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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Panzer Campaigns Stalingrad ( Gold 42 )

Operation Uranus - 19th November 1942

This is my second foray into a battle on the Eastern front. The first being Korsun Pocket which for a number of reasons is a personal favorite. Choosing the next game is always a hit and miss affair............when I loaded it up........I was still in two minds as to whether I should have purchased it. The Germans/Romanians are in an almost complete defensive position which makes it an Axis reaction exercise.The map is deceptively moderate in size until you actually get to moving your units , when it grows in leaps and bounds like a one month old kitten/cat with an ever increasing appetite.

It is an impressive initial layout for the Axix forces. The environs of Stalingrad hit out as a potential slow grinding slugfest which it actually becomes- no surprise there. You will get a lot of One man hits and no effect hits which at times; puts you in the mind frame of - Oh , I will skip this sector for my offensive turn; until of course , something interesting or critical happens which is maybe losing one hex of the city......and that is rare. There is a fun bit , when you catch a Soviet battalion crossing over the river and fire at them and get a 146 hit result and annihilate then totally in 2 to 3 game turns.

Anyways - the main battle illustrates the Soviet counteroffensive on the flanks of the German army- ( Operation Uranus - 306 turns ). A sneaky attempt to pocket the German troops fighting in the city of Stalingrad. Looking at what the Axis forces have at hand, at the start seems pretty reasonable. The game is portrayed at company level for the Axis, with front line units formed of two third demi-battalions which can be further reduced into 2 companies, with the third company of the battalion resting and refitting a little ways to the rear,- to simulate the round-robin effect of giving one company at a time a respite for a day or two from snipers or sporadic shelling. This is also a a good implementation tool for the Axis players tactical psychology to husband a small reeserve amount and Boy - are you ever going to have to learn the principle of husbanding your forces.

I can't remember any significant details of this battle beyond the main thread from reading a long while back , so after a days worth of playing - I stumbled across some excellent videos with detailed portions of the battle - I wish I had not done so because I found out exactly what the Soviets had actually committed to this battle........Doh !

As , I was saying ; before you start operations , you review your front line and potential reserves......does not look too bad.....lots of emplaced bunkers and a goodly amount of support artillery. Three German Panzer Divisions in reserve ( not at peak or full strength ).....a lot of Engineer units and as you find out a bit later , a reasonable amount of air support.

What could possibly go wrong ???? After one days gameplay.....the Romanian forces mostly covering the flanks of the Stalingrad assault were holding off the Soviets with relative ease. Three and four battalion Soviet stacks were being disrupted and shot up with relative ease......they just keep on coming and get the same treatment.

Is this it ????...... Is this all you can conjure up, Saruman - I mean , Stalin....??? Just wait for the end of the second day's play...then the holes start opening up and you also notice that your artillery gets more and more sparse. When those holes open up...you rush your immediate reserves in and breathe a sigh of relief until the end of the third day....when a mass rout psychosis starts to spread across a lot of your Romanian troops.........and they are really slow to un-rout. This is when the Soviets/A.I. unleashes it's Armor contingent and then all Hell breaks loose.

No problemo - I have 3 Panzer Divisions in reserve and the Ist Romanian Tank Division to put in. Oh No !..... you don't !........let's just say that the Panzer Divisions are symbolic for the moment. You soon learn that the Russian tanks are numerous and some are of high blasting power. Added to that are the dreaded Soviet Cavalry regiments....slightly lighter color from the normal ones...........these are more fearsome than the tanks as they can quickly annihilate Romanian Infantry units...........these are a freaking nightmare to deal with. Only German Infantry units with high morale can deal with these boogers.

Don't even get me started on the anti-tank peashooters that the Romanians have.....very occasionally ,they can knock out a high quality Soviet tank.........but they are best used as time stalling , tank fodder, to give you a breathing space to get your reserves in.

By the middle of the Fourth day - there should be dirty great big holes in the Romanian line to the North-West of Stalingrad. And here is where the fun and interesting element to this game/ battle starts to present itself. As the Axis player ; you literally have to scrape together battle-groups to oppose the Soviet breakthroughs. You find yourself taking tanks out of Stalingrad itself and slowly denuding your German Infantry Divisions while not making yourself too weak in these positions on the front line.......just in case, the Soviets start pressing here and if you do not have an intricate and detailed knowledge of this battle.......then you will sweat.

It's hilarious how you can just in time get a few units in the right place, at the right time.............it is seriously mind taxing and stretches your tactical brain cells. You end up with numerous minor engagements wherein you have to double think whether to just stand and take punishment or try to move around to rescue some isolated or weak units from eventual annihilation. You really do get to experience pain when your precious armor begins to be whittled down and destroyed.....you get situations where one German tank unit with 11 tanks is holding off a 3 unit stack of Soviet tanks supported by an Russian Infantry regiment and you are forced to keep it in position to block these units from going futher or hitting weaker units trying to rally or re-inforce.

