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    German Long Campaign FAQ by beaglehead_2

    Updated: 07/29/01 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    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.
    -----------------
    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.
    ------------
    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.
    ----------
    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.
    ------------
    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.
    -----------
    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.
    -------------
    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.
    ----------------
    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)
    -------------------
    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.
    
    ---------
    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.