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Support Units guide for Axis players.

 
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Support Units guide for Axis players. - 2/25/2020 12:47:38 PM   
xhoel


Posts: 2856
Joined: 6/24/2017
From: Germany
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Support Units Guide (Axis).

Glossary:

SU-Support Units
AP-Admin Points
CR-Commanders Report
Bn-Battalion
Rg-Regiment
HHQ-Higher HQ
AGS-Army Group South

This guide is aimed to help Axis players in utilizing Support Units, learning about the different SU types, moving them around and showing what the best SU composition is for different cases. This guide is made for players playing the GC 1941-1945 scenario. Game Version is 1.12.03.

Table of Contents:

Overview
Introduction
1. Moving SUs around
1.1 Moving SUs around in general.
1.2 The Pull Method.
1.3 The Push Method.
1.4 Moving specific SUs around.

2. SU types and their use.
2.1 Artillery.
2.2 Flak.
2.3 Self Propelled and armored.
2.4 Infantry and Pioneers.
2.5 Construction.

3. Corps SU composition.
3.1 Infantry Corps.
3.2 Panzer Corps.
3.3 Fliegerkorps and Luftflotte HQs.
3.4 RHG Commands and FBD.

4. Conclusions.





Introduction.

The Axis begin the game with a very inefficient distribution of SUs, there are Corps that have 0 SUs, Corps with too few SUs and then there are Corps that have way too many SUs (a waste, since in a normal battle, no more than 6 SUs can be committed). Adding to that, all HQs are set on locked, so you would have to move SUs manually from command to command, wasting a lot of time and spending a lot of APs. I am guilty of having done this as a new player. Took me some time to figure out that it wasn't the best way to do this.

Corps with no SUs at the start:



Corps with too many SUs:



I.Moving SUs around.
1.1 Moving SUs around in general:


The normal way of moving SUs around, is to utilize a system which means that SUs move up 1 command above them in 1 week/turn. This allows you to save on APs and on a lot of unnecessary clicking. It also allows you to move the SUs around much more efficiently and ensures that the SUs are not deployed too far forward (they will come back to the Army HQ which usually sits on rails) so they will be in better supply and you will not use a lot of trucks.

How to do it?

The first thing to do is go to the CR, click on the HQs tab and go to the Support Level, click on it and set the level to 0. After that, filter the HQs by clicking on none and then selecting HICom. Set the Support level to 9. This will make sure that SUs flow from the Corps HQs upward till they reach the High Commands. The exceptions to the rule are Construction Battalions and Pioneer Battalions. See manual below.





Permanent levels of Construction and Pioneers:



Using this system, SUs will be attached to Army HQs on turn 2, to Army Groups on turn 3 and to the High Command on turn 4. This doesn’t mean that you should wait 4 turns to use the SUs however. Once they are at an Army HQ (turn 2) they can start being used.

Now that the SUs are moving up the chain of command, we will explore how to attach the SUs, to the commands/units that we want.

1.2 1st Method, using the Assign button aka The Pull Method.

Open the Corps HQ detail panel, and click the ASSIGN button. This will present you with a list of SUs that can be pulled down from higher HQs. The AI will prioritize SUs in the highest command first and then the SUs in lower commands.

So for example, if there is 1 heavy howitzer bn in the OKH, 1 heavy howitzer bn in AGS and 1 heavy howitzer bn in the 17th Army, and we need to assign 2 heavy howitzer bns to the LII Corps (under the 17th Army): clicking assign will open up the SU list, which will show 3 heavy howitzer bns. Clicking once, will pull the heavy howitzer bn from the OKH, a second click will pull the heavy howitzer bn from AGS. If you open the HQ of the 17th Army, you will see that the heavy howitzer bn has not moved.

To summarize: The pulling method mentioned above, means that SUs at the highest levels of command will be pulled first, which may lead to a shortage of SUs for other commands. To avoid this from happening, you can utilize the Push Method explained below.





After clicking on the heavy howitzer bn twice, this is what you get:



Notice that the heavy howitzer bn in the 17th Army, has not moved, only the 2 bns in the higher commands have:



1.3 2nd Method, the Push Method.

The other method, the Push Method, is a bit more time consuming, but allows you to prevent having SU shortages, that come up because of using the Pull method.
To utilize this method, you need to go to the Army HQ (or to the HQ you want to push the SU from), using the example above this means, the 17th Army. Select the SU that you want to move, in this case the Heavy arty Bn. Click on the HHQ tab, and assign it to the LII Corps. Now, the SU is where you wanted it to be, and you still have SUs in the higher commands which you can transfer to Corps in other Armies and Army Groups.

Because you are pushing the SUs down the chain of command, this will not cost you any APs.
This method also allows you to select specific units to push down, knowing their TOE, morale and exp, while the Pull Method doesn’t give you that chance.

Showing the heavy howitzer bn in the 17th Army:



Selecting the SU:





1.4 Moving specific SUs around:

Sometimes, specific SUs need to be moved around (mostly Pioneers). To do so, click on the SU and click on their HHQ. This will show you a list of HQs that are in range, where the SU can be transferred to. Clicking on a HQ, will transfer the SU under the new command and will cost 1 AP. This can be done for all SUs as well but it is better to be used sparingly, since APs are very valuable. Also SUs can only be transferred once in a turn. After the transfer, they will have a (*) sign next to their name, to indicate that they transferred this turn.












