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Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Printable Version

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RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - ComradeP - 11-07-2015

As the scenario description notes:
Quote:This multi-day campaign will require players to carefully husband their forces as no replacements will be received. Fresh forces will arrive regularly, but will have to go to the position of most need.

Serious early losses for critical units, or in one sector of the front could cause issues in such a situation, but as long as both sides receive fresh forces it should be OK. I'm more worried about what vehicle and gun losses will be like in a scenario like this than about losing units, provided units arrive at a steady pace.

You can easily burn through most of the combat power of a division each day with constant combat in this system, but there doesn't seem to be much of a secondary and tertiary line in this scenario aside from scattered bunkers so it's not the ugly battle of attrition that the corps-sized Kursk scenarios are. The initial German opposition is "supposed" to die, which makes it less of a problem if they can't fall back, unlike with the Soviets in some Kursk scenarios where the same units that take the initial beating have to move and hold the defensive lines behind them.


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Xaver - 11-07-2015

Yep, i refer to the Panzerschreck, is a weapon hard to represent at this scale... because his effective range is inferior to the hex size AND compared with an AT rifle is a lot less precise.

Maybe i find strange find a "dedicated" AT unit in german OOB using that kind of weapons, maybe i prefer see them split between infantry but lets see how they work.

The problem i see in engine now is when you want play a battle out of the "hot" moment and you have more than 1 day of combat... with no replacements for casualties is not a great incentive for players in "save" burned units because they are not effective in combat and are more usefull winning time than retreating because their combat value simple was gone... you cant join them with other burned units to have add-hoc units and they cant receive replacements.

First positions are going to die but reading Von Luck book you know how they have a "fake" first line with spotters, nothing more, with true first defensive position in 2nd line, with actual scale maybe is possible in OOB add "listening post" units, a generic 2-3 men unit to place it as first line.


Other point could be made AT units harder to detect, guns and specially Panzerjager because i feel that that powerfull AT units in game are very vulnerable and are not working his valuable job as "tank snipers".


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Strela - 11-07-2015

(11-07-2015, 05:33 AM)ComradeP Wrote: As the scenario description notes:
Quote:This multi-day campaign will require players to carefully husband their forces as no replacements will be received. Fresh forces will arrive regularly, but will have to go to the position of most need.

Serious early losses for critical units, or in one sector of the front could cause issues in such a situation, but as long as both sides receive fresh forces it should be OK. I'm more worried about what vehicle and gun losses will be like in a scenario like this than about losing units, provided units arrive at a steady pace.

You can easily burn through most of the combat power of a division each day with constant combat in this system, but there doesn't seem to be much of a secondary and tertiary line in this scenario aside from scattered bunkers so it's not the ugly battle of attrition that the corps-sized Kursk scenarios are. The initial German opposition is "supposed" to die, which makes it less of a problem if they can't fall back, unlike with the Soviets in some Kursk scenarios where the same units that take the initial beating have to move and hold the defensive lines behind them.

Hi All,

Thanks for the commentary on Bluecoat. This is probably the most 'experimental' of all the scenarios that will be included in the game. It began life as a test to see if we could join days together and understand what would work, vs what wouldn't.

We have decided to include it in game as much for a very interesting situation as to get the wider community trying it and providing feedback.

It does play well, but as mentioned you will see some pretty extreme situations. Many of the iterations we have done have been to give the Germans a little more backbone at least for the first day. The British are overwhelming for the first couple of days. The actual battle pitted over 700 British tanks vs 150 German vehicles, while the Allied infantry is also more numerous. The 326th Infanterie Division has to try and delay and kill as many British as possible. The bocage in this area is particularly bad and the fight for the roads will typify the combat.

What starts to turn the fight is that the British have to go a long way south to get the key victory hexes. This ultimately spreads them out and gives the German reinforcements arriving on the east map edge a chance to attack into the Allied flanks. The German arrival has 'protection' and any Allied units that try to block the German arrival will become broken themselves.

The test scenario I'm currently playing against Dogsoldier has just seen the Panzer companies from 21st Panzer arrive supported by Tigers from the 503rd Abt. They are managing to use the ridge line to pick off British tanks in the valleys below at ranges of 8 hexes or even more in a few cases. His infantry are climbing the hills and with little German infantry present will ultimately force the panzers back. It's hard for both sides - as the German, I regularly despair when I see the torrents of Allied troops, but I know they have to go a long way and cross a lot of rivers.

Here are the losses from our current test at turn 37. Note the number of Allied vehicles destroyed;

[Image: PB%20Graphics%20320.jpg]

The Allies look overwhelming at the current point in the test, but the arriving German's are slowly starting to blunt the Allied advance.

So please view this monster scenario as something we're trying to see how it plays out. We have done a lot of testing but it will be all of you reporting your experiences that will allow us to improve the current version and tailor larger scenarios for future games.

