From: Bristol, UK
Been playing a lot of War in the East and now been playing a few multiplayer games as the Allies in War in the West, and I have to say it is a frustrating venture! I played the Torch to Tunisia scenario, and I also recently resigned a 43-45 game due to lack of progress. Here is what is killing me:
1. The defensive terrain and fortification multipliers. The defending side is easily able to just dig in and get extremely high defensive bonuses (both in Italy and northern France). I have more troops, but that doesn't matter because:
2. The 3 unit stacking limit. It doesn't matter that I have a lot more men and units, because I am unable to focus them enough to breach through extremely high defensive values (which are all over). Even setting units as reserve in the rear doesn't help much, since you never know if they will be committed or not.
If anyone can give me any good tips to turn around my allied gameplay in a big way, that would be much appreciated, thanks! Or I fear I will give it up entirely.
Also, I have to say that I am not a fan of the current air management system (compared to War in the East which was much more functional in my humble opinion). There is way too much micromanagement to be done, and even if you let the AI manage everything, it will still make a mess of things. Also, I don't understand why I keep losing every single air battle vs the luftwaffe in the Torch to Tunisia scenario, it is as if we are facing gods in the sky! The germans shoot down 30 of my fighters while I shoot down none, repeatedly! And I don't think it is me doing something wrong, because leaving the air to the AI gives the exact same results. Somethings off here.
Finally I have to say that despite the above, the War in the East and West are still among the most awesome strategy games I have ever played, so thankyou for that.
Not quite sure how you managed to trigger such an interesting debate unrelated to your question!
To deal in turn:
High CV defenses. Yes, especially in Italy (or supplied cities) these are a pain. But then read an account of the war in Italy - they are a realistic pain! To deal with them you need well rested, full TOE, fully supported (read engineers) and supplied allied units with max artillery attacking tired, disrupted and short on supply Germans, preferably with no reserve defensive units activating. I am no expert (the opposite in fact) however:
Rotate your troops. Rest a corps, or more - you need 6-9 really rested and refitted divisions. Make sure they are all on the same HQ. Make sure that HQ has max (6+) big artillery units (155mm etc, not just field guns). Put the corps on supply priority 4, and make sure there is a depot nearby that gets copious supplies (preferably with a stock in the 10000tons+ range). Make sure you have good leaders. Make sure you have up to 1 engineer per division attached and also maybe tanks/mountain regiments (or a mountain division) if the defender is in mountains.
Before you attack with this lot, spend several weeks interdicting their supply. Bomb railyards and interdict hexes next to and leading to the targets supply source (if you can locate it, or just up all the likely valleys otherwise. Bomb the units themselves for a couple of turns as well. One turn before, bomb all the rail lines to their depot, and increase the interdiction to the max extent (hard in Italy but I find 3-4 interdiction is possible in clear terrain - in Normandy go for 9 all the time!). For the above, unit and interdiction can be by FB, railyards by medium bombers (or heavy but they should be elsewhere probably).Consider using medium/heavy bombers to attack the target hex on the turn of the assault.
Do not attack more than once a turn unless you reduce their fort level by at least 1 and get odds of say 1.7:1 or better, as you will be suffering more than the enemy. People make the mistake of attacking multiple times and this is a mistake becsue you do so much damage to your own units they wont have recovered by next turn. The aim is to wear the target down, whilst recovering each turn yourself. Rotate units out of the attacking stacks and use fresh ones if possible. Expect it to take 2 or 3 weeks to capture the target in some cases (more in some cases, but if he is suffering more than you, you will get there).
This can all take months to set up and achieve success.
Next: Torch. None of the above applies! The principles do but you don't have the units or supply to do that. But the key is rest and refit, possibly back from the front. I find 8th Army is key, but it is in real trouble unless you nurse it as it advances across the desert and attacks southern Tunisia - you must capture a port to supply them on the eastern plain then you will run all over the defence.
Torch LW. They are still very good, close to their early war capability. Your units are not in brilliant aircaft, and I never manage good A-A results. So bomb their airfields. As often as possible, and as strongly as possible (which wont always be that strong). Also, for much of the game the no 1 priority is interdict supply into Tunisia from Sicily. NI, bomb ports etc. Then the GAF can't fly and it doesn't matter how good they are. It is frustrating to get a perfect intercept on a transport flight and get horribly beaten by the escort though!
Hope this helps, and I am sure there are other tips that a much better player than I can give. I would sau AARs as well, but they don't tend to include all the little details...
I have a cunning plan, My Lord