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Majick

In the fields where the poppies grow

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Hi All,

I was enjoying playing this campaign until I got to the 'A View to a Kill' mission.  I've tried replaying it several times using different approaches but can't avoid a bloodbath where my tanks and infantry get annihilated.  Can anyone suggest a tactic for me to get the drop on those Panthers with my Shermans?

Cheers

Jon

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A View to a Kill is the night mission where a company of infantry with Shermans tries to take a monastery on a hill at night, opposed by Panthers and infantry by the way.

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After 65 views and no response I'm guessing no-one has played this campaign.  If thats the case I'd be interested to know which other community developed campaigns you all prefer.

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Not familiar with the battle/campaign.

Sherman's against Panther, I would try to get flank shots. I hit one over thirty times on the front in a recent battle and it was still going.

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1 hour ago, Majick said:

After 65 views and no response I'm guessing no-one has played this campaign.  If thats the case I'd be interested to know which other community developed campaigns you all prefer.

There are different branches on the campaign tree. So there will be people like myself who have attempted the campaign, without fighting that mission.

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I haven't done that campaign. However, I can share some advice:

- Do you have artillery? It's an invaluable tool against stationary targets. HE can damage Panther's optics or even force the crew to pull back. HE can also work as a general debuff to the Panther, kicking up dust and shaking the crew. Heavier HE can wreck a tank, or force crew to run!

- Smoke can allow your Shermans or AT assets to get closer, mitigating the Panther's range advantage.

- What sort of terrain lies around the Monastery? Are the flanks guarded? Normandy is bocage country. A good way to surprise your enemy is to sneak by the cover of the bocage into positions where the Huns do not watch. If you have infantry with satchel charges, you can make paths where one does not expect.

- Try to divide and conquer, try to engage one tank where others cannot.

- Hug them! In general, closer ranges mitigate any technological advantage.

Hope this helps, fighting well-placed German armour is almost always frustrating.

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And at least (me too without actual Campaign experience), it may be that the mission is not “winable” by purpose.

I have seen that in other games and find reminder that life can be difficult quite helpful.

Perhaps the proper strategy is, to hold back and fight another day.

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I haven't tried calling a ceasefire at the start.  Maybe I'll give that a go.

There is little cover anywhere around the monastery, which is on the top of a shallow hill.  The scenario is at night with low visibility.  As I recall there were at least 5 Panthers against my 12-12 Shermans.  Once our tanks spot each other, as usual the Germans fire earlier and more accurately.  I've tried using infantry to spot for the tanks but thast didn't make any difference, except the infantry got killed as well :)

 

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7 hours ago, Majick said:

I haven't tried calling a ceasefire at the start.  Maybe I'll give that a go.

That won't help. You'll get a "Draw" and the campaign will terminate early. 

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These are probably obvious but night at low visibility

Are the infantry spotting for the tank hunting, then stopping or slow crawling to cover when they spot the Germans?

More important are they plugged in with the rest of your chain of command? If the infantry spotting for the tanks have clear lines of communication open to their superiors and your Shermans do as well the info will get disseminated quicker.

Are your tanks using slow? Yes when contact is imminent its not always good to order moves that wont stop when they spot the enemy like hunt, but it will reduce your noise signature and give the Germans less clue or warning you.re about to arrive.

Save up until the moment the fighting starts and then just run it back and pray to RNGesus.  Especially if you hail fire with your Shermans - and you want to always do this with superior enemy armor and preferably as stacked as you possibly can make it :

     engage the panthers one by one

     use off map or on map indirect or.   direct fire from mortars using smoke.       to  wall off the panthers

  Why not have some infantry AT squads with zooks if youve got them join in if possible when your tanks can.  Again its not about being fair its about killing those bastards

Ill try to think of more later. Dont recall playing this.

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Haven't played the scenario, but here's what I would try:

  1. Scout ahead with infantry in the darkness to pick up contact markers for the enemy tanks.
  2. Move Shermans as close as possible to the Panther positions, making sure the enemy is in hull down position compared to you. This will make your tanks aim for the turret, and at close range they will be nearly sure to hit.
  3. Start area firing with a decoy infantry unit to make the Panthers spot and engage, revealing themselves.
  4. Hopefully your Shermans will then return fire, and they should have a chance to penetrate the Panther front turret if you're closer than 300m and hit it straight on.

 

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4 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

Haven't played the scenario, but here's what I would try:

  1. Scout ahead with infantry in the darkness to pick up contact markers for the enemy tanks.
  2. Move Shermans as close as possible to the Panther positions, making sure the enemy is in hull down position compared to you. This will make your tanks aim for the turret, and at close range they will be nearly sure to hit.
  3. Start area firing with a decoy infantry unit to make the Panthers spot and engage, revealing themselves.
  4. Hopefully your Shermans will then return fire, and they should have a chance to penetrate the Panther front turret if you're closer than 300m and hit it straight on.  

