Help my ground game out... (Full Version)

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GloriousRuse -> Help my ground game out... (11/25/2019 5:07:40 AM)

I have a problem. I apparently suck at the ground game. My operational game is...mediocre, but survivable. I can plan an invasion, get a corps on line, close a modest pocket. But my tactical game sucks.

I have one move: pile three, four, or nine divisions against a regiment. Itís the only way my attacks succeed. Attacking a division, even with three to one odds in real numbers and CV, is a guaranteed fail. And that means getting any real gains is impossible, because even the AI isnít dumb enough to line up three adjacent sectors with just a regiment. So you canít break out, canít pursue, just slug and slug again. But on these forums I see people tearing massive gaps in the opposing line routinely - even in Italy near the Gustav there are screenshots of units routing in fours and fives. For the love of me, I canít figure out how to do that.

And I donít know what Iím missing.

I use prepared attacks.

I make sure the units are well supplied (dark green or better).

I try to call in ground attacks against favored targets.

I use ground support l, though Iím not sure what Iím getting for my money on that one.

I try to attach combat power via supporting units.

I donít throw armor at general I only attack mountains where I can find a single regiment and stack a solid corps against it.

So, What am I missing?

loki100 -> RE: Help my ground game out... (11/25/2019 9:11:08 AM)

not the most useful response but in Italy in particular you can't solve it by better tactics (ie better constructed attacks), from your comments you are not doing anything obviously wrong in this respect. As an aside GS is best when it disrupts elements (check out the detailed combat results) as disrupted elements can't fight - so GS+artillery take out some of the enemy combat power before the battle really starts.

The key is how to really gain from these victories. If the Germans can rotate and rest, all those disrupted (& many destroyed/damaged) units will come back on line. In effect on the opening turn, yes you will lose a lot, but by T3 of an offensive the axis units are ready to break.

I think there are 2 parts to this (& a difference AI or human opponent).

Pt 1 is to keep stretching the axis forces, its not just where you put in your big set piece invasions (and you should be planning for 2 of these) its small brigade/division pokes behind the lines (the Adriatic is good for this). That will force the axis to spread out and give you the means to keep them on the move (ie less fortifications etc).

Pt 2 is all about your airpower. In Italy I think the prime target for your heavy bombers is the Italian rail depots. Hit them, and then when you are bored - do it again (with a side order of port bombing). Till you have Rome resist any interest in bombing S Germany. Add on your lighter bombers should be running interdiction (rail and normal) behind the front. This all makes it very hard for the axis side to replace losses and may well create localised supply problems (where you can maybe attack once and then they have real problems with ammunition).

A human axis player may well under-commit to the south of Italy (I've made this mistake) as they are very aware of the risk of getting cut off, equally they will be more aware of other theatres. The AI gets some advantages in how it deploys/redeploys (in part as it doesn't do all this) and can commit more and still get most of them out in case of a secondary landing. So oddly winning the S Italy phase can be easier HtH than vs AI.

But in both, its all about isolating the battlefield - then the damage you inflict stays in place for the next turn.

One more tactical feature - look to do 2 stage attacks. One strong enough to maybe win (divisions vs brigade can generate some odd outcomes due to how the disruption rules work), the second equally strong (or even stronger) with fresh units. If you have stressed the axis supply lines, at this stage they may have real problems (such as low ammo) and be more vulnerable than a simple analysis of the CV will indicate.

soeren01 -> RE: Help my ground game out... (11/25/2019 10:38:46 AM)

What are your ground attacks targetting ? units or interdiction ?
Do you have units adjacent to all the enemy units in the area to prevent reserve activation ?
Are all of your attacking units belong to the same HQ ?
Do you have units in reserve status on your own ?

GloriousRuse -> RE: Help my ground game out... (11/25/2019 3:01:27 PM)

For context, facing the AI:

I took Sicily by means of overwhelming force where this wasnít an issue. Taranto area landings only succeeded in breaking out because a northern hook near Brindsi/Bari forced a withdrawal, not because I could fight off the beaches. Sardinia fell to a free French corps, but only because the island was cut off - even then the final clearance was much later than desired. The Gustav and Rome only fell in early Ď44 because of combined airborne operations on the east coast and landings near lido and cevatiche, which were then contained. Iím now lined up on the western Italian farmland where the fighting should be easier...but it is still proving quite difficult to achieve anything more than local success against weak units, and all but one amphibious TF are in English ports preparing for a late May/early June invasion. Italian tails have been bombed up to Po valley where they function again, but some are probably more operational than displayed.

To specifics:

I do have the bad wargame habit of mixing Corps subordinates in an attack. Good catch, Iíll fix that.

