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Tough Time with Gazala

 
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Tough Time with Gazala - 9/17/2012 6:32:14 PM   
jwduquette1

 

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Played Gazala on Colonel level four times and have yet to develop a scenario winning strategy. Too much British Armor; too many British mines; too much British Airpower. And if that's not enough, about mid scenario the British start dropping Para Units in the rear area. Ouch...

Anyone have any helpful strategy for this particular scenario? I mean aside from toning down the difficulty level settings.
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RE: Tough Time with Gazala - 9/17/2012 6:53:24 PM   
Josh

 

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From: Leeuwarden, Netherlands
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Well it's tough for sure,  I used engineers/Pioniere for the minefields but that's about it though. Oh I used the Italians to defeat the Para units ... with the help of one or two Arty units.

(in reply to jwduquette1)
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RE: Tough Time with Gazala - 9/17/2012 10:15:34 PM   
AceDuceTrey

 

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I had high hopes for AK when I saw that the starting german units Order of Battle and unit names (at the battalion level) were extremely accurate for the 5lePz Division. Someone really did their homework. But as I played the following scenarios after Brevity things got totally out of hand with two to four times the actual British armor and about half their infantry. It may be that the researcher confused British tank regiments as having more than one tank battalion (their Rgts were actually Bns). Also, my research shows they only had 2 full strength (10) and two half strength Matilda II battalions THE ENTIRE AFRICAN CAMPAIGN. Tobruk had one of each. If memory serves me correctly for Operation Crusader, in addition to the Matildas, they had 6 cruisers, 4 crusaders, and 3 honeys (US M5s). The germans had 4 Pz Bns (5th Rgt/21Pz div and 8th Rgt/15thPz div), and the Italians had 3 M models and two half strength L35s (all but one M14 in the 132nd Ariete div).

(in reply to Josh)
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RE: Tough Time with Gazala - 9/18/2012 3:02:34 PM   
Josh

 

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Well yes you may be right, but the problem with the PC and AK game engine is that it is highly abstracted gameplay. No unit ever, well almost never, stood its ground and could be wiped out in a single turn/battle, but that is the gameplay of PC. You can't afford to hurt enemy units, you absolutely have to finish them off, otherwise the AI will bring them back to 10 or even more. So what is important is not the exact same units there... but more or less a gameplay that is ... sort of historically correct... and also fun at the same time. Even a Matilda II can be knocked out in this scenario in one turn, maybe two turns, while they lasted much longer in real life.
If you really want to play historical correct then you should wait for the Decisive Campaign Afrika Expansion, or the War in the West Expansion... both have no ETA though. Could be a year  Oh hang on maybe TOAW III has some Afrika scenarios too, don't know.

(in reply to AceDuceTrey)
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RE: Tough Time with Gazala - 9/18/2012 5:12:57 PM   
jwduquette1

 

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Yes, I agree with Josh. Panzer Korps is meant to be kind of beer and pretzels. I'm an old grognard wargamer from way way back, but I still really enjoy the fast paced scenarios and playing style of Panzer Korps. I was up till 3AM the night before last playing thru the campaign again -- up to Gazala where I got schwaked again. I was pretty much worthless at work the next day

If you want a little more meat to you Afrika Korps wargames, I'd suggest trying HPS Simulations Panzer Campaigns. Battalion Level. Fairly Grognardish game. Best played with a human opponent via PBEM. Try:

Tobruk 41 (includes Battle Axe, Brevity, Crusader and a number of other scenarios)
HPS Tobruk 41

OR

El Alamein (includes Gazala as well as the various Alamein Operations)
HPS Simulations El Alamein

(in reply to Josh)
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RE: Tough Time with Gazala - 9/18/2012 5:16:14 PM   
jwduquette1

 

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Oh...and if you do invest in either HPS game and are looking for a PBEM game you can always drop me a PM thru Matrix Forums. I'm always looking for a good PBEM game.

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Post #: 6
RE: Tough Time with Gazala - 9/21/2012 11:54:37 PM   
RPKUPK

 

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I have had a very tough time playing AK on even the lieutenant level and I have much experience with the Panzer Corp series at that level. If you play AK as sergeant game play is a total wipe--plenty of prestige points to upgrade even auxiliary units. On lieutenant level every scenario is a battle with razor thin margins for error, often times not having enough prestige to fully replete units or upgrade them between battles. Like you say, WAY too many enemy units at Gazala for example--tanks, air units, etc. Something is wrong with the play balance. I can FORGET about more challenging levels.
Consider fixing the inflexibility of difficulty levels, i.e. allow one to advance at the BATTLE level to move up difficulty level. Or, after every so many battles employ a pop-up screen offering "promotion" as a way to increase difficulty level (or vice versa down-grade a level for a difficult scenario).

