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Oct 5, 2010

Lipstick Apathy

It is 0600 hours on July 11, 1941. The invasion of Russia is 19 days old, and we are in command of the 10th Panzer Division, some 130 kilometers southwest of Smolensk.

Our objective is to force a crossing of the Dnepr river, and seize key points of the highway leading to Smolensk, as well as the village of Mostok.

We expect that this sector is defended by the Russian 110th Rifle Division.

I've selected that specific point with the green arrow as the site for our crossing, given that it provides clear lanes of movement for a breakout.

Our order-of-battle:

7th Panzer Regiment: 139 tanks, split into I and II battalions with 69 and 70 Panzer III tanks, respectively
69th Infantry Regiment: 1,700 men, split into I and II battalions of 850 men each
86th Infantry Regiment: 1,700 men, split into I and II battalions of 850 men each
49th Pioneer Battalion: 500 men, capable of mine-clearing and bridging operations
10th Motorcycle Infantry Battalion: 400 men
90th Reconnaissance Battalion: 24 armored cars
90th Panzerjaeger Battalion: 28 anti-tank guns
90th Flak Battalion: 26 flak guns
90th Artillery Regiment: 36 artillery pieces - 24 guns of the 10.5 cm type, split into two units of 12 guns each, and one unit of 15 guns of the 15 cm type
10th Panzer Division Headquarters: 100 men

For our first turn, we expect no hostiles on our side of the river, so the division, with everyone in “Travel mode” for maximum speed, surges forward, with the recon units out in front, the motorcycle infantry behind them, then the Panzers and motorized infantry, then everyone else.

Every hex is 1 km, and every turn is 2 hours, so we’ve advanced roughly 17 km, and Turn 2 will be at 0800 hours.


To order movement:

Left-click on the hex with the unit that you want to move

Then, click on the unit’s card in the sidebar to select the unit. The border will turn red to indicate that the unit has been selected. Alternatively, you can double-left-click on the hex, and all the units inside the hex will be selected.

Then, right-click on an adjacent hex to move the unit to that hex. Alternatively, you can left-click-and-drag to a more distant hex, and the game will use its AI to try and move the unit to that hex via the best path it can find.


Sep 26, 2009

Loyal to the End

A rousing chorus of the Panzerlied everyone.

How many Panzer Campaigns are there?

Sep 15, 2004

Obey the Beard

Slippery Tilde

e: see gradenko's list

Looking forward to seeing how this differs from the FWWC stuff.

Hypnobeard fucked around with this message at Mar 15, 2019 around 16:16

Oct 5, 2010

Lipstick Apathy

sniper4625 posted:

How many Panzer Campaigns are there?

Quite a lot:

Eastern Front:

Smolensk '41
Moscow '41
Kharkov '42 (covering the Soviet offensives in January and May)
Stalingrad '42
Moscow '42 (a hypothetical campaign supposing that the Germans used their '42 spring offensive to attack Moscow instead of heading for the Caucasus)
Rzhev '42 (Operation Mars)
Kharkov '43 (Manstein's "Backhand Blow")
Kursk '43
Minsk '44 (Operation Bagration)
Korsun '44
Budapest '45

Western Front:

Sealion '40 (a hypothetical campaign, of course)
France '40
Normandy '44
Market-Garden '44
Bulge '44

Mediterranean Front:

Tobruk '41 (also covering Operation Crusader)
El Alamein '42
Tunisia '43 (also covering the Kasserine Pass and the Mareth Line, but not the initial Torch landings)
Sicily '43
Salerno '43 (also covering Anzio, and the German invasion of Crete in 1941)

Oct 5, 2010

Lipstick Apathy

Turn 2 - 0800 hours, 1941-07-11

No Soviet activity spotted, so the inter-turn is quick and quiet

Before we proceed any further, we'll need to check if there are Soviet units on the other side of the spot we've chosen for the crossing.

First, we move the recon unit to this spot:

How did we know to move them there? First, go to the View menu, then the Shade sub-menu, then select Visible Hexes:

Once clicked, that will give us this view:

This means that we know that from this hex, units can see right across the river, and also two and even three hexes beyond.

But we also need to actually trigger the recon unit to do their reconnaissance. For that, go to the Command menu, then select Recon Spotting:

That will cause the recon unit to expend one-third of its MP, in exchange for attempting to spot enemy units within the visible hexes of its location.

