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My first victory. How to step up my game from here?

 
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My first victory. How to step up my game from here? - 7/29/2015 7:42:29 AM   
PitbullVicious

 

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Joined: 7/29/2015
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I have had the WITW installed on my computer for quite a while now and finally -- due to my summer holiday being a rather rainy and cold one -- I actually had time to read the manual through and really get in to the game. And what a great game it is! I'm rather hooked to the point that I bought and read a couple of books about the Italian campaign which I was rather unfamiliar with (in my mind it has always been overshadowed by operation Overlord and the Eastern front and I'm by no means expert on those either).

This is the first Grigsby game I've properly played. I remember dabbling a bit with Uncommon Valor back in the days, and maybe I've played some other title a long time ago.. my first computer was a C64 back in the days and I've been interested in strategy games for a long time. I used to play quite a lot the board game kind, and liked the social factor (when me and friends I still had time to be social from work, family, "proper" hobbies and other silly adult things). Computer games have of course nice benefits like fog of war and more detailed modelling of the troops etc, especially with the current computing power.

Anyways, I eventually managed to win the introductory Sicily scenario after several tries and yesterday I finished my third or fourth try of the Battleground Italy scenario, ending in minor Allied victory. A minor for the Allies perhaps, but a major one for me personally :) While I had a bit disorganized and shaky start, I did not get bogged down in any defence line this time but could keep the Axis forces on the run most of the time, mostly due to rather successfully timed landings in course of my advance.

I think next step then is the full campaign and hopefully some PBEM in the future, but first I have some questions to step up my game and to understand this title better (note that some of these might be somewhat specific to the Italian campaign, as that's what I've been playing. And some of them have probably been asked before, but please bare with me :) ):

1. Support Units:

I understand that the support units attached to a HQ unit can participate to several battles in a round (although have to pass a check in order to do take part in any one battle) while ones attached directly to units only participate in battles that that unit participates in. There are also limits of support units which can participate to battle, but is this limit applied if I have for example several divisions, each having three support units and participating in the same battle? If the number is limited, what are the rules for selecting the support units that participate in the battle?

Is there any "rules" for optimally mixing support units? E.g. would it make sense to attach three (combat) engineer units to a division one is using to attack a fortified zone, or should one have move balanced mix of support units (I suppose artillery is good for almost any situation)? Does it make sense to attach AAA units to divisions?

Summa summarum: While I've definitely noticed the benefit of the support units, I'm trying to further understand the optimal use of them.

2. Exploiting breakthroughs:

Any hints on exploiting breakthroughs? I've tried to use my tanks efficiently but very rarely I seem to be able to penetrate deeply (seem to run out of MPs) and then in the next turn the AI seems to be very efficient in retreating out of reach. I understand that the terrain, enemy ZOC, and morale of the advancing troops at least play a role in this...

3. Best practices in rotating troops:

It seems that I end up having all of my units in the front line all the time without any reserves which eventually causes their efficiency to fall. On the other hand, if I keep a reserve to roll fresh troops to the front line, I do not seem to be able to achieve breakthroughs or (related to Q2 above) at least seem to be able to exploit them properly. This ends up me banging on the defence line for a long time with high casualties until something finally breaks. Then the AI retreats a bit and the whole process starts over.

How do you guys rotate your troops and still maintain a strong enough front line for breakthroughs? Do you concentrate your rotation in one point while keeping a relatively thin front line in other places or? How often do you rotate your front line units?

4. Engineers

In the Battleground Italy scenario there are couple of engineer units (regiments?). Do these have some specific use or should they be considered just as general infantry units?

5. Air Operations

What are the negative effects of the area in the efficiency of ground attack, air superiority and recon? Do you like to concentrate your missions on more restricted area or spread the effect more widely and let the AI decide the targets?

I have mostly been using my air force rather conservatively, pumping up the attacks to high intensity and every day of the week during some critical stages of attacks for period of few weeks on the max. Any rules of thumb on how much can one push his or her AF without adverse effects? Should one stick to a "five day work week" for the air units, or push them further?

When and where to move the AFHQs? Do you keep them in close to your front lines or keep them further back? Are there any benefits for bringing them up front?

6. HQs

A bit similar to the second question about air operations: Does it benefit to bring higher level army HQs close to the front?

7. Routing isolated units:

In the situations where I've been able to isolate and completely surround some enemy units, they have sometimes routed and got out of the pocket. This seems a bit counter intuitive, but this might be due to the abstracted level of the map and units and the I-GO-U-GO sequence. I'd expect the trapped troops to be completely annihilated or captured in these cases (mind you, I do not have clear view on how many enemies actually slip out of the encirclement and how many perish in the process).

I think I'll start a new scenario today, so I might come up with further questions, but there are some for starters :)

P.S. As I had my laptop with me on my holidays and no access to the Internet, I think that the version that I've been mostly using is rather old. Now I'm using the latest version.
Post #: 1
RE: My first victory. How to step up my game from here? - 7/29/2015 8:00:11 AM   
loki100


Posts: 10190
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Utlima Thule
Status: offline
Here's a go:

Support Units

I wouldn't use up the divisional slots on AA as the allies, once you are past the first phase the Luftwaffe is not that big a threat. In fact by mid-game I start scrapping the non US AA to recycle the manpower.

I think you can obsess over the SU allocation or play it fairly casually. For the allies, most of my allocations are 'good enough' rather than optimised. Units rotate between corps etc a lot so its not that easy to make sure you have highly specialist formations in exactly the right place. The exception is that from early 1944 I start to build one highly specialist corps with all the allied heavy artillery and lots of engineers, both in the corps and in the divisions. This I'll use for clearing out the various fortified ports you encounter in France (plus naval gunfire support).

In Italy, I might stack up one corps with mtn regiments.

Breakthroughs

If you've played War in the East (WiTE) then you can spend a week and multiple infantry attacks and miraculously your armour pours through the gap with 50 MP for full exploitation. WiTW has the combat delay mechanism, which means any exploitation is limited (and Italy is not much like the southern Ukraine in terms of terrain).

In WiTW, I find the solutions are one of two extremes. Try a hasty attack (only causes a 1 MP delay), it that works then you can exploit with some ease. Or ... don't take chances, hit the hex with everything you can so as to dislodge the defender. Worst is 2-3 normal attacks till you finally succeed as that blocks off exploitation, especially as you may need to pay costs for entering zones of control etc.

I find this one of the hardest parts of the tactical game with WiTW.

Rotate

Yes, let units rest, esp US formations. Also pull them back from the front line to where supply is more easily available. Lack of ammo is a major drag on combat efficiency (every 1% ammo shortage is 1% off your combat value)

Air

really depends. At the start, and especially in the BI scenario, you are never going to get the sort of interdiction levels an allied played can generate over France in 1944. Any interdiction hurts the axis, but if you can manage >4, then movement is deadly for them.

for recon, spread it out, especially if you are looking for units or airbases.

but its all very circumstantial. Most of the game I don't fly squadrons under 70 morale, if I have a sequence of clear or cold air weather turns in 1944 or 1945 I'll run the airforce into the ground. Bad weather will inevitably return and they can rest then.

HQs

Leave the high level ground and air commands where they start. No gain to having them closer to the front

rout

best to think of this as a unit that has been badly damaged but managed to slip out of encirclement in the chaos of battle. If you want to kill it, surround a unit and wait a turn. It'll then surrender.

< Message edited by loki100 -- 7/29/2015 9:02:05 AM >


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