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.