My ground attacks typically place 30-60 planes against a target hex (area 0) on Unit targets, and I try to create an Area 1-3 interdiction zone behind the front...successfully in the East, less so in the West. The 15th often gets a rail interdiction mission as well as rail yards, but maybe I donít understand how exactly to place those? I may need some help understanding the interdiction mechanics.

I have noticed no real supply problems for the Axis other than one PzG division which launched four successive attacks against my beachheads.

The enemy seems to be able to reposition combat power freely.

loki100 -> RE: Help my ground game out... (11/25/2019 4:31:42 PM)

ok, think strategy now. If you have Rome and reasonably to time, what else are you trying to achieve in Italy? I'd very strongly suggest there are units there who would be better off in the UK or N Africa and used in your French invasions. I've cleared Italy vs the AI and missed out on a minor victory due to late arrival in Berlin, I think in that game stopping post-Rome would have put me in a better situation.

1-3 interdiction right at the front doesn't do much, its attritional stuff. 1-3 on every rail hex and every rail depot in ruins starts to make the German logistics fall apart. Rail interdiction only hits rail hexes in the directive area, so simply set that as the priority. Here's also were you need to hook in your strategic bombing targets. As you dismantle the rail system the Germans revert to needing trucks, so get a portion of 8AAF hitting the truck factories (take out medium tanks too). Won't hurt them at first but as they start to lose trucks (& not replace) the combat value will drop.

More generally, use your level bombers to take out the rail net, most of your tac bombers to isolate (4+) the battle area by rear interdiction, then chuck in some new planes for GS. GA-unit attacks are relatively inefficient unless its the summer of 1944 and you have just landed in France.

The AI is released from most normal movement rules - so yes it can shuffle/pull back where you couldn't. Thats why (oddly) some phases of the wider war are actually easier HtH.

My own view, is that the game does a good job of modelling that in ground combat terms at least in 1943 and most of 1944 the Allies couldn't really beat the Germans. They lacked the numerical superiority and to a large extent lacked experienced troops. You can't do, as the Soviets can (say in WiTE2 - currently being tested etc), kick the door down with a stack of 3 Gds Rifle Corps and then exploit with armour.

So success comes primarily from using your airpower to alter the balance of forces on a given sector, plus your plentiful artillery. I think you need to be a bit obsessive about building and rebuilding corps attachments especially in Italy as the front alters, but you do need to concentrate.

GloriousRuse -> RE: Help my ground game out... (11/26/2019 12:23:22 AM)

So, good news bad news time.

The good news is that Iíve been going 80/20 on VPs versus body blows since Ď43 with the strategic bombing. Sure, it means most turns only netted 8-9 (Bomb-Special Target) as opposed to 10-12, but the big truck plants have been getting worked over every five to six weeks at least, and most AFV plants making 10+ vehicles have been hit a few times. Hoorah!

The bad news is I wasnít using rail interdiction, so Iím not sure knocking a hundred plus trucks out of production each turn mattered if they only had to drive a few dozen miles on average resupply. Also, I now suspect one of the reasons bombing the German fuel and oil industries below 50% doesnít matter is because very little has been consumed moving freight.

I now realize the value of rail interdiction. I could really use a master class in just how it works, and what the best practices are - the AI still manages to remain obstinately in supply unless physically cut off on the ground.

GloriousRuse -> RE: Help my ground game out... (11/26/2019 2:14:29 AM)

Also, you mentioned artillery. Other than massing support units, any tips on that front?

soeren01 -> RE: Help my ground game out... (11/26/2019 1:34:48 PM)

With Artillery just stack 10 or more Artillery Units in your Corps HQ.
You should also attach some other support units to the attacking Corps HQ.
Fighters on Ground Attack (Interdiction) diving from 25.000 feet are quite effective.
Use US groups to attack Units and BR groups to build up interdiction in empty hxes.
Rail interdiction works, but it takes time until it is effective.

GloriousRuse -> RE: Help my ground game out... (11/26/2019 3:18:06 PM)

As an aside, not technically ground say diving in. For air to air, does having a few extra thousand feet of smash above your opponent improve your overall performance? Being higher is considered a massive edge in the real world, but I donít know if the game models it?

loki100 -> RE: Help my ground game out... (11/26/2019 6:54:34 PM)

it does but its a bit complex. Best approach is to open the editor files and download the air data to a spreadsheet. What you'll see is that all planes have an ideal altitude and sometimes perform really badly outside this.

At the game start, most German fighters like to be at around 19,000' and the W Allies around 21,000.

