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Grand Campaign 1943-need help - 5/26/2013 7:28:57 PM   


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Joined: 12/28/2008
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I breeze through the 1939-1942 Campaigns, but when I reach Grand Campaign East 1943, I can't win anything but a marginal victory and by the time I reach July,1943 my prestige is down to nothing and my core units are being decimated. I started the 1943 East Campaign with 7900 prestige points. By July 1943 I upgraded my 5 fighter to FW190s, I have a variety of units including a couple of Tigers and Panther tanks, and I'm playing on Colonel difficulty(!)

I'm no stranger to wargames and I've played most of the Panzer General series, but the East campaigns for Panzer Corps beginning in 1943 are impossible for me. There are neverending Russian units and counter-attacks, and all of their units are overstrength including extremely strong heavy tanks. How can they have so much prestige to build units when I've been winning decisively up to now?

Please tell me how I can beat these campaigns because I can't advance past 1943. I'm totally frustrated and ready to give up.

BTW- I already beat the core game a few times.
Post #: 1
RE: Grand Campaign 1943-need help - 6/7/2013 11:34:52 PM   


Posts: 67
Joined: 9/17/2009
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Don't give up mein Colonel!
The German Army in WWII, man for man, tank for tank, plane for plane generally was superior to the Allied side. BUT, the Soviet Union (and Allies) out-produced the Germans with their lesser stuff. The Germans had to fight on multiple fronts. The Russians had a seemingly overwhelming supply of men, equipment, and materiel. The Germans survived on the Eastern Front by their superior command control, expertise in combined arms and use of their mobile forces that were used as fire brigades on wide fronts.
For '43, my suggestions are:
1) Decide if colonel level is too challenging. Every player has their own intrinsic game experience and command capabilities. Perhaps you could play pre-'43 as lieutenant and gain prestige to last into later years when you take a promotion. You used to only be able to play at a higher difficulty level at the beginning of new game years, now, I believe, with the latest Panzer Corp update you can change difficulty levels at each battle.
2) The most important tactic, I feel, is top notch air superiority. This means, as you have done, upgrading to Fw-190s. You need more than five! I have found that having more fighters protects your units from the damaging hordes of Russian fighters that end up bleeding your prestige. This positive smart tactic saves on LONG TERM preservation of'' need more fighters as each year goes by.
You may have to limit your tactical/strategic bomber number to three, maybe only two units...or LESS. Air superiority!**
I find it is helpful to have at least one 88AA unit per battle. This has a significant effect on Russian air raids anywhere near your 88. They'' stay away mostly. The bonus is, the 88 can easily be used as anti-tank (beware new rules!) defensively AND offensively if placed just right. The 88 smacks the hell out of Russian steel! Gives the AA experience too. Nothing wrong with two 88s/battle if you can.
3) Convert all tanks to Pz IIIL, Pz IVG, Tiger, in that order. Panthers good because of their movement range that always helps in a pinch. The Pz IIIN is surprisingly good against enemy infantry** in forest/rough/city hexes and can attack with few losses--very different from other .
4) Keep ALL armor on clear or country side hexes. They get damaged or destroyed (!) by infantry easily on forest, rough, swamp or city hexes! If forced to place armor on non-clear/country side hexes, ALWAYS back up with experienced (!) overstrength artillery. Since the '43 battles are mobile, use the mobile artillery units like the wurframen or captured Su-122(r) that can be used and moved to advancing locations AND be ready to fire in defense. Keep ammo resupplied for these units. Great for infantry backup that many times dissuades the Russian from counterattacking your vulnerable infantry on poor defense hexes--clear/country side. The Russian LOVES to smash advancing unprotected infantry because it knows they are key in reducing fortifies objectives later which could cripple the offense later.
Armor on clear/countryside, infantry on forest/rough/swamp/city!**
Nothing wrong with having maybe two 21cm Mars 18 long range artillery units--great on defense, and useful with their three hex range. I use them a lot to hit enemy AA near an objective then wreck the enemy AA with a tactical bomber followup attack. The big artillery has an excellent anti-armor effect.
5) Use you fighter cover wisely. The Russian LOVES to air attack German artillery because they are key in reducing fortified hexes/objectives. Keep fighter cover over vulnerable units. Remember that the enemy can only "see" into so many hexes like you, so make your air cover choices wisely. Put your fighter cover where enemy can see you.
