PzC Scenario Feedback (Various Titles) - Printable Version
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PzC Scenario Feedback (Various Titles) - Kool Kat - 06-02-2017
I like to give detailed feedback on my PBeM completed PzC scenarios.
= Very good
Here's a cumulative thread. Feel free to discuss! Enjoy!
Encirclement of Smolensk
This is an "all or nothing" win proposition for the German player. The Smolensk victory hex is worth a whopping 1500 points and must be captured for the German to achieve any level of victory. Therefore, the German player must charge ahead, always teetering between caution and recklessness to maintain momentum between his widely separated forces that cannot mutually support each other. German forces are strong, but do not have enough units to effectively guard flanks, making these independently operating formations susceptible to Russian counterattacks and blocking actions. Especially vulnerable is the German northern flank to strong counterattacks by the Russian 134th and 144th Rifle Divisions. Playing the Encirclement of Smolensk as the German requires taking calculated risks and pushing hard to overcome Russian defensive lines quickly to garner enough time for the climatic battle of Smolensk that will decide the game. High replay with multiple offensive and defensive options available for each side. This scenario is a classic and ranks as one of the best PzC scenarios of all times! Highly recommended Smolensk 41 scenario!
0710_01: The JOSS Beach_Alt
The scenario designer highlights "historically, this wasn't much of a fight" and the Allies will likely win it. However, in my PBeM experience with this scenario, it plays out much differently than advertised! The Allies need to secure three victory hexes to have a realistic chance of securing a Minor Victory. This means, in addition to capturing the port of Licata, guaranteed before the end of the first day of battle by even a marginally competent Allied commander, he must either expand his flanks or drive inland.
Allied left flank (Palma di Montechiaro - 100 points) can be tightly secured by the the Italian 177th motorized Regiment, C Morale, by Turn 4. In addition, elements of the German 15th Panzer Grenadier Regiment will enter as reinforcements that will drive through Palma di Montechiaro, effectively setting up a second defense line along the coastal highway. Allies will make little head way in that direction!
Allied right flank (Route 115 towards Gela - 100 points) is defended by an Italian Infantry Motorcycle battalion, C Morale. Allies will have to force their way across a major river and / or flank this position by driving NE. Neither is a certain outcome for the Allies. Driving inland, there are two victory hexes that will be defended by the German 15th Panzer Grenadier Regiment and assorted Italian units. The Axis will also receive some air support in the form of recon and Stukas. Stuka dive bomb attacks against Allied units on beaches (200% defense factor!) can cause massive casualties. I was able to destroy completely two Allied HQ's and an artillery unit on the beaches! Again, there is more to this little "gem" then what you will read about in the scenario description! Between equal skilled players, the Axis enjoy a slight advantage. I recommend giving it a play through with a human opponent. I believe you will be pleasantly surprised!
0712_01: Truscott's First "Real" Clash
Short scenario length (9 turns) forces Allied player into reckless behavior (ea. Move adjacent to enemy units in travel mode. Max fatigue troops) for any hope of a victory. Axis player can make main objective Canicatti pretty much impregnable in a few turns. Not a favorite Sicily 43 scenario and not recommended. Will not replay this one.
0709_08s: Two Crucial Days at DIME Beach (HTH)
Entertaining scenario for both sides. Allies need to push hard to secure the airfield and strong point blocking movement inland. Randomized drop zones for Allied paratroops increase replay value and frustration! Expect heavy airborne losses. Axis player must both defend and go on the attack to secure a victory. A concentrated Italian and German thrust toward Gela will play havoc with the Allied left flank and threaten the entire beachhead. Between equal skilled players - a real nail biter to the end!
0812_01: The Race for Messina
Allied player must race (pun intended)along the coastal and interior routes to Messina in 38 short turns. Allies are hampered by Axis defenses and the rugged Sicily terrain. If soft ground conditions develop, the Allies will be hard pressed to make it to Messina by scenario end. Allied advantages include air superiority, large numbers of artillery units (including self-propelled M7s)and armored battalions. Axis are hampered by depleted unit strengths (many units start at under 40% strength), a lack of units, no Luftwaffe, and automatic withdrawals of key German motorized units. Allies must thrust rapidly and push forward at all opportunities. Casualties take a back seat to gaining real estate. Axis must block, delay, and fall back to the next stronghold while preserving the balance of his forces. A tense and nail biting end game will find the Allies advancing to the final approaches (foothills surrounding Messina)with a handful of defending Axis forces blocking the way. Recommended scenario!
