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Tanks / Stuka to weak?

 
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Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/16/2011 4:36:56 PM   
Mart.n

 

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Hi!

Ok I love the game. :)

But I was just wondering, whether the tanks and the Stukas are too weak compared too history (and PG). The strategy of Blitzkrieg - that obviously was used in most of the war by Germany and later Russia - is based on the following idea:

You attack where the defender has its weakest point and drive through with your motorized forces covered by airforce. You dont give a damn about your flanks and the following infantery units and just keep on driving. This strategy was perfectly utilized by Manstein, Rommel, Schukow and several other great Generals. It's whole purpose was to cut of the fighting army at the front and form a pocket, destroying valuable supply and long range units from the rear. And of course disallowing the enemy to retreat or send reinforcements.

Due to the necessary speed, this was mainly done by tank division (later accompanied by motorized infantery). But especially early in the war (Poland, France, early Russia) this strategy was based on fast moving tanks that were supported by strategic air force units like the Ju87 Stuka.

In PC the maps are obviously not big enough to simulate such an environment. There are just a few "open" areas before you meet the next city. Therefore, the decisive actions take place in the cities and their surrounding bunkers / defensive lines. But especially in those areas, tanks and Stukas fail completely. Even if you manage to break through the lines and drive to a city in the Hinterlands, there are good chances that those cities contain a deeply digged in infantery unit. And even with PzIVs (that are exceptionally good against soft targets) you do not stand a real chance to win without heavy losses. Bypassing the city and drive further is also kind of impossible because of the "stop zone" around other units.

Due to this, Infantery (esp. Pioneers) combined with Long Range Artillery are much more deadly than the armor/bomber combination. And this actually isn't correct as we are not playing during the 1st world war. Armored Panzer divisions were the most deadly thing available, especially when the Luftwaffe held air superiority and was able to support the tanks heavily.

In Panzer General, this was reflected by most of the tanks (PzIV versions, Tiger + Panther later on) were able to annihilate Infantery without major issues, unless they had a level 9 digged in status and were covered by artillery. I mean, this is not "Private Ryan" where you kill Tigers with your socks. It is nearly impossible to kill such a steel monster without heavy artillery or anti tank available.

Long post, short summary: I think Tanks and Stukas need a small enhancement vs Infantery.

What do you think?
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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/16/2011 5:14:39 PM   
vonRocko

 

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I was surprised by how easily the Polish cavalry damages my armor!

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/16/2011 7:53:24 PM   
gogol


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we usualy overestimate the tanks.
they had very poor visibility, they had breakdowns, bog, supply troubles,
a tank needs infantry for support and spotting. otherwise it was much more easier than you think to
approach one and stick your sock on it.
alone, it is good at long range fighting. but that's all
use their other advantages like speed.

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/16/2011 7:55:16 PM   
Josh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: vonRocko

I was surprised by how easily the Polish cavalry damages my armor!


Uhm yeah, me too. I must say I'm still strugling to learn the game. I'm used to using armour for wide open spaces, and Inf for hills and forests, but as Mart.n stated there is no such option in PC. There's no space for it. And I forgot how I did that in PG. Using 1-2 units of Inf, 1-2 Art units, maybe covered by planes to take cities/fortified positions, is taking way too long. And tanks can't blast their way through it.
The way I'm using armour now is to take on Inf and tanks that are in open fields, other than that I use them for flank protection only. Maybe my armour needs more Exp to take out dug in Inf.?

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/16/2011 7:57:41 PM   
Razz


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Remember all units get better as you upgrade.

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/16/2011 9:08:43 PM   
Gary Childress


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quote:

ORIGINAL: vonRocko

I was surprised by how easily the Polish cavalry damages my armor!


