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Plan Z Campaign & Anti Ship Rockets


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I am currently playing Jersey John's Plan Z campaign - I really like it.

My forces are just to the West of Moscow and I have secured Leningrad, Sevastopol and Rostov but have bogged down due to supply problems caused by scorched earth.

War went along usual lines - Poland - 2 turns, Denmark and Norway 2 turns (the Carriers really helped), low countries 1 turn France 3 or 4 followed by Vichy France. At which point the Yugoslavians had a coup and took out my newly allied Hungarians (I'm still raging!!)Lesson - never leave an allies capital ungarrisoned.

I then mopped up Vichy North Africa with Rommel HQ and took out Malta (eventually) with about 7 air fleets, folled by conquest of rest of N Africa and Middle East - courtesy of Erwin again.

At this point I launch a particularly effective assault on USSR and am promptly DOW'd by USA. Game On!

Which is where I am now currently fending off an Anglo American landing in France - unfortunately for the Allies the Luftwaffe is pretty powerfull and I found that I could use Rockets in an anti-ship role! Which I am really pleased with. Needless to say I am building half a dozen batteries for coastal defence.

Anyway I'm about to start work for the day so I'll wrap this up. Excellent campaign Jersey John!


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Yes, I like this campaign too. I've been playing a modified version of this with Rannug for a while, and it is a lot harder for both sides than the standard 39 campaign.

Rockets can be very useful, but they are very susceptible to enemy attack. Unfortunately they also require some luck with research, but once they have level 3 or more they are good fun (not for the enemy though!).

[ February 06, 2004, 07:22 AM: Message edited by: Bill101 ]

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Very pleased to hear you're enjoying it, that one has always been the favorite creation.

A fellow calling himself disorder -- who was white hot then stopped posting abruptly, causing his friends much concern (e-mails haven't been responded to) -- used the original scenario for a PBEM tournament.

There were many suggestions and I was all ears.

At first it was agreed that the Axis was too strong, I offered to alter the scenario but the second round started with the original and this time the consensus was that the Allies were too strong. Third round saw a revised scenario but final play balance was never resolved.

I think the field had too huge a range of strong players vs much weaker ones and regardless of which side the strong player had, it would seem heavily weighted in that direction.

Unfortunately my harddrive has since been reformatted and the scenarios I worked on before going into the hospital weren't backed up on CD-R-Ws. I'm hoping to put them back from memory, but haven't done much so far.

The one that needed the most work was the Brest-Litovsk Aftermath; not in game balance, but in sheer playability. It has too many starting units for my present taste. Also, I'd like to simulate the end of a mobilazation period as in Aug 1914, but with a hybrid of late thirties and WWII techs at the hypothetical Sep 1939 start -- the game envisions a twilight zone where Germany accepted the Anglo-French peace offer allowing them to hold their winnings in the East and returning their African colonies, on condition they withdraw from France and Belgium; Germany foolishly refused.

In both scenarios I tried to give rockets importance and played freely with tech-levels so each side would have an ability the other lacks.

As Bill says, they're highly vulnerable units. In the Brest-Litovsk Scenario I imagined Germany's pre-war plan being three L=5 Rocket units to take out the Maginot Fortifications; historically, the plan was two super large railroad guns, missing that part of things but later one of them was used against Sevastapol and probably in Italy. The jury is still out as to whether those monsters were worth the resources and manpower they required. Several people have suggested they be represented by advanced rockets, but the gun range is ~10-20 miles where rockets would be ten times that!

In the game rockets become less effective as they approach the limits of their range; if you can use them from two hexes that's the most desirable (one hex would mean they're unprotected by a ground unit).

Aside from using it against the AI, with the usual problems that entails, it's really suited for games between two experienced players. The reason I say this is because mistakes are costly; the German Navy, for example, looks formidable but is a tech level lower than the UK's. An inexperienced player testing it against me rushed into a North Sea Jutland type battle and was surprised when the German fleet was sunk and the British hardly damaged -- that one tech means a lot sometimes! But that's just one example of where one side can be misled.

BTW, Germany did devolop an anti-ship rocket, what we'd now consider a radio directed smart bomb! It was used a few times in 1943. The first try badly damaged the Italian BB Littorio, which was in the process of joining the Allied fleet off Salerno. If they'd had large numbers of them on hand and sent them all at once against that fleet -- holy liferafts Batman! But they only sent that single missle, and a few days later they sent another, which damaged a supply ship. American electronics experts quickly found jamming frequencies and subsequent launches fell harmlessly into the sea.

Really a lift reading this, thanks for making my day! smile.gif

[ February 06, 2004, 11:52 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Rannug and yourself are among the people who provided the best input.

Panzer39 and von Arnim are also working on similar ideas and there was considerable pooling of concepts.

Our Swedish friend, Rannug, took input a step further, trauncing me thoroughly as both Axis and Allies. Traumatised by the double shock, I immediately turned to pacifism! :eek:


[ February 06, 2004, 11:55 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Given the trouncing I'm currently getting from Rannug, I think I'd better turn to pacifism too!

We've played it 4 times so far, and the Axis have won every time, but the allies are learning. It's probably changed a little since you first designed it, and the first and most important change was renaming the French tank group to something a bit more appropriate. ;)

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Glad to hear it wasn't just me, though I'm sorry to hear you're also going that path. What gets me is he's such a great guy, but The Grim Reaper on the opposite side of the map! :D

Interesting point about the Allies, perhaps basically the scenario is balanced but the Allies are on a greater difficulty level.