We then get these results:

That's one infantry unit for sure, and two other units of unknown composition. Because recon spotting isn't a sure thing, we can order the recon unit to do it one more time, but it reveals no additional information, so we'll have to work with that.

(We then turn off the Visible Hexes shading, since we're done with it)

The next thing we do is move the motorcycle battalion here:

And then, before moving to adjacent to the Soviet unit, we change the unit's travel mode, from "in travel mode", to "not in travel mode". You can do this by either pressing 'T' while the unit is selected, or by using this button:

You'll then see that where previously the movement number was post-fixed with a "T", denoting that it was in travel mode, now it is not.

Also, a unit in Travel mode has a white bar running along the bottom of its counter:

While a unit not in Travel mode has no such bar:

Travel mode, as you might expect, allows the unit to travel faster and farther. The drawback is that units are far less capable in combat, and are much more vulnerable to damage.

In general, you want to not be in travel mode whenever you're in danger of, or are deliberately about to, engage in combat.

No longer in Travel mode, the motorcycle battalion moves the last hex to become adjacent to the spotted Soviet unit:

And finds that it is an infantry unit of the 110th RD, with xxx men. Fortunately, the battalion is not fired upon after the movement.

The I/7th Pz and the II/86th IR make a similar move - Travel mode all the way to the penultimate hex, then dropping out of travel mode, then moving into the final hex.

This time, the Soviets do shoot back, and the II/86th IR takes four casualties.

The reason why we want the motorcycle, tank, and infantry battalions to move to the river, even before we’ve set-up the bridge, is so that we can shoot at the Soviets, and hopefully either drive them away, or at least Disrupt them, in order to reduce the fire that the Pioneers will be taking as they try to set-up the bridge.

The I/86th IR moves up, but makes way for the Pioneer battalion to come through.

The Pioneer battalion moves up and drops out of travel mode, but does not have enough movement points to get adjacent to the river. We will have to wait for the next turn.

The recon battalion makes room for the II battalion of the 7th Pz. and the 69th IR, then those units move up as well

The anti-tank battalion moves up as well, and then the artillery regiment moves up to a railway siding, and then stops.

They stop because this is already puts them in range for the coming fight. Let's take a look at the artillery's unit card:

You see the 10 figure to the right of the slash-mark? That means that the artillery can fire at a range of up to 10 hexes away. If we measure that against the map:

That's 10 hexes, which covers most of the fighting we'll be doing as we make the crossing.

And, if you look closer, the 15 cm artillery battery (the top-most unit card) actually has a range of 13 hexes, which is even farther besides.

I then order the units to drop out of travel mode so that they can shoot, and the 10.5 cm batteries do it, but the 15 cm battery needs its full movement allowance just to change travel modes, so it can't do that and will have to wait until next turn.

Tactically, this is one of the big considerations with artillery during an offensive: do you set them down "earlier" so that they can shoot sooner but risk the fight overtaking their range, or do you set them down closer and let your forces go without artillery support for that much longer?

Finally, the flak and HQ unit move up as well.

Since we’re on the topic of ranges, let’s also take this time to talk about HQ command range. Looking at the command card for the 10th Panzer Division’s HQ:

The number 7, to the left of the slash-mark, represents the HQ range while the HQ is in travel mode.

The number 10, to the right of the slash-mark, represents the HQ range while the HQ is not in travel mode.

Without going too much further into the details of what this means right now, units need to be within command range in order to avoid running low on ammo, running low on fuel, and in order to recover from being Disrupted. At 7 hexes, the HQ can cover the whole division:

We will have to move the HQ closer later on, but for now this should be fine.

These are our final dispositions at the end of the turn:

Oct 5, 2010

Lipstick Apathy

Turn 3 - 1000 hours, 1941-07-11

During the inter-turn, gunfire was exchanged across the river. Our Pioneer battalion was shelled, while our turn deployed artillery fired on the spotted Soviets in turn.

On this turn, we’re going to engage in fire combat, but before anything else, some additional explanation must be given about movement points.

Consider the 10th Motorcycle Infantry Battalion:

At the start of the turn, its movement number is in white. This means that the unit has not moved, nor fired, nor done anything else, and has its full movement capability available.