I was thinking the same thing. Polish cavalry has been knocking my tanks senseless when in cover which is about 2/3 the terrian on the map. I was under the impression that it should be the opposite. In fact tanks seem relatively second rate to infantry. I'd rather attack wth infantry rather than tanks. They seem to do better in the game. In part this is because tanks seem to be heavily penalized when attacking fixed defenses or units in cities and defenders seem to stick to garrisoning cities more so than fighting in the open. Somewhere along the way something is not as it should be. Tanks weren't exactly a liability in battle.

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/16/2011 9:42:37 PM   
RandomAttack


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I'm convinced much of the possible issue is the "close terrain" mechanic that caps initiative and seems to cover about half the terrain types. I'm trying a game where I modified the terrain.pzdat to only have close terrain/initiative caps in mountains, cites, thick forests, and bocage (NOT regular forests, hills, and swamps). While the close terrain bonus is great, it's so powerful and covers so much of the terrain it seem to nerf tanks too much.

But I also think the unit stats were built with this mechanic in mind, so I'm not sure if tweaking it will mess up the overall balance. What the heck, worst thing that can happen is I waste a few hours.

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/16/2011 10:05:13 PM   
Bismarck


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Of course, you know that the Polish caw were really mounted infantry with an anti-tank rife that could do damage to those MkIs.

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/16/2011 10:07:25 PM   
SeaMonkey

 

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I would propose that to simulate the blitzkrieg type of warfare, enemy units that are passed by, ie surrounded by the opponent's zones of control(last to pass through) creates a situation where the surrounded unit is out of communications. The consequences there of would be an initiative penalty as in a mass attack, no resupply or reinforcement and obviously unable to place built units in the adjacent hexes if the unit occupies a town/city.

Further, I would imagine that the surrounded unit knowing that it was cut-off would collapse its defensive abilities into a 360 degree deployment thusly it would no longer exert a ZoC.

Now the controlling player of the countryside can at his leisure reduce the defensive deployment with the follow up infantry thereby making tanks that much more useful in an historical sense.

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/16/2011 10:50:33 PM   
Dale H


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It's not the tanks that are too weak - the anti-tank weapons are on steroids! Stukas are just about right.

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/16/2011 11:13:47 PM   
RandomAttack


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I will say that in good ol' PG I could almost ignore having infantry-- just a couple of engineers and a couple of bridging units would do. I realize that's not "realistic", but it worked and was great fun. Plus the maps & scale supported big sweeping envelopments.

NOW, however, you really NEED a number of good infantry-type units to take those cities (or risk major losses). That's fine-- just different. Plus the scale isn't quite the same and there is less room to maneuver. SeaMonkey's proposal would help that a LOT, if it could be implemented. Another way might be to give some kind of "Combined Arms" bonus over & above the mass attack one. So if a Tank and an Inf were adjacent to a target they might get an extra point or two.

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/17/2011 12:39:05 AM   
krupp_88mm


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yeah tanks do have limited use in this PC compared to PG, part of the problem is the way the ai fights, in multilayer tanks can be really useful, i also think artillery is OP especially in suppressive fire, put a few artillery next to eachother and its nearly impossible to take it out unless you suppress them first with your artillery (race for artillery), i have a change i think could make the game alot more enjoyable and thats attacking tanks are immune or 1/2 immune to artillery defensive fire, that alone i think would be enough reason for me to employ alot more tanks

also other issues that need fixed asap

#1 the sdkf transport the first one costs 100 which is fine, but the upgrade costs 200 and the only difference is ? 5 more fuel? that is hardly a worthwhile upgrade for 200 and it makes your units to expensive to replace, need to reduce its cost

the unit replacement costs (regular replacements) is too cheap this results in multiplayer battles where your only objective is to kill units, as they can be fully repaired for 20 or so prestige but to destroy them costs hundreds, the cheap unit replacement needs to be more expensive, i can have a never ending wave after wave of infantry and units with such low replacement costs without regard to their casualties as long as they destroy enemy units