< Message edited by xhoel -- 2/25/2020 1:48:35 PM >


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Post #: 1
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 2/25/2020 12:47:56 PM   
xhoel


Posts: 2856
Joined: 6/24/2017
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2. SU types and their use:

A list showing almost all of SU types available to the German Army by category. Notice that the Pioneer Bns and the directly attached SP Inf Gun Companies are missing from the list.




2.1 Artillery-The King of the Battlefield.

The German Army has a plethora of Artillery units at the start of Operation Barbarossa.

The 41 K18 Gun Battalion (12x 105mm Field Guns) and the 41 sFH Howitzer Battalion (12x 150mm Howitzers*) make up the bulk of the artillery battalions. A combination of the 2 can be found in the 41 Mixed Artillery Battalion (8x 150mm Howitzers and 4x 105mm Field Guns).

*Notice that the 150mm Howitzer is also used by the German Infantry Division TOE.

Here is a side by side comparison of the 105mm Field Gun and the 150mm Howitzer:



The 105mm Field gun has a higher rate of fire (7 rpm vs 4 rpm), better range (20.800 yards vs 14.600 yards) and higher accuracy (500 vs 250). It lacks in the damage department though, with a lower blast (6 vs 10) and lower anti-soft values (123 vs 249). Also of note is that the 150mm Howitzer has anti-tank ammunition on hand (see HEAT penetration values), while the 105mm Field Gun lacks that.

The K39 Gun Battalion (9x 150mm Field Guns) ( 10 battalions) causes the same damage as the 150mm Howitzer (same shell) but has more range** (24.600 yards vs 14.600 yards), better accuracy (500 vs 250) and a lower rate of fire (2 vs 4). It lacks anti-tank ammunition just like the 105mm Field Gun.

**In general Field Guns have longer range than howitzers and are also more accurate.

The 4 Battalion types mentioned above can be considered standard artillery and are supplemented by the heavier artillery battalions, the 41 M18 Howitzer Battalion (12x 210mm Howitzers) which is the most numerous one, with 30 on hand and the 41 H39 Howitzer Battalion (8x 240mm Howitzers) with 3 on hand. The H39 Howitzer was fielded only by the 814th Artillery Regiment, whose 3 battalions are present in game.

As can be expected, these howitzers cause a lot more damage than the standard artillery, but they have lower fire rates and require a lot more ammunition to operate. Side by side comparison of the heavy howitzers:



The Germans also have some super heavy artillery (siege artillery), in the form of the 41 Heavy Howitzer Battalion (3 Battalions) and 41 K3 Gun Bn (1 Battalion). These units should be used in breaking forts (Odessa, Sevastopol etc) but should be avoided in normal battles. They have very high ammo usage and low ROF which makes them less than ideal in such cases.

In addition to the artillery arm, the Wehrmacht also has Rocket Artillery. In 1941 there are 2 types of Rockets (Nebelwerfers): the 150mm one and the 280/320mm ones.

The 41 Werfer Battalions (13 Bns) utilize the 150mm NbW while the 41 Heavy Werfer Battalions (7 Bns) use the heavier 280/320mm NbW. Both Battalions have 18 rockets. A strong punch is offered by the Werfer Regiments (3 Rgts), which have a whopping 54 150mm NbW.

The 150mm NbW 41, has a higher range (7.300 vs 2.250 yards), better accuracy (100 vs 75) and higher rate of fire (12 rpm vs 6 rpm). It deals less damage (255 vs 506) and has a smaller blast (13 vs 22). The low range of the Nebelwerfers makes them ideal targets for enemy counter battery fire and is a tactical drawback, since these units need to get close to the enemy or let the enemy get close to them before they fire.

Rocket comparison:



I would advise against using Nebelwerfers alone. Always use them in combination with conventional artillery to allow you to cover higher ranges as well as the lower ranges.

This should cover all artillery for the Germans.

2.2 Flak Units

The Wehrmacht has a variety of Flak units at its disposal. Flak can be used to protect airbases, by being attached to an Air Command and the air command stacked with air bases, can be used to add protection to a Corps (so to a wide variety of units) or to provide direct AA support for forward divisions (usually Panzer and Motorized Divisions).

All the Flak assets can be attached to Corps HQs but only the following assets can be directly attached to divisions: SP Light Flak Battalions, SP Flak Company, 42 Mixed Flak Bn (the Motorized Flak Battalion seems to have been removed in the new patch). The best way to use these units, is to attach them to the armored/motorized divisions which will be your spearhead (and will be far from proper fighter cover) in order to protect them against enemy ground bombing. Consider giving each division some AA cover, they will appreciate it.

What to give 1 division?

-Either 1 SP Light Flak Bn
-Or 1 42 Mixed Flak Bn
-Or 2 SP Flak Companies

These units are all motorized (except for the Mixed Flak) so they do not require additional trucks when they get attached to motorized/armored divisions***.

***Any SUs that are not motorized and are directly attached to armored/motorized divisions will require additional trucks to motorize the SU.

Notice that LW Flak units, so units that have the LW prefix cannot be directly attached to divisions but they can be attached to the Corps HQs, (see section 3 below).