We’ll order it to fire on the Soviet unit across the river. To do this, select the unit, then hold down the CTRL key, and right-click on the target (in the adjacent hex):

You’ll see a small explosion graphic representing the attack, followed by a read-out of the number of casualties inflicted, usually followed by returning fire from one or more other adjacent enemy units.

And then, you’ll also see that the movement read-out will have changed:

Now it’s in green, which means the unit has expended some of its movement, but can still conduct an assault. We’ll cover assaults later, but just remember for now that green means “can still assault”.

Let’s shoot at the Soviets again.

Now the movement read-out is in yellow, which means the unit can no longer assault, but can still fire.

Let’s shoot at the Soviets again.

Now the movement read-out is in orange, which means the unit cannot assault, and neither can it fire, but it might still be able to move.

In this case, the motorcycle battalion is down to 1 movement, so it can’t move either, but in some cases, you still can.

Continuing the effort, we’ll have I/7th Pz and II/86th IR also shoot at the Soviet unit

Just as the I/7th Pz expends its last movement, we get the result we’re looking for:

The Soviet unit is now Disrupted, which means its fire is reduced by half, it cannot assault, and it has a penalty when being assaulted itself.

The II/86th IR then takes just one shot at the Soviet unit, then moves back, to allow the Pioneer battalion to get adjacent to the river.

At this point, it is pertinent to explain that there is a stacking limit mechanic in this game. You can’t have more than 1,600 men (with a conversion/equivalence for vehicles) inside the same hex, and so I had to do that swap, because the game wouldn’t let me have the Panzers, and the infantry bn, and the Pioneer bn, all in the same hex at the same time.

Then, the II/86th IR changes back into travel mode. I will explain in a later turn why this was necessary.

Then, we take the first two batteries of the 90th Artillery and have them shell the Soviet unit.

III battalion, with the 15 cm guns, spends this whole turn changing out of travel mode

The only other thing left to be done is to have the flak battery and the HQ unit move up, to stack with the AT guns.

These are our final dispositions at the end of the turn:

Oct 5, 2010

Lipstick Apathy

Turn 4 - 1200 hours, 1941-07-11

During the inter-turn, the Soviets pull back from their side of the river, and we get some artillery fire that takes out a few Landsers and one tank from the I/7th Pz

The very first thing we do this turn is to select the hex where our Pioneers are, then click their unit card to select them, then click on the Engineer menu, then select Bridge Operations:

This brings up the Bridge Build dialog, which has us selecting the hex-side direction that we want the bridge to be built. We select up-right, as we had originally intended:

The Pioneer unit card now reads “Bridge Ops”. It will take them some time to set-up the bridge, so for now we will have to wait.

In anticipation of the bridge being built, I go ahead and set the I/7th Pz and the motorcycle infantry to travel mode.


Tactical note: you might not want to do this if you are having to make an opposed crossing, since travel mode will make your troops more vulnerable to fire. In such cases, either only set to travel mode the units that are going to make an immediate crossing, or go into travel mode on the same turn that the bridge is set-up.

Since we’ll be doing nothing else this turn, I’d like to take this opportunity to document the current status of our OOB - a unit that does not move, does not fire, does not do anything else, and is also not fired-upon will recover some of its fatigue, and may even also recover some casualties.

These ones highlighted in yellow are the ones we’ll be looking for out for - by the next turn, they should see their fatigue levels drop, and possibly also recover some losses.

These are our final dispositions at the end of the turn:

Oct 5, 2010

Lipstick Apathy

Turn 5 - 1400 hours, 1941-07-11

During the inter-turn, the Soviets move the disrupted infantry unit right back across the our planned crossing, while we get more artillery raining down on the II/86th, causing some more casualties.

On the upside, the Pioneers have completed the bridge:

You can see the small bridge icon on the upper-left of the Pioneer’s counter, and then the bridge symbol itself, and then Pioneer’s unit card reads “Has Bridge”.

Before anything else, let’s see how our OOB is doing:

The I/7th Pz was shot at during the inter-turn, so they gained a little fatigue.
The II/86th IR was shot at during the inter-turn, so they both took casualties and suffered fatigue.
The Pioneers did not recover any fatigue since they were busy constructing a bridge
The motorcycle infantry did not recover any fatigue since they shot back at the Soviets that moved back across the river
But the recon unit recovered one vehicle and is back to 100% strength

Once we get into the night turns and have to rest our men, we can look at this mechanic again.