another thing i would like to see changed. just personally is aa units be able to attack, yes i know in PG they couldn't either, but without the ability to attack they are nearly useless, and they could attack IRL, like the halftrack mounted aa was great for attacking infantry, but they cant to any damage in this game, i love the 88 for its ability to attack and use it alot, if other aa could do this i would use it alot more in my army giving an alternative to mass fighters

and finally aircraft ranges, do you love that feeling when you capture an airfield and know you've just denied his fighters and bombers the ability to operate over an area of the map? yeah me neither.... plane ranges are too great across the board, what is the point of even having airfields to capture when planes can fly so far, i say cut down aircraft ranges / fuel by about 1/2 across the board, that will make the game ALOT more interesting in the air, fighters and bombers will need those airbases you capture badly, and wont be able to operate at some points in the battle till you capture them, also reduce bomber / fighter ammo, they have too much ammo especially since the rearm automatically when next to an airfield, give them less ammo and those airbases become much more important, also is it just me or strategic bombers and suppressing the enemy? whats going on is it working or not? maybe when they attack they could remove two entrenchment levels instead of one, also i would like to see fighters unable to reduce entrenchment when attacking, being i can reduce entrenchment of a unit with fighters 2 per turn it seems gimmicky that a fighter strafe will reduce their entrenchment


those are my ideas for better gameplay






< Message edited by krupp_88mm -- 7/17/2011 12:51:48 AM >


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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/17/2011 12:55:36 AM   
Razz


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The cost of artillery is too cheap as it is easy to spam. No need to change combat effects as they have been tested for months.

If replacing strength is too easy then the scenario has too much prestige.

Still I agree infantry is still a little too cheap as you can buy 4 to 5 infantry for every good tank. Of course if your Russian make that 10 conscripts for every KV-2.

Another way to fix this is to reduce the cost of all tanks a little and then give each scenario less prestige and prestige per turn.

The switch thing needs to be tested and should expand to other units in future patches. So I would wait on that aspect.

As far as I'm concerned many of the MP maps now have too much prestige to start. That's why replacing strength is too easy. You have to fight several battles and turns before prestige gets short. Also with large prestige players buy too many late war units.. So the game ends up being Big tank vs big tank, best vs best.


My maps have already compensated for the above problems but still need some tweaking as prestige is too little. It gets added as more play testing gets done.

I think Bocage Hell map is final, perhaps a small tweak.

http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25934


< Message edited by Razz -- 7/17/2011 12:57:05 AM >

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/17/2011 5:08:32 AM   
Rudankort


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quote:

ORIGINAL: krupp_88mm
#1 the sdkf transport the first one costs 100 which is fine, but the upgrade costs 200 and the only difference is ? 5 more fuel? that is hardly a worthwhile upgrade for 200 and it makes your units to expensive to replace, need to reduce its cost


That transport also has 8 moves instead of 6, and if you really want your infantry to move that fast, you pay. ;)

quote:

ORIGINAL: krupp_88mm
the unit replacement costs (regular replacements) is too cheap this results in multiplayer battles where your only objective is to kill units, as they can be fully repaired for 20 or so prestige but to destroy them costs hundreds, the cheap unit replacement needs to be more expensive, i can have a never ending wave after wave of infantry and units with such low replacement costs without regard to their casualties as long as they destroy enemy units


Many scenarios will break with this change, and existing rule makes it really important to avoid total destruction of your units, withdraw them from action in timely manner. Besides, cheap replacements mean that the unit itself is probably too cheap in the first place. It can be argued that some units, like conscripts, are too cheap, but in my experience they are so weak, their price is justified.