10th Panzer Division reinforced by 2 SP Flak Companies. Also notice the already attached SP Inf Gun Company:



2.3 Self Propelled and armored SUs

There are 3 types of Self Propelled SU: StuGs, Panzerjaeger Bns and SP Gun Companies. In addition to them, the Germans also have 3 Flammpanzer Bns.

-The StuGs, can be kept at the OKH and attached on demand. They go well with motorized divisions, giving them an additional punch, since these units lack the AFVs of the Panzer Divisions. The StuGs can also be attached to Infantry divisions for special tasks, such as breaking through a fortified position or as a last resort can be attached to a panzer division that is having tank shortages. Notice however that in 1941 and early 1942 the StuG is no replacement for a tank as it lacks anti-armor properties, so keep that in mind.

-The Panzerjaeger Bns are almost exclusively to be attached to the motorized divisions. These units, like the StuGs, give the Motorized divisions more punch and extra protections from enemy tanks. They can be attached to HQs and Infantry Divisions on special occasions as well.

The Wiking SS Motorized division before and after being reinforced with SP Flak, StuG bn and a Pzjaeger Bn. Notice the CV jump by 8 points to indicate the added strength:





-The SP Inf Gun Companies begin already attached to the Panzer Divisons. I let them stay where they are as they do the job just fine and this is quite realistic, since they were used in this role in real life as well.

-The Flammpanzer Bns are a special case. They are usually paired with infantry divisions engaged in heavy combat or in combat in urban centers. They eat fuel up so it is a bad idea to pair them up with motorized/armored formations. They are on demand units and should be usually kept at the OKH, only attached to units directly when the need arises. Once they have completed their task, they should be manually transferred to the OKH (see section 1.4).

Flammpanzer Bn attached to the elite 11th Infantry Division as part of city clearing in Lithuania. Notice the CV increase by 13 points:





2.4 Infantry SUs and Pioneer Bns.

-The Germans also have 3 MG Bns and 1 Bicycle Bn. These Bns add a lot of firepower to whichever unit they are attached too. In the starting weeks, I attach them to the Light/Mountain Divisions to improve their CV (little improvement) and firepower (a lot of improvement). In certain cases they can be attached to panzer/motorized divisions holding important positions (for example in a pocket that you really want to hold). As such, it is advisable that you keep 2 of these Bns at OKH at all times (after the first few turns).

-The Germans also have 5 AT Gun Bns which field the 50mm Pak 38 gun. These Bns should be attached to Infantry Corps fighting in sectors where the enemy has a lot of armor present or should be directly attached to a division that is surely expected to come in contact with enemy armor.

-Last but not least the Germans have the Pioneer Bn. These units are great at attacking fortified positions or helping your units fortify their own positions. I will usually attach some of them to the elite units that are part of AGN, (1 Pioneer Bn to 1 Division) to help these units push forward and make these divisions even more dangerous.

The rest of the Pioneers will usually get distributed to the Corps HQs and it is almost impossible to send and keep some at the OKH level because of how the system works.

Consider keeping 2 of them in important Corps, 1 in standard Corps and 0 in Corps in quiet sectors. Plan ahead for sieges at Odessa, Leningrad or Sevastopol as you will need Pioneers to help get those fort levels down. In these special cases, it is advisable to give Pioneers to the attacking Corps and lock the SU level for the Corps, to prevent the Pioneer Bns from being automatically transferred elsewhere.

1st ID, part of the elite I Corps pushing for Leningrad, reinforced by a Pioneer Bn:





2.5 Construction Bns.

The Axis also have access to construction bns. These units will usually be moved around by the AI as listed in the manual (see above). I would advise you to keep the standard 2 Construction Bns attached to a Corps and the rest of them can be left in the higher commands or attached to the RHG Commands, which can be used to repair secondary rail lines (see section 3.4).

102nd RHG Command with its attached construction units, which will be tasked with repairing secondary rail lines:



Now that we have covered how to move SUs around and what type of SUs there are, let’s get into the standard Corp composition.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by xhoel -- 2/25/2020 1:26:28 PM >


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(in reply to xhoel)
Post #: 2
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 2/25/2020 12:48:06 PM   
xhoel


Posts: 2856
Joined: 6/24/2017
From: Germany
Status: online
3. Corps SU composition.

Now that we have the building blocks on how to move SUs around and what each SU can be used for we will answer the main question: What should the typical SU composition of a Corps HQ look like?

3.1 Infantry Corps.

For your standard Corps HQ (infantry) which will be doing both offensive and defensive actions you will need around 3 Artillery Battalions, 1 LW Mixed Flak and 1 Pioneer or StuG battalion. Most Corps will also have 2 Construction Bns attached to them. It is up to you if you want to leave these units there (they help with building forts) or move them to special rail commands (usually RHG commands).

This SU composition ensures that the Corps has proper artillery support (more than 3 Artillery Bns would be a bit of an overkill for standard Corps), has AA cover and also some AT cover (LW Mixed Flak Bns have 88s) and also Pioneers/StuGs to give more offensive punch and in the case of Pioneers to help on fortifying faster. This makes 5 Combat SUs. All 5 will rarely commit, but if they do, they will help quite a bit.