What are the 3 reserve Panzer divisions doing, ( 6th , 11th and 17th ) ? Nothing - they are FIXED......a good term in all it's definition.

What about the other flank pincer to the south of Stalingrad that would create a pocket. This sector/area is a slightly different battle. The Romanians do well up to a certain point , ( I will not do a spoiler ) but things are not too horendous.......the German defenders immediately south of Stalingrad are tough and the terrain very helpful....that is not to say ,that you will not have problems.......I managed at a ceratin point to close off a deep penetration of Soviet forces but am still mopping up the remaining outlier Soviets and it was not easy....another reinforced attack on the same scale will smash my line.......I have to prepare , just in case.

Stalingrad itself is still a slow slug-fest , with the amount of Russian troops there and the slow dwindling of attack forces on the German side due to reinforcing Soviet holes in the North-west and south - I do not think the city can be cleared of Russians completely.

Other interesting elements to this game:

  1. You get a few train artillery units which make a good noise when you move them.)
  2. It grows on you ........slowly....I bet that some people have played only the first day as the Axis and thought , boooorrriiiing - this is too easy and go elsewhere for their jollies.
  1. You can make things more difficult for yourself by letting the Soviets pour through , giving ground for time.....masochists catered for......
  2. The graphics are good - The Romanian counters have a pleasant off yellowey /green effect. The Winter terrain just north of Stalingrad is very atmospheric with a wintery blue patina. Unfortunately- you do not do much fighting in this area - as yet - I do not think so ; could be wrong ----for now anyway.
  3. There is an area where the Germans can launch a surprise assault and catch the Soviets napping and cause a lot of damage - morale booster from being on the defensive all the time, and it starts to grate. But you have to time it right because the A.I. will throw armor at you eventually and diminish the cost/benefit outlay. I found it by accident.....it's there.......Ho.. Ho.. Ho... !
6)Being stubborn and not being intimidated by Soviet numbers sometimes pays off.
7)The A.I. is not perfect.....but sometimes, it can be a real SOB......I have had a number of occasions when I have literally walked into not good situations.....I guess that is why you have quite a lot of air recon availability. Use it wisely.........especially before your precious tank movememnts...........
8)There are bridges wired for demolition...but you cannot blow them up...must be something wrong with that ?????
9) I am only at the start of this battle...eventually control of the few main highways will be critical for your movement/success to a critical extent....no fudging this element.
10)Slightly faster A.I. processing is available.

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Situation about the end of the 6th day..............................as can be seen - big holes in the North-west front. City of Stalingrad is red boxed.


My overall imprsesion of this battle/game , ( playing from the Axis side perspective), is that it can be a bit slow going in parts but will stretch your nerves taut in a first playthrough.
Wintry landscape has it's charm and with most games ....you get what you put in and are willing to put in and of course whether you have a specific interest. As mentioned at the start - I had some reservation but was pleasantly surprised by the offering. It's a Grower not a Dunker. You definitely get a sense of what problems Von Paulus had to face and can readily sympathise with his historical position."Jawohl ! "............
 
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( Double click to enlarge )

Situation at 4.00pm 25th November - Game turn 66 (306 ).

As can be seen.....Russians have lost 25,000 more Infantry but my vehicle loss is greater. It is a long way to get out of a Russian Major defeat....which is surprising. That said , my armuor has taken a battering and I have no idea when the 3 Reserve Panzer Divisions will be released. The only off map reinforcement I got so far, was the Von Paulus, Leader counter himself. I am starting to think that you get nothing at all.....

If the Russians, ( A.I ) begin another strong attack on both pincer flanks....the situation will deteriorate fast........I hope they do........because if the front stays static at the same level and the hiatus point of the Russian attack has been reached - then I have won this engagement........I have stopped playing for the moment but will see what happens when I come back to it ....can always change sides and get the Russians into a Minor victory..... I bet as soon as I swap sides, the 3 German reserve Panzer Divisions will be released....:mad:.
 
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Roast me a Chipmunk...... RAW !........against my better judgement.... I turned the Russian A.I. to ( manual ), to see what is generally going on; whether it is worth continuing the game. It is GT. 71 and I have thrown back the southern pincer attack and I am still mopping up isolated Soviet units behind...a strong incursion of Russians just NNW of Stalingrad caught me by surprise but I managed to rush in defenders and the steam of the Russian advance is no longer a serous threat here.