Now the A2A combat routine is complex and mostly black box, but crudely experience trumps almost any other factors. Beyond that, good things are higher maneuver, speed (as plane attributes) and being higher (situational). In turn different machine gun load outs are more likely to hit/more likely to do damage. There's not too much you can do here other than try to match up plane types, so for the Allies mostly get your best stuff into the UK and secondary planes to the Med.

By mid/late 44 you will see axis air losses rapidly increase - at that stage they have run out of experienced pilots. Most players will cannabalise their formations to have fewer but still decent experience, the AI will see a radical dip in experience as it tends to keep the formations.

bomccarthy -> RE: Help my ground game out... (11/26/2019 8:55:42 PM)

When playing against the Axis AI, you can shoot down a lot of Axis fighters in 1943 through air superiority missions over the Ruhr, using massed P-47s at 28,000 ft (or even higher) early in the week; you can then have them escort bomber missions later in the week. When you get P-51s, do the same thing deeper into Germany, but adjust the flight path of the A/S mission so that you "make a tour" of Axis airbases with large concentrations of fighters. You can do something like this with Spitfires, although the AI generally moves its fighters to bases beyond Spitfire range by late 1943.

General notes on Allied fighter altitudes: the game seems to do a decent job of mirroring real life capabilities. Spitfire V - 15-20k ft, Spitfire VIII/IX - 25-28k ft, Spitfire LF IX - 18-22 k ft, Spitfire HF IX - 25-32k ft, Spitfire XII - 10-18k ft (this is a real beast at low altitudes); Spitfire XIV - 22-28k ft, P-39/P-40N - 8-12k ft, P-38 - 18-28k ft, P-47 - 25-32k ft, P-51 - 25-30k ft.

I use P-38s in the Mediterranean to provide long-range A/S missions over invasion task forces and beachheads, until I can get Spitfires/P-40s into captured airfields. I use P-38s/Spitfires to provide the same sort of protection over French invasions and the Channel; if you don't do this you will suffer shipping losses from Axis naval air patrols.

GloriousRuse -> RE: Help my ground game out... (12/4/2019 5:26:49 AM)

As a continuation question: how do people align their support units for strong divisions and corps? I find I struggle to get divisions above a CP of 8, yet I see many AARs where ďassault corpsĒ consist of stacks of three infantry divisions all at ten plus...

loki100 -> RE: Help my ground game out... (12/4/2019 6:38:01 AM)

roughly two sides to this.

First units shed cv is they are missing supply or trucks or have fatigue. Fatigue can take out a lot of cv but lack of trucks is a hidden problem. The trucks maybe assigned to the unit, but equally maybe pulled off searching for supplies. So such a corps should be on or near a priority 4 depot. Oddly once the HQ is properly supplied you may want to drop it to #2 for supply. This will reduce the urge to remove trucks from the unit to get the demanded supply - a bit situational but can really help the allies in a few instances.

Then the allocation of the multi-role units. The allied infantry brigades in this category (& the armour) can often add +2 to a sbown CV.

Finally carefully nurturing units with wins helps, once morale/experience starts to go up towards 80 you get some cv gains too.

More generally shown cv is not really that critical. Lots of artillery (=disrupted enemy elements), plus airpower are perhaps better force multipliers.

GloriousRuse -> RE: Help my ground game out... (12/4/2019 3:34:56 PM)

For context: my game with the AI is nearing its conclusion, and we are entering April with Brandenburg in hand. But the last core of hardened Germans are holding the gates to Berlin, and it seems an allied loss (well, draw at best which versus the AI is a loss) is inevitable, and Iím outracing my rail network with no time to pause - Iíll be lucky to take the city by May. As I look back to how badly I performed to get here, I keep coming back to the fact I canít achieve decisive tactical results without piling on absurd amounts of units. I was wondering if this was one of the causes...

I also notice that the AI, even when it fails an attack, causes roughly equivalent losses. When I fail an attack...itís bad. When I win an attack, itís often equivalent-ish losses. Iím assuming this is because it knows how to better employ support units.

So what does a good ďline breakerĒ Corp look like?

Laits -> RE: Help my ground game out... (5/22/2020 10:57:10 AM)


ORIGINAL: GloriousRuse

So what does a good ďline breakerĒ Corp look like?

The key point is to fight like the allied fought.
It's useless to plan large breakthrough and big pockets with the WA. Historically they did not fight like the German and did not have such experienced units.
However, one solution is to mass the artillery, the aircrafts, the armoured div and all your airborne units on a small part of the map. It could help you breaking the line but do not expect "miracles" like in WITE.

On the second hand, to forget to "exhaust" the German forces with a long term bombing strategy.
1943 should prepare the big fights in 1944.

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