The best thing to do is to mix the different artillery types, usually going for 2 standard Artillery Bns and 1 Heavy Bn (M18 or H39). If more punch is needed, consider adding standard Arty Bns or Rocket Bns (see below).

Typical Infantry Corps SU composition:



Alterations to this set up can be done depending on the situation.

-If the enemy has a lot of air assets in the sector and is being aggressive (doing a lot of bombing runs), another AA Battalion can be added (any LW Flak units will do, just take care to not attach the units mentioned in section 2.2 to Corps, they should go to divisions. ). However notice, that this is not a magical solution, ideally you should have fighter cover and the AA should be complementing that. AA alone won’t be very effective.

-If the enemy has a lot of armored divisions in the sector, a 41 Panzerjaeger Bn can be added. Check the TOE beforehand, you want the Panzerjaeger Bns with AT Guns not the ones with Tank Destroyers. Also keep in mind that the Germans only have 5 of these, so use them where they are needed.

-If you are planning on attacking a heavily defended position, you can add 1 Artillery Battalion or a Rocket Bn. If the enemy has no air cover, add 2 Arty/Rocket Bns and do not add a LW Mixed Flak Bn.

For Corps who are holding quiet front sectors/ are in a defensive posture, they should receive a maximum of 1 LW Mixed Flak Bn (in case the enemy is active in the air), or 1 Artillery Bn (usually won’t be necessary, since the Soviets lack the strength to put proper pressure on such sectors in the summer of 1941. For units on the defense, try to give them artillery with higher ROF, like the K18 Gun Battalions, Rocket Bns or the sFH Howitzer Bns since attacking enemy is assumed to be crossing clear terrain and has no fortifications.

Personally I just set these Corps to locked and strip them of their SUs since they won’t be doing any or very little fighting.

Defending Corps composition:



3.2 Panzer Corps.

Panzer and Motorized divisions will be usually conducting mostly hasty attacks, with the HQ out of command range. Since you cannot use SUs in hasty attacks, if the Panzer Corps HQ has moved and the units are not within command range , it would be a waste to attach SUs to these Corps in these cases.

But, in case you use the Panzer/Motorized divisions for deliberate attacks, use the same SU composition as shown above (see section 3.1).

3.3 Fliegerkorps and Luftflotte HQs.

Flak SUs can be attached to the Fliegerkorps and Luftflotte HQs. Doing this is well worth it as you can stack the HQs with your airbases, giving them additional AA cover, protecting them from Soviet air base bombing sorties. For this, I would advise using 1 LW Heavy Flak Bn, reinforced by 2 other LW Flak Bns (lighter ones).

II Fliegerkorps, stacked with 2 air bases, showing its reinforced AA.



3.4 RHG Commands and FBDs.

RHG Commands should/could be used as Secondary Rail Repair Commands. To do so, aim for having 6-10 Construction Bns attached to these HQs and then set the Commands to locked status, so they will retain these Bns. Send the HQs to rear areas and let them repair secondary rail lines.

Also in case, you are seeing that your FBDs lack the MPs (should have 16-15 at the start of the turn), consider adding a R.A.D Labor Group or a O.T Construction bn as these units improve RR rates.

FBD 3 reinforced by a R.A.D Labor Group:



4.Conclusions.

This guide has a lot of information, and there is a lot of text and pictures in it. Take your time to go through them and jump to the appropriate section if you need information about a specific SU. Also keep in mind that different players have different strategies and may or may not use SUs, the way I do. I have done my best to show WHY i use specific SUs for a specific kind of task. These are also best case scenarios, as in the chaos of the battlefield, you will rarely have the right SUs at the right place at the right time. I hope this guide was helpful and I look forward to feedback, criticism or questions about it.

Also note, that due to new information being presented, the guide is subject to change. Therefore it would be wise to check upon it from time to time, to see if the information that you know, is still up to date. I will do my best to update the guide constantly.

Best regards,
Xhoel




< Message edited by xhoel -- 2/25/2020 1:49:54 PM >


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(in reply to xhoel)
Post #: 3
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 2/25/2020 2:14:34 PM   
joelmar


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Great and interesting piece of work, thanks!

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RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 2/25/2020 4:08:35 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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Fine guide, well done! Will add this to the library of WitE resources.
A few remarks.
1) The order of movement and SU assigmenent matters. First move the unit or HQ which shall receive the SUs while not touching the "storage" HQ. The SU will "warp" to its new destination without fatigue or movement attrition. Especially important for SUs with AFVs.
2) You comment repeatedly about assigning SUs to infantry units. Personally I mostly assign them to the motorized formations or keep them in reserve for assignment to them. A SU is much more likely to see fighting with them compared to infantry units. SUs are also important to raise maximum CV concentration and to get CV to a place without moving an on-map-unit or using extra units for an attack. For this purposes I want to have access to all SUs without some caught in IDs.
I also assign Pioneer units to motorized formations whenever I can, and keep them permanently there, to make sure they are with the motorized formations and are not reshuffled to some infantry corps due to this annoying default support level for construction units/pioneers. Pioneers in motorized formations are especially useful because they add infantry type elements with CV. Motorized units often rely on AFV for their CV, but AFV are terrible in dense terrain or across rivers, so I like to raise the share of infantry CV.
I am mostly talking about the 1941 summer offensive here-other game phases make other tactics recommendable.

