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First run through

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All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> Decisive Campaigns Series >> Decisive Campaigns: The Blitzkrieg from Warsaw to Paris >> After Action Reports >> First run through Page: [1]
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First run through - 3/7/2017 8:11:15 AM   


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Hi. I have just completed my first run through of Case White, the invasion of Poland. These are my post-game observations.

The game ended on the 23rd of September, with Warsaw still in Polish control and German forces still 20 VP shy of the required total. In comparison to the historical account, I was always behind the curve so my defeat was hardly a surprise. Casualties came in at 13%.

One or two things stuck out; for example, I had no idea what to do with the Konigsberg Fortress Division, way up in the northeast. I ended up leaving them hanging around the northern Evac point, for want of anything better to do. Similarly, the rather weak force far to the south (Rumanians?) were of little use as they could achieve hardly anything in the way of territorial gain.

The general approach I adopted was to push against enemy troops, follow up on their retreats, rinse & repeat. Territory was gained, but at a slow pace. Air strikes seemed to achieve little, and I became wary of using artillery strikes as this seemed on occasions to rob me of melee attack points.

I'm currently rereading the manual, to see if there's anything I'm doing wrong - or not doing at all. My next run through will also attempt to follow more closely the routes of attack used historically. I'll let you know how that goes.........
Post #: 1
RE: First run through - 3/8/2017 12:38:29 AM   


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Hey I'm in the same boat. What I am currently doing is playing the scenario as Poland and watching what the AI is doing. I found that having to be the one on the attack on such a large scale was overwhelming as my army ground to a halt. I reread the manual replayed the scanty tutorial and tried as Germany again with no luck. Then I played as Poland, I am getting close to finishing and it has taught me a HUGE amount. I also recommend playing the Netherlands scenario first as the Germans, that one is much much easier and doesn't have the same scale it is a good learning scenario.

AI masses arty and annihilates units moral with mass barrages. Same with airstrikes, it does maybe 3 air strikes tops per turn so it uses multiple air wings at the same time. It really seems like you need to mass arty/airstrikes for them to be effective. After a unit is demoralized then attack it. The Slovak units (the ones to the south) can not really do anything unless they are heavily reinforced, that is as intended though they are just there to hold the Polish counterparts in place. I am not sure how long I hold our but I have been having some successes locally. I have gone on the counter offensive to the north-west and destroyed a handful of German regiments there, but my center is finally collapsing, so I have to withdraw but one of the generals keeps telling his army to stand and fight and not move at all, that army is in danger because of that and I couldn't take advantage of a couple of favorable situations. Doing limited counter offensive has also taught me a lot of what works, though I still wonder why some of my attacks. The AI is really struggling to accomplish its objectives and that is despite my learning curve. I am developing a plan of attack that I will try as the Germans once I finsh.

(in reply to Ryohei56)
Post #: 2
RE: First run through - 3/8/2017 1:56:21 PM   


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A note about combined arms attacks. Use your artillery first as it reduces entrenchment value of defenders. Air strikes should be second as they are more effective against the lower entrenchment. Air strikes shouldn't go first since they have very little effect on entrenchment. Attacking from more directions has a bigger effect than maintaining divisional integrity.

(in reply to slybar)
Post #: 3
RE: First run through - 3/8/2017 8:46:20 PM   
Alan Sharif


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Also considering punching a hole in the enemy front line using art/air/infantry then push your mechanised forces through the gap. Aim to cut off enemy forces for the following infantry to eliminate, and advance deep beyond enemy lines, but not so deep as to get cut off. It's a balancing act that comes with experience.


A Sharif

(in reply to bobarossa)
Post #: 4
RE: First run through - 3/15/2017 12:43:11 PM   


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Hi again. Thanks for all the comments.

Since my original post, I have carried out a second run at this scenario. This time, I got hold of a map showing the routes taken by the various German corps, and tried as far as possible to emulate their progress. Up to a point, this was rather more successful than my first try. The game ended with me holding 43 of 49 VP and with 11% German casualties. Poland held 16 VP, and had 23% casualties. I failed to capture Bialystok, Brest-Litovsk and - most crucially - Warsaw itself, so the end result (I lost) was hardly surprising.

I would say that I probably used my airpower more for recon than attack, which will not have helped, and if I did use airstrikes they invariably preceded artillery barrages. I'd also say that I tended to use dedicated artillery units almost exclusively, only occasionally employing other types of units which had limited artillery capability.

Some lessons learned anyway, and when I embark on a third attempt I will do so having taken on board the suggestions you guys have offered. I'm particularly keen to try the suggestion of fighting as Poland, to see what the German AI does - hadn't thought of that before!

(in reply to Alan Sharif)
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RE: First run through - 3/15/2017 2:27:00 PM   


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From: Columbus, Ohio USA
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ORIGINAL: Ryohei56

I'd also say that I tended to use dedicated artillery units almost exclusively, only occasionally employing other types of units which had limited artillery capability.

I think you are referring to the divisional HQ's. I only use them as artillery in my games. They are very effective that way.

(in reply to Ryohei56)
Post #: 6
RE: First run through - 3/15/2017 8:20:55 PM   


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Ah no, that isn't what I meant. I apologise if I did not make myself clear. By "dedicated artillery units" I meant those whose icons show the symbol 'Art'. Other groups may include, say, field guns, and those were the groups I rather sloppily defined as having "limited artillery capability".

(in reply to bobarossa)
Post #: 7
RE: First run through - 3/17/2017 4:48:25 PM   

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Joined: 7/20/2004
From: Nepean, Ontario
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This is something I wrote up a very long time ago about how use your units in this game.

Hope it helps.


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming "WOW, what a ride!"

(in reply to Ryohei56)
Post #: 8
RE: First run through - 5/8/2017 10:09:47 PM   


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Achieved some marginal victory with the German side in first run through by seizing all cities except WARSAW on September 21st. Losses were around 3 %. Found that the AI produced very reasonable moves!

My opinion is that seizing WARSAW would require an extraordinary fast advance. The Polish will fall back towards WARSAW and towards defensive positions at the BZURA in any way. It would take some time to coordinate a massive move that could possibly succeed - one would've to be very skilled to reach there fast enough with the main body of the force to have enough time to have a chance to finish that.

If one puts enough pressure on the Polish main force, it is easier to get the other Major cities. The Polish side won't be able to cover them all properly.

In any way it is the key to evaluate the big picture at the beginning of every turn. It is necessary to put pressure on them in an efficient way. With enough fire support a 3:1 ratio is enough; so I always tried to neutralize defensive positions by attacking with infantry divisions in sequence. Panzer- and Motorized Divisions offer the opportunity to outflank or exploit gaps. They could then fight through the depth by hitting artillery, HQs, and - maybe most important - cut supply lines.
One should find efficient ways to deal with the movement Points; sometimes they allow pursuit and to hit a retreating enemy Regiment for a second time. The leader's cards are very useful in that context.

(in reply to Barthheart)
Post #: 9
RE: First run through - 2/28/2018 7:53:12 PM   


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Once again, thanks for all the useful and informative comments. As a footnote, I'd like to recommend a book I recently read which shed some fascinating light on the tactics and strategy used by the Germans in Poland & elsewhere. The book is "Panzer Leader" by General Heinz Guderian, the "father of blitzkrieg".

(in reply to Zachmann)
Post #: 10
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