Anyway, feel free to experiment with replace costs, you can change them yourself in Data/gamerules.pzdat file.

quote:

ORIGINAL: krupp_88mm
another thing i would like to see changed. just personally is aa units be able to attack, yes i know in PG they couldn't either, but without the ability to attack they are nearly useless, and they could attack IRL, like the halftrack mounted aa was great for attacking infantry, but they cant to any damage in this game, i love the 88 for its ability to attack and use it alot, if other aa could do this i would use it alot more in my army giving an alternative to mass fighters


This was suggested during the beta test, but AFAIR a lot of people were against it because it is not realistic. Would be interesting to hear more opinions on this.

quote:

ORIGINAL: krupp_88mm
and finally aircraft ranges, do you love that feeling when you capture an airfield and know you've just denied his fighters and bombers the ability to operate over an area of the map? yeah me neither.... plane ranges are too great across the board, what is the point of even having airfields to capture when planes can fly so far, i say cut down aircraft ranges / fuel by about 1/2 across the board, that will make the game ALOT more interesting in the air, fighters and bombers will need those airbases you capture badly, and wont be able to operate at some points in the battle till you capture them, also reduce bomber / fighter ammo, they have too much ammo especially since the rearm automatically when next to an airfield, give them less ammo and those airbases become much more important, also is it just me or strategic bombers and suppressing the enemy? whats going on is it working or not? maybe when they attack they could remove two entrenchment levels instead of one, also i would like to see fighters unable to reduce entrenchment when attacking, being i can reduce entrenchment of a unit with fighters 2 per turn it seems gimmicky that a fighter strafe will reduce their entrenchment


There are a few fighters in the game with low fuel ranges (like Comet), and they are pain to use. I think, the change you suggest will be pretty unpopular among players. But again, feel free to mod it if you enjoy playing with shorter range air units.

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/17/2011 4:09:27 PM   
SeaMonkey

 

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I would think that exploding things would tend to make a recipient at least keep their head down. The very nature of anti-aircraft ordinance's rapid fire delivery would have some suppressive effect when used in an offensive capacity. So I would vote for a very limited attack value for armored targets, better for soft ones and the obvious ability to suppress.

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/17/2011 5:42:02 PM   
krupp_88mm


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ahh ok i didnt see the movement range increase, that certainly would justify the cost, yes please make the aa units switch just because every campaign i play i will always buy fighters its a must if you want an effective army, id like to have an army with no planes / few planes but that just doesn't work out at the moment, even if their attack is very weak thats fine too, i already think the 88mm flak is pretty weak it can barely go toe to toe with a KV, which is ridiculous form a historical viewpoint, but that doesn't stop me from using it alot, its the only aa i would buy, i did make an army with no planes and just 4 88mm flaks, it worked but it was alot slower of course because their towed guns... now if i could have some half-tracks....


i still think it would be funner with limited ranges i know the comet has low fuel like 20.. which is way too much i think the comet should have like 10 fuel, because historically it would only be operated over an a airbase, it wouldn't fly around form airfield to airfield, it should be a pain to use but highly effective in its range, i would cut the 109e down to about 25 fuel, meaning early game if your serious about air protection fighters alone wont protect you.. thats how it was irl needed aa units to protect the advancing columns that were out of airbase range or reaction times, that just doesn't happen in PC i can have 109es circling my columns at all times, also lower ammo would achieve close to the same result, like 3 ammo for a fighter 2 for a tac bomber and 4-5 for strategic bombers, this would also make strategic bombers more used than they are now for their greater range and ammo capacities

this also simulates what happens if your tac bombers are bounced in route to target theyll have to call of the attack, this is simulated by them running out of ammo, and of course fighters also simulate how in real combat ammo was very low and limited had to bug out quickly after a battle or you will get caught with no ammo

< Message edited by krupp_88mm -- 7/17/2011 5:46:26 PM >


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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/17/2011 7:58:29 PM   
Mart.n

 

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So... the discussion is leaving the opening post here a little bit. ;)

If it's intended to weaken the tanks so much, than what do you suggest? Focussing on Infantery and Artillery, generally skipping the most important weapon techs developed for the 2nd WW? They were the key factor of success to the German Blitzkrieg. Nobody was using Cavalry and if they did they got slaughtered by machine guns.