One final word on replacements. We picked this operation deliberately. There was real supply challenges due to terrain etc in this battle. Most units fought without receiving replacement vehicles or having much chance to rest and recover. By the end of five days the battles petered out because of exhaustion or the need to pull back and maintain/replace. Players in this scenario have the same challenges as their real world counterparts. Both sides will have moments of complete despair (can I say German for days 1 & 2?) but it is a surprisingly well paced scenario.

Talking about recovery, the PDT file for this scenario sets the number of day turns as 28 (06:00 to 19:30) with two night turns of 5 hours each (20:00 & 01:00). The standard PDT has day/dusk turns right up to 23:00 and hourly night turns for a total of 42 turns. So a big difference, but justified by the practice of both sides to pull back and laager each evening.

The only thing we wish we had for this release was the 'timed' victory points where a side gets points per turn. This would reward players for holding locations longer than historically and add a new dimension.

If we get that feature in the future we will probably retrofit it into a scenario like this.

David


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - GerryM - 11-07-2015

David:

Any words on how the bocage fighting occurs in PB? I know from tactical games that it severely limited visibility and you needed the Culin to cut through it. And there is a lot of bocage on some of those maps.

Gerry


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Dog Soldier - 11-07-2015

All units can cross hedge row hex sides in the bocage in PzB Normandy.  In most cases this is done at a pace of one hex per turn. The player must think about when and where to do this though.  Though not shown on the map, just about every open space between hedge rows was farmland.  Norman farmers had to have access to their fields for livestock and farm equipment.  There are cuts in the hedgerows all over Normandy.  Squeezing through is no problem, in pease time.  The summer of 1944 was a different matter.

One new feature is included in PzB Normandy to reflect armor crossing hedge rows.  Armor becomes 'vunerable' when crossing a hedge row hex side.  This is not only due to crossing a hedge row in an up and over fashion, but also due to armor moving through those cuts in the hedge rows I previously mentioned.  Such choke points make movement under fire difficult to say the least.  Costly in other cases.

To respond to ComnradeP's assertion about burning out divisions, I can say, yes, it is entirely possible.  A player who barnstorms through the bocage will get bloody quick.  In our numerous playings of Bluecoat or any of the other PzB Normandy scenarios one has to learn the proper historical tactics and apply them using the game mechanics.  Omaha Beach is not for the faint of heart!  Especially against the likes of RickyB!

David and I have developed a number of techniques to avoid high casualties.  Remarkably, these tactics are the same ones used historically in Normandy in 1944.  Frontal assaults are not recommended in the bocage.  Obtaining superior firepower and suppression of the enemy is recommended.  Combine that base of fire with other units making flanking maneuvers and you can 'winkle' the enemy out of any position.  If he chooses to stand fast, these tactics will destroy him utterly.

The defender can counter with hidden units and ambushes.  Eventually the defender has to decide when is the time to fall back to the next position. Jerry in the open is a beautiful sight to Allied players.  Think SS battalion caught in the open in the Holland episode of Band of Brothers. The Allied fire power if used properly, will make 'creamun schaedel' out of retreating German units if you did not plan an escape route or waited too long.  How long to fight in one place?  That depends entirely on the situation at hand.  As the player you decide and live with the consequences.

Bluecoat is a great treat in PzB Normandy.  Both sides get to defend desperately and attack with strength at different times over the course of the game.  The scenario is not overwhelming as it might appear from the screen shots.  Turns move very fast once you get going.  The front is not so wide and there are places where you simply have to stop and make a stand, for a while.

Over the time of playing this scenario with David numerous times, we have not had any game go the same way.  There are so many options for each side.  Only the first four to five turns seem the same.  After that, anything can and will happen depending on choices made by each side.  There are no 'perfect' tactics or moves.  Every decision players make has trade offs.   Move and counter move.

This brings me to another topic.  If anyone has seen the original 1990 science fiction movie Total Recall, you know the memorable jingle tag line in the vacation implant company's advertising.  cue music - "Recall, Recall, Recall!"
In Normandy you have remember that jingle.  Change the lyric though.  "Recon, Recon, Recon!"
PzB Normandy has a game within the game.  Hide and seek.  Your recon units are incredibility valuable if you wish to preserve your force as you advance.  This (like everything else in the PzB system) is not a perfect solution.  Recon units take time to find all enemy units.  Time you will not have to waste trying to find everything.  Thus, like the historical commanders you have to go with what information you have and plan for the unexpected.
Defenders have to balance hidden status with the loss of ZOC.  Hidden units have no ZOC in PzB.
Hills, as Strela mentioned, are key to getting a good view for your recon units.  This aspect is a double edged sword, though.  Looking out over the Norman country side can attract some AT fire on your armored scout cars or artillery and mortar fire on your infantry scouts.  We have worked diligently to model the advantages and disadvantages of both sides in the battle for Normandy.
  
Quote:ComradeP
   Wow! 144 turns!

