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Guderian's Blitzkrieg II» Forums » General

Subject: Does the German ever use artillery? rss

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Mike Metcalf
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Beautiful game and system but I've found that attempting to use German artillery to barrage costs so many SPs that it has yet to be cost-effective to use them. Even infantry attacks are so costly as to make one think twice before assaulting with them. Pretty much a novice at this game so any ideas as to artillery/infantry use as the German attacker would be welcome.
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Darrell Hanning
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Your conclusions parallel mine. I brought up the same concerns about a year ago - pointing out that the German armor and mech do all the work,while the infantry (and the artillery, too) sit around and watch. Doesn't strike me as a particularly realistic simulation of combat.

I think when you run the full campaign it isn't as bad, but yes - artillery in particular seem to be a terribly inefficient usage of SPs, except in isolated cases. Most of them just seem to sit there and rust.

It hasn't seemed so acute in The Blitzkrieg Legend: The Battle for France, 1940, and that might be at least partially attributable to my increased experience with the OCS system, but still...
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Bill Lawson
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I only use it attacking if its a hex I have to have and my Luftwaffe didn't come through. Keeping artillery units in reserve to fire in the reaction phase against any potential Russian attacks is basic OCS tactics. Artillery is the weakest point in an overall excellent design (OCS).
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Darrell Hanning
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billyboy wrote:
I only use it attacking if its a hex I have to have and my Luftwaffe didn't come through. Keeping artillery units in reserve to fire in the reaction phase against any potential Russian attacks is basic OCS tactics. Artillery is the weakest point in an overall excellent design (OCS).


It wouldn't be so difficult to get them more into the action - just shift the supply point cost 2 or 3 columns downward, for the barrage strength you're using. However, as a ramification of that, the effects might have to be ameliorated some, as artillery will suddenly gain a significantly greater impact on combat.
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Bill Lawson
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ASLNoob wrote:
How was German artillery used in the actual battle that is portrayed?

If the Germans made copious use of their artillery in reality but the OCS version of the battle discourages the use of artillery then the system has a problem.

If your design goal required the use of two types of supply then that's what should have been used. I fear that a lot of ahistorical oddities in the play of OCS arise from using the same generic "supply" for armor, infantry and artillery.


The Germans were rationing artillery shells much of the time. The designer has expressed many times that he does not want to increase the complexity of the game by separating out fuel and ammo supply.
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Martin Gallo
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Balanced, planned and careful attacking works better in OCS than a sledgehammer approach of attacking willy-nilly.
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Erwin Lau
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This issue was fixed in Baltic Gap in which Russian depends on infantry and artillery to attack.

If it is not fixed here that means it doesn't need to fix.

Using Infantry to attack village/city and crossing major river is an important tactic. (Everyone loves the Grossdeutschland I.R. in The Blitzkrieg Legend: The Battle for France, 1940, right?)
1SP for a 4-step 20-4-3 I.D. to attack village/city is not expensive compare to using using 3 or 4 units of a panzer div to do the same thing.

Just my two cents
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Austin Richards
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The impression I get is that historically, the German infantry never really caught up in the 1941 campaign. 1942, did they do much attacking before the streets of Stalingrad? It was armor that led the charge at Kursk, right?

They supply levels would have to be different to simulate, for example, the arty-heavy US style of attacking across France, but keeping supply low and arty a tough choice to use is probably appropriate. I've never played GBII, FWIW.
 
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Mike Metcalf
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Thanks for all the discussion and informative opinions. As a novice German, I have mostly used the panzers to surround Russians and (except for the damn tree-bark) starve them out of their successive fortified lines (I'm running the northern flank) towards Moscow. I'm now about 10-12 hexes from Moscow and opportunities for surrounding Soviets are about gone so will have to selectively find a way through those fortifications/villages/towns/city with infantry. The supply will, of course, not be there to do so. The experienced OCS player (Soviet) tells me that using panzers to attack now will be counter-productive and lead to large losses among those units. I say, to heck with that, let those panzers earn their keep.
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Miikka Rytty
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I might be wrong, but I remember reading that the intrinsic artillery units are calculated into combat values and infantry combat supply costs. Using SPs to "fuel" artillery represents the times where there are extra artillery support with extra shells.

