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The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 3/16/2007 5:41:53 AM   
KG Erwin


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I ordered a copy of Charles Sydnor's "Soldiers of Destruction". This is the story of the 3rd SS "Totenkopf" Division.

Theodor Eicke's division pretty much defines everything that was evil about the SS. Formed partially from concentration camp guards, and the perpetrators of numerous war crimes, these guys serve well as a model for a long-campaign core force . Eicke's units had a somewhat different organization from the Leibstandarte and Das Reich.

Each Totenkopf Standarte (regiment) had no less than 36 LMGs AND 12 HMGs, which perfectly suits their role as battlefield executioners.

So, the next Kampfgruppe Erwin is gonna be based on these guys. If I'm gonna go "bad", I may as well take it to the limit.

For the record, the remnants of this division surrendered to the Western Allies in 1945, and were immediately turned over to the Russians. Very few of them returned alive. Most met their end in various gulags.


< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 3/17/2007 12:32:13 AM >
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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys" - 3/16/2007 10:39:00 AM   
vahauser


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I read 'Soldiers of Destruction' years ago.  SS Totenkopf was truly despicable.  I hope you have a strong stomach.

But the very worst of the worst was the Dirlewanger Brigade.  Composed of child molesters and rapists and psychopaths and a variety of other convicted criminals, Oscar Dirlewanger (himself a criminal released from prison to lead his brigade) took his brigade on a spree of unrestrained carnage throughout the occupied regions of Eastern Europe/USSR.  It is perhaps the ugliest side of human nature unleashed I've ever heard of.

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys" - 3/17/2007 12:31:24 AM   
KG Erwin


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I agree with your assessment of the "Dirlewanger gang", Victor.

I know of several players who will not use SS units. We've had the "elite" designation argument many times, so I won't rehash it. I'll simply say that the SS units in the game are meant to represent the so-called "classic" divisions (Leibstandarte, Das Reich, Totenkopf and Wiking). Thugs like Dirlewanger's (IMHO) should be regrded as "second-line infantry", if even that.

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys" - 3/17/2007 1:41:50 AM   
Alby


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who is that new avatar a picture of?

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys" - 3/17/2007 1:55:37 AM   
KG Erwin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alby

who is that new avatar a picture of?


You don't know? It's Joachim Peiper, made infamous as the leader of KG Peiper in the 1944 Ardennes Offensive, and the model for Robert Shaw's Col Hessler in "Battle of the Bulge".

French terrorists hunted him down in 1976 and killed him in his home. The available evidence shows that he fought them, but he died when the killers burned down his house. He perished in the flames.

Look, there were many SS commanders who proved their ability in battle. Peiper led a panzergrenadier battalion on the Eastern Front. This unit became known as the "Blowtorch Battalion", not for their propensity for brutality, but simply as one of those units that we call "Fire Brigades".

< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 3/17/2007 2:31:35 AM >

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys" - 3/17/2007 3:37:29 AM   
Alby


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sorry , didnt recognize him....


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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys" - 3/17/2007 3:46:23 PM   
Kevin E. Duguay

 

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Underwhere Nome????

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys" - 3/18/2007 12:04:18 AM   
KG Erwin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kevin E. Duguay

Underwhere Nome????


Uh, Kevin, I didn't quite get that -- could you explain?

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys" - 3/18/2007 12:13:56 AM   
KG Erwin


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Ok, the Peiper avatar had to go --that just won't do.

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys" - 3/18/2007 12:31:10 AM   
Alby


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kevin E. Duguay

Underwhere Nome????




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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 3/25/2007 12:15:28 AM   
KG Erwin


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OK, concurrent with my latest USMC campaign, I just started yet another campaign with a different sort of German kampfgruppe.

This time around, I reduced the panzer component to 21 tanks and bought three completely-motorized SS rifle companies. The trick is to know when to dismount the SS- schuetzen from their trucks. Preferably, it's out of sight of the enemy, but that's not always the case. Covered approaches are not always available.

Each SS Kompanie is a self-contained mini-KG, with 2 Pz IVs, 3 Pz IIs and 2 Pz Is attached to each. Each kompanie also has 2 37mm PaK, 2 75mmIG, and 2 20mm FlaK, all motorized.

I'm using my two Aufklarungszuge as bait, to draw out the enemy and make them reveal their positions.

Given this, I'm still taking a different tack on the "armored fist" approach. To me, the key is to maximize the mobility of the infantry, provide them with ample heavy-weapons support, and allow for rapid redeployment to exploit opportunities.

My foot-bound Marines don't have this advantage, so it requires a different mindset. The use of overwhelming firepower is common to both, but the boldness and even recklessness of the SS results in higher personnel losses. That's something I'll just have to accept in order to settle the issue quickly.

As for the actual tactics, I watched a fascinating documentary on Ginghis Khan, and the Mongols' frequent use of feigned retreats to draw advancing enemies into a trap. I'm not sure if I can fully exploit this, but that's where my recon elements come into play.




