General Strategy for German long campaign:

By beaglehead_2 (send comments to beaglehead_2 at hotmail.com)

Note that I played PG2 using Ray Schroder's equipment file; but if you use the
original equipment file, you can just alter a bit of the strategy and it'll be
fine.
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This strategy guide contains:
- A potentially good force composition for the German long campaign
- Principles on upgrading and overstrengths
- Useful leaders discussion
- Milking as much prestige as you can legally
- The force composition I have in each scenario, and battle tips and comments.
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I'm thinking of posting up a ZIP file of my savegames at the start of each
battle on the web; so you can see the development of the core force starting
from Poland all the way to 1945.
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My campaign force composition (pretty much stays put once I got in place). This
is of course at the end of the war. Some might wonder that my force composition
below is a bit too expensive and whether I am cheating. Well, I'll explain on
how to do this without cheating. Note that I play with the default (100)
prestige ratio.

8 tanks (all Panther Gs)
6 infantry (all Engineers)
4 (up to 6) towed artillery, all 17 K18s
2 or 3 self-propelled artillery, all Hummels
2 recons (up to 4), whatever type
6 fighters, Me-262s, or at least FW-190a's
6 bombers, all Ju-87Ds except maybe one HS-129

Facts & Reasons:

- No anti-tank units: They're slightly cheaper and often more powerful than
tanks. However, tanks have Overrun attacks, and you may not appreciate this
until you see a tank running over 5 previously weakened units. Also, unless
your ATs have leaders, they cannot fire at enemy tanks of equivalent power
without taking a good punishment first.

- No air defense: What's air defense? With 6 of the latest, experienced fighter
units; the only problem you'll ever have is in scenarios like Windsor 1943 and
both Invasion USA scenarios.

- 8 tanks: That means you can split it up nicely into 2 battle groups or 2 main
+ 1 small battle groups.

- 6 infantry: To some players this is a bit short, but since your artillery is
your anti-infantry weapon of choice (your infantry only finishes off weakened,
yet entrenched enemy infantries), then you don't need as many.

- 4 towed artillery: Each battle group usually has two artillery. Why two per
group? So they can finish off enemy an artillery/AD in one turn if both of them
shoot at it. Also, two artilleries next to each other are great deterrent
against enemy infantry counter-attacks (if the artilleries haven't moved).

- 2 self-propelled artillery: They don't have much ammo so their use is
actually defensive. Put a Hummel in the middle of your battlegroup and no sane
enemy infantry will try to counterattack.

- 6 fighters. I'm a believer in air supremacy, make no bones about it. My air
force can blast out anything in the sky and that at worst my ground units only
get bombed twice in a scenario. However, since fighters are much more expensive
in PG2 and the enemy usually only has 3-4 flying objects per scenario, this
means with 6 fighters I usually have air superiority to start with.

- 6 bombers. Imagine 6 flying artilleries. Heh heh. Except when it snows. But
then that means you just have to "borrow" extra artillery (meaning: Buy them
just for this scenario, and then "sell" them back).

- 2 recons: With my strategy, they're necessary to spot enemy artillery/AD
units because I need to know where to position my towed artilleries to hit
them. Also, recons are very useful in taking non-essential victory hexes (40
points each). Even if they get killed in a scenario, the battlefield
intelligence + the extra points they provide justify the cost. After all you
don't want to use your core units to take non-essential objectives. In scenario
like Nordwind, I had up to 7 recons operating (which explains why I've taken
every objective save two in that scenario). Of course, just sell back those
recons after you finished that scenario.
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Upgrade paths:

The key is: Upgrade as rarely as possible; and if possible, get units types
that you know you're not going to upgrade. Also, if you get a unit with 1 star
of experience, don't bother upgrading that unit; just disband it and buy a much
more powerful rookie unit of that class. Example: If you have a one-star
PzIIIH, sell it, and buy yourself a new Tiger.