@Gogol I guess we do not overestimate tanks that much. Most of them had a MG42 mounted (sometimes more than one) that was completely devastating to infantery. Without anti tank weapons, it was nearly impossible to destroy them. I am not talking about the Pz I and II models here (those were very vulnerable to AT fire and sometimes even to small arms fire), but from the Pz III onwards (up to Tiger and Panthers, not to mention T34 or KW2 tanks) you needed some serious firepower to deal damage.

Furthermore, in contrast to the French (and early British) tactic of using Tanks as an Infantery support weapon, Germany/Russia used them to operate on their own. That tactic gave them the much needed mobility and speed to surprise the enemy. They were clearly the key factor (in connection with the Ju87) to achieve fast victories until 1942.

And I just thought they are kind of too weak mainly due to the massive amount of covered terrain. You simply cannot do anything against a freaking Panzer Division when you do not have anti-tank weapons.

< Message edited by Mart.n -- 7/17/2011 8:03:55 PM >

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/17/2011 8:13:43 PM   
Razz


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These units are not too weak.

Just play 100 games and you will see.

Tanks get better as you upgrade.

Also terrain plays an important part in combat so you can not go anywhere and be GOD with tanks.

Please give it time. You will see after 20 games.

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/17/2011 9:14:19 PM   
vonRocko

 

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Hey Krupp 88, I don't know what kind of bomb your "little pony" is stroking there, but it looks ready to go off! You know a person of low class can get the wrong idea from a picture like that!

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/18/2011 1:45:40 AM   
dorjun driver


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quote:

ORIGINAL: vonRocko

Hey Krupp 88, I don't know what kind of bomb your "little pony" is stroking there, but it looks ready to go off! You know a person of low class can get the wrong idea from a picture like that!


Yeah, his signature has given me nightmares. And not the horsey kind.

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/18/2011 1:52:09 AM   
jomni


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In WITE, one of the basic blitzkrieg strategies is for infantry to punch a hole and for the tanks to capture territory.  Tanks were seldom used in direct combat. :)

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/18/2011 6:50:28 PM   
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I agree in general, that the tank units in PC appear a little "weak", but I believe they are statistically correct and the real problem is manueverablility. The scale of the map, in conjunction with the large number of close defense terrain types, limits the value of the tanks in the game. The ability to engage/disengage from combat with other ground units is one of the tanks main advantages, and that is not represented in the game. I believe that tank movement should be very similar to the current recon movement ability. Tank units should suffer a movement penalty for exiting a zone of control of non-armored unit, but not be automatically "locked into place" in the first ZOC as any non-mechanized unit would be. Adding this mobility to tank units would greatly improve their value... and would promote a more historical "blitzkrieg" approach (with minimal impact on other aspects of the game).

I also agree that mobile AA units are of dubious value and need something along the lines of a limited offensive supression ablity... allowing them to be more useful as well as earn the experience needed to keep them valuable in later battles.

One last note: If possible an option to select a diffent graphic set/overlay would be nice. The large white dots and arrows for movement etc are a little overbearing (I current use small dark yellow dots for all mounted movement and no dots at all for "normal" movement. It keeps the display clearer.

Overall, this new interpetation of PG is outstanding and I apprieciate the dedication and research done on the equipment file as well. Great job to all.

Edit - I did not mean to imply that the Armor units in PC are themselves "weak" strenght wise. Only that the constaints of the "hard locking" ridged zones of control restrict their use as mobile assets ie; limiting the ablility to "blitz". Remember that throughout the war (more so earlier) the problem the German command had was reigning in the panzers to slow them down... as they could easily out run the rest of the army (and supplies).

< Message edited by Zerstorer -- 7/18/2011 10:36:15 PM >


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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/18/2011 9:09:43 PM   
phatkarp


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I've found that the tanks work pretty well if you use them as exploiters and flankers.  Get them around to hit the artillery, and let your infantry and artillery do the hard work.  In nearly every scenario I've played there has been a point when my recon and tanks burst into the open, and seize one or two uncovered objectives as a result of sheer speed and surprise.  

