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Bmbm

Starting Monday: The Hardest Campaign Yet

324 posts in this topic

Hey all. Here's a small primer for Campaign 159 to give you a heads-up on what's brewing.

Welcome to the hardest campaign yet.

Spawn lists are now balanced against equal budgets per tier, and apportioned according to TO&E (Table of Organisation and Equipment) in roughly historical ratios. The numbers have been adjusted for gameplay and equality in some respects, such as for engineers and sappers. Numbers are ballpark equal in terms of bayonets/dismounted infantry and also pretty much equal in terms of aircraft and naval platforms - reflective of a well-oiled deep supply chain. 

Some differences will be noted between factions. These represent national characteristics and doctrine, such as the higher ratio of automatic weapons vs bolt-action rifles for the Axis and the greater dependence on infantry tanks for the Allies. What one side may lack in one respect is redressed in another - be it armor thickness, gun caliber, bomb weight, optics or speed -  the trick here is to apply teamwork, to use your gear to best effect and to dictate the terms of engagement. Do not expect equality. Expect diversity.

The fundamental change from previous campaigns is the return to differentiated units: armor brigades are more armor heavy, infantry brigades are more infantry and anti-tank heavy than ever. In the air, fighter brigades and bomber brigades are also more pronounced according to their type, with but marginal ground-fighting potential. Naval and HQ units contain a sprinkling of everything for basic sustenance but can not be expected to for hold long against a full brigade.

These changes have been made to increase the WW2 flavor that is unique to this game, to give a whiff of the challenges soldiers faced in the real event. Challenge is what makes gameplay interesting: it is drama and desperation, it is the basis for opportunity and accomplishment. 

The decision to separate armor from infantry will - hopefully - lead to more infantry fights, more of that "oh sheet" feeling when the armor arrives and likely some amount of resupply and interdiction going on in the rear. We want intense battles in the towns but we also want engaging gameplay in the hinterlands: low-level recon flights, sneak ambushes, armor duels and company-size armor columns. 

The challenge for High Command is to use the armor wisely: the armor brigade is weak on infantry and should not be frittered away in line defense - keep it in reserve and only bring it forward when you really want, or need, to make your presence felt.

What to expect in Tier 0 (1940)

In the air
L’Armée de l’Air gets a few Curtiss H-81, whereas the Luftwaffe sees the introduction of the 109-F2 in small numbers. The RAF gets a gaggle of Spits and Hurris - no surprise there.

BEF Armor
The bulk of British armor comprises A13 and Vickers light tanks, with but a few Matildas as blunt and heavy instrument. 

German Armor
Plenty PzII, fewer Pz38(t) and PzIII-F core with PzIV-D and Stug3B stiffening. A hard tier that will require Flak 36 and Stuka cooperation for the Heer to survive and prosper. Blitzkrieg in France is a gamble, just like it was!

French Armor
This is the only tier where indigenous French armor has a fighting chance. There’s plenty of cavalry tanks and good supply of B1bis heavy hitters - but the 2-man turrets poses a tactical challenge and speed is not the French’s strong suit. The French tank force was a fearsome instrument in 1940, and it is so here too!

Infantry
German infantry brigades have a slight edge in automatic weapons. A few Pak 38 antitank guns is the ace card, beside the venerable Flak 36. Also, the Sdkfz 251 makes an early debut. For the French, a few Mas40 semiautomatic rifles have found their way into the inventory and they also get some support from R35 infantry tanks. The British infantry brigades have their particular ace: Matilda infantry tanks, produced in considerable numbers and doctrinally attached to the foot-sloggers for support. 

We'll get back with more intel on what's in store for tier1 and tier2 as they approach - in the mean time, 

Have a wonderful battle!

(and as always, if you find a glaring error do please let us know and we’ll do our best to correct it)

 

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Well, that's going to be very interesting to play through.  Hopefully I get some time in during T0.

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Think team work is going to be a very big factor here.  Sounds fun.

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1 hour ago, Bmbm said:

The decision to separate armor from infantry will - hopefully - lead to more infantry fights, more of that "oh sheet" feeling when the armor arrives and likely some amount of resupply and interdiction going on in the rear.

Man, I've wanted this for soooo many years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

FINALLY.

 

French armor gonna be a hell of a challenge in Tier 0, and I love that they get some mas 40s. The changes to German and British inf brigs are also WONDERFUL.