Anyways just quickly browsing the Soviet positions......they have got freakin huge numbers where I thought they had limited capacity and the major hole in the Northern Romanian front looks fairly inconsequential............until that is , you open the curtain and the Russians have dirty big groups here and there.....they are literally sitting there doing nothing......have they run out of fuel ?.......As for the Southern Russian pincer ... I thought I had closed it leaving maybe 12 to 20 units to mop up....in reality ,they have about 4 divisions behind my lines.....What the Hell !,....and they are just sitting there doing nothing until I maybe bump into them.............with meagre reinforcements.

It is crazy how a small hole of say, 5 hexes ( miles ), is exploited by the A.I. .......I am surprised at how quickly they can funnel through troops.

The Heeresgruppe 6 Intelligence officer has unfortunately met an untimely accident.............his pistol went off while he was cleaning it...........

This game is far from over , which is good....the mopping up operation behind lines is a big task and I am praying that the huge masses before the front lines do not make any major attacks.....Gott Im Himmel !...

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See how peaceful things look.......that is why I turned the A.I. to manual....Soviet penetrations have even reached Goblinsky from the North. They have a mas further North - I expect the A.I. is programmed to deal with a large flank retaliation by the Axis........with what............when are the panzers going to be released.....even if they are.................the Soviets will exhaust and chew them up slowly.

I am going to have to include a Rommel counter..............:p.
 
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( Dbl Mouse click to enlarge - this is one of those ones that magnify ).


Perhaps I may not need a Rommel Counter ?

Holy Toledo ! Look at the size of the Panzer Campaigns - Tunisia Master Map............veeeeeery tempting ...............Rommel's last ditch stand........could be intense game play, if the Allied A.I. is aggressive enough............. but I have to build up my ACW stuff...........

Still playing Stalingrad as the Soviet A.I. is starting to attack and push forward in areas that were relatively quiet...........and showing some surprising movement..........which makes the game still interesting to continue with...........👍.
 
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View attachment 26065
( Dbl Mouse click to enlarge - this is one of those ones that magnify ).


Perhaps I may not need a Rommel Counter ?

Holy Toledo ! Look at the size of the Panzer Campaigns - Tunisia Master Map............veeeeeery tempting ...............Rommel's last ditch stand........could be intense game play, if the Allied A.I. is aggressive enough............. but I have to build up my ACW stuff...........

Still playing Stalingrad as the Soviet A.I. is starting to attack and push forward in areas that were relatively quiet...........and showing some surprising movement..........which makes the game still interesting to continue with...........👍.
I would like to see AIs that model actual players style of play. You post some interesting threads btw. Keep it up.
 
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( Dbl Click to enlarge )

10.00am 17th December 1944..........❄.

Playing German ( Human ) against . Allied ( A.I. ) - no advantage slider. Can you do better ?.
Tried different tactic to eliminate allied support artillery......Is it me or is the German artillery a little bit more powerful in the latest Gold update version.

Ground covered is also very good......I have a German Infantry regiment already assaulting Clervaux.................👌. That surprised two American divisional HQ's .........
" Hande Hoch.! ". 🙂.
 
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Oh Good - they have fixed the wired bridge anomaly, wherein you cannot blow up a bridge. I did notice that in my Stalingrad game and thought it was an individual fault.........or that I cannot order bridges blown unless OKW approves it...........just checked and it seems I have version 4.01 and 4.03 went out this August.......with the correction to this and some other games.
 
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Stalingrad 42 - Game turn 84 of 306. As can be seen , I have achieved a Major Russian defeat at this point. Figures do not represent the true situation on the ground.

I really wanted to see how long the Romanians could hold out before desintegrating. It looks about GT.80 in the North-West and probably about GT.100 in the South-East. The Romanian Army in the North-west has been reduced to pockets and small scale defense; nothing left to stem the Ivan tide. The Romanians in the South-East have fared better because the Russian southern pincer to encircle Stalingrad was blunted but it was a close run thing and German forces here are mostly spent/depleted/fatigued.

This game has actually grown on me as it becomes a real brain boiler as you have to slowly denude your German forces along their line and from Stalingrad to face the Russian pincer in the North. It is an interesting operational dilemma. To be honest ; I got bored with the fighting in Stalingrad itself as it is slow and you mostly get minimal results ...I let defensive fire do the work for the Axis and ride without interference. ( Unless there was a Russian unit crossing the river - which can be annihilated with massed fire from one stack- very satisfying but rare.

At this stage of the game ; the tide has begun to turn against the Axis player. Next time ; I will also choose to allow the German reserve panzer divisions to be released at my behest........OkW giving approval at GT. 80.

Compared to Moscow 42 - this game is operationally better in scope and gameplay. :).

Point to note - If you want the Russian A.I. in the North -West to move forward and be more aggressive...start retreating the Romanians slowly.......I would have a lot of Romanian broken units holding a line and the Russian A.I. would be think twice which is good but you wonder what the hold up is as they have superior numbers. ?????
 