Coming back to our situation, we now have the bridge set-up, but the Soviets are directly across from it. We would have to assault them in order to force our way through, but at the same time, units can only cross bridges while in travel mode.

Units in travel mode can still perform assaults, but suffer a penalty from doing so, which is why we would have to do maximize our chances by softening up the enemy units as much as possible before assaulting.

First, we order all of our artillery to bombard the enemy infantry.

Then, we’re going to try and use air power as our next mechanic to explore.

First, we select the hex that we want to target, then click the “Call Air Mission” button.

That brings up the Air Mission Dialog:

The first line item on the list, with the binoculars icon, is a recon mission - if we were using that, we’d select a hex that we want to “spot”, then call in the air mission and the Hs-126 recon planes would fly over the hex and give us spotting information similar to when we used the Recon Spotting ability of our recon battalion.

But we’re not using that. We’re going to use the second and third line-items - two Gruppes of Ju-87 dive bombers from Sturzkampfgeschwader 77.

We select the second line item for the I/StG 77, then click OK.

There is a nearby anti-aircraft unit that defends the Soviet infantry, but that does not stop the dive bombers from inflicting some 25 casualties.

We do it again - selecting the hex, then clicking the Call Air Mission button, then this time selecting the II/StG 77

This time we inflict even greater casualties: 43 men.

That’s all the fire support we can provide for now, so we then move towards setting-up the assault.

The Pioneers are currently stacked with the I/7th Pz. The Pioneers cannot participate in the assault, since they’re maintaining the bridge, but we don’t want the Panzers to assault all by themselves, since sending tanks unsupported by infantry will make them vulnerable to enemy infantry.

At the same time though, we can’t send our whole infantry battalions into the hex, because of stacking limits, so we have to find a smaller infantry force … which is the motorcycle infantry battalion, at only ~381 men.

We take the I/69th IR and move them back, so that the motorcycle infantry can move into the hex they just vacated (because again, stacking limits).

Then, we have the motorcycle infantry move back, then move forwards to stack with the Pioneers and the Panzers.

Notice that the motorcyclists have 55T MP remaining, and that the MP number is green. As we’ve previously discussed, that means they can still assault.

(we could not have the motorcyclists move directly south, since that would consume all of their MP in one go)

To order an assault, you’d select the hex, and then select the unit cards of the units to participate in the assault, and then right-click on the adjacent that you want to assault into.

This will bring up an Assault Status dialog box.

Since we’re playing with fog-of-war turned on, we can’t know the odds of the assault, and can really only guess, but we feel pretty good about our chances, even with the travel mode penalty, because the unit was already previously Disrupted, and we know we’ve inflicted a lot of casualties.

In different circumstances, the Assault Dialog box will provide you with some feedback as to why your ordered assault cannot or will not work.

We hit okay, and then the defender will have a chance to throw some defensive fire our way. In our case, no damage was done, but more powerful defenders can inflict casualties before the assault ever occurs, or even Disrupt units and cancel their participation in the assault.

The assault has not actually happened yet - because you can assault from multiple hex-sides, assaults have to be triggered separately. For now, notice that the participating units are outlined in yellow. If we had the chance, we could still add more units into the assault at this point.

In any case, once we’re all ready, the last step is to click the “Resolve Assault” button:

Our assault is successful! The Soviets are displaced, and our men advance. The figure to the left of the slash-mark is our own casualties, while the figure to the right of the slash-mark is the enemy’s casualties.

Because of zone-of-control rules and a lack of MP, we cannot order the units across the river to clear-out from the hex, and because of stacking limits, we cannot order any additional units to cross the river, so the only thing left to be done is to move additional units into the western bank of the river in preparation for a crossing next turn.

These are our final dispositions at the end of the turn:

May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!

Game and tutorial both lovely.

I can't believe I managed to play the Android version of Tiller's Vietnam game demo on my Phone

Oct 5, 2010

Lipstick Apathy

Turn 6 - 1600 hours, 1941-07-11

During the inter-turn, our river assault force was bombarded by artillery, and then the Soviets moved in two units to try and block our advance, while withdrawing the Disrupted infantry that we attacked the previous turn.

Because of ZOC rules, we cannot have the motorcycle infantry + I/7th Pz simply advance forwards - we’re going to need them to dislodge one of the Soviet infantry so that they can move out of the hex, and then we can send more battalions across the bridge.