Which unit to upgrade first? If I can't upgrade all units in a class (eg all
tanks) at once, then I upgrade the least experienced unit first. Strange huh? I
completely understand the argument for the other side. My argument is this: A
5-star veteran with a PzIIIH can hold its ground against KV-1 tanks; but KV-1s
will run over a rookie PzIIIH. So by giving them better equipment, they stand
more chance of fighting well when you put them in the front line (and they gain
experience quicker too).

Artillery is not worth an upgrade except maybe the transport upgrade. The
difference between a 5-star artillery vs rookie artillery is not as great as
5-star tank vs green tank. Same goes for recon; in fact, I could use PSW 231
until the war is over.

Tanks: The Poland scenario, I buy Pz38s (or PzIIIE if you want, but note Pz38s
spotting range is 3). Since that tank is relatively cheap I buy as much as
possible to get up to 6 Pz38s. I do not upgrade or buy any more tanks until
PzIIIH is available. Then I upgrade it all to PzIIIH and buy 2 more PzIIIH. The
reason I don't use the early PzIVs is that PzIIIH has higher initiative and
that they're powerful enough to knock out weakened infantry anyway. Besides,
the early PzIVs are more expensive, have less initiative, and will run into
trouble against enemy tanks. Do not upgrade until you get Tiger I. Make sure
you've saved enough prestige at the end of a scenario (over 3,000) to upgrade
all 8 tank to Tigers en masse. Imagine the look in the Brits' face in Windsor
1943 when I brought 8 overstrength Tigers....

Why not upgrade to a PzIVF2 or PzIVG even if they're available earlier? Because
Tigers are more expensive than Panther G. So when Panther Gs are available, you
get to "upgrade" your Tigers for free! However, if you upgraded to a PzIV
first, then you have to fork over more prestige to get Panther Gs.

Why the Panther G is the ultimate German tank: Fast, kicks ass, well-armored,
and has the most fuel of all heavy tanks, which means it can keep up with the
rest of your army unlike the other Tigers/Panthers. With a leader that has
double-aggressive-maneuver, it moves at 8. And best of all, Panther Gs are free
if upgrading from Tiger I.

Infantry: Buy the best at first and stick with it. You don't need that many
infantry anyway so you can afford quality. I buy only engineers, period, even
if I can get 2 infantry for the same price. And if I can't buy it, minimum
infantry I buy is Waffen SS or grenadier. All infantry have trucks unless it's
in Nordwind where it's snowy in a forest, you'll need half-tracks.

Towed artillery: Buy the longest-ranged artillery when possible. Don't worry
about hard attack since artillery is anti-infantry anyway; let your tanks and
bombers nail enemy tanks. Good ammo capacity is necessary for an artillery used
for this purpose, so it rules out Nebelwerfers. That being said, I try to buy
15 sFH 18s; and then upgrade later to 17 K18 when possible. A 17 K18 outranges
all but the heaviest Allied artillery, which means you can pound them with
impunity.

Self-propelled artillery: unfortunately early on the Germans don't quite shine
in this area; sIGs have pitiful range of 2, that's barely any protection.
However, when the Hummel comes along, this kicks ass. Don't bother upgrading to
Hummels. Just disband the old sIG when a newer sIG or a Hummel arrives.

Fighter: Well everyone starts with Me-109e. I only have 2 or 3 at most until
FW-190a is available. Then I upgrade the existing Me-109s and start buying a
FW-190a at the beginning of each scenario until I get 6. No need to upgrade
until Me-262s come along (and then only if you've upgraded everything else).
Getting Me-262s is not a top priority because 6 elite FW-190a units usually can
kick ass with the best of them.

Bomber: Well everyone gets Ju-87Bs at first, which is fine. I then upgrade the
experienced Ju-87Bs or sell less-experienced ones and replace them with
Ju-87Ds. No need to upgrade any of them because a 5-star Ju-87Ds can lop off
almost anything. You may want to have one HS-129 as a specialized anti-AD or
anti-tank bomber if you wish.