0718_01: Sicily Dry Feet Campaign
Axis player must delay Allies at all opportunities. Engineers need to blow bridges - especially heavy ones to deny use by Allied armor. Palermo and Messina must be heavily defended. Axis player should use Italian Coastal Coy units to build trenches in critical defense locations prior to these units withdrawing. Paved routes (especially the coastal ones (Routes 113 and 114)and the interior roadways (Routes 117, 120 and 121) must be defended. Axis player should anchor his defensive lines around bunkers and garrison troops entrenched in villages. Axis player needs to trade space for time and not try to defend everywhere. Good fatigue and morale management skills are essential in this campaign game! The Dry Feet Campaign (172 turns) is a long game, but well worth the time investment by two dedicated players! Highly recommended!
0801_01: Sicily's Highest City
A difficult scenario for the Axis to win. Troina, the main objective city and worth 300 VPs is only located 2 hexes from the frontlines. Given that 400 VPs is a Minor Victory, this forces the Axis player to defend Troina with all available combat units, instead of conducting strategic withdrawals when necessary. Scenario also has a setup mistake. The designer placed a German motorized engineer unit in a rough only hex (No roadways)- an impossible placement and one that forces the Axis player to abandon his motorized transport and go on foot to move unit out of the hex. For these reasons, cannot recommend this scenario.
410520_01a: The Invasion of Crete (HTH)
Allied forces, as in the historical campaign, suffer from low morale units (mostly C and D morale), lack mobility, must disperse their defense to cover wide spread objectives - Maleme / Canea sector, Rethymon, and Heraklion while facing a lot of elite German paratroop, glider and airborne morale A troops that have Luftwaffe air control in the skies. Allies must consider all of their units expendable and make the Germans pay for each captured objective. Smart Allied defense tactics (entrench in rugged hexes), make the German come to them, retreat when necessary, eliminate isolated German paratroops when possible and maintain intact defense lines may position the Allies for a Draw or even Minor Victory if enough casualties can be inflicted on the German invaders. Tough scenario for the Allies to win, but with competent play, it can be a fun and exciting scenario. Recommended scenario!
410520_05: Rock, Paper, Fallschirmjager
As long as the German player pursues a none "historical" drop zone plan and elects to have all follow-up drops in the Maleme Sector, he is pretty much guaranteed a Minor Victory. Concentration of paratrooper assets and a rapid capture of Maleme Airfield will ensure an unimpeded flow of German reinforcements that will doom the Allied defenders. Still an interesting "what if" scenario that depicts how a "sane" German airdrop mission would have been executed. Worth a look and play through.
430219_02a: The Debacle at Kasserine Pass (HTH)
Mud, difficult terrain and widely separated victory hexes hinder Axis advances equal to the Allied defenders. This 32-turn game moves quickly and Axis players will be hard pressed to close and capture enough victory hexes for achieving a victory. Axis reinforcements arrive piecemeal and take 6-8 turns to reach the distant front lines, adding pressure to the need for driving quickly, almost recklessly forward to engage both the American and British forces. Between equal skilled players, a Draw is definitely achievable with a slight advantage toward an Allied Minor Victory. A recommended Tunisia 43 scenario!
430320_02a: Give Them Some Steel (HTH)
Against competent Allied play, the Germans have little chance for a Draw, much less any level of victory. The biggest negative I see with this scenario is that the Axis reinforcements start so far east, some units start on the board edge, and it takes three quarters of the game to get these units into attack position once the fixed units are released. Essentially, when the Axis launch their counter attack, there are only a handful of turns remaining. When I conceded the game, with 7 turns remaining, I had 3 Axis artillery units and a motorized infantry unit that had still NOT reached the front lines! Not a recommended scenario.
430118_01a: Operation Eilbote (HTH)
As long as the Axis player does not mount the historical diversionary attack on British positions around Bou Arada and focuses his offense on the small French outposts (Morale D and E units), the Allies have little chance to halt or regain lost objectives. Challenging for the Axis in regards to managing logistics, supply lines and keeping unbroken defense positions. Axis control the momentum and essentially the scenario is theirs to lose. Against equal players, an Axis Minor Victory is achievable. Not a recommended scenario if players are looking for a balanced game.