Planning your artillery moves for next turn is critical so they'll be ready to aid the attack. I prefer to keep them ammoed up, i.e. more ammo than just one left to avoid running out during an unexpected next turn counterattack which happens all the time. Better to wait and be ready.
6) Ideally, have one Ju87G anti-armor, one Hs-129 anti-soft tactical bombers, and IF you can, a strat bomber--wonderful ammo suppression for tough AA or armor units, but you'll burn prestige rebuilding the damage they take! Remember, enough fighters first... ALWAYS!
7) Crafty capture of off-the-beaten-path non-victory objectives to score captured units (like the invaluable Su-122(r) artillery!
8) Protect those SE units.** They don't count against unit deployment numbers!!!Especially, protect the newbies. The more SE units, the more victories!
9) Other than captured heavy tanks convert captured units to German. German tanks are better, the AI loves to kill captured units, so if it sees German it leaves them alone.
10) Use a combo of Grenadier/pioniere infantry to reduce city/fortified hexes, and Gebirgsjager to MOVE fast in rough/forest areas allowing a more efficient attack as they are more often set up for next turn's attack.There is LOT of rough terrain in the '43 battles.
You may have to convert an experienced infantry unit to Bruckenpioniere to help sneak units across rivers and surprise the enemy. They can always be converted back to tougher grenadier, etc., later in scenario if you have the prestige for extravagance. REMEMBER, SE units cannot become bruckenpioniere, so always add non-SE infantry to deployment mix.
11) Auxiliary units: in '43 convert all mobile AA to 88s!** Great anti-armor AND antitank effects.
Upgrade units if you can. Overstrength them BEFORE battle as the AI loves to kill them off. Judicious use of auxies may be key to some battles. First turn, retreat them from the enemy, build 'em, protect 'em, use 'em. Wise air cover helps as they often bear the weight of the Russian's initial attack.
12) '43 counterattacks: The key to these early '43 scenarios is river defense! Attack until Russian back across river. DEFEND the one key river crossing hex with experienced armor--Tiger if possible or grenadier/pioniere infantry backed with artillery. You can slaughter Russian unit after unit trying to move across the river so bad that they exhaust themselves allowing your own offensive across the river to score objectives! ALL these crossings must be defended. Watch for Russian AA and artillery behind the river. Have one or two extra units along the river to help clean up/repel straggler attackers that were weakened.
13) Always, at deployment, plan your advance around airfield locations. They are KEY to air unit refuel and will be critical in later stages of the battle, when you most need air support.
Never attack enemy AA alone. Attack to their doorstep, then hit AA with He-177 which suppresses ammo and counterattack, then NEXT turn BE READY for ground assault against AA. Long range (3 hex artillery) is key to soften up AA, as is a followup tactical bomber strike. I love smashing the AA efficiently as then your tac air can wreak havoc against remainingtough defenders.
14) Upgrade your recon to survive Russian armor. ALWAYS protect them carefully calculating retreat behind tougher front line units after they moved up and did their work. The AI loves to knock off recon. Let the recon bulk up experience by letting them bottom feed on the the enemy stragglers after the big boys are done. This way recon gets experience and overstrength to survive. Recon key to spy out heavily defended fortified objective areas! Recon great at scooping up objectives, often times moving again so you don't have to tie up your heavy hitters for the next attack turn.
15) Use fighters as recon to scope out problem areas/sneak attacks. DON'T FORGET counterattacks can come on board scripted to arrive on future turns so you must be vigilant for nasty surprises in "cleared" areas.
16) Utilize the new Allied Corps derived rule of gaining extra prestige from surrounding/trapping enemy units and making them surrender!
17) Plan your deployment wisely, especially infantry so they can be ready to attack any close by objectives. Have artillery in range for turn one. Same thing as battle progresses, place units as efficiently as possible to attack next turn.
18) Rotate your newbies and or captured units into battle--maybe one or two--so they can pick up experience.
19) ALWAYS ALWAYS fighter escort bombers. Before closing to enemy's turn check carefully that your bomers are escorted, especially if your units are "within sight" of enemy units (two sqaures) as the AI WILL smash this unescorted bomber the very next turn crippling your offensive.
20) Don't develop too many anti-tank units. One is fun, and must be used in surprise ambush. They are terrible against infantry. They can gain experience cleaning up damaged enemy armor after the heavies have hit... Never put them in a city unless heavily backed up by ready-to-fire infantry. Ambush is their key.