Recon: No upgrades. Just sell it and buy something newer. PSW 231s work fine
until the end of the war. Recons are not in my army to fight. They're there to
provide a weak screen, see enemy units, and take minor objectives.
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Overstrengthening principles:

Overstrengthening is less important than upgrades so upgrades should be
performed first.

Early on, tanks are cheaper than engineers and so you overstrength tanks first
because overstrengthening them don't cost as much as overstrengthening an
engineer unit. Tanks are also harder to destroy in general (duh).

I don't even bother overstrengthening my engineer infantry; because it's
expensive and even an elite overstrength engineer is likely to take damage in a
hand-to-hand combat against enemy regulars (unless the engineer's got
first-strike leader). Artilleries and tanks also are occupational hazards to my
engineers, but less so against my tanks. Let artilleries weaken enemy infantry
for you, so your 10-strength engineer can usually handle the left-over. I
overstrengthen infantry only after I finished upgrading everything else, and
that means mid-to-late 1944. Or if you go Savannah, I spent the prestige points
somewhere else, like buying extra fighters.

Artillery & bombers: Overstrengthen them when possible and protect them well so
you don't have to keep doing it.
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Useful Leaders:

Of course, leaders are nice addition no matter what they are. But some skills
are better than others, especially if a certain class of unit gets that random
ability:

Tanks, infantry, planes, bombers with first-strike are definitely nice. I've
been lucky to get 2 first-strike engineers in a campaign. Boy were they nasty.
Devastating fire is nice for anyone.

Artillery: 15-strength 15 sFH 18 artillery with Marksman + Devastating Fire
leader. Double the firepower, baby! Can severely weaken an infantry
fortification in one turn from long distance. If you need even more range and
oomph, upgrade to 17 K18.

Tank: A tank with an Aggressive Maneuver + Superior Maneuver leader. Preferably
15-strength. Preferably a Panther G too. This tank I put in the front line to
take out enemy artilleries or ADs. After the AD is gone, everyone else gets
bombed to death.

Bomber: Bomber with Skilled Assault + All Weather is great in some of those
more snowy scenarios. Or a bomber with Recon movement is great too, you get a
flying recon vehicle now (Watch out for "out of the sun"s though!). Or, an
elite HS-129 bomber with Resilience is nice because I can use it to try to
weaken a powerful enemy AD unit.

Fighter with Skilled Interceptors are definitely nice, more so if they have
recon movement.
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Weaknesses & pitfalls to watch for:

1. In between the arrival of PzIIIH & the Tiger, my tanks were undergunned
against the Matilda IIs and KV tanks. Leave them alone until your bomber has a
chance to pound them first; and this is why you want 3 tanks in a battlegroup,
to overpower a Matilda II.
2. Sometimes your bomber can get surprised if the enemy buys a fighter and
attacks an unprotected bomber because you think you've wiped out all enemy
fighters.
3. You start slower early on, so even though you want brilliant victories, you
can't afford to lose any of your core units. This requires that you almost make
no mistakes (eg walking your infantry into the range of two enemy artilleries,
ouch!)
4. In some scenarios, there will be cases where I wish I had an extra AD unit
(when I face strong enemy air opposition and each of my air unit only has
strength 3 or 4)
5. Overconfidence. Despite my tone in this strategy guide, this force is not
invincible. Can't just win by brute force alone (though with a Panther G, it is
tempting).
6. Bad weather. For a force that has 6 bombers, bad weather like in Klin or
Nordwin will just rain on your parade. :( Of course, if it somehow cleared up
during a few crucial turns, the enemy's going to really get it)
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How to get more prestige legally:

You always want brilliant victories. Besides, using my army formula above with
a good strategy, it is rare than I only get a victory or a tactical victory.
The only time I get less than brilliant victory is on purpose (eg in Dunkirk
because I don't want to go to Windsor 1940, which I consider winnable at a very
high cost) or bad weather (Klin).

1. Do not take your last victory objective unless it says "Brilliant victory:
Last turn." Do you know that you also get prestige for holding victory
objectives per turn? So if you get to all your objects early, just surround all
6 hexes with your units plus artillery threat.