Honestly, this is my dream Tier 0.

I've been playing this game since ~2001, and this is one of the single best forum threads I've seen in all those years.

Love it. S! 

Edited by xanthus
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Nice attempt to introduce some diversity in the old tier system. I hope it will lead to increased cooperation across different branches. 

One problem though with the "blitzkrieg " approach to T0 for the Axis.  That would work only if one can actually place AO's on rear towns, thus flanking and bypassing heavily defended frontline towns. Otherwise, al of this talk about blitzkrieg is just doctrine, with little relevance on the field. Axis armor gameplay will get even more imbalanced in T0. We had plenty of oh "sheet" moments when the Matilda's arrived in a town before, I guess now, that they are produced in considerable numbers, the oh sheet factor will increase some. 

Also, as a side note, are the bombs fixed? I did not play in a long time, but from what I gather in the Hangar, there are some problems with bombs killing armor lately? Can a RAT please chime in here? 

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24 minutes ago, bogol said:

Also, as a side note, are the bombs fixed? I did not play in a long time, but from what I gather in the Hangar, there are some problems with bombs killing armor lately? Can a RAT please chime in here? 

They do kill, and on a good direct hit, they pretty much kill everything ground in 1 shot, i have not tried single hit on DD yet

But, they are not the easily guaranteed thing they were before the audits.
Previously the bombs were kind of like big freefalling APHE (and kinda sucked VS soft targets also) they simply penetrated everything
Now they are operating as GP and MC bombs as they are supposed to.

The concussion model could use some reviewing as it could probably work better, but that is not a function of the bomb itself, it is simply
an external thing the bomb uses, kind of like gravity if that makes sense?

But even as the current concussion modeling sits, you will hurt things even if you miss.
The lighter the thing, the farther away you can miss, the more heavily it is armored, the closer you need to be to hurt it.
The heaviest armored units, you might not outright kill in a miss, but you can break them.
Blow tracks off etc.

Improved concussion may up the anty on that some

For light targets, if you hit the general area, you stand a good chance to wreck them
If you want to hit infantry, keep your alt off the ground around 750m, and it may help to bank hard immediately after the drop
so as not to fly out of the area and unload the ground targets, until something can be worked on to give a better solution so you can go up higher


 

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41 minutes ago, bogol said:

Axis armor gameplay will get even more imbalanced in T0.

It is as it was, in terms of technology. We can’t change that or invent fantasy vehicles to create a (false) balance. Both sides have specific advantages/disadvantages that switch back and fro - if and how they are leveraged is up to the players.

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You don't ever ask "when" without getting the "SoonTM" answer.

We've broken the code for that particular issue so I expect it "soon", as in when we've verified it as functional. It will bring all sorts of goodness with it.

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1 hour ago, xanthus said:

Man, I've wanted this for soooo many years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

FINALLY.

 

French armor gonna be a hell of a challenge in Tier 0, and I love that they get some mas 40s. The changes to German and British inf brigs are also WONDERFUL.

Honestly, this is my dream Tier 0.

I've been playing this game since ~2001, and this is one of the single best forum threads I've seen in all those years.

Love it. S! 

I feel the same way. Well done CRS, keep it up. 

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23 minutes ago, Bmbm said:

You don't ever ask "when" without getting the "SoonTM" answer.

We've broken the code for that particular issue so I expect it "soon", as in when we've verified it as functional. It will bring all sorts of goodness with it.

Lol, hope springs eternal. 

Good to here it’s past the planning stage and implementation has started, although who knows what gremlins you will uncover. 

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57 minutes ago, Bmbm said:

It is as it was, in terms of technology. We can’t change that or invent fantasy vehicles to create a (false) balance. Both sides have specific advantages/disadvantages that switch back and fro - if and how they are leveraged is up to the players.

Yes, and my point was that mobility is more or less pointless unless you can AO towns behind enemy lines. What is the side that has mobility have to gain? In principle, the ability to bypass heavy defensive strongholds and encircle them.

If that is not a solution that the RATs are willing to entertain, then, perhaps timers to move brigades should be tuned in a side specific manner to better reflect the mobility of equipment. Otherwise, I really fail to see how the main strategic reason why the axis chose to focus on faster, less armored tanks early on during the war is relevant in regards to game play. 

