First Impressions

Ask, comment, read.
User avatar
uran21
Captain
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:46 pm

Re: First Impressions

Unread postby uran21 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:54 pm

My campaign is over with 5 out of 9 scenarios won. I could replay Kuibyshev but now I am interested in better results and campaign branch I haven’t tried out yet branching at Case Blue.

And here I see a problem. I can reload campaign at any point but that will erase all my progress AFTER that scenario. Fine. Logical. But the problem I am having is desire to monitor my progress. I want old results to be on campaign map until being superseded.

User avatar
uran21
Captain
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:46 pm

Re: First Impressions

Unread postby uran21 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:53 pm

2nd Kharkov is tricky. Only one supply source is sufficient to support offensive on the whole map but that one is cut off from the rest of branched rail network. This one needs to be established and defended. Capturing Soviets supply is possible but not before turn 4 which is not enough to give significant effect for Brilliant Victory. Although moving units there can add one more attacker from Soviet back with river crossing penalty in battle.

Partisans can actually cut the railroad. In case when they appear on two adjacent hexes on both sides of railroad. In that case hex on railroad is encircled by more enemy owned hexes and switches sides.

Bridge theater asset is dubious in here. It is possible to build bridge toward out of play areas with no effect at all. I do not see much use of blowing up bridges since it would hamper my offensive. There is possibility to build bridges in, initially, enemy controlled area but there is one problem with it. I discovered it accidentally so the problem is there is no graphical indicator telling me where in enemy territory I could build a bridge if my units near that point.

AI is not very good at protecting supply bases. At Izium it would allow my infantry to cross river and approach its supply in every playthrough.

Short turn count requires perfect performance and result can be made arbitrary due to random elements like weather.

After several attempts (around dozen) finally Brilliant Victory at 2nd Kharkov. 5 turns and all Soviet units annihilated from the map, no prestige was spent.
Just ...Brilliant!

I am not convinced I could get same result if I try again. Tactics I used was to deliver as much casualties as possible on every turn. To keep Soviet defenses thin, meaning I was not advancing towards them at once but allowed its units to take up positions of fallen comrades. After that my mobile forces would advance deeper towards objectives. Keep my southern supply route secured (it fell for one turn but only two turns would make such blow devastating). Enemy at Izium area was kept out of supply for two turns before annihilated.

Now I am very interested in how others resolved this.

User avatar
uran21
Captain
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:46 pm

Re: First Impressions

Unread postby uran21 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:36 am

Looking at Voronezh map it occured to me possible places where to build a bridge are indicated on Show Terrain toggle map.

Result is Brilliant Axis Victory from first attempt (of serious play). It was obvious time limit is too short to affect Soviet supply source. Tactic was to breach front on two places, encircle Soviets at center-south position and force them to retreat at north. At far south they were destroyed. In the same time vanguards were sent forward. Result could easily slip if I had little bit of bad luck. My supply was cut for one turn due to Romanians not holding the front.

This was so fast I have desire to play it agian but don't want to spoil result in campaign. Probably stand alone scenario would serve its purpose here.

User avatar
uran21
Captain
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:46 pm

Re: First Impressions

Unread postby uran21 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:33 pm

Case Blue is bigger scenario and more complex problem to solve because there is a lot of thinking in advance to be done. Railroad at Izium should be established and front breach there to meet with northern force and encircle good portion of Soviet troops. Millerovo is secured in time with that sequence of action but in order to capture Tsmilianskaia on the other side of the river forces should be adjacent to river at turn 3.

AI remarks, sometimes units move to return on the same position without swapping. AI can reshuffle defences behind river and lose entrenchment along the way.

With several attempts I realized it is not such a problem to get Decisive Victory but Brilliant is something different. In standalone scenario list Case Blue is listed as medium difficulty but I would disagree. I did realized what is the solution but due to random events it can slip so easily.

Distance between tanks on the north and river at Tsmilianska is 19 hexes which means tank can be there at turn 3 (to destroy unit and cross river at turn 4) but it has to move with extended movement for two turns. If Soviets there cross the river before that, additional tank is required and pattern is showing they are not so inclined in doing it if front at Rostov is pressured. Railroad at Izium and connection to Millerovo is essential in delivering supply across the map but too aggressive moves there at turn 1 can be counterproductive if Soviets order general retreat.

I was able to take Tsmilianska in time but missed Rostov for one turn because front there was opened with bad going.

User avatar
uran21
Captain
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:46 pm

Re: First Impressions

Unread postby uran21 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:20 am

It took me around 4 tries to figure out how to win Brilliant Victory at Case Blue. Now I am in more than dozen attempts where all except one (when my concentration was low) where short misses due to random effects. Latest one was 4 step strong infantry at Tsimlianskaia withstanding 4 air attacks and tank attack leaving it with 1 suppressed step but holding objective. Needing to have such high element of luck in skill game is no fun at all.