3)
quote:

They eat fuel up so it is a bad idea to pair them up with motorized/armored formations.
(comment on Flammpanzer batallions). It is true that AFV type SUs eat allot of fuel. However, this is less of an issue than it sounds under 1.11.03 and before. The unit with such an SU attached will require more fuel, but will also ask for more fuel. Since you are never short of trucks in the summer 1941, it will always get the extra fuel. Due to some inertia it may cause a small drop in fuel level for one turn and not drop in fuel levels during the consecutive turns.
This may be different in version 1.12+ or not-I haven't yet familiarized myself with the new system.
4)
quote:

They are usually paired with infantry divisions engaged in heavy combat or in combat in urban centers.
(comment regarding use of Flammpanzer divisions). Keep in mind that there are severe penalties for AFV type combat in dense/urban terrain. IIRC AFV CV are divided by 4 in urban/heavy urban/mountain terrain, while infantry AFV are doubled. So despite the high initial CV of Flammpanzer batallions, pioneer batallions will have more final CV for urban battles.

Regards
EvK

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 2/25/2020 4:13:22 PM >


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Post #: 5
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 2/25/2020 4:32:35 PM   
xhoel


Posts: 2856
Joined: 6/24/2017
From: Germany
Status: online
@joelmar: Thanks a lot!

@EvK: Thanks for the kind words and for the feedback. Will post my thoughts on it below.

On 1): That is a good point. I just assumed, players will do it that way, since it is the most intuitive way.

On 2): I am simply giving players pointers as to how they can use the SUs. I rarely attach SUs directly to Infantry divisions (save for when it is very needed as in the example you provided above). I think it is important for them to know when they can use an SU. That ofc does not mean that they should use them like that all the time. Everything depends on the situation.

I agree, that the current system that reshuffles Pioneers is very annoying. I have attached them directly to Panzer/Motorized units in the past too, so will amend the guide to reflect this.

On 3): That is a good point. I have not played in 1.12.03 properly yet and the facts that trucks no longer are a problem for the Germans in 1941 (as stated by other players as well), seems like quite a flaw to me. I still think that as a rule of thumb, players should avoid pairing up Flammpanzer bns with armored units, considering that fuel requirements have almost doubled under the new patch. Will leave this up for now, but could be changed in the future.

On 4): I am aware of the penalties, but from experience, these units are really damn good at clearing out cities. Yes the CV may take a hit, but what they provide in combat as elements is really valuable. At least this has been my personal experience.

Thank you for the feedback, it is always appreciated!

Best regards,
Xhoel



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(in reply to EwaldvonKleist)
Post #: 6
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 2/25/2020 4:43:21 PM   
hei1

 

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Thank you for the very helpfull work! Specially this tricky methods of assigning and re-assigning SUs without AP penalty in chapter 1. (It took me hours to understand this system - that is not really a "simulation").
My question: I read somewhere (Kleist?) the recommendation to assign SUs to Pz or Mot Divs _after_ they reach their position so save attrition etc. (also not very convincing rule anyway), and reassign them to Corps (with 1 AP cost) after their use etc. Does this still fit into your system? Again: spending APs to save attrition and fuel etc. ? Thanks.

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Post #: 7
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 2/25/2020 7:27:51 PM   
xhoel


Posts: 2856
Joined: 6/24/2017
From: Germany
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: hei1

Thank you for the very helpfull work!


You are welcome and thank you for the kind words.

quote:

My question: I read somewhere (Kleist?) the recommendation to assign SUs to Pz or Mot Divs _after_ they reach their position so save attrition etc. (also not very convincing rule anyway), and reassign them to Corps (with 1 AP cost) after their use etc. Does this still fit into your system? Again: spending APs to save attrition and fuel etc. ? Thanks.


The tip of assigning them after they move does make sense. Think of it as a division reaching a certain sector and then due to the needs it has, asking for additional support. The HQ then dispatches the SUs to reinforce them. Because the route to the sector was already cleared by the Panzer/Motorized division, the SU does not take any attrition. It is not 100% realistic, but you can see how it makes sense.

Notice that a SU that is assigned to a division, cannot be reassigned to the HQ on the same turn. You have to wait a turn before reassigning them, so it is not exactly spending APs to save attrition and fuel.


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Post #: 8
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 2/25/2020 11:36:34 PM   
AugustvonMackensen


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Very helpful guide for a new player like myself!
I have been convinced a short time ago that setting all but the highest HQs to Support Level 0 has great benefits.
The problem of course is that I am suddenly confronted with the fact that I know very little about what the different SUs should be used for and where to put them.
This guide is genius in the way it explains as much as possible while still emphasising the need for adaption and experimentation.

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Post #: 9
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 2/26/2020 12:14:26 PM   
xhoel


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@AugustvonMackensen: Thank you very much for your kind words! Glad to hear that the guide is helping :)

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Post #: 10
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 3/17/2020 9:02:28 PM   
redrum68

 

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Interesting and helpful guide. I'll admit its a bit over my head as a new player as it presents a lot of detailed information but doesn't necessarily explain how to utilize all of it. I can see there are many different artillery SUs with lots of varying attributes but I'm still not really sure when to use which ones and how range/accuracy/RoF/blast impact that decision. Does it depend what you are fighting against? What divisions you have? Terrain? Attack vs defend? Size of battle? Whether its fortified? When to use rockets vs artillery?

quote:

For your standard Corps HQ (infantry) which will be doing both offensive and defensive actions you will need around 3 Artillery Battalions, 1 LW Mixed Flak and 1 Pioneer or StuG battalion. Most Corps will also have 2 Construction Bns attached to them. It is up to you if you want to leave these units there (they help with building forts) or move them to special rail commands (usually RHG commands).