And while I'm at it--NEEDED FIXES--again, no indicator on unit hex image to distinguish heroes and medals--one has to right-click. And, when one does right-click to bring up unit details the unit data should CHANGE to reflect all the "+3 defense" and "+2 spotting" or "+1 attack" awards. A brand new purchased unit appears to have the same capabilities as a very veteran unit.
Next, I see no way to purchase new Italian units--not that anyone would want to. The next new campaign I play I may try killing off the Italian core units and replace them with inexperienced German units for the long term.
Next, is the annoying problem of deselecting an air unit. You can cancel by right-clicking an unmoved air unit that is by itself in a hex. You can do the same if there is an unmoved ground unit in the same square as the air unit. BUT, if there is an unmoved air unit in a hex and you just did something with the ground unit (ex. artillery fires) and click on another hex such as to move another unit) the unmoved air unit will be selected erroneously and move to the newly selected hex. This should be fixed--not only is it annoying but you may not be able to undo the move if a new enemy unit was spotted--very bad if you are out of fuel! One has to move the arrow cursor to an off map hex to right click your way out of the error.
Consider allowing the computer to allow variability in battle specifics when restarting a new campaign--more or less units, different locations, varying arrival times, etc.,--to make it worth replaying campaigns (and decrease the cheat tendency!). It was a very nice touch that you added unexpected reinforcements, bonus points and changed objectives!
Consider adding a mobile leader unit--for example--a Rommel unit to help the weak Italian infantry through minefields or aid the "Dash to the Wire", etc.,...for the very difficult scenarios.

(in reply to jwduquette1)
Post #: 7
RE: Tough Time with Gazala - 9/22/2012 4:13:13 AM   
planner 3

 

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RPKUPK, well said, I also found the difficulty level between sgt and LT to be drastic and thats why I decided againsy AK, yet the add on campaigns play better at LT and above rhan the DLCs. FWIW

_____________________________

"As Pogo said, 'We have met the enemy and he is us' "

(in reply to RPKUPK)
Post #: 8
RE: Tough Time with Gazala - 9/27/2012 5:31:13 AM   
AceDuceTrey

 

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Here's a recommended fix for the "abstraction" of having to finish off enemy units: Allow 6 turns per day, with turns 5 and 6 being night (zero visibility) turns, and only allow one (1) replacement per turn.

(in reply to planner 3)
Post #: 9
RE: Tough Time with Gazala - 9/27/2012 8:56:23 PM   
RPKUPK

 

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It was disappointing that one was not allowed to carry over experienced core units from Panzer Corps or Panzer Corps East, that is, start AK with experienced units that had fought in '39 and '40 as happened in history! The historical DAK was experienced which was why they were so successful. As mentioned previously leadership had a marked effect thus the idea to add a leader unit (Rommel) to help with the excessively difficult battles. This might offset the marked imbalance when playing AK as the axis vs. allied on anything higher than sergeant level!

(in reply to jwduquette1)
Post #: 10
RE: Tough Time with Gazala - 9/27/2012 8:59:12 PM   
RPKUPK

 

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It turns out when accessing the AK new unit purchase screen there is an icon next to the German for new Italian units. Not, like I said, that anyone would want to buy any.

(in reply to AceDuceTrey)
Post #: 11
RE: Tough Time with Gazala - 9/28/2012 3:57:17 PM   
jwduquette1

 

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I usually end up buying one or two Italian infantry units with spare prestige in early scenarios. That actually do ok as speed bumps if they are backed up with artillery.

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Post #: 12
RE: Tough Time with Gazala - 9/28/2012 4:12:50 PM   
jwduquette1

 

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I Finally got thru Gazala with a decisive victory. It only took me running through the campaign game 9 or 10 times before I had a large enough cadre of good quality units at the start of the Gazala scenario. It also took me that many tries to develop appropriate tactics to deal with the scenario.

You'll need at least three pioneer units...three or four self-propelled arty units...four or five good quality PzIVG units...and four or five good quality Me109 units. The first thing I did was to reduce the Bir Hachmein Box. I also opened a large gap thru the UK minefields there. Than I fought it out with the AI's piece-meal commitment of UK reserve armor, while simultaneously chewing up the UK air support with my five ME109s and the two trash italian fighters you get with the scenario OoB. I had to keep my panzers and my air concentrated. I also focused all my prestige points on keeping these units topped off. Once the UK armor and air support are chewed-up, it's pretty easy to waltz into Tobruk. Once you've capped Tobruk, the AI automatically abandons all the UK Boxes between Bir Hachmein and Gazala. The units inside these entrenched boxes all start to retreat eastward. It's easy to chew these units up once they leave the protection of their minefields.

(in reply to jwduquette1)
Post #: 13
RE: Tough Time with Gazala - 9/30/2012 3:01:14 PM   
AceDuceTrey

 

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I too would like to see an option to go from the '40 campaign to either (or both?) the '41 East and '41 AK, with carry over Order of Battle.

(in reply to jwduquette1)
Post #: 14
RE: Tough Time with Gazala - 10/1/2012 11:07:25 AM   
demjansk

 

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I would also like to see a better method to identify airfields with maybe a colored hex outline different then the others. I still love this game

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Post #: 15
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