OK, that's my top twenty for '43. I could go on and on. I think you'll get it without my picking out specific '43 objectives. If I think of more tips I'll send 'em your way.
I know, I should write the manual helpful hints.
Good hunting!
Oh, one more tip. If you were good and you captured objectives ahead of schedule, in the last turns before the last one, refrain from capturing the one last objective, retreat back a square or two and let the AI place new inexperienced units around the objectives, then use your wisely re-ammoed units to smash these units, then occupy the last objective on the very last turn. This way you'll make the Russian burn prestige for the future. I also use this maneuver to move up newbies and let them experience up on these easy marks. Devilish, I know. It's war..
Genug, Herr Colonel!

(in reply to joe6778)
Post #: 2
RE: Grand Campaign 1943-need help - 6/8/2013 12:56:48 AM   


Posts: 67
Joined: 9/17/2009
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Sorry, Joe6778, I thought of another tip. It is expensive to repair/reinforce units in battle. Every one has their comfort level with where to keep a unit, that is, combat effectiveness vs. survivability.
If you are nearing a successful end to a battle try HARD to not repair units, as it is MUCH CHEAPER, to do so at deployment...much cheaper. Check it out. Save that prestige, you'll need it. If one unit took an especially bad hit and is not critical to use at end of battle retreat it away to safety then repair in deployment! A good disciplined prestige bank is great planning for the dark years to come...
Oh, one more tip, buy and build up one Pz II Flamm(!!!), wonderful against infantry...that flame (!!)...huh-huh-huh......really uh...flames that pesky Russian infantry. Protect it though behind your heavies, once again, Russian AI hates the thing. Use it, and the Pz IIIN alongside infantry. Effective against enemy infantry that already took one hit from infantry already....finishes 'em off...(smile, bub-bye!)...even in forest/swamp/rough/city/fort.
Oh, again, don't forget, Pz IIIN and Flamm vulnerable to heavy enemy armor, use them wisely. Keep 'em safe. Use against infantry concentrations, then move heavies in front of Pz III/Flamm and charred infantry remains... Have FUN!
By your command

(in reply to joe6778)
Post #: 3
RE: Grand Campaign 1943-need help - 6/8/2013 2:10:14 PM   


Posts: 67
Joined: 9/17/2009
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OK, yet another tip.
This tip, in addition to the one on adequate air superiority (enough fighters/AA), is critical to success. At deployment placement of your units is critical. This is going along with the theme that the Germans on the eastern front for the most part were outnumbered in numbers of men, tanks, planes, etc., and it was their command control, combined arms and mobility that allowed them to be as successful as they were.
So, at deployment bunch or concentrate your troops instead of spreading them out all over. This is more necessary as the years go by as you get less and less number of units to deploy at each battle.
The reason for bunching is that the troops support each other:
There is a limit to the number of fighters to bring...they are used to provide air cover--to protect from enemy fighter and bomber attacks. The closer your units are together the easier and more efficient it is for fighters. One fighter covers seven hexes--its own and the adjacent six hexes. You must be careful at the end of each turn that you place your fighters to cover most of your units. Soft targets such as transport and artillery are prime targets for enemy air, especially artillery. Use a fighter to cover two or more artillery units by placing fighter on hex between two units...
You'll place your 88AA in the area comprising your softest targets--artillery and transport.
I cannot emphasize how important this one tactic is--to bunch your units so fighters can protect them efficiently.
Closer units allow efficient artillery backup of front line units. One good artillery unit often backs up three or more front line units...
Closer units allow a nice area--your "Iron Dome"--around an experienced 88AA unit, relatively free from Russian air attack.
Closer units mean armor/anti-tank can support each other on offense or defense.
Often times in the '43 year you have a lot of units and can afford to form TWO kampfgruppe to storm around, but one large one can systematically and efficiently clear sequentially large areas of the map that then are free of enemy units allowing a more effective forward offense! Have enough troops to wipe out the enemy by KILLING their units. It is VERY expensive for the Russian AI as it is for you to replace a destroyed unit. This kills off enemy experience too. Creates holes in the front to allow mobile units to get in and around behind and attack vulnerable artillery/AA near an objective. By bunching you have enough offensive power to do that.