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Panzer Campaigns Sicily 43.

My favourite Panzer Campaigns games to date:
  1. Bulge
  2. Normandy
  3. Korsun
4. Sicily
5. Stalingrad

(6). Tunisia
(7). Moscow 42

I have only briefly looked at Tunisia and Moscow and it is doubtful that they can replace or move into the top 5.
Sicily 43 has moved into fourth place as it has a very interesting operational dynamic. Both sides have a decent amount of re-inforcements and you do not have such a static frontage mentality as in a lot of other games. Both sides have opportunities to flank/exploit and having the right amount of units where you want to make a difference, usually pays off. I find it more fun to have the ability to make counterattacks rather than funnelling units into static defensive frontages.


I have only played this vanilla as the Axis player and found the experience.......nail biting at times; which means that it is a challenge and tactically interesting.
It's hilarious when you just about manage to get an Italian company into a VP hex or to block a road against the Allies and breathe a sigh of relief that you have a few more precious turns to move more sizeable reinforcements ever closer; although that sometimes is wishful thinking. This game rewards force management and movement to a greater extent than others.

Warning : This game has a lot of movemnt of units , especially for the Axis player and the terrain off road is diabolical. Moving axis units cross country from the North-west to the battle area in the South east is a nightmare. You quickly learn that going around the Island perimeter on the main highway looks longer but is in fact quicker, but there is always the danger of Allied paratroopers blocking it. This is highly annoying the closer you get to the battle front area, as it takes precious turns of delay in reaching crucial areas.

The Italian Army is plentiful but limited in ability; especially when units become depleted. They are surprisingly good at relatively even fights but when out numbered or outclassed, become easy cannon fodder.
I like the way the Italian units are painfully slow to move on the main highways and roads- this being the case historically with their crappy fiat trucks. The German motorized units speed pass faster than speedy gonzales. You have to factor in the slow truck element.

The main Axis punch power is the Herman Goering Panzer Division which has a nasty effectiveness and it's deployment at the early stage is critical. Too much Gung Ho and it will be useless in mid game, let alone end game terms.

Another few nice points of historicity is that the Allied Airborne landing is almost a disaster. In this game, unlike Normandy , it is an annoyance rather than a sweat inducing event...there is a later event which can take the Axis player by surprise.
Also, The 3 Italian Infantry companies defending Syracuse manage to hold off the British airborne units as happebned historically unless you are unfortunate or a really bad player.

The British landing and breakout is more extensive than the American which happened historically.

The game I played/vanilla - I managed to wipe out the American landing.......could be tactical brilliance or I worked out something.

The good point about this game/battle is that most peoplle are not as familiar with it in the same way as Bulge or Normandy; so it readily makes for an interesting learning curve.

I have noticed that with my top game picks that the operational situation and availability of a trickle or stream of re-inforcements for both sides makes for a more intriguing and interesting/challenging game experience.
Having bought Moscow 42 a while back; I have not even bothered to play a few turns as it is one great big static front with extremely limited re-infocements for the Germans who come pretty late in the game. Kind of puts me off !

Panzer Campaigns Sicily 43 is a definite re-tryer for both sides
 
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Panzer Campaigns Budapest Gold 4.3. ...The bridge indicated is marked as damaged in hex information and on 3d map but you can cross it with infantry, armour etc. Not a big deal but it gives the edge to the 5SS Panzer Division ( Ullrich ) against the Soviet regiment defending this sector.
( Operation Konrad - 395 turns - Axis Human vs Soviet A.I. ). :( .

27837

Game Turn 16. No advantage slider. Axis ( Human ).

Playing vanilla - I am surprised so far that there has been limited Soviet resistance....I have a Wiking Recon unit only 35 miles from Budapest outskirts....... German tanks proving valuable in breaking resistance..........like the railroad choo choo noises ...a lot of troops are transported in by railroad...........a Volksgrenadier division has just arrived by rail.
Overall casualties are acceptable... I am guessing that I will run into Soviet tank swarms any time now.
The river crossing engineers are a pain sometimes to use.

The Soviets have taken a 750 point Axis VP in Budapest but have been whittled down and should be retaken. This siege is a bit more dynamic than Stalingrad which has a lot of no effect results. The Axis here can make good counter fire but it is doubtful that they can last 395 turns.....even with fatigue switching of units......the defenders will be in poor shape by GT .90.

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Midway

Oh No ! I forgot I had this one.......just adding it to the never ending conveyor belt of things to do. It looks like one that you cannot get away with learning as you go along.....without piling into the rules of play. More brain cell pain 🤨...........................It looks interesting though from just loading it up. Thank God for the pause button........that will come in real handy.
 
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