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Subject: Panzer/tank Divisions in OCS games rss

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Keith Rose
United Kingdom
New Malden
Surrey
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I am new to this game series, being drawn to the scale of the engagements modelled (for me division/regiment/brigade level is the most interesting) and the key use of logistics in operational decisions.
I'm gradually getting to grips with the correct use of reserves, and the correct manipulation of the reaction/exploitation phases. However, what I would like some guidance on is the correct use of armoured formations. To date I have used German or Soviet armour as a single stack "blunt instrument" to break through an enemy line - is there a more subtle way of using the various combined arms (tank/infantry/anti tank & artillery) in a more realistic fashion in order to achieve success - either in attack or (occasionally) in defence?

Regards
Keith
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Peter Vrabel
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Probably.

One of the advantages of armoured units is their high movement rates. If you just drive them up to the enemy line and attack in the copmbat phase, you're not using one of their advantages.

You could try putting them in move mode, then reserve mode. Use artillery to DG a portion of the line, attack with infantry to blast a hole in the enemy line. Then in the exploitation phase, release the armoured units and drive deep behind the enemy lines and wreck their supply-lines/HQs/air-bases. Tip: Make sure you can get them back out. A entire division vanishing from attrition isn't funny.

This won't work so well if the enemy has mobile reserves, they'll just move to the area of your breakthrough and prevent any deep exploitation. Or perhaps they'll just smack your division when it tries to exploit and it's unsupported and vunerable. Tip: Have modile reserves, use them to counterattack enemy breakthroughs.
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Angela Sutton
United States
New York
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For a deep drive, when the resources are available, a useful way of thinking about this that I am experimenting with right now is the panzer corps. This is really designed for open-terrain offensives where the armor gets huge advantages in overruns. Three armored divisions can act in concert to attack multiple times in a turn - two in combat or move mode, depending on how far they have to go, and the third in reserve in move mode. The two active armor divisions find a weak spot in the enemy line and overrun it, opening a hole, and closing in on additional enemy units. Meanwhile, the reserve division uses its 25% movement phase MA to creep up on the line. During the combat phase, the active armor divisions continue to extend the flanks, hopefully earning exploit results. Finally, during the exploitation phase, the reserve stack swings into action and goes deep into the enemy supply chain through the hole opened up earlier, supported by whatever units earned exploitation mode. One of the divisions should strive to be free of enemy ZOC in order to go back into reserve mode the next turn and repeat the sequence. Keep in mind that this can burn something like 6-7 SP per turn (!) but it does build a pretty impressive dead pile of enemy units. If the terrain is unfavorable (rivers, large cities) the infantry needs to make the initial breakthrough or the armor will be stalled.
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