(in reply to joe6778)
Post #: 4
RE: Grand Campaign 1943-need help - 6/8/2013 4:14:37 PM   


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Joined: 12/28/2008
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Wow! Thanks for the extremely detailed tips. I would have never figured some of these out on my own for quite some time.

Some of them I'm already doing, but others are new to me.

This will really pump up my game!

Thanks for taking the time to respond articulately and with such detail.

Much obliged.

(in reply to RPKUPK)
Post #: 5
RE: Grand Campaign 1943-need help - 6/9/2013 2:26:02 PM   


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Joined: 9/17/2009
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Correction to "'43, my suggestions":
Of course the Tiger is the best of the series PzIIIL, Pz IVG, and Tiger. I meant that this is the sequence of availability or timeline. The CORRECTION is PzIIIM NOT Pz IIIL in that series.
Of course, as you know as '41 turns to '42 you are faced with deciding how many panzers you buy/upgrade in the Pz III vs. Pz IV series with the Pz IV being better down the line. The Pz III upgrade line seems earlier so I utilize a few Pz IIIs that upgrade to Pz IIIG then H then J then L then M, but the majority of my panzer mix are the Pz IV line that end up at G (and H & J, but by that time Tiger is the preferred model, of course). You can always convert your left over Pz III series models to Pz IIIN which is great against infantry even in rough/forest/city/fort hexes.
The problem is that yes, each panzer can be upgraded to something else but if you upgraded your Pz III series all the way to M you have to pay a LOT to then convert it to Pz IV--a different series. Then you ending blowing more prestige to go to Tiger. I say keep 2 to 3 Pz III series and the rest Pz IV series as time goes on.

Oh! weather! Right now I am playing Campaign East Budapest44 and lost a dear experienced Su122(r) to Russian counterattack...the weather is changeable in that battle so it was ice, thaw, ice and when--on the Russian turn, of course (!!) the weather turned back from thaw to ice and the nice safe artillery behind the uncrossable major river were suddenly exposed to frozen ground and the Ruskies smashed and killed my nice captured Su-122! The Russian also watches the weather and as your turn turns to rain or snow and you pull back your fighters to base for refuel, lo and behold, on the Russian turn the weather turns to clear and he blasts away by air attack at your undefended ground troops. Funny how the Russian AI seems "to know" when that untoward situation is going to happen! So commanders, watch out for that. A good commander might over the years of a campaign note how often that happens--you do get a weather prediction--that may be wrong or right...maybe if the prediction for bad weather is TWO turns in a row you might be safer...dilemmas...the fog of war...
I mention this because you asked about '43 and in the first few battles there is significant changeable weather that critically affects your river defense

(in reply to joe6778)
Post #: 6
RE: Grand Campaign 1943-need help - 6/9/2013 9:44:34 PM   


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I'm playing the ETNA LINE SOUTH scenario of the 42/43 West Grand Campaign following a decisive victory in SYRACUSE, and a loss prior to that, and again I have that sinking feeling. My units are being decimated even when defending in good terrain, and there are endless numbers of British units attacking; they must have at least 20 tanks and 15 planes left.