Nice TAC SOP.  +1

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Another option is to keep your tanks in cover while using the decoy infantry to make the Panthers turn their turrets (or even the whole tank), then engage with your Shermans. The Panther turret side is so weak that it can get knocked out by even a rifle grenade (if you're lucky). That means you don't need to make it turn very much before the angle is sufficient to penetrate it with the 75mm gun on the Sherman.

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1 hour ago, MOS:96B2P said:

Nice TAC SOP.  +1

Yeahhh, but it sounds extremely gamey...

Such a tactic one can employ after having played the scenario a hundred times and knows exactly what comes up. Not very satisfying.

The problem is, you already know what is awaiting you and then find the solution by try and error. That‘s not a normal situation.

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Posted (edited)

Oh what I told him is absolutely gamey as far as the saving and reloading. I think BPs advice is just similar chain of thought. Again though this is after the fact the author noticeably isnt having fun with being stuck in this situation. after all hes trying cease fire on mission start.

Edited by Sublime

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Let's be real.  We're playing a game and while it is definitely satisfying when uses RL tactics and they work, the fact is that sometimes one has to play the game engine as much as anything in order to win - esp when one has to win to progress in a campaign.   It's a major PITA to have to replay a mission several times to progress.  (I recall one mission in CMSF1's otherwise excellent "Road to Dinas" campaign that I replayed more than a dozen times in an effort to progress to the next mission.  Horrible experience.)

It's a design flaw imo when the designer has created a scenario in which there is only one way to win which may require a certain knowledge, and one has to attempt trial and error (ie replay multiple times) to "unlock that key".   

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3 hours ago, Erwin said:

We're playing a game and while it is definitely satisfying when uses RL tactics and they work, the fact is that sometimes one has to play the game engine as much as anything in order to win - esp when one has to win to progress in a campaign.

Amen. Especially when the campaign designer has heavily stacked the deck against the player. Maybe he's trying to make a point, but I have a point to and it doesn't involve getting stomped into the mud.

Michael

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Having given the campaign another go, I got to this mission bearing in mind Majick's OP.

First impression of the map. The "Monastery" looks like nothing of the sort. It is just a hilltop church with a low wall about 1 AS away. No cloisters, no vegetable patches, no orchards, no barns, and no high wall. In other words, nowhere to ambush Jerry.

My tanks, and infantry in, or near the church, got slaughtered within a few minutes. And it wasn't too much longer before my outflanking troops followed a similar fate. I hit "Cease Fire" once I'd lost all my tanks. Of course, that meant the campaign terminated early. And although I scored a "Tactical Victory" overall, it was still a disappointing end.

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1 hour ago, Warts 'n' all said:

I scored a "Tactical Victory" overall, it was still a disappointing end.

Yeah, this is a common feeling at the end of a CM2 battle.  One often thinks one has done well only to find one has lost, or one looks to have been defeated only to find you've won.  I can't figure out why the CM2 victory calculations became so strange and opaque compared to the earlier CM1.  Best thing is to not worry about the end result and just go by personal satisfaction.  However, that doesn't help in campaigns when one must win in order to progress to the next mission.  There is a special place in hell for designers who set players up to have to replay campaign missions several times until they figure out the "trick" to winning.  

 

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26 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Yeah, this is a common feeling at the end of a CM2 battle.  One often thinks one has done well only to find one has lost, or one looks to have been defeated only to find you've won.  I can't figure out why the CM2 victory calculations became so strange and opaque compared to the earlier CM1.  Best thing is to not worry about the end result and just go by personal satisfaction.  However, that doesn't help in campaigns when one must win in order to progress to the next mission.  There is a special place in hell for designers who set players up to have to replay campaign missions several times until they figure out the "trick" to winning.  

 

But @Warts 'n' allby his own admission 'My tanks, and infantry in, or near the church, got slaughtered within a few minutes. And it wasn't too much longer before my outflanking troops followed a similar fate. I hit "Cease Fire" once I'd lost all my tanks.' indicates that he did not do overly brilliantly. Not really fair to have a pop at the designer for that is it?

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But, as he says, he WON when he felt he should have lost by all common sense measures.  That's the point I thought Warts was trying to make.   

The sorta corollary is that one can do very well in a mission, think you've attained all objectives, but find out one has lost cos maybe the enemy has one guy cowering suppressed (but not panicked or routed) at an objective.

I get the impression that it is VERY hard for designers to determine appropriate victory levels.  So, perhaps that is not their fault.  However, there are a couple designers (and you know who you are!) who seem to delight in throwing in one very hard mission in an otherwise enjoyable campaign that require their "customers" to replay that one damn mission over and over (and over) again till one can win it so that one can progress to the next mission.  

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4 hours ago, Badger73 said:

"Nothing except a battle lost can be half as melancholy as a battle won." - Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington

I actually said that first, at Naseby. But, my quill and ink were in the baggage train, and got stolen by that Rhinelander Prinz Ruprecht, so I wasn't able to write it down..

Edited by Warts 'n' all

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