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I decided to run through this epic campaign once again.. Am I mad? Well, slightly yes, but I appreciate the scale of this campaign and couldn't resist. I've been practising a lot and thought I'd chance my new skills.

Although there are parts of this campaign I still absolutely hate, (RR and School of Hard Knocks in particular) I decided on a different route this time which gave me a different mission. I couldn't bare the thought of Razerback Ridge again (brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it!) so I opted for a different path. I still think a couple of the maps have been designed by the Devil but the overall campaign has been much more enjoyable this time round. Albeit, enjoyable with a LOT of saves.

Things I have done or tried to do differently this time:-

I used my artillery sparingly and have attempted to bombard points of interest first.

I valued my observers and have kept them out of harms way (mostly) :)

I have tried to keep my leaders and HQ's in command and alive - this really helps!

I kept my squads hidden that weren't in use (really important for School).

I used fire and maneuver significantly. Enemy artillery concentrations obliterate platoons with ease otherwise.

I have tried to use combined arms - I support my tanks with infantry where possible.

I recon the area first where possible by splitting squads.

I have kept tried to keep my 60mm mortar teams with infantry platoons, likewise for the machine gun teams, and let the mortars target by themselves.

I try to soften up the area first with suppression. I use the machine guns and advance with infantry under smoke where possible.

So overall I have learnt some new tactics. I think for the most part it has helped me progress. The only mission I drew has been School, but the others have been total victories to date. I am now part way through the final mission, which is a bitch.

Wish me luck!

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Yeah interesting you say that as that was my first impression too. In fact, I posted a long thread about it quite a while back. My opinion hasn't changed that much, even though my skill level has. It's still not as good as the other supplied US campaign. I guess we are lucky there were two in the first place. The only reason I like it is the scale. I love the bigger battles as you get more freedom of choice once its comes to the battle. But there are are way too many nitty gritty problems for it to be really enjoyable which is a shame.

Anyway, I've just finished my second time.

176 KIA

138 WIA

6 tanks

3 others

against

368 KIA

246 WIA

29 missing

5 tanks

3 others

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It is a campaign that should be played only when one is experienced. I suspect some dove into it when CMBN first came out and suffered.

I played other campaigns and scenarios first and enjoyed C&F. The last scenario in the campaign is large and really good. School of Hard Knocks was grueling, but a great trainer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am having the most outrageously difficult time with this campaign. I have been playing CM games since way back and this one has be flummoxed.

I am trying to avoid being gamey at the start and assuming the enemy is looking at the deployment area and popping smoke and running like a jackrabbit to get position and find cover.

For the life of me, I cannot deploy at all without getting aired out no matter where I try to go.

The first map seems bent on making any kind of movement next to impossible. I am open to suggestions.

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First scenario in that campaign I was chewed to pieces. The second time I played it I lost very few men (mostly engineers) and did little more than get the engineers across the bridge, pound the German positions with artillery, and had everyone else stay put. I earned a draw.

I'm still having problems getting sorted in Bumper Cars.

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I spent a lot of time trying to win it and count amongst those who love it 'cos I keep getting back to it.

Looking at above video for the 4th time now 'cos for the life of me I couldn't succeed in getting to that damn hill I just realised what's the element that I got wrong so far:

SPOILER:

- you need to advance with one platoon as soon as the game starts since´╗┐ it's still dark and enemy spotters can't react in time. Be too late and enemy spotter/s will unleash all the hell on you and you won't be able to proceed far from the bridge.

I also figured hot to avoid getting your tanks run over the AT mines before and after the bridge. First send an engineer team to blast the barbedwire at the entrance at the bridge which will also blast all the AT mines present there. Send your tanks over the bridge and as soon as they exit the bridge order them to make a sharp right turn which will enable them to avoid the remainder of AT mines.

That is in theory - I still need to prove my assumption for real.

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The other issue is that you have to issue very precise waypoints anywhere near the bridge or the Ai will path your units over (known) minefields.

I also thought the point of the tutorial was to send very little at first - just one platoon (split into teams) to spot the AT guns and deal with the mines etc. and HIDE everyone else so the Axis arty has no big targets.

And again once one one makes the big push over the bridge, split inf into teams.

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Yes, the waypoints in this particular scenario should have been fixed in the patch. Micromanagement is needed in abundance at the bridge.

The tutorial seems a bit odd in the fact that when he positioned tanks hull down where the mortar teams were he didn't get bombed the hell up. Maybe because enemy spotters were more concentrated on the units that have already crossed the bridge?

Still need to practice how to know where exactly tanks need to be in order to have a hull down position - how do you guys determine it?

