The videos are really useful and interesting. But it is always interesting after a battle to analyze the battle for lessons. Now as far as my competence goes, let me say that in my first try at the first Boot Camp scenario, I lost ALL my men when my MG team was suppressed and my advancing Panzergrenadiers were taken in the flank by TWO advancing Russians on my right flank, and when my smoke ran out before I could reach the church . On the second try I took the objective without taking any casualties at all.
What I would like to discuss is the second boot camp scenario (skip this if you don't want spoilers). I did not see the video before starting the scenario. I am still playing it at home, so the outcome is still a bit unsure, but I think it is going well. The big difference with the video is that I moved the unit on my left flank to the startup area near the bridge, and when the scenario started I rushed them to the copse on the left of the bridge across the river (whereas the video has them starting in their own area and rushing towards the river). The other two squads went to the same places as in the video, in the church and in the woods to the right of the bridge.
Another difference is that I was somewhat more conservative in the early use of artillery, starting out with only the 85 mm mortars when there were at least a few enemy trucks visible. I have to say that I did not know where the Russians were going to come from, nor if all of them were going to come from the same direction. However my decision to wait a bit before going in with the heavy artillery turned out to be fortuitous, because after the mortars were finished and I called in the heavies, they caught large numbers of Soviets around the Soviet tree line and decimated them. As for the trucks, ALL of the half-dozen or so that I destroyed were killed by infantry fire, after which infantry fire and artillery fire kept them at bay. It is worth noting that because of the terrain, the 3rd infantry on the left of the bridge cannot see most of the approaching Soviets, which could be an advantage if they get close, since he would have to engage only the closest ones piecemeal, and if they don't get close, they won't take the bridge.
OK, let us now consider strategies and tactics; it seems to me that the 3rd infantry is better near the bridge for two reasons: 1) The objective is the bridge;2) sending them near the river means that they are far ahead of the objective and will probably take considerable casualties. There is a third reason discussed later when alternative Soviet dispositions are discussed. In the video, these PzGr DID take fairly heavy casualties, and if the video had not ended when it did, they probably would have been annihilated.
It is too bad that one cannot play the Soviets in this scenario, because if I were the Soviets, I would not have come along the river as they did. Why? Because the objective is the bridge, and the main obstacle to getting there is the church with infantry calling in artillery and picking off Soviet troops. So an alternative Soviet strategy is to follow the road until the intersection, then make a sharp right turn along the road to the church and rush it. This would have the advantage of staying out of range of the German infantry hidden in the bushes, avoiding any pre-computed artillery in the fields, and an almost certainty to take the church along with the German infantry HQ and preventing any more artillery spotting. To make things worse for the Germans, after the church is taken, the 3rd German squad is out of range of the bridge, leaving only a single German squad defending the bridge.
With this strategy, the only German unit able to fire on the approaching Soviets is the HQ in the church, but it is unlikely that he alone could pin many Soviet units to make it easier for the artillery to hit them while they are pinned.
That is one good thing about this game, there are usually more than one way to play a scenario, and the first time one plays it or if playing against a human, one must take into account various contingencies, such as the possibility of different enemy dispositions and plans. As a matter of fact it might be interesting to have more than one version of some scenarios, with the one being chosen at random, so that the player against the AI is not sure against which one he is playing.
Anyhow, these videos are great and very useful - even for criticizing . Keep them coming!
< Message edited by henri51 -- 5/26/2011 2:05:43 PM >