I probably won't get reinforcements, so things will get interesting.

To my surprise (after checking penetration values in the unit information screen) it seems that even the Panzer IIB can penetrate the T-34's armour at the side at really close range, which will be quite useful I think. The Panzer 38(t)E's APCR shells are also quite good.

Even though I suggested not giving wound badge medals for thrown/disabled tracks, without those I wouldn't be able to get all the badges/medals, so thus far it's nice. 4 out of my 12 tanks have a wound badge now.

Legendary victory, no casualties. 2 tanks with track damage on one side, both were recovered. There was a 30 turn timer on the scenario.



The objective I needed to capture was on a hill. I placed my tanks in a flanking position, which means that as they move up the hill, they're not visible from the Soviet positions near the flag. Soviet defensive positions face east, I'll be coming from the west.



Turn 9. My tanks move into position. The Panzer IVD's were tasked with protecting the left flank, as I was afraid there would be something there (which turned out to be true as you can see in the next screenshot...), the two HQ Panzer 38(t)E's discovered a BA-10M, which stunned one of my tanks before it was destroyed by the tank it had stunned. My other tanks were tasked with wheeling towards the flag to attack Soviet positions from behind. The Panzer IIB's were kept in reserve until I knew there were either no AT guns in the area or that all of them were destroyed. Up until this point, all we had bumped into were 3 Rifle squads that were promptly gunned down.



3 KV-1 M39's were discovered on turn 10 and they were surprised. Two were burning before the Soviets could lift a finger, after which I moved my Panzer IVD's back to attack from another angle as I didn't want to start a duel with the third KV-1. I approached from a slightly different angle, resulting in the destruction of the final KV-1 on turn 13. My Panzer IVD's had only 3 out of 20 HEAT rounds left by that point. There was a 45mm AT gun in a flanking position, which was abandoned by its crew after some HE fire.



Turn 20. My core tanks are at the flag in an overwatch position, the Panzer IVD's are moving up along the map edge. Two BT-5's coming from map edge near the flag and a BT-7M on the other side of the map (near the concentration of Soviets you see in the next screenshot) were destroyed. The next few turns involved the obligatory turkey shoot of large numbers of Rifle units.



Turn 30. I have no idea what that large concentration of Soviets is doing on the other side of the map, as there's no objective there, but perhaps they're reinforcements or the AI was scared that I would flank it.

Kills, awards and medals in the campaign thus far:

Core:

1/1/2-6 PzG /1 Close Combat Bar (Bronze) and War Merit Cross 2nd Class.
/2 Infantry Assault Badge (Bronze).
/3: nothing.

Transports: /1 Veteran Driver
/2 Veteran Driver.
/3 nothing.

1/1-37 Aufklaerung/1: Veteran Driver
/2: Wound Badge (Black)

HQ 3/2-25 Panzer Regiment/1: War Merit Cross 2nd Class, killed 8 Rifle squads, 3 50mm mortar teams, 3 Maxim crews, 1 45mm AT gun crew, 1 BT-7, 2 BA-10M's, 1 DShK 39 crew and 1 BT-5.
/2: Wound Badge (Black), killed 11 Rifle squads, 1 76mm infantry gun crew, 1 Maxim crew, 1 50mm mortar team, 1 AT Rifle squad, 1 BA-10M, 2 BT-7's and 1 BT-5.

2/3/2-25 Panzer Regiment/1: War Merit Cross 2nd Class, killed 6 Rifle squads, 1 45mm AT gun crew and 1 50mm mortar crew.
/2: Iron Cross 2nd Class, killed 12 Rifle squads, 3 T-26 M39's, 1 76mm infantry gun crew, 2 Maxim crews, 1 BT-7, 1 45mm AT gun crew and 1 AT Rifle squad.
/3: Wound Badge (Black) and Veteran Driver, killed 5 Rifle squads, 1 Maxim crew, 1 BT-7, 2 45mm AT gun crews and 1 BT-7M.
/4: War Merit Cross 2nd Class and Wound Badge (Black), killed 1 T-26 M39, 6 Rifle squads, 1 76mm infantry gun crew, 2 BT-7's, 2 Maxim crews, 1 AT Rifle squad and 2 45mm AT gun crews.
/5: Wound Badge (Black), Iron Cross 2nd Class and Panzer Assault Badge (Silver), killed 2 Rifle squads, 1 BA-6, 1 AT Rifle squad and 1 Maxim crew.