Edited by bogol

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Great direct! I'm excited to give this a try. I think he most important thing done here is that this was clearly announced beforehand and that there is a reasonable rationale why things were chosen that way.

I would recommend putting that up as a message when players spawn into the game since many don't read the forums.

S!

 

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1 minute ago, bogol said:

Yes, and my point was that mobility is more or less pointless unless you can AO towns behind enemy. What is the side that has mobility have to gain?

...

Otherwise, I really fail to see how the main strategic reason why the axis chose to focus on faster, less armored tanks early on during the war is relevant in regards to game play. 

It is very relevant. Try to get a Char or R35 from an FB into position outside an enemy town without them being able to set up a good ATG defense. Very hard to do. Then try to do that if air recon spots your tank... Impossible.

Believe it or not this is very similar how it was on Day 1. That is why most Axis attacks used aggressive 88 tactics with our tanks acting to support the 88s.

I would bet if you asked most players today how to attack a town with tabls and 88s they would tell you the exact opposite.

Adapt and overcome! S! 

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25 minutes ago, bogol said:

Yes, and my point was that mobility is more or less pointless unless you can AO towns behind enemy lines. What is the side that has mobility have to gain? In principle, the ability to bypass heavy defensive strongholds and encircle them.

It will become more of an advantage than it is now come 1.36
as you will be able to move faster into the interdiction zone and cut support from the rear town.

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2 hours ago, aismov said:

Believe it or not this is very similar how it was on Day 1. That is why most Axis attacks used aggressive 88 tactics with our tanks acting to support the 88s.

 

Yes indeed! This was the cornerstone of Axis battlefield doctrine back in the day.

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History:

It was the British that "chose to focus on faster, less armored tanks early on during the war".

It was also the British who thought tanks would fight tanks.

That's why the British had a whole class of "cruiser tanks" with guns with no HE. Doctrine said they weren't supposed to need HE. Reality differed, but for the early war British, doctrine ruled.

The Germans had so many PzKpfW I and II because they were so far behind at actually manufacturing tanks. Those tanks were state of the art for infantry support within the restrictions on what the Germans were able to build, when they were put into production. German built so many of them because they couldn't have enough of the III ready to go in time for Czechoslovakia and Poland. Infantry support is what the Germans expected tanks to be used for. 

Not all the Germans. Not Guderian and the visionaries. But, the high command.

PzKpfW III was envisioned as an infantry support tank, with its initial short 37mm gun.

PzKpfW IV was envisioned as an infantry support tank, with its initial short 75mm gun.

The "assault gun" moniker for StuG III, with its initial short 75mm gun, referred to infantry assaults. StuG III was just a mobile version of the iG 18 75mm infantry gun, better able to be used for direct fire against MG-armed strongpoints.

What the Germans were better at than the French and British was quickly battlefield-adapting their incorrect strategic plans to fit the facts that were in front of the tactical commanders. 

Edited by jwilly
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7 hours ago, Bmbm said:

BEF Armor
The bulk of British armor comprises A13 and Vickers light tanks, with but a few Matildas as blunt and heavy instrument. 

Infantry
The British infantry brigades have their particular ace: Matilda infantry tanks, produced in considerable numbers

Certainly doesn't sound historically driven.

Why any Matildas in British armored units? Such units doctrinally at this early war stage should be all cruisers and lights.

And, where does "produced in considerable numbers" come from? The usual historical understanding is that there were 23 Matilda II on the continent (and none in England) at battle start...some of which were CS.

 

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1 hour ago, jwilly said:

What the Germans were better at than the French and British was quickly battlefield-adapting their incorrect strategic plans to fit the facts that were in front of the tactical commanders. 

And the "why were the Germans better?" answer for this goes centuries back.   German martial prowess (and their tactical and strategic flexibility) was a culmination of both their environment and their ethos as a people.  It's fascinating.  

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1 hour ago, jwilly said:

And, where does "produced in considerable numbers" come from? The usual historical understanding is that there were 23 Matilda II on the continent (and none in England) at battle start...some of which were CS.

Tier 0 is all of 1940. I don't have the number handy but the British produced far more than the 23 Matilda IIs that went with BEF to France. 3000 produced altogether, but that's into 1941. So yes, a considerable number. Tier 0 is not merely six weeks in May, it's all of that year.

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