2. Autosave right before you take the last victory objective. Then hope you get
a good, expensive prototype unit. If not, repeat until you get one. I feel
justified because a general who manages brilliant victories over 80% of the
time with negligible losses should always get prototype units. :) If the
prototype unit is actually nice (like a Ju-87D) then why not keep it, you just
saved 480 prestige points.

3. Lengthen the war a bit. Don't go to Windsor 1940 (don't get brilliant
victory in Dunkirk even when possible). If you don't, after Dunkirk you go to
the Mediterranean, where you get 3 more battles to gain prestige. Also,
sometimes for fun, I decided to only get a tactical victory in Klin so I can go
to the longer Defend the Reich campaign. This is why my force at Operation
Konrad (defend Budapest in 1945) is much more powerful than my Oak Ridge
invasion force.

4. Follow my upgrading & overstrengthening principles above. My planned
upgrading course saves money without compromising the quality of my force.

5. Don't use replacements unless truly necessary. I think the whole long
campaign, I probably use the replacement command 5 times. Withdraw your damaged
unit (<6 strength) from combat whatsoever. You simply can't afford to lose a
core unit even if it means the difference between brilliant victory and
victory.

6. Use recons to take as many enemy hexes as possible.

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Development of force composition. I forgot to save some of my savegames so
there will be a few scenario missing. These are the forces I have at the
beginning of the scenario before the deployment.

Poland:
5 Pz38(t)A, 1 PzIIIF (prototype unit)
1 engineer, 1 regular infantry
3 15 sFH 18 artillery
1 Me-109e & 1 Ju-87B

Notice that you are given a lot of auxiliary infantry so I feel I don't need as
much infantry. Again, the doctrine "let artillery kill enemy infantry" works in
this scenario  I got a BV in this scenario, which sends me to Suomussalmi.
Anyway, got another BV with that one, which sends me to Lillehammer.

Lillehammer:
7 Pz38(t)A, 1 PzIIIF
1 Waffen SS (or Stosstroopen), 3 engineers
3 15 sFH 18 artillery
1 Me-109e & 2 Ju-87B

I still had 958 prestige left-over, so you can either get a bomber or buy more
artillery. Again got a BV in this scenario; off to Sedan.

Sedan:
7 Pz38(t)A, 1 PzIIIF
2 Waffen SS (or Stosstroopen), 4 engineers
4 15 sFH 18 artillery
1 PSW 231 recon
3 Me-109e & 3 Ju-87B

It was hairy near the end because the French got nice tanks and armoured cars
to counter my tanks, but still, the bombers saved the day. Got a BV, and off to
Dunkirk:

Dunkirk:
6 Pz38(t)A, 1 PzIIIF, 1 PzIVD
1 Waffen SS (or Stosstroopen), 5 engineers
4 15 sFH 18 & 1 sIG IB artillery
3 PSW 231 recon
5 Me-109e, 3 Ju-87B, 2 Ju-87D

That big won in Sedan gave me lots of prestige to significantly add to my
force. This is also where I learned that PzIVDs can't fight worth shit against
enemy tanks; that I actually rather have an older Pz38s doing the killing for
me. This time I got a normal victory on purpose (don't want to go to Windsor
1940) which sends me off to

Pursuit to Tobruk:
8 PzIIIH
1 Waffen SS (or Stosstroopen), 5 engineers
4 15 sFH 18 & 2 sIG IB artillery
3 PSW 231 recon
5 Me-109e, 5 Ju-87D

Not much addition, just lots of upgrades. By now those PzIIIHs are veteran
units already so they can contend with Brit cruiser tanks (though not Matilda
IIs just yet). The African scenarios aren't objective-rich so prestige will be
harder to come by; however, do milk them as much as you can. Another BV and off
to:

Tobruk:
8 PzIIIH
1 Waffen SS (or Stosstroopen), 5 engineers
4 15 sFH 18, 1 sIG IB, 1 sIG II artillery
3 PSW 231 recon
5 Me-109e, 5 Ju-87D