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I lost about 50 men, including most of the engineers on that bridge the first time I played it. Had about 200 casualties in all afterwards although I drew the battle, because I managed to get the remnants of a platoon over the bridge before sunrise. I think pace and surprise are vital in this mission. I ended up leaving some of my platoons hidden at the starting point due to the fact they got hit by accurate artillery as soon as they showed themselves. I lost a lot of men that way. I think I've had one loss, and two draws so far. Not sure I fancy another go :-)

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Plenty of people must have played it since that is where you end up with for failing the hard knocks which a lot of people did.

The nice thing is that the German casualties are carried over from school of hard knocks. It's much easier to reach the hill but be aware of exposing your men too much at the top of the hill since second defences in the valley behind the ridge will open fire on you. I tried it a bit and then decided I want to perfect school of hard knocks so I'll only play this level for real if I fail to deliver a win before hand.

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The tutorial seems a bit odd in the fact that when he positioned tanks hull down where the mortar teams were he didn't get bombed the hell up. Maybe because enemy spotters were more concentrated on the units that have already crossed the bridge?

That could be the case. I positioned my tanks based on the tutorial and because I held my infantry back, the Germans were able to focus on them. However, for whatever reason, it took several turns for the units to finally spot each other and after a long time of no activity I had two tanks lit up within seconds by an AT gun. In the ensuing exchange I lost one more tank but claimed the AT gun and both wooden bunkers.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The first map seems bent on making any kind of movement next to impossible. I am open to suggestions.

If you mean "Over Hill, Down Dale" then maybe this video can give you some pointers:

The amount of suppression is pretty overkill, but the briefing said enemy has "...about a company..." and "...with some heavy weapons at their disposal".

Still need to practice how to know where exactly tanks need to be in order to have a hull down position - how do you guys determine it?

1) Set up a waypoint where you think is a suitable place for a hull-down position

2) Select the waypoint

3) Select target action

4) Check if your tank has LOF to his sector

4a) If yes, delete the waypoint and move it a little bit back and recheck if the tank has LOF (this way you can make sure your tank has the most cover)

4b) If no, delete the waypoint and move it a little bit further and recheck if the tank has LOF

5) When you are happy you can set the sector boundaries if you want (by using the fire arc action [a tank platoon with 5 different sectors is much more effective than 5 tanks trying to find targets all around the battlefield]).

Tip: You should also check if the hull-down position has cover to certain directions. You guessed it: Use the target action. I usually tend to select BP's so that there's no LOF from probable enemy AT asset locations to the BP.

If you want to have a turret-down position then LOF should be grey, not blue (In turret-down the TC can scan the sector without compromising the safety of his tank).

Hope this helps your future virtual tanker career. ;)

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First send an engineer team to blast the barbedwire at the entrance at the bridge which will also blast all the AT mines present there.

That is in theory - I still need to prove my assumption for real.

You cannot destroy a minefield with Engineers, the only thing that can destroy a minefield is an artillery strike using guns of a 150mm and above, when destroyed the minefield sign turns green with a white cross on it.

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I am having the most outrageously difficult time with this campaign. I have been playing CM games since way back and this one has be flummoxed.

I am trying to avoid being gamey at the start and assuming the enemy is looking at the deployment area and popping smoke and running like a jackrabbit to get position and find cover.

For the life of me, I cannot deploy at all without getting aired out no matter where I try to go.

The first map seems bent on making any kind of movement next to impossible. I am open to suggestions.

First battle (Hill and Dale)

Hide your armor early, and I sneak about 2/3 of my Inf up the right to crack their line. enginers help to breach bocage where you want. 8 dead, 12 wounded, no vehicles lost. Advancing over the crest on your side of the valley silhouettes you nicely for the Jerries - bad idea.

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I managed to get a total victory in Hill and dale with 3 injured and 2 dead. The trick is you can advance on right-most flank and also on the left side. To do so you need to use engineers and blast the bocage where the left road leads to secondary objective. Hill will protect all your units from being hit by AT gun and other weapons but be careful not to expose your units - set your waypoints for each unit separately or you will end up being exposed to the Germans.

So you have your mobile part of the army set advancing on both extreme sides of the map while you have your machine guns and mortars set at the starting point in all those places where they have a reasonable LOF on the ridge you need to take over. They provide a covering fire and can pin down the defending Germans and thus minimise your own casualties.

You cannot destroy a minefield with Engineers, the only thing that can destroy a minefield is an artillery strike using guns of a 150mm and above, when destroyed the minefield sign turns green with a white cross on it.