This SU composition ensures that the Corps has proper artillery support (more than 3 Artillery Bns would be a bit of an overkill for standard Corps), has AA cover and also some AT cover (LW Mixed Flak Bns have 88s) and also Pioneers/StuGs to give more offensive punch and in the case of Pioneers to help on fortifying faster. This makes 5 Combat SUs. All 5 will rarely commit, but if they do, they will help quite a bit.

The best thing to do is to mix the different artillery types, usually going for 2 standard Artillery Bns and 1 Heavy Bn (M18 or H39). If more punch is needed, consider adding standard Arty Bns or Rocket Bns (see below).


This is definitely helpful guidance. Though what would an ideal infantry corps looking to attack highly fortified areas look like (essentially like an elite siege corps)? More pioneers or more heavy artillery or something else? Looks like maybe 1-2 of the really heavy artillery like the M18 Howitzer Battalion would be good?

< Message edited by redrum68 -- 3/17/2020 9:03:25 PM >

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Post #: 11
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 3/17/2020 11:52:51 PM   
joelmar


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For high level fortifications, you will need lots of pioneers, the best is to attach them directly to divisions, so you are 100% certain they will be part of the attack and give you space to have more artillery in your corps HQ.

Then, the best for the Axis are the heavies, you have 2 .305 howitzer units, both with .355mm piece in their OOB, (but the .355 are not always available in those units). You also have a few .240 units. Then in 1942 you can have the real superheavies, monsters on train carriages, like Karl, which are really good for places like Sevastopol or Rostov.

After that, the .210 M18 howitzers are the next best choices. Also they have the longest range of the "medium" guns. Ranges are important because the attacks always start from the longer range to the smaller range (check a battle at message level 7 to see what I mean). So if you have a few pieces with low range, like the precious Nebelwerfers, and no longer range artillery, than your werfers are in danger of being destroyed or damaged or disrupted before they even fire a shot. So having the mean M18, your lower range pieces are better protected.

Also, check for the artillery units with HEAT rounds (some 105 and 150 do) and oppose them to tanks. Same for your .88 in the LW mixed flak batalions, these are the best tank killers the Wehrmacht possessed throughout the war.


< Message edited by joelmar -- 3/17/2020 11:55:23 PM >


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Post #: 12
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 3/18/2020 3:44:12 AM   
56ajax


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quote:

ORIGINAL: joelmar

For high level fortifications, you will need lots of pioneers, the best is to attach them directly to divisions, so you are 100% certain they will be part of the attack and give you space to have more artillery in your corps HQ.

Then, the best for the Axis are the heavies, you have 2 .305 howitzer units, both with .355mm piece in their OOB, (but the .355 are not always available in those units). You also have a few .240 units. Then in 1942 you can have the real superheavies, monsters on train carriages, like Karl, which are really good for places like Sevastopol or Rostov.

After that, the .210 M18 howitzers are the next best choices. Also they have the longest range of the "medium" guns. Ranges are important because the attacks always start from the longer range to the smaller range (check a battle at message level 7 to see what I mean). So if you have a few pieces with low range, like the precious Nebelwerfers, and no longer range artillery, than your werfers are in danger of being destroyed or damaged or disrupted before they even fire a shot. So having the mean M18, your lower range pieces are better protected.

Also, check for the artillery units with HEAT rounds (some 105 and 150 do) and oppose them to tanks. Same for your .88 in the LW mixed flak batalions, these are the best tank killers the Wehrmacht possessed throughout the war.



Hi Joelmar,

Very true, and I assume the game treats them as such.

Historically though the use of the 88's was at times a desperate measure, often enacted at gun point, as some of the sophisticated equipment required for AA was discarded or damaged, thus rendering the gun inoperable for its original purpose. I assume the game doesn't allow for that.


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Post #: 13
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 3/18/2020 5:27:58 AM   
redrum68

 

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quote:

For high level fortifications, you will need lots of pioneers, the best is to attach them directly to divisions, so you are 100% certain they will be part of the attack and give you space to have more artillery in your corps HQ.

Then, the best for the Axis are the heavies, you have 2 .305 howitzer units, both with .355mm piece in their OOB, (but the .355 are not always available in those units). You also have a few .240 units. Then in 1942 you can have the real superheavies, monsters on train carriages, like Karl, which are really good for places like Sevastopol or Rostov.

After that, the .210 M18 howitzers are the next best choices. Also they have the longest range of the "medium" guns. Ranges are important because the attacks always start from the longer range to the smaller range (check a battle at message level 7 to see what I mean). So if you have a few pieces with low range, like the precious Nebelwerfers, and no longer range artillery, than your werfers are in danger of being destroyed or damaged or disrupted before they even fire a shot. So having the mean M18, your lower range pieces are better protected.