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/18/2011 9:29:59 PM   
zoul310

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: phatkarp

I've found that the tanks work pretty well if you use them as exploiters and flankers.  Get them around to hit the artillery, and let your infantry and artillery do the hard work.  In nearly every scenario I've played there has been a point when my recon and tanks burst into the open, and seize one or two uncovered objectives as a result of sheer speed and surprise.  


Agreed !

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/18/2011 11:20:31 PM   
ezz

 

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Also agree.
trying to cross the river at Kiev was impossible. Once the tanks broke through elsewhere and blitzed the enemy artillery, it was a breeze.

Also not sure why players don't think much of the AA? If it keeps up with the main attack an aircraft soon flies within range. Then your fighters shoot down the damaged plane.
Or is it that there isn't much difference between the cost of an AA and a fighter?

I expect once some decent enemy fighters/tac show up the advantage of decent ground AA might become more apparent.

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/19/2011 4:26:31 AM   
Razz


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Keep playing....
You will find that are not weak, even though they appear so..

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RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/19/2011 6:34:02 PM   
GrumpyMel

 

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There is a reason why "Combined Arms" is such a critical concept in modern warfare. Historicaly armor does very poorly taking and holding territory on it's own...especialy in rugged terrain. Armor did get anhilated by infantry if it went up against them in good cover without sufficient infantry support.

The reason why armor and tactical air may seem less usefull in PC then it was historicaly is because PC doesn't model the mechanics that those type of units most strongly effected. There are no "lines of supply", "lines of communication" or "command/control systems". It was attacking those systems that made the Blitzkrieg so devastating and why the exploitative nature of armor & the interdictive nature of tactical air became so important.

The Poles (including thier Cavalry units) actualy did reasonably well in direct combat against German armor when they were engaged in good order. This was because they were reasonably equiped with AT weapons that were effective against the German Armor of the day (The majority of which were still PZ I's). The thing that really killed the Poles was that thier Command/Control system was in a shambles with individual units often not having any awareness of the situation they were in or how to coordinate thier actions with other units. On top of that, supplies, ammo, fuel, spare parts, replacements, medical equipment were often completely cutoff or badly interdicted by air attack.... thus units only had access to what they were carrying themselves.... as we know that doesn't last very long in combat.....and without access to those things a units combat effectiveness is vastly reduced.

PC is simple game with more of a beer & pretzels style feel. It's alot of fun that way....but there is really no way it could accurately model the effects of the Blitzkrieg without making changes to it's mechanics that made it a much more complex game. It would become a completely different game with a different feel if it did that. I like both the simple beer & pretzel style games and the more complex Grognard style games....but I don't think you can really achieve both play styles in a single game.






< Message edited by GrumpyMel -- 7/19/2011 6:35:36 PM >

(in reply to Razz)
Post #: 27
RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/19/2011 6:54:17 PM   
Obsolete


Posts: 1493
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The one thing that's amusing is both my father and step-father always insisted the problem with the Poles was they were so stupid as to charge against tanks using Napoleon lancers. And of course there is no argueing this, because EVERY Englishman knows it as a FACT.

Oh yeah, and I'm sure it's on a few internet webpages somewhere as well, so IT MUST BE TRUE!



_____________________________



King-Tigers don't let Tiger-I's get over-run.

(in reply to GrumpyMel)
Post #: 28
RE: Tanks / Stuka to weak? - 7/20/2011 10:46:43 PM   
Longasc

 

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Joined: 7/20/2011
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I think the Panzer III and IV are much better balanced and closer to how it should be than in Panzer General.

What makes me wonder a bit is that the Ju88 seems so superior to the Ju87B and R, I can't believe how much more effective my level bombers have been against anything so far. They are very fragile and the high suppression of level bombers and artillery does in general more harm than the Stuka's direct attack damage.

(in reply to Obsolete)
Post #: 29
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