Panzer Campaigns Content

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If you are struggling to make up your mind which game to buy In the recent JTS sale; this might help a bit. There have been 3 new long videos uploaded 2 days ago. Type into you-tube- John Tiller games and then scroll down and you will find; Content and reviews of the following game titles:

1 . Panzer Campaigns - Normandy.
2 . Panzer Campaign - Moscow 41.
3. Panzer Campaigns - Stalingrad.
 
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Panzer Campaigns updates for Bulge 44 Gold and Budapest Gold just came out - new 2d graphics.....get it while it's hot or cold. ❄ They should have timed the Bulge one for 16th December for the actual start date of the battle..............synchronous. 🙃.



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Blocking Kampfgruppe Peiper's advance.....................
 
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Normandy - Screen.

Panzer Campaigns Normandy Gold.

It's been a while since I have had any dealings with the Normandy Campaign. That changed dramatically a few weeks back with my purchase of the Gold Edition game and also Decision games - Atlantic Wall board game.

I have been debating with myself for quite a while about the Atlantic Wall game.....do not know really why. It is now no longer an issue. The game map is huge and the beach landings are a mini-game in themselves; with their own specific game-play map. I also have the Bulge game but still need to get to grips with the GOSS rules system. With two and a half times the original SPI counter count.......it is monstrous in design- all the way to the end of August 1944. Three months of vast counter placement and die rolls with two ten sided dice. I was pleasantly surprised by the look of the game map which does not come across too well in the pictures I have seen on the internet at full scale. The so called white hexes are in fact a subtle cream color which blends in nicely with the bocage terrain. All , I have done really is check the contents of the box - I will get round to playing it eventually. The main thing at the moment is the possession part. I get to stroke the box at my whim........!

Well, anyhow; about the same time, I decided to get Panzer Campaigns - Normandy Gold Edition. Playing the German side was an easy decision, as I generally do. The first thing to ascertain was what I had to defend with and how the Allied A.I. will play out.Because of the dodgy terrain with rivers and marshes and bocage - i would not trust playing the Allies against a German A.I., as it will do the same kind of bunching up as exhibited in the Bulge game.

I played to the end of the 9th June - so only 4 days or D + 3 for Grognards. The unit pictures are really good but the 3d bocage terrain does get a bit of getting used to. I do not see why the bocage terrain cannot be the same as the 2D terrain ones as you are still using counters with the option of graphical unit icons on the counters.

The good news is that all the Germans are at commpany level and platoon for armor etc. This does give the illusory feeling that you are more numerous than the allies but that is a rude awakening about to be extinguished. A lot of German forces are fixed at the start and have staggered release times. The main scenarios are about 250 turns plus but there is a 750 monster Campaign which apparently was put in to aid players who want to edit and simulate the Falaise Pocet and later operations. Naturally, I opted for the 750 turn scenario, as there is not a 1000 turn one.

The Campaign game starts at 2.00am on 6th June 1944..........when the quiet French countryside and snoring cows are suddenly awakened by huge white jellyfish desceding from the skies - the Airborne landings. The 6th Airborne landings look minimal until the next turn when the complacent look on the German players face is markeddly altered. When you look around and see the pitiful response you can commit and the way that the conbat system works - whittling them down slowly with infantry firepower which causes on average a 1 man loss, means it is going to be a long and hard fight. There is the melee option but inexperienced greeny German units against for the most part battalion sized Britishers can only occur well with superiority in numbers which is not viable for the Germans who have to defend a frontage. The good news is that The Caen river keeps the airborne Britishers isolated from any re-inforcement.


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6th Airborne Screen.

Interesting elements to the game:

1) You have Allied carpet bombing. Whenever you move re-inforcements up to the front - they may suffer automatic allied airplane interdiction...fighter bombers etc. This sounds nasty but is weak compared to what happened historically. It is annoying to single out indivuidual units in a stack which lose all movement points due to hits but I guess this simulates the traffic jams and scattering of vehicles off road which are resultant. It works very well when you get used to it.

2) The unit pictures are varied and interesting...the sounds also workwell ...the bicycle unit sound is amusing. I like to move individual tank units one by one as the wheel -track sounds blend into each other for a continuous rolling sound which is audibly stimulating.

3} The Omaha beach-head gets to be the last allied landing to break out - so giving a historical flavor. this is simulated by giving the Germans good defensive terrain and a +40 hit factor on the beach; whatever that means. I have never been a parameter details geek for the simple reason that it did not occur in real -life and we are not dealing with a board game here , wherein you try and suck out every nuance and advantage you can get by raising your odds. I have a sneaky suspicion that the allied A.I. is subdued for a while as well. There is the unusual feature that sometimes when you fire on a beach psotion - you get a multiple of hits , not only on the unit designated.

4) As the map is huge and a lot of units are far away from the front......you have to be disciplined in your approach and eke out the best movement capacity available to you. If you are not sure where re-inforcements will eventually go ; move them up anyhow to an intermediary waypoint. Being lazy with movement of units is sometimes a natural hazard. take for instance ; the 21st Panzer Division....it not only comes on off-map but is scattered all over the French countryside..........you can easily miss a small battle group by mistake....always double-check that they all located and are moving. Again ; because of staggered release times for German units....always check units for availability. this may sound trite , but you will see what I mean. You also have to be totally aware of the German artillery units- someof them have large ranges and you are not aware of this.