P.S. I watch Let’s Play YouTube video after this just to see am I missing something. Youtubers approach was same as mine with some smaller differences. I would argue how my approach at north and center is even better and overall less messy. I start to build bridge at Rostov on turn 2 because Soviets will reshuffle and lose entrenchment and I want to spend air attacks on turn 1 at different place. Too aggressive breach at Izium can be counterproductive at turn 1 so this is also different. But esential strategy is the same.

What was interesting to hear on youtube is how it takes around 5 playthroughs to get strategy right and sometimes around 20+ more to get the result blaming randomness for it so I am not alone.

User avatar
uran21
Captain
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:46 pm

Re: First Impressions

Unread postby uran21 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:26 am

Implementation of some aspects of content is in stark contrast to excellence of game design.

I moved away from Case Blue to Edelweiss because I haven’t tried that campaign branch yet. The fact I am processing new data, trying to solve new problem fills me with enjoy.

Got Decisive Victory in 10 turns. Terek scenario is locked on campaign map to make sure other open scenarios are played in chronological order. Another nice feature new to me.

User avatar
uran21
Captain
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:46 pm

Re: First Impressions

Unread postby uran21 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:41 am

Finally Brilliant Victory at Case Blue. But I was very lucky, no bad weather this time and combat favoured me. On one occasion full Soviet tank that came as reinforcement was destroyed with single hit. Breach at Izium helped to send more tanks to Don river to deal with Soviet infantry crossing the river there so one tank can move adjacent to objective on turn 3. Taking a break probably changed my fortunes. In overall around 20 or so attempts to get this result while strategy was figured out in around 5 attempts.

User avatar
uran21
Captain
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:46 pm

Re: First Impressions

Unread postby uran21 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:43 pm

Here I go with Edelweiss trying to get Brilliant Victory. Another One Turn Too Far scenario. I had around 8 attempts. Approach to this one works more less good but unit at Maikop is hard to dislodge. I had at two occasions situation where unit retreated but I had no unit of my own that could occupy the city.

Then I started to think to cut Maikop of supply at turn 4 to make it less tough on turn 5. Bridge could be builded on the river west of the town but my unit traveling there would stay out of supply and it is easy for the AI to block the bridge crossing.

This bridging thing is useful in this scenario, on some occasions only as a bait to AI and sometimes it is even good to destroy previously builded bridge.

Anyway I turned to brute force approach counting how I need 3x tanks, 2x motorized infantry and 2x mountain troops ready to fight single infantry at turn 5. This approach worked and I got Maikop at turn 5 but it cost me disbanding 1 tank because often there is not enough room for sequential attacks. All other objectives were fine and fallen on time except Elista. I got 2x infantry there and some 3x Romanians and of course this was not enough. Tank traveling from south didn’t catch in time. On 11th turn I got bad weather and did nothing and on 12th I realized how tank would not make much of a difference either.

So I am at the beginning, figuring out how to take Maikop and preserve my force and distribute it on the right place at the right time.

User avatar
uran21
Captain
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:46 pm

Re: First Impressions

Unread postby uran21 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:43 am

Around 12th attempt I do not even know how I pulled it out to destroy or deceive most of AI units by turn 4 and had my units in place for attack on turn 5. There was unit ready to enter Maikop, they were rotated in combat. Result? 3 tank attacks, 2 attacks by motorized infantry and 2 mountain troops assaulting and 2 step (suppressed), entrenched, weak Soviet infantry holding Maikop!

This scenario (when it comes to Brilliant Victory) is based on random positioning at opening moves and random combat once positioning is done right. There is such a high step in difficulty between Decisive and Brilliant Victory which is not based on skill but on random factor. No fun at all.

User avatar
uran21
Captain
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:46 pm

Re: First Impressions

Unread postby uran21 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:29 pm

Finally won Brilliant Victory at Edelweiss in 9 turns. There is no doubt I was very lucky. Good combat results and lots of overruns all the way. Even veteran Cavalry blocking the way retreated after tank attack. It preserved my infantry force and other Maikop defenders met my force on the open where they were overrun. Around the town I had 3x tanks, 2x motorized infantry, 3x mountain troops and 1x infantry. Town fell under brute force. One Romanian went to unlock reinforcements and forces defending Elista were fooled I am retreating so they stayed at top map and reduced gradually. Later motorized infantry was diverted from Maikop to enter Elista unopposed. It took less than 20 attempts.

I do not think I will hunt Brilliant Victories anymore. Scenarios will be played until I figure out good strategy but if result depends more on luck than on skill I will settle with Decisive Victory and enjoy the game. Learning and revealing is fun, repetition is not. I am more than positive if I, or anyone else, would play this scenario again repeatedly for 10 times result could be all failures or one or two Brilliant Victories. It is just too random.