Wondering about attaching directly to divisions vs corps HQ, if for example you have 3 infantry division reporting to a corps HQ and they are all planning to attack a well fortified hex together, then is it better to just attached the heavy artillery directly to the divisions to guarantee they participate? So say attach 3 heavy artillery to each division and a bunch of engineers in the corps HQ vs 3 engineers in each division and a bunch of heavy artillery in the corps HQ? I understand if you are planning on a bunch of different battles that attaching to the corps HQs would give them multiple opportunities to fight but if all divisions are fighting together then that wouldn't really matter.

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Post #: 14
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 3/18/2020 8:32:35 AM   
Telemecus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 56ajax
Historically though the use of the 88's was at times a desperate measure, often enacted at gun point, as some of the sophisticated equipment required for AA was discarded or damaged, thus rendering the gun inoperable for its original purpose. I assume the game doesn't allow for that.


I disagree on this point. There is the famous point in I think it was the battle of Brody in 1941 when AA guns were redirected at heavy tanks by gun point. This was down to a command and control issue. More generally 88mm guns were used in an anti tank role, doctrine was altered to make this clear, and special anti tank ammunition was manufactured for this role. In the desert war indeed 88mm guns were far more likely to be used against tanks than high altitude bombers.


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Post #: 15
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 3/18/2020 8:34:30 AM   
Telemecus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: redrum68
Wondering about attaching directly to divisions vs corps HQ, if for example you have 3 infantry division reporting to a corps HQ and they are all planning to attack a well fortified hex together, then is it better to just attached the heavy artillery directly to the divisions to guarantee they participate? So say attach 3 heavy artillery to each division and a bunch of engineers in the corps HQ vs 3 engineers in each division and a bunch of heavy artillery in the corps HQ? I understand if you are planning on a bunch of different battles that attaching to the corps HQs would give them multiple opportunities to fight but if all divisions are fighting together then that wouldn't really matter.

Unfortunately you cannot attach artillery directly to divisions. But you can pioneers so the point would still hold if you invert the assignment.


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Post #: 16
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 3/18/2020 1:57:44 PM   
joelmar


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quote:

@56ajax


Yes, I agree with Telemecus, I have come to the understanding that using the 88 and other AA weapons in a ground attack role was doctrinal in the Wehrmacht (to the point of being specified in the army doctrine manuals?), but also came to be very common in other armies of the world.

First time I heard about that was long ago when I read the excellent Hans Von Luck book "Panzer commander" and the famous part where he uses them at Caen against the British with devastating effect.

Here is a quote from Wikipedia, for what it's worth:

"Its success was due to its versatility: the standard anti-aircraft platform allowed gunners to depress the muzzle below the horizontal, unlike most of its contemporaries. As WW2 progressed, it was becoming increasingly clear that existing anti-tank weapons were unable to pierce the armor of heavier enemy tanks and ground commanders began increasingly to use the 8.8 cm Flak against tanks."

< Message edited by joelmar -- 3/18/2020 1:59:15 PM >


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Post #: 17
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 3/18/2020 2:33:52 PM   
redrum68

 

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quote:

Unfortunately you cannot attach artillery directly to divisions. But you can pioneers so the point would still hold if you invert the assignment.


Ah ok, I must have missed that limitation in the manual. I also noticed there is a limitation on attack of 6 SUs joining per HQ (18 for urban)? There is some mention of a limit of total units of something like 40?

Just wondering if I say assault a fortified urban hex with say 2 Infantry Corps, how many SUs can I expect to join? It would seem I could directly add 3 engineers to each Infantry Division (so let's say 3x8=24) then have 18 artillery in each Corps HQ (36 total). That seems like a lot of SUs (60) and no idea if many of them would join and what the odds of each consecutive one that joins is.

< Message edited by redrum68 -- 3/18/2020 2:34:47 PM >

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Post #: 18
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 3/18/2020 2:46:13 PM   
Telemecus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: redrum68
Just wondering if I say assault a fortified urban hex with say 2 Infantry Corps, how many SUs can I expect to join? It would seem I could directly add 3 engineers to each Infantry Division (so let's say 3x8=24) then have 18 artillery in each Corps HQ (36 total). That seems like a lot of SUs (60) and no idea if many of them would join and what the odds of each consecutive one that joins is.


I know the most important determinant of SU commitment comes from the ratings of the leader. Also although 6 (or 18 etc) is the limit of how many SUs per HQ can be committed, you can increase the odds of having all those SUs committed the more SUs per HQ. So for a big attack it might make sense to have 2 or 3 times as many as the maximum that can be used inside the HQ.

But I think the answer is yes support units commitment, especially for big set piece or urban battles, is an underappreciated part of the battle.

< Message edited by Telemecus -- 3/18/2020 2:47:33 PM >


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RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 3/18/2020 2:54:41 PM   
redrum68

 

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@Telemecus - Makes sense. Do you know of any good examples of big battles and the set up of divisions/SUs/reserves before it was fought? Just hoping an example and picture might be worth a thousand words :)

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Post #: 20
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 3/18/2020 3:49:43 PM   
eskuche

 

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Here is a hastily done example. This attack will have a few hundred artillery/engineering points to decimate the immediate fort, which will cause the defending CV to drop to ~35 (assuming Pskov is light urban for a 6X multiplier plus 2X from fort which will be removed). Decisive attack will give 134 CV (plus a bit more after moving the Army HQ closer), which should have a decent shot to succeed.