1/3/2-25 Panzer Regiment /1: Iron Cross 2nd Class, killed 3 Rifle squads and 1 50mm mortar crew.
/2: War Merit Cross 2nd Class, killed 5 Rifle squads and 1 50mm mortar crew.
/3: killed 5 Rifle squad and 1 Maxim crew.
/4: War Merit Cross 2nd Class and Veteran Driver, killed 5 Rifle squads, 2 Sniper teams.
/5: Iron Cross 2nd Class and Veteran Driver, killed 5 Rifle squads and 1 Sniper team.

Non-core (kills in this scenario):

2/1/2-25 Panzer Regiment/1: Veteran Driver, killed 1 KV-1 M39.
/2: Iron Cross 2nd Class, killed 1 Rifle squad, 1 45mm AT gun crew and 1 50mm mortar crew.
/3: Iron Cross 2nd Class, killed 3 Rifle squads and 1 KV-1 M39.
/4: Killed 2 Rifle squads and 1 KV-1 M39.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 5/14/2011 5:59:45 PM >


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Post #: 21
RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/14/2011 8:09:10 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Good for you that those Panzer IVDs were available in the same battle that the KV-1s showed up!

The first encounter with Soviet Heavy Tanks, even Green early war models, is always a bit hairy. Figuring out their weak spots and how to outmaneuver them to either avoid them and win the scenario through other means or take them out with close range flank or rear shots (harder with a KV than a T-34) is a real challenge.

Congratulations on the victory. I wonder how long you will be able to maintain your string of flawless victories?

Regards,

- Erik

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Post #: 22
RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/14/2011 9:24:14 PM   
RedCharlie65

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mad Russian

"Bloody Triangle" is really good book. I have talked with the author about PCO scenarios and had him help us with research for the Contact at Lipki scenario.

Good Hunting.

MR



Very cool. Will have to check that scenario out. While currently reading the book, I kept thinking about how so many small battles in the text would make great scenarios.

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Post #: 23
RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/14/2011 11:30:02 PM   
Mad Russian


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The battles for Lipki aren't in his book. I contacted him about Lipki because one of the units in that battle was in his book and thought maybe he did some research on it. He had.

Nice guy.

I HIGHLY recommend "Bloody Triangle: The Defeat of Soviet Armor in the Ukrain, June 1941." by Victor Kamenir. It sells for around $20 on Amazon.

Good Hunting.

MR

< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 5/14/2011 11:32:27 PM >


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Post #: 24
RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/15/2011 1:29:36 AM   
ComradeP

 

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quote:

Figuring out their weak spots and how to outmaneuver them to either avoid them and win the scenario through other means or take them out with close range flank or rear shots (harder with a KV than a T-34) is a real challenge.


I'm primarily concerned about the lack of smoke ammunition for most of my units, which I'll need to outflank the Soviets in open maps. If this battle had been fought on a map like in the first two battles, there would've been very little I could do about the KV-1's aside from praying the Panzer IVD's would get lucky at medium to long range.

quote:

Congratulations on the victory. I wonder how long you will be able to maintain your string of flawless victories?


I'm hoping to keep winning with legendary victories for at least a while. Like I said in the first post, I'm a perfectionist and to me every battle is a puzzle that I want to solve. If a battle can be won convincingly, I'll try to do so.

It might not be historical to fight the war (mostly) without losses, but it's challenging to try and I enjoy being challenged. My primary concerns for late war scenarios are Soviet AT guns, not tanks, but as I'll presumably be fighting plenty of defensive battles after mid-1943, I'll face less Soviet AT guns.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 5/15/2011 1:30:40 AM >


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Post #: 25
RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/15/2011 2:59:40 PM   
ComradeP

 

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FNG has started a 1st Panzer 96 long campaign AAR that fans of a more "historical" war (with core losses) might appreciate more than my "play every battle as if it's a puzzle" AAR.

His tactics will also probably be a bit different as he has a better core (tanks with 50mm or 75mm guns, although 11 tanks total instead of 12) to start with, although he will probably also face tougher resistance. For example: I have yet to encounter a 76.2mm AT gun, whilst he encountered one in his first battle.