430226_01a: Operation Ochsenkopf (HTH)
Allied player must conduct a near perfect defense to slow and deflect multiple Axis offensive advances across a large map. The Brits can quickly find themselves in dicey defensive positions (e.g. trapped on the wrong side of a river with no nearby bridge crossings)due to the varied Tunisia terrain. Majority of game Allies are on the defensive and with inadequate air support midway through the scenario and no Allied reinforcements, the Brits will find themselves hard pressed to counterattack and recapture any of the objectives. Moderate Advantage to the Axis side. Recommended scenario with the caveat that it is not balanced and the Allies will be on the defense for most of the game.
El Alamein '42
0630_01: The First Battle of Alamein
Axis player needs to focus on key objectives (El Alamein) and keep his offensive front somewhat narrow. Going after El Alamein, the southern VPs and the eastern edge VP hexes dilutes the Axis strength and gives the British time to construct multiple fortified defense lines. Against equal players, this one can go either way. A recommended El Alamein scenario!
0623_12a: They Stood at Orsha (HTH)
Axis player must defend a wide front against overwhelming Russian units and firepower (Infantry, armor, artillery and air power). German must NOT go head-to-head against the Russian forces, but strategically give ground and hope the wired bridges get blown along the Dnepr River. Giving ground, successfully blown Dnepr River bridges and the short scenario time frame (18 turns) are the only real hope for the German player to delay the Russian horde. Very tough scenario for the Germans to even reach a Draw. Not a balanced scenario. But after all, the Minsk '44 game subtitle is "The destruction of Army Group Center!"
0624_23a: The Bobruysk Bypass (HTH)
Russian enjoys overwhelming numbers in armor, infantry and artillery units, and controls the tempo of the scenario. Once the Russian Pliev Cav-Mech Group Reserves release, the German will be hard pressed to slow the Russian steamroller offensive. The German better quality morale units, distance to the major objectives and difficult movement limiting terrain (marsh, swamp, forest) will help slow, but can't stop the Russian bear. The German must trade territory for time and then make a final stand east of the major objectives; Gardi, Goduny, and Kurin (150 pts each) and Molseyevka and Oktyrbrsky (200 pts each). Between equal skilled players, a Russian Minor Victory is achievable and a Major Victory is reachable dependent on how quickly the German defense lines collapse. Still, the Bobruysk Bypass is an exciting and fast paced scenario that reflects the desperate titanic East Front battles of 1944 with the Russian Army ascension and the once proud German forces in decline. A recommended Minsk '44 scenario!
0629_02a: The Last Ditch Effort (HTH)
The Russian player does not have enough turns in this scenario to secure either a Minor or Major Victory against even a moderately competent German opponent. The difficult terrain (woods, swamps, rivers) with few paved or secondary road networks and potential for soft ground conditions will hinder any Russian offense more so then the Germans. After the initial breakthrough the German defensive lines, the Russian faces a slow, long slog through difficult terrain before he can close with the final German defense positions on the Pitch River. The 500 VP objective at Marina Gorka is completely out of reach and might as well be removed from this scenario. The scenario needs to be re-balanced with the addition of 3-5 turns that would make play optimal. It would force the Germans to play a little more aggressively and forward while giving the Russian a realistic chance to get the majority of his troops into battle for the decisive clash on the Pitch River. Could be a close run and exciting scenario with just a little re-work on the turns. Recommended Minsk '44 scenario with the caveat that it's not a balanced match between two evenly skilled players.
0623_13a: Over the Pronya (HTH)
There is a delicate game balance provided the German player retreats skillfully and launches localized counterattacks cautiously against the overwhelming Russian forces. Between equal skilled players, the scenario is balanced. A recommended Minsk '44 scenario!
I played this scenario twice; once as the German commander and once commanding the Russians. The key to a Russian victory is the successful preservation and rapid deployment of the three Russian platoon bridges "over the Pronya." The Russian player must deploy at least one bridge unit to keep his infantry units, who have been ferried over the river in earlier turns, to avoid becoming isolated from supply. Also, the Russian armor must use the platoon bridges to cross the Pronya River.
As I wrote in an earlier review, there is a delicate play balance provided the German retreats wisely from the overwhelming Russian artillery, armor and infantry and makes limited, but judicious counterattacks. In both my games, a winner was decided only in the last few turns. This scenario has good replay value and there is more to it then at first glance.
As an aside, I believe a female Russian soldier is depicted on the platoon bridge unit in the PzC Gold Version! Pretty cool!
