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Directive Number 3

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I played this last year. I guess it depends on your opponent's decisions about his deployment. If you send the bulk of your men at the factory, you may have trouble getting into the village, once more German vehicles start to arrive on the map. OTOH, if the factory's heavily defended, you'll need to send a lot of men.

I guess it's a tough one for the Russians.

As the German, I was able to kill 3 t-34's with infantry weapons when they came too close to the factory. The last one died against my one upgunned PzIII.

My 37mm gun killed an entire platoon of tanks without being spotted.

The Russian just needs to not make any mistakes, and to have a lot of luck.

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I played this one last year too, as German. I had a single Pionier platoon in the factory which kept all Russian attacks out until the end of the game by staying well back and using demo charges. My opponent commented that the quality of troops wasn't enough, since they just broke and ran out again each time they entered the factory and got shot at.

He lost a T-34 and several ACs to my artillery strike and my tanks and 37mm gun got all the BTs. Towards the end of the game he tried to rush the village flag with his remaining T-34s, but I ran out to meet them with multiple infantry squads and finished them all by close assault.

If I were Russian I'd skirt past the factory with my infantry, letting my tanks gun at anything that fired from within it. The infantry would also have to find and silence the german 37mm, otherwise it could seriously hurt the Russian armour. Once the german panzers arrive just run you T-34s forwards in a small group and level any buildings they try and hide behind. The panzers don't have the whack to take on multiple T-34s at once, and once they're gone the defending infantry shouldn't be able to hold out too long on their own.

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I played this as the Russians, and laid back with the armor, pounding the factory for a while as I eased the infantry close. I also set up some ambush spots for the German armor that I expected to rush to the rescue. As a lark, I then used the "Human Wave" assault, once the two prong infantry got close enough. It was quite impressive, as they started out slow, yelling "Urrah, Urrah" and then sped up, charging headlong into the gunfire. If I had been on the receiving end of the wave, I would have had to fight down the panic. I also rushed the lighter armor into the fray, giving the infantry a head start. In this manner I was able to overwhelm the factory defenders fairly quickly, as many broke and tried to run, only to get caught in crossfire in the back areas of the factory, after the armor swept around there. Also, the T-34s were still intact and able to handle the German armor that arrived, too late to help their brethern.

I managed a victory, but left a lot of my guys writhing in agony in the open spaces before the factory. In the beginning I started it to test how well the Human Wave might work, but then got caught up in the battle and pressed on to try for the win. Good scenario. Fun to play, and a lot of drama, if you look for that sort of thing.


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Spoiler**** though I doubt it is necessary, given the age of this scenario

I appreciate all the replies--I am really not used to Tactical Losses x 2, and this has been an interesting nut to crack, as the Russians.

What seems to me clear is that that "usual" tactics for taking the tractor factory are not entirely satisfactory: using the AFVs as overwatch/prep fire, and then sending in the infantry. The german anti-tank gun can take out too many AFVs, then the artillery and MGs weaken the Russian infantry, and by the time I get into the factory with my squads (neutralizing the flame thrower, and catching the stronger german squads coming forward, the Russian infantry ammo is gone. Other german squads then seem to be available to provide a counterattack.

I doubt I could ever succeed at taking any flag except the factory one. If I could accomplish that, the goal would then be to inflict enough casualties, and avoid enough casualties, to provide a win.

And the Russians have no smoke. The command delays on the buttoned T-34s are atrocious.

I can only see the non-blind/against the standard AI set-up/puzzle path to winning this:

Hide all AFVs behind the factory.

Wait until the german anti-tank gun is revealed--then mortar it.

Carefully take a T-34 and blast the mg out of the steeple.

(perhaps send a squad/platoon around the right flank to kill the artillery spotters--I think that is where they are.)

Send a 1/2 squad toward the factory to draw the germans forward, particularly the FT.

Blast the factory with AFVs.

Then move the infantry forward, with the idea that they will get into the factory with ammo left.

Hope getting near the factory flag will induce the AI to run squads across open ground to retake it.

Incidently, I have found the initial german armored car (at least, that is what I think it is) suprisingly hard to ID. Hence, trying to run my light AVFs around my left flank (difficult, because of the poor terrain), unsuccessful.

Heinrich55: I never have had the guts to try the Human Wave. How severe were casualties in your experience? Did they use much ammo?

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I was able to get the infantry close, by crawling and sneaking. It took a while, but I think it was worth it. The AFVs kept up constant pinning fire on the factory, and then it was time.

I sent the closer group (on the right) forward first, then the larger group on the swampy side. Oh yeah, there were plenty of casualties, but they didn't use a lot of ammo in the charge. I have to add, it was pretty impressive, until the Germans started cutting holes in the charging lines. Actually, the casualties weren't as bad as I had expected. I guess that was because I was fairly close. There was the unlucky squad that "found" the flamethrower boys as they hit the factory, and that squad was literally toast. However, the charging Russians cut the flame boys down moments after the first gout of fire. Those cries of "Urrahhh, Urrahhh" were pretty blood-curdling though. CM got that part right.