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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 3/25/2007 3:32:56 AM   
h_h_lightcap


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Gunny---

Retreats dont work against the AI unless you take objectives and then back off......ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK the AI and flank....

HH

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 3/25/2007 4:05:46 AM   
KG Erwin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: h_h_lightcap

Gunny---

Retreats dont work against the AI unless you take objectives and then back off......ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK the AI and flank....

HH


I've come to find that out. A meeting engagement can be turned into a slaughter if your forces are fast enough to react quickly.

It happens differently in the Pacific Theater. There, you take the objective, retreat back one hex, and make the enemy come to you. It's gamey, yes -- the empty VH hexes become magnets. The effect can be devastating -- this is using Ginghis Khan tactics in the jungle. Deception, ambush, pinning with overwhelming fire, encirclement and complete destruction of the enemy at minimal cost.

It's a beautiful thing when you can pull it off. That's when the conducting of warfare becomes an artform. The denouement and the coup de grace.


< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 3/25/2007 4:09:22 AM >

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 3/25/2007 4:27:44 AM   
KG Erwin


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One more thing -- at times, restraint is necessary. This is also very difficult to do in the heat of battle. Timing is everything.

With the SS, restraint is damn near impossible. When you command infantry like that, it's hard to hold them back. They are killers, and strain to be unleashed. An evil cause, yes, and they ARE the ultimate bad guys, but they are good at what they are designed to do: unleash hell and kill the enemy, along with their friends and their families.


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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 3/26/2007 5:32:49 PM   
Korpraali V


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quote:

ORIGINAL: KG Erwin

It happens differently in the Pacific Theater. There, you take the objective, retreat back one hex, and make the enemy come to you. It's gamey, yes -- the empty VH hexes become magnets. The effect can be devastating -- this is using Ginghis Khan tactics in the jungle. Deception, ambush, pinning with overwhelming fire, encirclement and complete destruction of the enemy at minimal cost.

It's a beautiful thing when you can pull it off. That's when the conducting of warfare becomes an artform. The denouement and the coup de grace.


In PBEM that's a bit harder Although then forces are quite even at start.

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 3/26/2007 8:51:28 PM   
azraelck

 

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PBEM is a whole different beast entirely. While the AI can be boiled down to set patterns, and set tactics work invariably against them, against a human opponent you have the unknown of how they will act and react.

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 3/30/2007 6:39:08 AM   
KG Erwin


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Back to the SS for a moment -- post-war historiography has established a mystique about these guys, and many gamers, yours truly included, have a peculiar fascination for them. I've been reading "Soldiers of Destruction", which is indeed a classic study of the Totenkopf Division. However, the most noteworthy SS Division, at least as far as awards is concerned, was "Das Reich". They had their share of war crimes, too (Oradour in 1944), so their war service will forever be besmirched.

As for "Das Reich", we presently have a campaign for them, and I've recently ordered the next two English volumes of Otto Weidinger's five-volume history. I already have the first volume.

In any case, bad guys or not, they are STILL rated as "elite troops" in the Enhanced OOBs, so if I wanna "go German", these are the guys I use.

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 3/30/2007 9:14:11 AM   
vahauser


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What about Grossdeutschland?  What about Panzer Lehr?  What about many of the other "named" formations not in the SS (Feldherrenhalle, Hermann Goring, Fuhrer Begleit, etc.)?  Why aren't they considered "elite"?

My reading of history tells me that Grossdeutschland was the most "elite" division in the entire German Army (with the possible exception of the 1st Fallschirmjager).  I consider GD (and 1st FJ) to be way better than ANY SS division.  Way better.  So why is GD not considered by SPWAW to be elite?

I've always thought it shameful that out of 36 SS divisions formed during the war, only a handful were worth a crap. And yet those handful (less than 20%) are what SPWAW calls "elite", thereby making the other 80% "elite" as well. According to SPWAW, the 30th SS Grenadier Division is superior to Grossdeutschland. To me, that's shameful indeed.

If it were up to me, I'd completely re-do the German OOBs and simply have two categories: 1) elite infantry, elite panzer, elite artillery, etc., and 2) regular infantry, regular panzer, regular artillery, etc., and do away with the SS in their own special category altogether. Indeed, such a reorganization might even save on OOB slots.





< Message edited by vahauser -- 3/30/2007 9:31:32 AM >


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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 3/31/2007 1:16:01 AM   
KG Erwin


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Victor, I think the generic elite SS units could be used for the GD or Panzer Lehr. As far as that goes, if you wanted to base a core force on one of the "non-classic" SS units, you'd use the standard Heer units.

The point is, there's no need to have duplicate elite & standard SS and Heer units. It's just a label for differentation, not a set-in-stone stereotype.

Besides, as you well know, the Chlanda editor can be used to rename the units, commanders & ranks to whatever you want.

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 3/31/2007 4:52:43 AM   
vahauser


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I would never soil my units by purchasing SS and then re-naming them.  How many other nations do you have to do that with?  In addition, it is common protocol to NOT re-name units when playing PBEM or online games (for obvious reasons).  If you want to play Panzer Lehr in a PBEM, then you are stuck with having to buy them as SS and not re-name them.  Despicable.

