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First thoughts - 1/8/2012 1:54:08 AM   


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Joined: 11/26/2010
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Here are just a few early thoughts about the game after playing through about half of the scenarios and most of a campaign. I'm still a newbie to this, but here are some things I'm finding (experts may disagree with these, and I'm interested to hear what others have to say).

1. Some have commented on the small maps in general. This (and the general setup of units on the maps) generally creates a high density of units - two long solid lines facing off against each other across a large part of the map. The trick then is to find viable weak spot/s in the enemy line. Thus, the key to any given scenario is to first find that weak spot (or more) and organise a plan to exploit it whilst extending your supply line towards the victory objectives.

2. I emboldened viable, because ultimately you need to pursue an advance along a supply-able path. Thus, the first thing to do when opening a new scenario is to work out what supply sources AND supply routes (emboldened for emphasis) will allow your units to reach the enemy objectives. Count out how far each supply source can reach. Many sources simply will never allow your units to reach the objectives (so, generally, don't pursue your main line of advance from that source [caveat - unless you plan to link up with your main supply source in the turn or two thereafter]). Instead, follow the railway lines and see how they can support your advance. The AI will make an effort to defend these lines, and you can't simply by-pass them. You need to clear the lines (and those pesky one or two AI defenders) to clear your supply paths.

3. Zones of control are easily negated by the AI, so you generally can't really use your own ZOCs to your advantage. You generally need to have a solid line of units (with no spaces) blocking key 'open' routes (ie: routs to your supply paths with no river barriers). Unlike other wargames, the AI will not just fall back and form a new line, they will advance (suicidally) and attempt to cut off your supply at any opportunity.

4. The AI is generally hesitant to do river-crossings. They'll exploit any available bridge crossing, but will rarely cross a river (costs entire movement to do so). You can use this to your advantage by (generally) minimally defending the opposite banks of rivers.

5. The AI will exploit gaps in your lines, and thus they look for offensive opportunities (even when in defensive positions) to poke a hole in your line and advance through it. Thus, even when advancing, you can't give the AI any opportunities to poke a hole in your line that will threaten your supply. Keep a particularly watchful eye on AI cavalry (I found these easy to miss at first), mechanised and armour units (they all move fast). Don't have a 1 step unit defending a vital railway supply path (or a part of the line near a vital supply path). The AI will destroy that unit, then flood through it, cutting off all units 'down-supply' from that point (and they don't care if they die in the process of doing so).

A lot of 'generalisations' there, because there are exceptions to every rule and situation.
Post #: 1
RE: First thoughts - 6/24/2012 11:13:47 AM   

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Joined: 5/28/2010
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Some excellent suggestions. I'll extend on 1 and 2 by stating that it is not enough to push through the main rail line. The AI usually has units on both sides of the rail line, and pushing through the rail line will create weak spots on sides which will be exploited by the AI, cutting off your main thrust on the railway by simply moving behind you.

Another tip - pay attention to terrain, weather and use specialist steps. It is better to assign specialist steps from OKH or Stavka at the cost of some prestige than to purchase expensive reinforcements, if you can afford it. Especially with soviets, base foot soldiers are next to useless. Boost them with artillery, tanks or rockets and they become a unit that can actually attack the enemy instead of just hold a hex waiting to be shot. Likewise, employ Pioniere in the German campaign to root out entrenched Soviets.


(in reply to Amnese)
Post #: 2
RE: First thoughts - 1/15/2013 9:55:30 PM   

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Joined: 1/14/2013
From: Canada
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Just played a few scenarios with this game - got it yesterday, and haven't read the manual so I don't know any of the finesse required.

First thoughts: the AI is smarter than I expected, and bolder. Got out of a few situations where I expected to trap it in pockets out of supply range. It will exploit weaknesses quite well, too. It's a competent opponent, at least for someone new to the game. That was a pleasant surprise (and a trifle humiliating at first).

My only quibble is with the air units. A little monochrome - would like to have had bombers AND fighter-bombers. Air support doesn't play a role in defence, either, and it should (i.e. assign an air unit to defend in the opponent's turn rather than attack in yours).

Not sure how I feel about integral artillery yet. Makes for a faster, smoother game, but doesn't allow for massed artillery barrages. Maybe they'll come in as a DLC some time. Maybe add an atillery feature like air strike.

So far I'm enjoying it and look forward to testing myself on the more advanced scenarios once I've read the manual.

(in reply to Amnese)
Post #: 3
RE: First thoughts - 3/3/2013 10:24:57 PM   


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Joined: 8/4/2007
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started playing again....i think there should be a dis-engagement penalty when moving units away from superior enemy units. maybe several suppressed losses or a step loss. it seems game'y to just swap units in/out Front line.

(in reply to ichadwick)
Post #: 4
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