0627_01a: 5th GTA is Committed (HTH)
This scenario was a terribly one-sided affair that featured overwhelming Russian forces versus German units that were either fixed and / or in precarious positions that are quickly surrounded and then obliterated by the Russian forces.
The entire northern area of the battlefield cannot be defended because the German lacks enough troops to plug the gaps. All German units guarding major objectives in the northern sector start the game fixed and never release until attacked by enemy units. Also, all SS reinforcements start the game fixed and do not release until half the game is over. By that time, it was too late to stem the Russian steamroller. In any event, I suspect these reinforcements would have made little progress against the hordes of Russians.
The only "salvation" the German had was to make a stand along the major river that runs north-south for 1/3 of the map, hope the wired bridges drop and wait for the release of the SS reinforcements.
Now, if ALL Axis units on board would start "unfixed," that would allow the German player to establish some rudimentary defensive lines - especially in the north sector and west of the main German lines. That would make for a more interesting game and give the German player a glimmer of hope. Even in an "unfixed" German unit alternative scenario, the German would still lose hundreds of units in the east simply because the foot infantry cannot retreat fast enough to avoid being overtaken and obliterated by the advancing Russians.
Scenario is not balanced and between equal skilled players, a Minor or Major Russian victory would be the expected outcome. Not a recommended Minsk '44 scenario.
0623_10a: The Long Left Flank (HTH)
German player must trade space for time while forming a defense line on the Obol rail line. It is a grave mistake for German commanders to defend in place as the overwhelming Russian forces will destroy any stationary defense lines in 3-5 turns. Care must be taken to use the scarce German mobile units (Stugs, cavalry, and AT guns) to defend the 150 VP hexes (Ulla, Zapruch, and Vishnevka) and 250 VP hex (Beshenkovichi). If the German defense line falls back in relatively good order, only Russian mobile armored units may make it to these rear VP hexes. Can be a tense and exciting game provided the German player gives ground as needed and keeps a defense only mindset. There will be little opportunities for German attacks in this scenario. Against equal skilled players, a Russian Minor Victory is achievable and a Draw is also a possibility.
#15 Charge to Chuguev
Simply one of the best Kharkov 42 scenarios! The Russian has many offensive options, but needs to make surgical and deliberate advances against the German defense lines due to the Soviet being burdened with many "delicate" Morale D and E units. The Russian player needs to understand how best to use his important engineer assets and note that some sapper units do not have bridges. Careful fatigue management - even in this relatively short (24 turns) scenario is essential - especially for the Russian who can maintain offensives in any one area for only short periods of time due to his overall poor Morale units. Between equal players, this scenario is well balanced and victory can swing to either side. High replay value with multiple offensive and defensive options available for each side. Highly recommended scenario! Will play this one again!
0724_01a: Breakout of Group Zhuravlev (HTH)
An exciting and interesting scenario with the Germans trying to contain and neutralize the encircled Soviet formations while fending off a Russian tank corps attempting to break through from the East. Both sides will simultaneously be on the attack and adopting defense postures throughout the game. The Germans must aggressively attack, advance, and encircle any individual Russian units while keeping defense lines intact. Careful management of artillery and keeping the gun tubes within range of the rapidly shifting front lines is critical to German success. Between equal players this is a balanced scenario with either side able to achieve victory. A "must play" Stalingrad '42 scenario with several offensive and defensive options available to each player!
1120_23a: The Long Left Hook (HTH)
I was able to keep the majority of the Romanian 1st Infantry Division defending units intact by systematically withdrawing and creating defense in depth to slow and prevent any breakout of the Russian 51st Army armor. Snow conditions also slowed down the Russian offensive. Romanian artillery and Luftwaffe air support helped break up some of the Russian attacks. We also played with the Delayed Disruption Optional Rule that favors the defender. In the end, the elements of the German 29th Motorized Division were not needed to shore up the Romanian defense since by the time these units arrived at the front lines, my Russian opponent had conceded the game. Several victory hexes - especially the 500 VP hexes in the North are out of reach to the Russian player. Between equal skilled players, this scenario moderately favors the Axis. Scenario needs to be adjusted with more victory hexes positioned in the East to give the Russians a better chance of a Minor Victory and force the Axis player to defend more forward. Not a recommended Stalingrad 42 scenario.