I calculate that the "SS myth" has been perpetuated on the basis of a handful of SS divisions.  I also believe that there are more elite non-SS divisions than that handful of SS divisions.  Hence my claim that the OOB should be reorganized into elite and non-elite categories and leave the political designations out of it.

By perpetuating the "SS myth", I believe that SPWAW is guilty of politicizing the game in a manner that does a disservice to all.  Casual gamers who play the game see the "elite" SS and are caught up in the propaganda.  It is shameful. 

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 3/31/2007 5:07:24 AM   
Alby


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Buy Gebirgsjaegers....they are elite classed.
(formation wise)


< Message edited by Alby -- 3/31/2007 5:18:24 AM >


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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 3/31/2007 6:55:28 AM   
vahauser


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Alby,

This isn't a question of "workarounds". 

This is a question of deliberately politicizing and perpetuating the "SS myth".  By reorganzing the OOB into generic non-elite and elite categories, the panzers and panzergrenadiers (which are the most commonly used, and thus most important, formations) will be more historically and accurately represented across the board.  Peripheral formations (uncommonly used, and hence not as important) such as fallschirmjagers and gebirgsjagers and ski troops, etc., can remain as they are.

The important thing is to fairly and historically represent ALL elite German mobile formations, not just the SS.  Treating the SS as special (while ignoring all the other non-SS elite German mobile formations) is shameful and despicable, in my opinion, and does no good, only harm, to the image of SPWAW.

And the solution is so simple. Just change all occurances of "SS" in the OOB to "Elite". Voila.

< Message edited by vahauser -- 3/31/2007 7:01:38 AM >


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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 3/31/2007 7:21:20 AM   
KG Erwin


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Victor, there's no point in making an issue out of this. Listen, back when I worked on the "official" OOB teams, this was discussed ad nauseaum. I'm sorry that you don't like the designations, but that's what we decided on.

If you don't like it, then you have the ability to edit your personal OOBs any way you see fit. You and your PBEM opponents can simply agree to use your version, and it becomes a non-issue.

Let me tell you right now, I personally don't agree with changing the names just for the sake of being politically correct. That's not gonna happen. Let it go.

Now maybe you understand why I prefer talking about my beloved Marines. They don't have much "baggage" attached to their reputation, despite the fact that a few units didn't take prisoners and that collecting souvenirs from enemy dead (skulls, gold teeth etc) did happen. We could open up a huge can of worms about all of it, but it would lead to nowhere.

If you believe as I do that ALL war is an atrocity, or at best a necessary evil, then we can leave this issue to rest.



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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 3/31/2007 7:27:57 AM   
vahauser


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Glenn,

But that still doesn't solve the problem.  I come back to the original question:  What about Grossdeutschland, what about Panzer Lehr? What about all the other non-SS elite formations.  Why must THEY be forced to use the SS formations?  THAT is the problem.  And I claim that there are more non-SS elite formations than SS "elite" formations.  So we have a situation where the majority is being forced to conform to a shameful and despicable minority.  THAT is the problem.

--V

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 3/31/2007 8:49:11 AM   
KG Erwin


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Victor, all we are talking about is a simple formation code. 0 means standard, and 10 gives a +10 average exp/morale rating. You can rail all you want, but it's not gonna change. No one but you has made an issue of this.

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 3/31/2007 9:03:02 AM   
vahauser


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Glenn,

Indeed.  You are correct.  The SS lovers have had their way and history be damned.  Nothing I say here will make any difference.  I realize that.  But that doesn't mean that I will be silent on an issue that I believe in my heart to be wrong, historically and morally and politically.  To me, SPWAW has chosen irresponsibly.  It is shameful.  And now I've spoken my mind and there it is.  Oh well.  Another moon howled at for nothing.

--V

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 3/31/2007 1:53:56 PM   
vahauser


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Just for comparison sake, here is a list of divisions.

I would take the list on the right anytime and anywhere. I think the list on the right is superior to the list on the left. And yet the list on the left is "elite" and the list on the right is not. What is wrong with this picture?






Attachment (1)

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 11/17/2007 11:50:46 PM   
vahauser


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So, what you have here is perhaps a half dozen SS divisions that are worthy of the "elite" designation out of 38 SS divisions.  That is 15%.  This means that 85% of all SS divisions get an "elite" designation that they don't deserve.

And it also means that all of the truly elite Wehrmacht divisions get nothing.  It turns my stomach.

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 11/17/2007 11:52:30 PM   
Goblin


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8 months and you wake this back up?!?  

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RE: The Ultimate "Bad Guys"? - 11/17/2007 11:55:30 PM   
vahauser


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Goblin,

Somebody posted in another thread how they only play the SS as the Germans because they are so elite. 

That, plus all this gobbledegook regarding the "moral high ground" and SPWAW motivated me to examine some old threads.

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