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Subject: "Siegfried Assault" strategy rss

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Tinweasel 2
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I've played the "Siegfried Assault" scenario three times, and I find it to be one of the best and most balanced scenarios from the base game. However, it is important for the German side to get the basic strategy right in order to have a fighting chance. Here are some thoughts.

1) Tanks. The Americans have a big numerical advantage here, but the German tanks have one thing going for them: Better range. As the German player, you will have to use that advantage. Don't hide the tanks behind the woods in an ambush, don't position them too close to the Americans. You'll want them on the level-2 hills on maps 1B/3B. Keep them close together to facilitate combined fire (though keep in mind artillery attacks).

Panzer IVs have a range of 8 versus vehicles; make that 9 if they are on a hill. At long range, they can hit a Sherman that is 18 hexes away. That means that they can hit almost anywhere on the map. Put them on OP fire; first Sherman that moves should be hit by a combined shot of 13 (Tank Ace) + 5 + 5 + 5 = 28 dice. If half-tracks make an active appearance, hitting them instead might be worthwhile if a squad is on board. That way, one target should be neutralized each round. It will take the Shermans quite some time to come close enough to shoot back. Try to identify the moment when directed fire becomes more opportune than OP fire (when Shermans are too afraid to move).

When the tank reinforcements come, move them onto the hills (map 3B) immediately to join the fray.

2) Machine Guns. It might be tempting to put one each into the bunkers on maps 4B and 12B. Don't do that. The Shermans will come too close too soon and just blow them away with their concussive firepower and combined fire. The MGs are best put into the entrenchments and the bunker on maps 1B and 3B. Always put them on OP fire and blast everything that moves. Versus squads, the MGs have a range of 5 (6 if on a hill). That is a long range of 12 hexes - covering just about anything that is east of maps 10B/6A/2A. MGs can combine fire when they OP fire - sometimes, you will roll 4 + 2 + 2 = 8 dice versus squads. Pay close attention to lines of sight.

Versus vehicles, the MGs still have a long range of 8. When on OP fire, it doesn't cost you anything to shoot approaching Shermans or half-tracks - you might get in a lucky hit.

3) Victory objectives. It is extremely tough for the German player to aim for a major victory. Normally, the aim should be a minor victory. The Americans have a big advantage in sheer numbers, plus they have the reinforcement deck. They will inevitably overwhelm Victory Objective 1 on map 12B (the forward position) and Victory Objective 2 on map 4B (the position in the middle). So don't bother to even defend them with any kind of vigor. Put a token squad into Objective 1 at the beginning to secure control, and then bail out as quickly as possible.

You can put maybe one to three squads near Objective 2 to put up a token resistance, but avoid the pillbox. A good position is the "invisible" square behind the pillbox on top of the hill. Due to the plateau rule, most enemies won't be able to see the unit, but it can fire at units that try to take Objective 2. Be prepared to give up Objective 2 soon initially.

The aim must be to weaken the heavily armored units enough so that Objective 2 can be retaken after the reinforcements arrive in round 5. The two German half-tracks with their two crack squads are predestined to do that. Note that American units who enter the pillbox in Objective 2 can be fired at using the Panzer IVs and the Tiger. So can units who do the same in Objective 1!

(A German major victory might be possible if the Americans neglect Objective 1 completely. Hide away a half-track behind the woods and be prepared to rush Objective 1 in the final two rounds when the Americans are occupied elsewhere.)

4) German reinforcements. The Germans only have a tiny contingent of troops in comparison to the Americans. They absolutely _want_ Objective 1 to be taken by the Americans before the end of round 3 in order to get the three draws from their reinforcement deck. Therefore, it does not make any sense to defend Objective 1 at all. In fact, the American player should strongly consider putting off taking Objective 1 till after round 3 in order to deny the German player his much-needed reinforcements. It is a question of whether the American player is prepared to make do without the additional 2 command points Objective 1 would grant him in the meantime.

5) German troops. The Americans' advantage is such that exposed German squads west of the woods on maps 7B/9B will be chaff before the wind. Instead of exposing them, hide them away behind the woods for maximum impact. Let them OP fire at close range when the Americans try to move through the woods. If the American player goes for a minor victory himself and avoids the woods, hit Objective 2 from the flank with them.

I'd be curious to hear other players' thoughts on this scenario.

Other articles on this scenario:

Henri Harju's session report
Doug Palmer's session report part I
Doug Palmer's session report part II
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Willem Boersma
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Very good report above.

The quote below, though i agree entirely, seems very weird: to purposely allow the Americans to take objective 1 so you'll get the reinforecements. It might make more sense the other way around: if the Germans can hold it till round X they get those reinforecements! The reaosning behind that would be that the German commanders see that it's worthwhile to try and hold on at this point of the frontline as they seem to be putting up a stiff resistance.

4) "German reinforcements. The Germans only have a tiny contingent of troops in comparison to the Americans. They absolutely _want_ Objective 1 to be taken by the Americans before the end of round 3 in order to get the three draws from their reinforcement deck. Therefore, it does not make any sense to defend Objective 1 at all. In fact, the American player should strongly consider putting off taking Objective 1 till after round 3 in order to deny the German player his much-needed reinforcements. It is a question of whether the American player is prepared to make do without the additional 2 command points Objective 1 would grant him in the meantime".

 
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