To be fair, I've tried the Human Wave in other scenarios, with utterly dismal results. I've also had the AI try a Human Wave across a street in a scenario in Budapest, with a +1 CEB. I couldn't believe it, and then I opened up with everything, including the kitchen sink, and the yelling stopped abruptly. I would hazard a guess that the Human Wave might be somewhat successful only early on in the war. It was fun to try it, but conditions really have to be right for it to work with any degree of reliability. My combining it with a tank charge might have been the kicker, as the Germans' focus was split between the charging brown wave and the charging green steel wave.


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Sppiler, Spoiler....

Next try: Minor Defeat.

Let me guess, the Russians had difficulty at the beginning of the war. :rolleyes:

Heinrich505: Did you actually play the whole scenario to the end and win?

This time I took the plow factory, had plenty of infantry ammo, and held it. But I was amazed by the power of the german counterattack--which seems about as large as the initial Russian attack strength. The Panzer IIIs seems at least a match for the T-34s (indeed, almost everything did, and at range)

NEXT time, I am going to put more of my AFVs on my right flank (or strictly behind the factory), and wait patiently for the counter-attack. The AI is perhaps its "strongest" in pushing a mass of AFVs forward (as opposed to a mass of infantry, which is almost always suicidal for it)

I am getting too many of my AFVs picked off before turn 20, giving me an insufficient mass of counter fire.

More than ever, I think it is nuts for the Russians to work toward any flag but the factory flag. Then I need to keep my kill ratio in my favor.

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Human wave is probably best used against a substantially outnumbered defender, and with the Maxims rattling away from behind. I would use it primarily for its speed advantage, when sporadic fire is expected. Most of the time I forget it's even an option!

I do like that hurrah, tho, in the same way I like rocket barrages which look and sound cool but never hit enough enemies to justify their cost.

In my current battle I'm looking for an opportunity to human wave my SMG infantry onto the remnants of a German force that's been utterly hammered by shelling. My opponent has never heard that 'hurrah' before, and he may well soil his Lederhosen.

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Comments on Aco4s comments, rather than the original scenario -

On rockets being only sound and fury but not hitting much - try the Russian 300mm variety, bought as conscripts and used for map fire in the first few turns. Not any more expensive than the 132mm, and the coverage within the (huge) blast area is much more effective. Plenty of stuff winds up being close to the nearest big rocket to get seriously hurt. It will change your impression of the usefulness of rocket prep fire.

On human wave, the proper use of it is not to try to overwhelm live enemy defenders by charging straight onto them. It is, instead, to shove lower quality infantry through the roughly 300 meter to 100 meter range window where normally they'd pin, or you'd need to use "advance" and take 10 minutes. Not onto the enemy, just into cover near him, in range of spots. Then fire back with everyone as they rally, and with the overwatch, building up to a mad minute or two with everyone recovered. A ton of infantry that close has the firepower to melt defenders.

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JasonC- True enough, those big Katyushas are good. I'll concede also that the German incendiary rockets have an effect on the battlefield as well, when they're available.

Considering what one reads about the devastating effects or rocket barrages, the less than 30cm types may be undermodelled in the game. Or perhaps they need to be used with multiple batteries on the same target. It seems odd to have seen, several times in CM, an occupied area hit by a rocket barrage and have either zero or a handful of casualties inflicted.

I follow your idea on the human wave. By 'onto' in this case I mean into good ppsh range in a contested village. Come to think of it, I might consider human wave more often as a way to get smg troops into range of the enemy. I'll have to see how it works out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Two more tries, both Draws.

But I think I can do better.

This is, I think, a good scenario to practice Human Wave. The platoons can cover about 100 meters into good cover (rubble), against little counterfire.

There was also one of my first successful attempts to use infantry riding on tanks, performing what, in the paper chit era, would have been called an overrun attack, on an enemy platoon in scattered woods.

The scenario involves about 1300 points attacking about 1800 points. I am not complaining--makes it very interesting. The enemy (AI) artillery can be taken out of play by setting up not in the open, and providing no open ground infantry targets. Taking the Factory is not hard, but I find keeping it difficult, given the enormous infantry/armor counter-attack. There are simply too many targets. And I am losing 10-13 AFVs.

One idea I have had is to just deal tremendous damage in the first 10 turns, and then continue with a fighting withdrawal, aiming for casualties to compensate for flags--a raid, in essence.

Perhaps I am just going toe-to-toe too much in the last 20 turns--I don't like to move armor much while in battle, and tend to mostly hit th button for the next turn in this scenario after turn 20. Perhaps I need more focused armor cover arcs.

Will try again.

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