Another point of View on Assaults
Panzer Campaigns Play Tip by Mike Bowen
Following on from Rick Bancroft's excellent article there is not much I would not agree with but would add a few points and offer an alternative view point on one point.
First it seems that looks at the battlefield with the AI off to decide where to attack and where not to. Now I tend not to do this, however it is valid, I think, in these static situations as you would know from previous probing or reconnaissance what would be "on the other side of the hill" perhaps I should do this.
I would add that where possible attack where only one hex gets to fire back at you rather than two or three. I am not a graphics wizard so in Rick's third example I would move into the hex to the left as we look at it of the engineer unit. Also fire your artillery first at known enemy units to disrupt them before moving adjacent.
The main point that I think may be flawed is the advice not to move troops into minefields until the minefields are reduced. If the only unit in the minefield is an engineer then the engineer is going to take all the fire on that hex both when it enters and in the defenders fire phase. If you have the luck I have it will disrupt and stay disrupted and you will never clear the hex. If instead you lead with a small unit (In Rzhev I would use a penal battalion as that I assume was a job for them) then they will take a reaction fire (and possibly more than one) and act as spotters for the artillery. If you disrupt the defender or they use up all their reaction shots move more units in. When the defender fires in his phase your engineers may not get disrupted the mines may disappear in time and if you have disrupted the defender you may get to advance. If all your infantry are disrupted back them out and bring up more.
Doubtless some clever chap can work out the odds of the AI disrupting a single unit rather than disrupting 1 out of 3 or 4 units and tell us which approach is right. I do not have the brain power to do that.
I decided to try an unscientific test by playing scenario 1125_03 from Rzhev. Once "my" way and once Rick's. This is not too good an idea as the sample is small and I think that in the Rick version the AI was unlucky compared with my other games and experiences.
Anyway I played both till turn 3 as you will see (if I can do snapshots right and Glen can paste them in as I can not) in my way I broke the line but took 376 losses to 502 German. During that time only 1 German was disrupted by artillery and 1 suffered 1 sapper disruption.
Ricks way we are not through the first line but losses are less 125 to 313. On turn 1 2 Germans disrupted and the AI disrupted 3 Sappers who recovered by next turn (not a common occurrence). On turn 2 another German was disrupted and 2 Sappers were disrupted in turn 3 and the northern German unit broke.
I think that the AI was unlucky here as 3 units were disrupted by artillery (and limited play with Rzhev shows that that's hard to do) and the Sappers all recovered for turn 2. However interestingly the VP totals were very close my way 19 Ricks 18.
It would be interesting to see what others think in further trials.
Three points for Korea 85 that I find useful in cracking open the line:
- 1 If you have a special forces unit that has movement points left to assault with next to South Korean static guns use chemicals to disrupt the guns and then assault and destroy them. The loss of fire power will hurt them more than the disruption to your unit.
- 2 If you can not quite get zones of control in place to surround the enemy consider firing a mine into the relevant hex/hexes as that will isolate the enemy just as well for a short time and a short time is all the time you may need as the enemy that is isolated will go low ammo and may find the trenches drop from -40 to -20 if assaulted.
- 3 Do not attack all the way along the line hold back in places and be patient the time will come.
For the Campaign game (which I have not tried but I have created scenarios to cover the various options and which may appear here soon) I would suggest using the Marines on the Han and the Paras behind the DMZ. This will tie down reserves and help isolate the enemy disrupt their long range guns and take those guns away from the front line. All of this will help break the line and then you can tidy up and advance South.
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