   I was happy to read that the Cherbourg scenario was shortened due to the possibilities of ahistorical moves when given enough time and the possibility of an attack stopping "early" due to not getting replacements, so I'm really interested in seeing how this scenario will play out. In particular: If both sides can sustain the losses they will take and keep going, and if the presumably smaller German armour units can hold out against the masses of British armour for this long.

All I can say to this comment is small units delaying and holding larger forces was what made the fighting in Normandy so frustrating to the Allied commanders.  Normandy is perfect terrain for defense.  PzB players will have to adapt to not only the Norman countryside, but to the fact that by the summer of 1944, western Allied and German infantry was not easy meat for armor at close ranges.  Close ranges is what you will see a lot of in PzB Normandy.

As the player you decide what risks to take, even if you really do not know fully what those risks are. WHY?  Because your opponent can do something you did not expect.  And you can do so to them, and so on and forth....this makes for a great war game, IMHO.  Feints, bluffs and just plain surprising the other player are all possible to those who plan and get a little lucky.  That makes playing PzB very fun.  You never know for sure what is in the next hedge row, down that sunken lane, or in the next village.  Hedge Row Hell at its finest.

Dog Soldier


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Strela - 11-07-2015

The Hedgerow rules were actually present in Kursk. They had been added when Normandy was the original game, but never used in Kursk as there s no hedgerows.

The rules are as follows;

Hedge Row Rules

Special firing and assault rules apply to the Hedge Row terrain hexside.
• Vehicles crossing Hedge Row become Vulnerable and have half defense value.
• Vehicles assaulting across Hedge Row have half assault and defense and become Vulnerable if successful.


One other comment with hedgerows/bocage, items like height will cancel out some of the concealment benefits and as Dogsoldier says using ambush tactics can be risky due to the no zoc for hidden units. I have seen equal measures of successful ambushes where an advancing unit is suddenly zoc'd off, shot up, disrupted and assaulted with heavy losses and the other where the attacker moves so far forward that they totally compromise the defense and suddenly the defenders are struggling to disengage without being isolated themselves.

in Bluecoat, I have seen both situations. In addition Norman villages being built from stone are natural defensive positions. The challenge is handling the British numbers where they will flank a position and leave you with the decision to stand and die or hopefully pull back unseen so you aren't hit by artillery and direct fire in the open. it's all very tense.

The other key thing called out by Dogsoldier are the personal antitank weapons. Piats, Panzerfausts and Panzershreks force you to decide when to close with your armour. Usually you will have to get your tanks and infantry working in concert otherwise you will see the tank losses mount very quickly.

This game is definitely not Kursk.....

David


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - ComradeP - 11-07-2015

I noticed the hedgerow rule in the manual, and thought it was ported over from PzC Normandy.

Is night fatigue a standard rule for Bluecoat?

Also: if there are just 2 night turns like in PzC for Bluecoat, has the night turn fatigue recovery rate been increased as well? 28 day turns and 2 night turns, which could give you anything between 2 and 8 turns worth of fatigue recovery, would make it difficult for units to recover fatigue. Particularly as yellow fatigue starts at 51.


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Ricky B - 11-08-2015

Ah, Dog Soldier - Omaha, playing that one just makes me feel so much like being there, especially from the US perspective. Trying to figure out what is happening among dispersed initial landing wave, all the disorganization, mounting casualties, scattered units, tough German positions, the troop density picking up as further waves come in through uncleared obstacles to the crowded beaches, followed by the feeling of success as the US troops begin to push inland and away from the carnage on the beach.

Can the beach defenses be cleared before Genl Bradley pulls the plug on the landing and sends the follow on forces to Utah?

Rick


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - GerryM - 11-08-2015

I know that some of the hegderows had gates and that there were smaller holes for livestock in other sides of a field (well I think this is right but I may be wrong). Did every hexside have a gate-sized hole for a vehicle? Is the Culin idea in the game somehow.

Thanks,

Gerry


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Strela - 11-08-2015

(11-07-2015, 10:03 PM)radeP Wrote: I noticed the hedgerow rule in the manual, and thought it was ported over from PzC Normandy.

Is night fatigue a standard rule for Bluecoat?

Also: if there are just 2 night turns like in PzC for Bluecoat, has the night turn fatigue recovery rate been increased as well? 28 day turns and 2 night turns, which could give you anything between 2 and 8 turns worth of fatigue recovery, would make it difficult for units to recover fatigue. Particularly as yellow fatigue starts at 51.

Good question. There is no difference for fatigue recovery at night. This is one of the rules we will look at for future games if warranted.

Here is my rationale. With standardized fatigue recovery players have to rest units beyond the night turns. They have to work out when to replace frontline units and overall manage the fatigue impact. The justification for no incremental recovery at night is that many units had to refit and refurbish overnight. I have some great texts on what armoured units went through once they lagaared for the night. It became obvious why operations only lasted a few days, formations had to be rested after any period of action.

We will monitor players experiences but it currently works in my opinion.

David