Oh you indeed can destroy mines with engineers but the destruction of the mines only happens if there is a barbed wire or other object on top of the minefield (just like in the case of school of hard knocks scenario) and your blast option can be used. You blow a barbed wire and in the process also blow up mines. That easy.

@Gekkibi: Thanx for the tip on hull down position!

That could be the case. I positioned my tanks based on the tutorial and because I held my infantry back, the Germans were able to focus on them. However, for whatever reason, it took several turns for the units to finally spot each other and after a long time of no activity I had two tanks lit up within seconds by an AT gun. In the ensuing exchange I lost one more tank but claimed the AT gun and both wooden bunkers.
I can now confirm that enemy mortars don't hit your mortar and tank units if you have some of your troops (one platoon suffices) over the bridge. You have roughly two different positions of enemy AT in that level. In the case of the video we see AT guns are positioned relatively forward so mutual spotting is quick between the tanks and AT guns - firefight between them ensues rather quickly after you put your tanks in the hull down position. In the second variant AT guns are positioned way back on the map which makes spotting them harder but it is also vice versa for them. Being so far away also means it's hard to knock them out. I counted 15 near misses before the AT crew got a direct hit - luckily one of my tank that got pounded by them was only minorly damaged. Counted 4 hits but luckily 3 of them ricoceted of the tank. Fjuu.

I'm close to finishing School of hard knocks with a total victory and "only" about 50 casualties! That is gonna be way better then casualties taken by the veteran on the ArmChair video tutorial (90 people knocked out). Will post a screenie when I get the end briefing. I noticed prt scr button does not work for taking screenshots so how do I take one?

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"the destruction of the mines only happens if there is a barbed wire or other object on top of the minefield"

We're sure this is accurate? People post that they can destroy minefields with charges, but this is a rather important qualification.

Also, re the first battle "Hill and Dale" I found one can win with hardly any casualties by advancing cautiously up the LEFT side. (Unless there are different defender set-ups that would favor advancing up the RHS.)

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"the destruction of the mines only happens if there is a barbed wire or other object on top of the minefield"

We're sure this is accurate? People post that they can destroy minefields with charges, but this is a rather important qualification.

My experience: You can't destroy minefields that way. The charge will detonate some mines, and probably kill handful of pioneers in the process. However, the minefield stays. When this happened in School of Hard Facepalming I thought that the whole minefield exploded, and I can safely pass through it. Unfortunately it wasn't so, and some of my men were killed by the mines while crossing the bridge.

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Ok, but you can't do anything vs minefields with charges unless there is wire on top?

Sorry, I wasn't clear enough. I used charges to blow a barbed wire, not a minefield (The minefield was close to the barbed wire).

I haven't tried to use charges to blow up minefields. Give me 10 minutes and I will find out if it actually works.

Edit: It's not possible to use the blast command to destroy a minefield.

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"the destruction of the mines only happens if there is a barbed wire or other object on top of the minefield"

We're sure this is accurate? People post that they can destroy minefields with charges, but this is a rather important qualification.

My experience: You can't destroy minefields that way. The charge will detonate some mines, and probably kill handful of pioneers in the process. However, the minefield stays. When this happened in School of Hard Facepalming I thought that the whole minefield exploded, and I can safely pass through it. Unfortunately it wasn't so, and some of my men were killed by the mines while crossing the bridge.

I was referring to anti tank mines. All the anti tank mines exploded under the barbed wire and some anti personnel mines were left yes. I know that because when I sent all 5 tanks across the bridge none got immobilised (no big boom happened besides the small anti personnel going off under the tracks). All my pioneers survived - on multiple retries. Once I managed to blown one guy up and once one got injured while blowing the fence. If your guys get blown up it means you didn't split your engineers in separate teams usually consisting of 3 guys each. I send one team in the middle and two teams on the side so they can quickly blow up the whole barbed wire which consist of 3 parts.

Also a note for all the players being eager to try the School of hard knocks scenario - it's 3 times easier to play it if you do it in WEGO then in real time mode. Reason being you can pay special attention to every units and since there are so many in this level playing it in real time makes you miss important info often.

Am interested to see how many managed to get less then 50 casualties.

Also, re the first battle "Hill and Dale" I found one can win with hardly any casualties by advancing cautiously up the LEFT side. (Unless there are different defender set-ups that would favor advancing up the RHS.)
I played this scenario a few times and found the position of the enemy in this one is always the same. I agree - I accrued all my casualties on the right side and none on the left side. It would also be possible to have no casualties advancing on both sides by being extra careful.
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