Some German artillery can target Allied Naval ships but I have only had No Effect results for about 30+ shots over 4 days , and yet 3 Naval losses have occurred. This may be due to defensive fire during the Allied A.I. turn. It will be a long while before I get to play the Allies , so I cannot speak about the Allied Naval bombardment - i will assume that it is relatively effective with diminishing results over time. the front line german infantry units do at times start dropping like flies and become fatigued and broken.

German air-power is limite and seems to be focused on aerial recon which 9 times out of 10 get intercepted by Allied aircraft.

Funny elements are the huge number of Flak units which the german player eventually receives - a horde of them. Dear Mr.Adolf - can we have armor or infantry instead. Some green German units are so green - they fatigue to maximum in a few turns. Putting on your boots and picking up your rifle gives you 100 fatigue points; scratching your butt adds another 100 and you are almost done. The final 100 fatigue points will be neeed for the energy to have a nice long nap. I believe there about 3 of these units.........I would line them all up and have them all shot but that would cause unnecessary fatigue to my non-green units...........

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Utah beach Screen

This is the position at 10pm on 6th June. I am quite happy with it as my first playthrough had my units - broken up and incapable of supporting each other. I was reacting rather than initiating. The terrain here is pretty dire with fire losses averaging at one and two men - and especially at bridges ; you do minimal damage. A bit of a spoiler is the bridge at point A - after two plays - the Allied A.I. goes for it with gusto and usually has a battalion sized unit defending it. It is a crucial bridge for pocketing the Allied airborne units/ splitting them in two. Point b is a hard fight with mostly battalion size Allied units. As it is night - you cannot see the green stacks of American infantry at the beach and some of the airborne units in the center. I estimate that there are about 5 -7 of these. The situation is still fluid and I do have a few areas of local superiority, point C.

Is Normandy a great game - you betcha............but the caveat is that it involves a lot of dedicated time and patience. The early decisions by the German player significantly impact the later course of battle.....make mistakes and you will suffer and forever be on the back-foot ; whereas the Allied player can wing it to a greater degree.

As for the Allied A.I. - I have only gone about 38 turns but I would hazard a guess on previous experience of Bulge that you will get a good/ reasonable opponent for about 80 -90 turns; unless of course they have twiddled with it. Playing the A.I. is also a good idea as I can already see that it maybe should not sometimes put it's artillery pieces in the front line - this is done minimally but I do not really care that much, as I have to throw the Allied Schweinhunder back into the sea ............................at all costs..................................:mad:...


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The First Battle -group Of Lehr Panzer Division has arrived North - West Of Caen, This is the most difficult decision for the German player to make. This happens in board-game as well as computer game terms. The most urgent and natural inclination is to send them and the other battle-groups when they arrive to crash into the Omaha beach-head. You can only realistically reinforce a defensive line at Omaha with infantry and that will not hold long.

The 21st Panzer Division has a natural task of crushing the 6th Airborne Pocket/ Juno beach and the 12th SS Panzer Division has to defend against the Gold and Juno beaches. The Lehr Panzer is however left hanging in the air.

  1. Do you keep it in reserve ?
  2. Do you go against Omaha ?
  3. Do you make Gold/Juno a hard fight for the allies ?
What is the perfect answer ?.........Decisions of Command...............separates the gifted and lucky from the losers........Hmmmm !......I am further ahead in the game and not telling what I did.

Funny how Bayerlein's Lehr Panzer Division spawns on the map and not at the edge as reinforcement.

This game grows on you over time - I was not so sure about it at first; especially after playing Korsun Pocket which is an Armchair General's Fantasy / Nightmare. I think it has eclipsed the Bulge game as my favorite.........the operational/tactical nuance is mind- drooling.............:)
 
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Omaha Beach

Well; the double line defensive strategy did not work - this is about the end of day 3. A lot of German units have been annihilated; there are broken units and the Allies have 2 Divisions in play. The A.I. is starting to become more aggressive...I can only imagine what it would be like against a human opponent - you would be rolled ove at this point with ease.

Utah is also going bad........I have a German cavalry contingent about a days march away and a bicycle infantry division about 2 days march away from Omaha...............so it looks like the Germans have to commit Panzers or learn to give ground as they did historically .

It is really tough to try and pull out fatigued units for rest and give space and good defensive terrain....but it looks like the only option.

Going to have to play this early stage of the campaign a few more times to get the optimal solution.......and then continue to say turn 200.

Had a look at the Osprey books - they have a specific one just for Omaha beach - full of detail....will get that down the road when I am ready to start the Atlantic Wall Monster....that will be a year away at a guess...................things to look forward to.!..........:)...
 
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Korsun Pocket Gold Edition...

The unit pictures are missing for 3 German tank units in all the main Campaign games.......Pzkw IV's.......SW of the initial 3rd Panzer Division Position.....................!
 

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For the summer sale I picked up:

Budapest ’45 Gold
El Alamein ’42 Gold
France ’40 Gold
Kharkov ’42 Gold
Korsun ’44 Gold
Market-Garden ’44 Gold
Minsk ’44 Gold
Moscow ’41 Gold
Rzhev ’42 Gold
Sicily ’43 Gold
Smolensk ’41 Gold
Stalingrad ’42 Gold
Tobruk ’41 Gold
 
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Ah ! The joy of blasting your way through the Losheim Gap defenses with ample artillery - ( Bulge game ) quickly releasing the 3rd Fallschrrmjager Division to either encircle the Schnee Eiffel Sector or move to the bridges near St . Vith . Decisions. ? Decisions ?............:)...
 
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