It seems that, as a general rule of thumb, if you get significant support of some kind, it will mean the battle will be more difficult than normal. Of course, the late 1941 battles will probably feature less reinforcements or none at all.

Battle 4 was easier than I had expected based on the briefing, primarily because I could see the on-map Soviet tanks at the start, so those were all gone by turn 4. Another legendary victory without losses, in this case primarily because the Soviets didn't have anything that could realistically touch my Panzer 38(t)E's at medium range.

All battles seem to follow the same order of events thus far: find and eliminate the enemy's mobile elements/find and eliminate the enemy AT guns and then massacre the enemy infantry which is essentially powerless against tanks. Even later in the war, I don't expect that to change much as the Soviets lagged behind in developing ranged infantry held AT weapons. In 1944, an attack at close range with tanks on German infantry would be met with a hail of Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck fire, but all the Soviets would have would be RPG-43's and RPG-6's to throw with and perhaps a Lend-Lease Bazooka if they're lucky. It's quite a big difference.

According to the briefing, I should try to achieve victory before turn 22. I believe the battle ended at turn 19.

It seems I forgot to take a screenshot of the setup phase.

All my tanks were concentrated on the road in the western part of the map. There was a large dried up riverbed or gully on the eastern part of the map that I would have had to move through, and attacking through that would have heavily favoured the Soviets, so I decided to flank their positions. The briefing mentioned minefields being present, and it seemed likely to me that those would probably be concentrated in the eastern part of the map. There were 6 T-26 M33's in a field north of my starting position, as well as a BA-10M.



I ordered my tanks to simply advance in the direction of the enemy, figuring that the chance that the T-26's would get a penetrating hit was minimal, and the chance that my tanks would be able to score hits whilst moving was still good. In the screenshots, my spearhead is moving towards the wrecked T-26's.

You can see the objectives I need to capture in the background as well as the large dried up riverbed or gully I mentioned.

My Panzer 38(t)E's were ordered to move to the woods you can see on the left, whilst my Panzer IIB's were ordered to remove the Soviet infantry hiding in the woods in the direction of the perspective the screenshot was taken from (a bit to the left of the camera).



The screenshot's probably a bit unclear, but you might be able to see the Panzer IIB's on the left and the Panzer 38(t)E's moving towards the second objective on the right. I ended up turning the two HQ tanks around to guard the first flag as there were Rifle units north of it that were trying to recapture it.

Aside from the T-26's, the only AT weapon on the map was a single AT gun at the third flag. The end game review also included a BT-5, but that wasn't on the map when the battle ended, perhaps it was a reinforcement unit.



The end battle screen, looking from the third flag towards the other side of the map where my PanzerIIB's are.

Kills, awards and medals in the campaign thus far:

Core:

1/1/2-6 PzG /1 Close Combat Bar (Bronze) and War Merit Cross 2nd Class.
/2 Infantry Assault Badge (Bronze), Close Combat Bar (Bronze).
/3: nothing.

Transports: /1 Veteran Driver
/2 Veteran Driver.
/3 nothing.

1/1-37 Aufklaerung/1: Veteran Driver
/2: Wound Badge (Black)

HQ 3/2-25 Panzer Regiment/1: War Merit Cross 2nd Class, War Merit Cross 1st Class and Iron Cross 2nd Class, killed 10 Rifle squads, 3 50mm mortar teams, 3 Maxim crews, 1 45mm AT gun crew, 1 BT-7, 2 BA-10M's, 1 DShK 39 crew and 1 BT-5.
/2: Wound Badge (Black), killed 12 Rifle squads, 1 76mm infantry gun crew, 1 Maxim crew, 1 50mm mortar team, 1 AT Rifle squad, 1 BA-10M, 2 BT-7's and 1 BT-5.