1223_01: The Bear Strikes Back
Interesting tactical situation for the Axis player who must conduct a complex withdrawal and an error free defense against the advancing Russian. The Axis player must exercise caution when establishing defensive positions on the Aksay River due to the river freezing in the last portion of the game! Between equal skilled players, this scenario is balanced provided the Axis player does not make any major defensive blunders. Good replay value as both sides have several options that may be attempted. A recommended Stalingrad '42 scenario!
441103_01a: Sweep round Cegled (HTH)_Alt
A quick playing and relatively interesting small Budapest '45 scenario. The German player needs to rapidly advance the 23rd Panzer Division KG to secure at least one of the 50 VPs while guarding against the inevitable Russian armored counter attack. As with the majority of PzC small scenarios, all units play critical roles and smart unit placement is essential to win. A German Minor Victory is achievable without going after the remaining 50 VP's or the Cegled 150 VP. This can result in some gamey play as the German player can withdraw units during the end turns and force the Russian to endure opportunity fire and losses as he moves adjacent to engage the German units. Decent scenario for players looking for a quick game and straight forward tactics. Not much replay value.
441029_01: Prelude - The Drive to Budapest (alt)
Axis player is primarily on the defense for the entire game with few opportunities to counterattack. Hungarian troops will be decimated by the advancing Russian spearheads, especially after the Soviet armor releases. Axis must defend tenaciously and utilize his scarce mobile reinforcements - late war King Tigers, Panthers, Mark IV's, motorized infantry, and SPA's to stiffen Hungarian defense lines and delay the Russian Bear. Difficult terrain - Extensive canal network coupled with mud, snow conditions and few primary roads will hamper any rapid Russian advance to Budapest. Moderate Axis advantage. Prelude - The Drive to Budapest is not a balanced scenario and unfortunately there is a bleak "sameness" in the execution of turns - Russians blasting through the hapless Hungarian troops only to be bogged down by terrain, weather, and the occasional German troop reinforcement. Not a favorite Budapest '45 scenario.
RE: PzC Scenario Feedback (Various Titles) - larsonney - 06-02-2017
Kool Kat, you are simply "The Man"...thanks for taking the time to provide all of your feedback!!
I think we played one or two of those against each other?! Good times my friend!
RE: PzC Scenario Feedback (Various Titles) - Kool Kat - 06-02-2017
(06-02-2017, 01:49 AM)larsonney Wrote: Kool Kat, you are simply "The Man"...thanks for taking the time to provide all of your feedback!!
I enjoy "giving back" to this great hobby of ours... and providing aids to players who are deciding whether to invest their gaming time on specific scenarios.
And the answer is "Yes" Jon. We played a few of my referenced scenarios!
RE: PzC Scenario Feedback (Various Titles) - Mr Grumpy - 06-02-2017
I agree with you completely about 0712_01: Truscott's First "Real" Clash and 0801_01: Sicily's Highest City, the former I played hotseat once as the US and didn't move a single Axis unit and still could not achieve a win!!
RE: PzC Scenario Feedback (Various Titles) - Pepe Botijo - 06-02-2017
Thanks Kool Kat!
Those scenario details are priceless.
RE: PzC Scenario Feedback (Various Titles) - Many Mariuses - 06-02-2017
Great post! One of the best and most informative I've read on this site.
RE: PzC Scenario Feedback (Various Titles) - Ricky B - 06-02-2017
Thanks for the summary KK! And I have to agree completely about Charge to Chuguev, one of my most favorite medium size scenarios I have played. I don't have experience with the bulk of the others.
RE: PzC Scenario Feedback (Various Titles) - Kool Kat - 06-10-2017
Greatly appreciate all the comments!
I wish more players would write notes about scenario game play when recording their ladder matches.
Player feedback supplements the numerical ratings and adds "color" to the scoring.
Also, forum discussions are predominantly on mods and looking for opponents.
While I know mods play a significant part in the enjoyment of the TOC titles... I use them too!
... I would welcome more tactics and strategy discussions in this forum.
RE: PzC Scenario Feedback (Various Titles) - Kool Kat - 08-25-2017
I added my feedback to two recently completed Smolensk '41 and Tunisia '43 scenarios:
Encirclement of Smolensk
430219_02a: The Debacle at Kasserine Pass (HTH)
Check these new updates and my other comments in the original post in this thread!
RE: PzC Scenario Feedback (Various Titles) - Kool Kat - 02-16-2018
I've recently completed a couple of Minsk '44 and Stalingrad '42 games.
Comments in the relevant sections. See original post.
Enjoy and comment!