For an even stronger attack, I would commit L Corps with Polizei division and two others, allowing 6 additional SU commitment from the second corps.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by eskuche -- 3/18/2020 3:54:38 PM >

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Post #: 21
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 3/18/2020 6:17:50 PM   
redrum68

 

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@eskuche - Awesome. Very helpful. Would be great to see that added into the guide as it really helps bring the concepts together. It would also be great to see the actual battle screenshot to see what values end up showing and SUs getting committed.

Only question I had, if Pskov is urban then couldn't the Corps HQ actually commit up to 18 SUs instead of just 6? So you could if you had extra, adding even more artillery or pioneers to the Corps HQ then.

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Post #: 22
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 3/19/2020 3:56:46 AM   
56ajax


Posts: 1926
Joined: 12/3/2007
From: Carnegie, Australia
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quote:

ORIGINAL: joelmar

quote:

@56ajax


Yes, I agree with Telemecus, I have come to the understanding that using the 88 and other AA weapons in a ground attack role was doctrinal in the Wehrmacht (to the point of being specified in the army doctrine manuals?), but also came to be very common in other armies of the world.

First time I heard about that was long ago when I read the excellent Hans Von Luck book "Panzer commander" and the famous part where he uses them at Caen against the British with devastating effect.

Here is a quote from Wikipedia, for what it's worth:

"Its success was due to its versatility: the standard anti-aircraft platform allowed gunners to depress the muzzle below the horizontal, unlike most of its contemporaries. As WW2 progressed, it was becoming increasingly clear that existing anti-tank weapons were unable to pierce the armor of heavier enemy tanks and ground commanders began increasingly to use the 8.8 cm Flak against tanks."


Hi Joelmar,

I am not arguing about the effectiveness of the 88mm FG as an anti tank weapon, because it was fantastic.

Rather that the use of this weapon as AT debased its performance as AA.




< Message edited by 56ajax -- 3/19/2020 3:57:46 AM >


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Post #: 23
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 3/19/2020 1:50:27 PM   
joelmar


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@56ajax:

Yes, that was clear. My argument is not really about it's effectiveness but about the doctrinal use of it by the German ground forces.

And for the debasing of it's performance as AA, I never heard about it. Quite the opposite in fact, I have read that it was meant to have this dual role and that as the war progressed, they added to the flexibility of the weapon. The other thing is that from what I read, the optical equipment used on it was the same for both roles and that overall the 88's produced with a primary AT role in mind were the same, except they were slimmed out a little to make it easier to manoeuver on a battle field.

But I would be intersted, if you have any pointer to sources explaining, or anyone else, I would be interested to know.

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Post #: 24
RE: Support Units guide for Axis players. - 3/24/2020 5:25:05 AM   
redrum68

 

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Figured I'll post this here from my AAR in case someone else finds this helpful:

Support Units (SUs) Overview and Tips
1. So the first thing is to get SUs flowing up the HQ chain by ideally setting all HQs except the highest HQ to 0 and the highest HQ to 9 which can be seen in the guide (this makes all but the following SUs flow upwards)
- Engineers (pioneers) and construction SUs have hard coded support levels so ignore the set levels. For example German corps HQs always require 2 pioneers even if you set the support to zero. The only way to stop them being sucked down is to lock them.
- Sometimes you want to leave construction SUs in higher HQs for rail repair so you'd need to lock lower HQs in the first couple of turns if they do not have construction units so that they do not suck them down. When enough construction units go "on-map" in the higher HQs they will no longer be sucked down and you can safely unlock the lower HQs.
2. All SUs assigned down the chain cost 0 AP so the higher that SUs are up the HQ chain the more flexibility you have when assigning them (can use the push or pull method as described in the guide)
3. SUs mostly divide into several different categories:
- Engineers - good against forts and crossing rivers
- Artillery - good against forts and damage/disruption but can have a high ammo cost (appears higher the ammo cost the better they are against forts)
- Mixed AA - good against air and tanks
- AT - good against tanks
- AA - good against air
- Tanks - high CV and strong against non-dense terrain
- Infantry types (MG, bicycle, etc) - overall good and tend to have decent CV
4. Generally it seems best to assign most SUs to corps HQs but you can assign some directly to divisions (only certain types) which ensure they fight but then cost 1 AP to reassign
5. Hasty attacks only get SUs if their HQ hasn't moved and is within 5 hexes
6. Regular attacks can have SUs even for HQs that move
7. Each HQ can only commit a max of 6 SUs, +12 if urban, +3 if defending, +fort level if defending
8. It seems the standard recommended SUs for Infantry Corps HQs is a few artillery, 1 AA/mixed, and 1 engineer
9. SUs can only be committed by immediate HQs not HQs further up the chain
10. SU commitment chance is based on leader initiative, decreases based on number of support units already committed, decreases based on the total number of non-construction support units attached to the headquarters unit, increases if HQ has not moved during the current player-turn. So to maximize odds for important battles, you want to have a leader with high initiative, don't want to have too many SUs attached to a HQ past the max commitment, and want to avoid moving HQs that are already within 5 hexes.

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