This, of course, doesn't change the fact that Germans rarely have extra supply for artillery strikes.
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Darrell Hanning
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eaglevet wrote:
Thanks for all the discussion and informative opinions. As a novice German, I have mostly used the panzers to surround Russians and (except for the damn tree-bark) starve them out of their successive fortified lines (I'm running the northern flank) towards Moscow. I'm now about 10-12 hexes from Moscow and opportunities for surrounding Soviets are about gone so will have to selectively find a way through those fortifications/villages/towns/city with infantry. The supply will, of course, not be there to do so. The experienced OCS player (Soviet) tells me that using panzers to attack now will be counter-productive and lead to large losses among those units. I say, to heck with that, let those panzers earn their keep.


Yeah, you bring up an excellent point. It's all fine and well to state that the mech should be primarily used to encircle and isolate, but you can only do that when the enemy isn't shoulder-to-shoulder.

And once they are shoulder-to-shoulder, due to reinforcements or reduced width of a front, you're right back at the initial problem - not enough supply to have your infantry do anything but poke here or there.

If the designers stated that artillery was factored into the the CRT, or the combat strength of the units, I guess I could buy that. (Except how does that work for the artillery units that are reinforcements?)
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Keith Walton
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When the front stabilises the German will not be spending supply to fuel the panzers every turn, so he can build up and then be able to assault a Russian line with infantry, assault guns and artillery,, as well as the luftwaffe. Then the panzers, kept in reserve, are available to exploit and hopefully rupture the defensive line. As Bill mentions earlier,, keeping some German artillery in reserve, and some supply to fire it, can be a life saver when the luftwaffe are grounded.
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Keith Walton
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I would only use internal supply in the most desperate of situations. It is expensive to replenish,, and the replenishment cannot be avoided..
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Mike Metcalf
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like to mention to Keith that assaulting with infantry (even after accumulting SP's) is every bit as frustrating as before with artillery. As most Soviet units manning a line (likely featuring hedgehogs) will be 2-steppers and therefore will be very hard to kill outright. If not killed outright, there goes your armor exploits 'rupturing' the line. German infantry are often a 4 action rating versus a 2 fo the Soviets - not likely to produce high odds attacks or surprises that kill many Soviet steps. Luftwaffe attacks are the only key to this puzzle but they cannot be everywhre.

Love the system but supply needs a re-work to sepaate fuel from other supply. To those who might say it is too complicated, I'd say "are you kidding, supply is already complicated enough. One more layer of complication is not going to matter".
 
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Jim F
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I have thought that a simple solution to the problem would be for the artillery to have a free first fire then be marked with exhausted ammo. If you have an army with historically abundant supplies like the US then they could go low ammo after the first free shot, exhausted ammo after a second free shot.

Then if they want to fire again, at this point they have to use supplies.

The supplies levels of the game might have to be altered but it's a lot easier than the nightmare of separating fuel and ammo.
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Not sure why people think it would be a "nightmare" to have separate artillery supply.

If you have any of the older OCS titles, they had tan supply counters instead of white. You could simply add some extra tan supply tokens/points to the white ones received every turn, say 1/4 or whatever of the normal supply received, and consider it artillery-only combat supply, and use the tan supply markers for that purpose. Similarly you could designate the tan markers as artillery/infantry combat supply, and continue to let the white counters count as "everything" supply.

Other than possibly adding a few trucks to carry it, I don't see what the big deal would be. It wouldn't require any more rules, and since it couldn't be used for eating off the map, it shouldn't change the nature of operations very much, other than making it somewhat easier for infantry and artillery to attack, which is the whole point.
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