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Support Unit Strategy - Axis

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Support Unit Strategy - Axis - 2/19/2011 5:48:59 PM   

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I wanted to see what experienced Axis players feel is the most advantageous way to go with their Support Units. I'm playing my fist (vs. AI) Grand Campaign'41, and I'm actually kicking major butt (Turn 8, Soviet casualties at 1,877,000 to Axis 131,500, but I know it's an AI game).

I do several things poorly still, but the one I'd like to focus on is SU allocation. One of the things I do poorly is create the need to attach and re-attach various divisions to nearby Corps, so I use a fair number of APs there that I'd like to improve.

This brings me to the SU issue. I have found the add/subtract, and automated allocation mechanism indecipherable and inefficient. I tried going with DLazov66's guidelines from his great strategy guide, and that's decent. But it leaves a lot to be desired.

I have a couple of ideas that I want to implement as strategy, and I'd like to know what you guys think of them.

Part I: Panzer Corps SUs should be kept to a minimum.
The issue with Panzer Corps is that the divisions are best used by avoiding deliberate attacks. And, with the rule that limits HQs to assigning SUs only to hasty attacks within 5 hexes and when the HQ has not yet moved, you're only going to see HQs provide auto-SU support on your first attack or two of a turn. Then, as you move beyond 5 hexes, they're useless. This issue is compounded by the fact that my early attacks are more likely to be conducted by Infantry elements that are specifically trying to keep motorized elements from wasting MPs.

So I think it's virtually pointless to have more than a couple of Artillery SUs in your Panzer Corps. My thought is 2, no more than 3 artillery SUs.

The pioneers and flak and various other elements can either be directly allocated to a division (probably very useful to directly put pioneers into the divisions) or shipped elsewhere.

Infantry Corps:
As I understand the game, at least through to the first winter, Germany's infantry are the hammer of Thor, and they will be responsible for dislodging Soviets from any remotely tough position. If it's city/urban, if it's in a level 3 fort or better, if it's in a swamp, the vast majority of the time, your infantry are the ones you assign to the job.

As such, they need a boat-load of support, starting with as much artillery as you can give them.

This creates a real trade-off issue with your panzer corps. Should you have more than 2 arty units in a panzer corps, when you know they get used far less than they would for an infantry corps? I'm starting to think you should default to no more than 2 in panzer corps. They have far less opportunity to be used.

I generally like to create a corps in each infantry army that is the real workhorse of that army. For example, I like to use I Corps with 4 units in 16 Army, and the same with II Corps in 18 Army (maybe i have those two corps backward). These are the divisions I will then use to breach forts, rivers, and solid defensive lines. These corps should default to more SUs, particularly artillery.

I'm not sure how much. Any strategies you have would be welcome.

There's a fairly important down-side to having a lot of SUs in a corps, though. And that is the probability of any specific SU getting automatically assigned to an attack. The more SUs you have in a corps, the lower the liklihood of any specific SU (such as an artillery SU) getting assigned to that attack. If you have a bunch of Flak battalions and not many artillery battalions, you are more likely to get a flak battalion than an artillery battalion. That's a really important thing to pay attention to, but I've really not noticed any way to prevent mis-allocation (e.g., that flak unit going to attack Kiev when you wanted that artillery unit to attack it). Later on that's going to be a huge difference maker.

So this brings me to the question:
What exactly are 'bad' SU types?

I have heard that flak companies rather suck, because they're companies. SOmewhere I read someone advocating to disband them. But disbanding a unit costs the same in AP as it does to assign it to a unit, so why not simply assign it to a unit and forget about it? Does the presence of SUs directly attached to divisions have any impact on the automatic allocation of SUs by the division's corps HQ?

I wonder if one shouldn't assign those flak companies to cities that need garrison - it might help a Regiment better meet the garrison requirement, but I don't know.

I've had enough of bicycle recon, as I'm sure everyone has.
But what good are the many flak battalions the Axis have? I would think they're mostly effective against infantry, unless it has a fair number of 88mm guns. Any advice on those?

That's all I can think of at the moment. I hope this turns out to be a useful thread (for me, at least)


Spring 2018-Playing: Demyansk Shield: Frozen Fortress; Advanced Squad Leader,
Reading: Bonhoeffer
Rulebooks: ASL (always ASL), Holland'44, Demyansk Shield: Frozen Fortress
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RE: Support Unit Strategy - Axis - 2/19/2011 7:41:56 PM   

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Some Basics in just a few quick hits:

-On FLAK, there is an important distinction; some units have 88s, and some don't. The units equipped with 88s, the MIXED FLAK BNs and MOT FLAK BNs, I assign at least one per Corps, to provide AT support.
-I assign at least 3 Artillery Units per Corps. I keep 3+ in the Panzer Corps (including NW Units), but many Panzer Corps start overloaded, so you can peel some out
-I assign one Construction unit to each Corps
-The STUG Bns:
-One per MOT DIV; gives them some organic armor support
-Sometimes one per PANZER DIV
-I don't usually leave them alone in Corps units; assigning to Mobile units takes time, as most start assigned to Infantry Corp
-One per Panzer Div
-One per MOT DIV
-The rest at Corps Level
-SP FLAK COMPANIES: They have negligible combat value. I would disband them eventually, because you don't want them assigned to an attack, and later on, you need those vehicles as the TOEs of Panzer units expand to include more FLAK
-PanzerJg Bns: Also put with MOT DIVs, and in INfantry Corps


(in reply to heliodorus04)
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RE: Support Unit Strategy - Axis - 2/19/2011 7:56:08 PM   


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Joined: 7/26/2007
From: Staunton, Va.
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I think that Mountain Divisions are A+ units so I add STUGs to them. Probably Mountain Divisions with attached armor shouldn't be able to enter mountain hexes, but as of now they can. By the way, I got this idea from another post quite a few days ago.

(in reply to Q-Ball)
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RE: Support Unit Strategy - Axis - 2/20/2011 3:16:27 AM   

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Flak units without 88s go to OKH then to Luftwaffe. With 88's, go to infantry divs. Don't keep flak units in your corps HQ. They dilute the support.

Artillery in all your infantry HQs. The heavies in your assault troops, i.e. Nebelwefers and big guns.

No construction bns below Army level. I'm not sure they are at all useful there. Their only purpose is repairing railroads and as far as I can tell, they only do this from Army Group or OKH levels.

Pioneers in all panzers possible. Critical. Stugs go in your infantry divs that intend to assault heavy forts. Panzerjaegers go to motorized divs.

Note that when you get to the point of needing to assault heavy forts, you'll need to start moving those pioneers into those infantry divs. It'll blunt your panzers somewhat, but at least around Leningrad, they are absolutely necessary for success.


"Measure civilization by the ability of citizens to mock government with impunity" -- Unknown

(in reply to stormbringer3)
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