My INF in hills usually get destroyed in two attacks. My STGIIIs are useless. My attacks usually do little damage unless I use most of my force to take out a couple of enemy units, but still they keep on coming. It's the same script as when I play the 43 East Campaign scenarios- I have pretty good units, but they're worn down by wave upon wave of enemy attacks regardless of what I do.

My core is so much smaller than the British and is mostly made up of Italian units which are worthless. I really don't want to play at a lower difficulty because I've progressed well at Colonel and won the vanilla Panzer Corps on Colonel. This is just really frustrating because after all the experience I have playing PzC (as well as the Panzer General series) I just feel like I'm still not getting it.

I've read all your tips, but it's not working for me.

< Message edited by joe6778 -- 6/9/2013 9:49:26 PM >

(in reply to RPKUPK)
Post #: 7
RE: Grand Campaign 1943-need help - 6/10/2013 1:03:21 AM   


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Joined: 9/17/2009
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Sergeant is way too easy...Fieldmarshall is insanely difficult...lieutenant is challenging but fun because of the DVs, Colonel and General are that much harder.
I find Afrika Korps the hardest, next West, lastly East.
I wish that game design staff would comment and clarify specifically what are the advantages to higher officer difficulty levels--such as more SE units, more captured units, unexpected prestige bonuses, additional in battle reinforcements (?)--all things a higher rank commander might earn. We already know what the disadvantages are---tougher enemy units and more of them!
Nothing wrong with restarting your's experience that allows one to collect all the strategy tips like I have accumulated. No commander would expect to be thrust into tough battle conditions with insufficient experience.
It's especially important to have air superiority in West battles, and bunching/concentrating your troops and being patient and methodical...letting Allies exhaust themselves on your defensive positions then later mounting your own offensive -- is the modus operandi in Panzer Corps.
Their may be some cheat guilt when restarting campaign though...doesn't bother me. The game gets updated and changes made all the time. I wish game designers would add MORE VARIABILITY for replays--different enemy deployment, unit mix, scripted counterattacks etc., which they could do with each update or even charge for it...maybe add one or more new battles to add to the game campaign timeline tree.... to encourage replay... with updates.
There is NOTHING wrong with starting at lieutenant in earlier campaigns, building prestige and take promotion/higher difficulty levels later. The latest update allows each battle to be played at any level...
Don't forget in WWII history it was a losing proposition for even the most able commanders especially as the war progressed.
Yes, the West campaigns leave very little room for error and are very challenging...
Maybe you can email design staff for their comments...look for von Paulus maybe...

(in reply to joe6778)
Post #: 8
RE: Grand Campaign 1943-need help - 6/10/2013 5:58:11 AM   


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One thing I never liked about the PzGen series and PzCorps is that every game is a race against time to capture cities- no credit for destroying units (except some earned experience for units.) I can eliminate every enemy unit and not earn a DV unless I take the cities.

My problem is the opposite of what you suggest: I get DVs in every campaign on Colonel until I reach the 43 and later campaigns. I restarted West 42/43 and earned DVs up to Dieppe, them a loss in Gironde, a DV in Syracuse, and then the roof caved in. That's how it plays out in East 43 as well- I get destroyed halfway into the campaign. It seems like I earn fewer prestige in West 42/43 as well.

I guess if the game wasn't a challenge, it would be boring.

I think I'll try a lower difficulty and see if I can do better.

(in reply to RPKUPK)
Post #: 9
RE: Grand Campaign 1943-need help - 12/30/2013 4:48:44 PM   


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Joined: 12/28/2008
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I made it to Grand Campaign 1944 East and did well on Colonel difficulty until the Vilna scenario (marginal victory) and now I'm into the Return To Kishinev scenario and it's getting to be tiring trying to defend against never-ending waves of strong Russian units.

I don't know if it's worth it to advance to '44 West and beyond. My auxiliary units are totally ineffective and my core units just aren't numerous enough to halt the juggernaut.

The DLC goes from very easy from 1939-1942, hard in 1943, and insanely difficult from 1944 on.

I'm think that those players who say they win on Fieldmarshall difficulty are lying.

(in reply to joe6778)
Post #: 10
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