Thought I named that tank group DeGaulle? As he was about the only one with a heartbeat during the Dyle fiasco I figured it was only fitting.

Billote, of course, also deserved better. He did as he was ordered to do, the plan itself was hopeless and he had little control over the retreat.

I'd hope the people who use the scenario add and subtract things and adjust them according to their own experiences with it. As Bill Macon said a while back, these scenarios don't belong to the person who created them, they belong to everyone. As usual I'm pleased to agree 100% with my friend. It's OUR Z-Plan and may it continue being adapted indefinitely.

[ February 06, 2004, 01:41 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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It was called La Baguette Tank Group.

I think I came close to stopping the Axis for a while in this game, but you are right that the difficulty level for the allies is harder. But then it probably always is.

In the last game where I was allies I was rather aggressive and conquered Italian North Africa while the battle of France was raging, and then a while later took Greece. Unfortunately by that time the hordes of the Dark Master were massing against me, and my three units in Greece were all killed two turns later!

I also tried developing a new strategy for dealing with the German invasion of Russia - strategic bombers attack his HQs, escorted by the air fleets. The theory being that no HQs = no Axis conquest of Russia.

While it had some success, killing one HQ and damaging a few others, my main mistake was in putting all the allied effort into Russia, and not launching a DDay.

That game and our next where it was my turn to play Axis really taught me the necessity of the allies carrying out a landing in the west.

Unfortunately after that game Rannug decided to reduce the German rockets' level of starting research. I think that my atom bombs were a bit too effective for him. smile.gif

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Yes, in our game where he had the Allies he seemed uncharacteristically concerned about the rockets. I haven't seen them as anything decisive but he knows the game much better than myself. Most of that one was pretty interesting but after a few years game time he had convincingly turned the tables on me.

In his game as Axis he took France too quickly, then caught me shifting gears in the Mediteranean and then he caught me tripping over my own feet between Alexandria and Beirut, so I did the honorable thing and protested that Hubert had really failed and went off stamping my feet in a tantrum! Actually, it was pretty obvious by then that his Axis would triumph easily so we stopped.

One good thing about getting beat up by Rannug is he tells you how his punches work and which direction you'll in when the end comes. I've learned more from the games I've lost to him and also from the game I lost to Archibald, than I ever did in games I've won against others.

He's always freely offered advice and served as mentor. Like all really good players he doesn't need the basic 1939 Fall Weiss to win, that's always been a myth, they know the game itself, not one scenario.

I'm hoping to get into the playing end when SC2 comes out, but it's far more likely I'll start making scenarios and adapting the present ones to the new features.

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In the game where I was Axis, towards the end I had 10 level 4 rockets, and because I had air superiority they could carve great gaps in the Russian lines fairly easily.

I only develop rockets in a small number of my games, usually ones where I probably have the edge anyway, but once developed they are really useful at taking key positions.

Although their offensive power declines with range, they are still useful at reducing entrenchment, thus saving the armies and air fleets for the main attack.

I'd still like to develop the 1944 one further, even though it is a tough one for the German player.

I've been thinking that a house rule limiting allied amphibious invasions to France and Italy would give the Axis player a chance, as otherwise it is only a few moves into the game before there are landings in both France and north Germany (the latter usually by the Russians). While they demonstrate good strategy by the allied player, more than one DDay at a time is so unhistorical.

[ February 06, 2004, 04:17 PM: Message edited by: Bill101 ]

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As voiced in innumerable threads, I've got problems with entire amphibious landing system. A lot of others seem in agreement.

I'd be surprised if Hubert doesn't either fix it completely in SC2, or at least has weather play a greater part.

Your houserule sounds like a great idea -- again, there have been suggestions for ways to use an expanded scenario editor for these purposes; limiting, for example, the number of amphibious operations different countries can carry out in a season.

The British and Americans actually did two, Normandy and Southern France and had the capability of doing a third, this would have been in the next tide cycle after Normandy if it had failed and would have taken place before the "Champaign Campaign" had landed in the South of France.

The Americans, with all their amphibious capabilities, had a choice to make in the Mediteranean as Mark Clark wanted another Anzio type operation North of Rome, but the transports already had to leave for England. The German Line broke before a couple of days before Normandy -- and Clark made his horrible move of turning to Rome instead of cutting off the Germans near in Eastern Italy before they were able to fall back.

I've also found that rockets work best in Russia, especially along the Black Sea against Odessa, Sevastopol (from the north shoreline) and Rostov. They can also be great against Gibraltar, Malta, Riga and Leningrad.

Getting back to the 1944 Campaign. If you want to beef up the Germans why not figure Hitler sidestepped his catastophic losses at Kursk during the Summer of 1943 and also was talked out of turning Army Group North into Army Group Kourland, taking 44 veteran divisions out of the picture and leaving them stuck in the Baltic States region instead of blocking the approach to Poland. Doing those two things in themselves would give Germany a much stronger line against the Soviets.

I have to admit I'm not very familiar with the scenario and don't know how Hubert handled the AG Kourland situation, but there has to be a way of compensating for unnecessary earlier disasters.

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