The sIG II was a prototype unit; so I got that and sold one of my sIG IB
artillery. Spent most of the prestige to overstrength bombers & tanks. Got a BV
here, and I swam to Malta

Malta:
8 PzIIIH
1 Waffen SS (or Stosstroopen), 5 engineers
4 15 sFH 18, 1 sIG IB, 1 sIG II artillery
3 PSW 231 recon
5 Me-109e, 1 FW-190a, 5 Ju-87D

The FW-190a was a nice prototype unit. Malta is a fun scenario and a scenario
where your artillery and SP-artilleries really prove their worth, especially in
taking the last objective. Make sure you use enemy ships as target practice for
your bombers. :) It was hairy at times when my infantry & artillery is taking
crap from the enemy ships, but still got a BV right at the last turn. Off to
Kishinev.

Kishinev:
8 PzIIIH
1 Waffen SS (or Stosstroopen), 5 engineers
4 15 sFH 18, 1 sIG IB, 1 sIG II artillery
3 PSW 231 recon
4 Me-109e, 2 FW-190a, 6 Ju-87D

Added another bomber since the Soviet tanks are much more powerful; upgraded a
fighter (not really necessary since the Soviets have inferior quality planes).
Got an easy BV, off to Novgorod

Novgorod:
8 PzIIIH
1 Waffen SS (or Stosstroopen), 5 engineers
4 15 sFH 18, 1 sIG IB, 1 sIG II artillery
3 PSW 231 recon
1 Me-109e, 5 FW-190a, 6 Ju-87D

Not much going on, just upgraded lots of fighters. I wished I had more
artillery in this scenario though. Got a last-turn BV and off to Volokolamsk.

Volokolamsk:
8 PzIIIH
1 Waffen SS (or Stosstroopen), 5 engineers
4 17 K18, 1 sIG IB, 1 sIG II artillery
3 PSW 231 recon
6 FW-190a, 6 Ju-87D

All planes are fully upgraded and ready to kick ass now. This was an easy-going
scenario because of the relative good weather (sometimes it sucks, but it's
OK). Make sure you keep pushing forward though and don't get bogged down at
Volokolamsk. Bring 4 artillery against Volokolamsk and you should be fine.
Bombers should go tank-hunting when possible. Got a BV, and off to Klin

Klin:
8 PzIIIH
1 Waffen SS (or Stosstroopen), 5 engineers
5 17 K18, 1 sIG IB, 1 sIG II artillery
3 PSW 231 recon
6 FW-190a, 7 Ju-87D

Got an extra artillery and bomber, though now I felt stupid for getting an
extra bomber in snowy weather scenario. Only got a normal victory because of
bad weather (only 1 turn of overcast!) Now you have two options: You can win
Klin, or just get a TV in which you go to Defend the Reich campaign.

Path 1: Get a TV at Klin and off to Defend the Reich campaign.

Winter Storm:
8 Tiger Is
6 engineers, 2 bridging engineers
6 17 K18, 1 sIG IB, 1 sIG II artillery
3 PSW 231 recon
6 FW-190a, 7 Ju-87D

Major upgrade here, because I got all Tiger Is. That was an expensive exercise
for me, luckily, I saved enough prestige from Klin. Got an extra bomber and
artillery again because if you haven't noticed, Russia has like a bottomless
well of infantry. Got 2 bridging engineers because I thought if the river
wasn't frozen, then it's going to be a bitch trying to cross it. Guess what.
It's frozen so I just wasted money buying them. Got a BV here, and off to
Zitadelle

Zitadelle:
9 Tiger Is
6 engineers
3 17 K18, 1 15 sFH 18, 4 Hummel
4 PSW 231 recon
6 FW-190a, 7 Ju-87D

Got another Tiger I and a recon. Upgraded those sIGs and two towed artillery to
Hummels. Man, those Hummels are such great deterrents, and they have good range
of 4 and good ammo capacity of 5 to pose an actual defensive threat. Got a BV
this scenario with like 4 turns left over (though of course I always wait until
the last turn of a BV to take the last victory hex). Next up is one of the most
exciting battles I've participated in.