2/3/2-25 Panzer Regiment/1: War Merit Cross 2nd Class and Veteran Driver, killed 6 Rifle squads, 1 45mm AT gun crew, 1 50mm mortar crew and 2 T-26 M33's.
/2: Iron Cross 2nd Class and War Merit Cross 2nd Class, killed 13 Rifle squads, 3 T-26 M39's, 1 76mm infantry gun crew, 2 Maxim crews, 1 BT-7, 1 45mm AT gun crew, 1 AT Rifle squad, 1 BA-10M and 2 T-26 M33's.
/3: Wound Badge (Black), Veteran Driver and Iron Cross 2nd Class, killed 6 Rifle squads, 2 Maxim crews, 1 BT-7, 2 45mm AT gun crews, 1 BT-7M and 1 DShK crew.
/4: War Merit Cross 2nd Class, Wound Badge (Black), Iron Cross 2nd Class and Panzer Assault Badge (Silver), killed 1 T-26 M39, 9 Rifle squads, 1 76mm infantry gun crew, 2 BT-7's, 2 Maxim crews, 1 AT Rifle squad, 3 45mm AT gun crews, 1 T-26 M33 and 2 DShK crews.
/5: Wound Badge (Black), Iron Cross 2nd Class and Panzer Assault Badge (Silver), killed 7 Rifle squads, 1 BA-6, 1 AT Rifle squad and 3 Maxim crews.

1/3/2-25 Panzer Regiment /1: Iron Cross 2nd Class, killed 10 Rifle squads and 1 50mm mortar crew.
/2: War Merit Cross 2nd Class, killed 6 Rifle squads and 1 50mm mortar crew.
/3: Iron Cross 2nd Class and War Merit Cross 2nd Class, killed 8 Rifle squad and 1 Maxim crew.
/4: War Merit Cross 2nd Class, Veteran Driver and Iron Cross 2nd Class, killed 7 Rifle squads, 2 Sniper teams.
/5: Iron Cross 2nd Class, Veteran Driver and War Merit Cross 2nd Class, killed 8 Rifle squads and 1 Sniper team.

-

Battle 5 includes reinforcements of Panzer IVD's and the Luftwaffe seems to have been to that part of the Soviet Union before as there are 2 T-34 wrecks on the map. I am told to expect "very heavy resistance", so I'm going to make a cautious guess that I'll need those HEAT rounds on the Panzer IVD's again.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 5/15/2011 3:10:33 PM >


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Post #: 26
RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/15/2011 3:06:15 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 32949
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The blitzkrieg rolls on! Great job again. Could you tell us what date you are up to in the campaign so far? With the long campaign, time moves forward fairly slowly but it would be good to get a sense of when each battle is happening.

While those 50mm Panzer IIIs the 1st Panzer Division has are nice, one thing you have to love about the 38tE is the better frontal armor that lets it worry less about a lucky shot from a T-26 or BT.

Regards,

- Erik

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Post #: 27
RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/15/2011 3:15:24 PM   
ComradeP

 

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Ah, yes, forgot to mention the dates.

The first 2 battles were in June, the 5th battle is 20-something of July.

quote:

While those 50mm Panzer IIIs the 1st Panzer Division has are nice, one thing you have to love about the 38tE is the better frontal armor that lets it worry less about a lucky shot from a T-26 or BT.


That's also why I'm very grateful that you gave the player Panzer38(t)E's and not the early production variant, as that would've made the game quite a bit more difficult. Now, although the gun isn't great, the armour can indeed be relied upon to stop 45mm gun hits.

The Panzer IVE's 1st Panzer gets do have good armour for 1941 standards, though. My non-core Panzer IVD's are fragile, but pack a punch. The Panzer IIB's are just...well, they're quite good against infantry as they have an amazing ROF, but they can't take hits from any credible gun.

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Post #: 28
RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/15/2011 3:17:18 PM   
junk2drive


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Don't underestimate the T26s with a 45mm gun. I played the tutorial MP as Soviets and took out all the PZIIIs with my T26 39s.

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Post #: 29
RE: 7th Panzer 97 battle long campaign AAR - 5/15/2011 3:23:28 PM   
ComradeP

 

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quote:

Don't underestimate the T26s with a 45mm gun. I played the tutorial MP as Soviets and took out all the PZIIIs with my T26 39s.


The Panzer IIIH's in the tutorial are green, and the veteran T-26's need a side hit to take them out, as they generally can't hope to penetrate the frontal armour. Sure, my tanks can also have their side armour penetrated (in fact, in the first screenshot of the battle, you might note that the side armour of one of my tanks was indeed penetrated, but the hit did no damage). As long as you don't get flanked, the Panzer 38(t)E frontal armour's good enough against 1930's tanks.

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