The infantry to the north (yellow) is in a forest hex, which gives them a defense bonus.

The infantry to the southeast (cyan) is in a clear hex, which does not have a defense bonus. This clearly means we should be attacking the cyan unit.

Our first move is artillery bombardment, but notice how one of our batteries is reading as Unavailable. This means that they do not have sufficient ammo and cannot fire this turn. There’s nothing really to do in this regard except to wait for more supply, but it does mean that you shouldn’t fire off your artillery every turn just because you can, since you might end up not having any ammo when you really need it.

Anyway, the other two available batteries do shoot, and do inflict casualties, but we don’t get a Disruption just yet.

Next, we need to take our units out of travel mode, since they’re already across the river, and they need maximum combat power. This will draw opportunity fire if we do it right in front of the enemy, so keep that in mind.

Now, our two units are at green MP. I’ve gone through a couple of permutations of this turn, and our options are never optimal:

Since we didn’t get a disruption with the artillery, we still need to shoot at the infantry, but the green MP will turn to yellow if the units fire once before assaulting. Sending in just one of the units is dicey because the tanks would be unsupported, and the motorcycle battalion is a small force, but using both units to shoot and then assaulting the next turn would cost us time. Finally, we could attempt launching the assault as-is with both units, but then the Soviets would not yet be disrupted.

I really really want to get more troops across the river this turn, so we will take that last option - I’m relying on the high morale of our troops, the presumed lower morale of theirs, and tank support, to carry the day.

And … it doesn’t work. We lose one tank, and half as much men as they do, and neither they nor us are Disrupted. It seems we’ll have to wait for the next turn anyway.

The next thing we do is to move the II/7th Pz and the I/69th IR just across from the other Soviet infantry unit. The tanks even get to shoot this turn - I figure that we have two other infantry battalions that are waiting to cross, so in the meantime we can use these units to provide fire support.

We then move the II/69th IR closer to the river as well.

We also take the HQ out of travel mode. We do this because all of the HQ-related checks and effects are based on the distance from HQ, versus the HQ’s command range. Therefore, increasing the HQ’s command range (by taking them out of travel mode) will increase the chance of passing these checks, even if nothing else changes.

These are our final dispositions at the end of the turn:

Aug 14, 2009

Might it not have been better to push the beachhead north despite the trees?

Or does the forest provide more defensive bonuses than having two extra direct fire attacks could neutralise?

Oct 5, 2010

Lipstick Apathy

Pharnakes posted:

Might it not have been better to push the beachhead north despite the trees?

Or does the forest provide more defensive bonuses than having two extra direct fire attacks could neutralise?

It may well have been better, to do that, yes. I wasn't really sure either way.


Oct 5, 2010

Lipstick Apathy

Turn 7 - 1800 hours, 1941-07-11

The Soviets pulled back during their turn. I roughly know where they are, but I don’t have a precise fix.

We are now in Dusk conditions, which limits visibility

I decide to use our Recon air mission now, since the recon battalion is still in the back. As before, we select the target hex, click the Air Mission button, and then this time we select the recon planes, but they don’t yield any results? Oh well.

We move the I/7th Pz out to the northeast to try and scout and spot, and we find one of the Soviet units.

Then, we take the motorcycle battalion and try to look for an opening, and run into more Soviet infantry.

In both cases, we exchange fire and inflict casualties.

The II/86th IR crosses the bridge, gets out of travel mode, then secures our perimeter to the south.

The I/86th IR crosses and stacks with the Panzers, while the II/69th IR fills the gap between the Panzers and the motorcycle infantry

The II/7th Pz and the I/69th IR cross the river and move north

The recon battalion crosses and takes up position in the center of the developing line.

The flak battalion, the AT guns, and the divisional HQ dash across the river.

And then the artillery packs up and moves to cross the river also, with the 15 cm guns being left behind because it takes the whole turn for them to convert to travel mode.

This is a dusk turn, so the next turn is a night turn, and so we’ll probably have to bed down for the night (or as much as the Soviets will let us), but in the meantime I want as many forces to cross the river already as possible).

Now that we’ve actually crossed the river, this is our tentative operational plan:

The 86th IR and I bn of the 7th Pz will take the middle highway objective, while the 69th IR and the II bn of the 7th Pz will take the northern highway objective.

And then we’ll worry about the third objective to the south when we get there.

These are our final dispositions at the end of the turn:

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