Caen (Drive to the Sea):
9 Panther Gs
6 engineers
3 17 K18, 1 15 sFH 18, 4 Hummel
4 PSW 234/2 recon
6 FW-190a, 6 Ju-87D, 1 HS-129

It's sad to have to say good-bye to my Tigers, but finally I got my favorite
tanks in my force and I couldn't be more pleased. And the fact that this
upgrade was free. One of them has double Aggressive Maneuver and practically
moves at 8! I placed that Fast Panzer unit on that hex on the west side. It got
to the beach in 2 turns! Anyway, I also got recon upgrades because I've way too
much prestige to spend, I still had over 1,600 prestige left over. It was fun
because I wasted the whole enemy expeditionary force (except that 1-strength
Spitfire) very quickly. It wasn't pretty what my bombers and Panthers did to
everything that beached.

Nordwind:
8 Panther Gs, 1 Panther II
6 engineers
3 17 K18, 1 15 sFH 18, 4 Hummel
2 PSW 234/2, 2 PSW 234/4 recon
2 FW-190a, 4 Me-262, 6 Ju-87D, 1 HS-129

Got a prototype Panther II so I sold off the least-experienced Panther G. Also,
upgraded 2 of the recons and now I got 4 jets (I didn't expect them to do much
in all this snow; I just like the sound of the jet fighters when they move.)

Operation Konrad:
8 Panther Gs, 1 Panther II
6 engineers
3 17 K18, 1 15 sFH 18, 4 Hummel
2 PSW 234/2, 2 PSW 234/4 recon
2 FW-190a, 4 Me-262, 6 Ju-87D, 1 HS-129

Not much going on here, but if you can kick ass, you saved Germany by
negotiating truce.

Path 2: All the way to victory!

Windsor 1943:
8 Tiger I
6 engineers
5 17 K18, 2 sIG II artillery
2 PSW 231 recon
6 FW-190a, 6 Ju-87D, 1 HS-129

This is actually easier because than Windsor 1940 when the Brits' AD &
artillery are relatively more powerful against PzIIIH. Although you will
encounter stiff opposition in both ground and air, the fact your Tiger will run
over anything in its path is great comfort. Unfortunately, one of my FW-190a
unit was destroyed during the nasty air fighting and I had to replace it during
battle.


Savannah:
8 Panther G
6 engineers
5 17 K18, 2 Hummel
2 PSW 231 recon
6 FW-190a, 1 FW-190D, 1 Me-163, 6 Ju-87D, 1 HS-129

This can get nasty because the US has one of the biggest air force in the game
to oppose you and I barely hung on to air superiority for a few turns before
finally managing an air supremacy once again. This is the only time where your
Panther units might actually be in danger of being destroyed even if you use a
good strategy. Those A-26 bombers are nasty and hard to destroy and those M4s
now deal out more oomph than before. However, I'm more worried about the air
battle so I got myself 2 new FW-190d to finish the job after the veteran
fighters do their thing.


Oak Ridge:
8 Panther G
6 engineers
5 17 K18, 2 Hummel
2 PSW 231 recon
2 FW-190a, 4 Me-262, 1 Me-163, 6 Ju-87D, 1 HS-129

The US air force is nasty here too but at least now you got jets to deal out
some punishment. Watch out for 3 US heavy bombers that can reduce your elite
Panthers to dust; and that annoying P-80 again that also showed up in Savannah
is quite a terror in the air. Fortunately one of my Me-262 unit has a
Resilience leader, which makes it great for dealing with that P-80. On the
ground, the only other real threat are M26s.

Total casualty for the whole campaign, at the end of Oak Ridge: 4 infantry
(never my core infantry), 6 recons, 1 tank, 3 fighters. And don't even ask how
many casualties I caused the enemy; I don't care, I just care about minimizing
my own losses.