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Gnaeus
02 Dec 08, 01:20
Since my confession of tactical inadequacy in another thread provoked such an interesting discussion, I thought I'd ask for some advice on the WW scenarios that stumped me. Maybe this will provide some material for JZ's web site.

As the Finns, I couldn't figure out how to take the hunting lodge in either 007 Hevossalmi, or 010 Tolvajarvi-B. If I moved the right flank troops across the lake, as I think was the historical approach, they took too much fire from automatic weapons and became pinned. If I took a more cautious approach along the road in the middle and the tree line on the left, I ran out of time or men. The time constraints forced me to stack in order to assault as much as possible, and this resulted in excessive casualties.

Is there anyone who has won as the Finns and would be willing to share their secrets?

Ozgur Budak
02 Dec 08, 02:34
Tough scenario. I just finished a pbem and got a major victory as Finns. I must say I mistakenly sent one company on the right to flank the russians over the frozen water. However their advance was very slow and didnt get involved in the fight much. Although without the support of the right wing company I managed to capture the hotel in the last 3 turns. Even before capturing the hotel I managed to inflict enough casualties to the enemy. Center force fixed and pinned the enemy; the company flanked the Hotel from left delivered the fatal blow. Looking back, I think sending the right flank forces to the center to support the attack there is a better choice. However those dont change the fact that Russian player has advantage in this scenario; skilled players should take the Finnish side.

TheBigRedOne
02 Dec 08, 09:53
Ozgur Budak, the God of War.

Gnaeus
02 Dec 08, 14:09
Ozgur Budak, the God of War.

No kidding. I can't even beat the AI and here's someone getting a major victory PBEM with only two thirds of his troops. It's also possible that his opponent got too aggressive and took too many casualties.

I'll have to try this again. Maybe I need to be more aggressive on the left flank. I was hugging the woods, and assaulting the various positions that I encountered, but maybe I should be suppressing and bypassing them, and heading straight for the hotel. I suspect I'm also missing some basic tactical tricks as well.

TheBigRedOne
02 Dec 08, 14:32
No kidding. I can't even beat the AI and here's someone getting a major victory PBEM with only two thirds of his troops. It's also possible that his opponent got too aggressive and took too many casualties.

I'll have to try this again. Maybe I need to be more aggressive on the left flank. I was hugging the woods, and assaulting the various positions that I encountered, but maybe I should be suppressing and bypassing them, and heading straight for the hotel. I suspect I'm also missing some basic tactical tricks as well.

Take a look at his winning % on the Blitz and here. Pretty much says it all, not to mention that he was the main scenario designer for WW....

Mike Cox
02 Dec 08, 18:53
I was hugging the woods, and assaulting the various positions that I encountered, but maybe I should be suppressing and bypassing them, and heading straight for the hotel. I suspect I'm also missing some basic tactical tricks as well.
I don't have the scenario in front of me, but in general the above is good advice. If the enemy is not sitting on an objective or directly blocking your path, you are far better to supress and bypass. Assaults can be expensive in man power and do wear down the squad making it less effective later. (When you really need them - the final assault.)

Ozgur Budak
03 Dec 08, 02:14
It's also possible that his opponent got too aggressive and took too many casualties.


Actually the opposite. He stacked his troops in the center. This allowed me to use molotovs in big effect. He also made another error by lightly defending the northern approaches to the hotel. The left wing reached the hotel without any opposition. Yes the hotel was defended by another big stack but I believe this type of stacking defense in obscured terrain is dangerous. Finns have very deadly close range weapons. So I was a bit lucky. A better defensive player could easily defeat 2/3 of my forces. What would be the result had I joined the right wing to the fight in the center? Hard to tell without actually playing it.

Above all, taking the right strategy is only half of the job. Many players have difficulty handling their troops while maneuvring or assaulting. Micromanagement is vital in SB. Using terrain to cover movement, establishing bases of fire, holding fire, using the right weapon at the right time, careful deployment of the leaders are key factors for the execution of the planned tactics.

Gnaeus
03 Dec 08, 13:29
Actually the opposite. He stacked his troops in the center. This allowed me to use molotovs in big effect.

Ah. Here's one thing I'm doing wrong. I didn't consider using Molotov's as anti-personnel weapons. Not sure how historical this is, but given their stats it certainly makes sense from a game standpoint. In retrospect, I'm surprised I did as well as I did on the other scenarios.


He also made another error by lightly defending the northern approaches to the hotel. The left wing reached the hotel without any opposition.

Against the AI, I couldn't make sufficient progress in the north because of the Russians deployed in the woods.


Above all, taking the right strategy is only half of the job. Many players have difficulty handling their troops while maneuvring or assaulting. Micromanagement is vital in SB. Using terrain to cover movement, establishing bases of fire, holding fire, using the right weapon at the right time, careful deployment of the leaders are key factors for the execution of the planned tactics.

Maybe some expert on this could post a few more specific ideas for JZ's excellent web site.;)

Great game by the way. The strength of this system is its simplicity and modularity. It allows exploration of conflicts for which no one could afford to develop a big budget game. The Trotter book was a great addition, although he really needs an editor, or at least a proofreader.

I had no real appreciation of the trench warfare along the Mannerheim line, since most superficial accounts of the war in general histories stress the motti warfare in the north. The Russian campaign is a gem. Small, short and educational.

Mike Cox
03 Dec 08, 14:12
Above all, taking the right strategy is only half of the job. Many players have difficulty handling their troops while maneuvring or assaulting. Micromanagement is vital in SB. Using terrain to cover movement, establishing bases of fire, holding fire, using the right weapon at the right time, careful deployment of the leaders are key factors for the execution of the planned tactics.

I just want to re-emphasize this.

There were/are(?) some nice articles on the TFE4 website.

A couple of quick tips:
Use the Toggle Hold Fire on weapons. No need burning your effectiveness at long range. Don't let snipers fire willy nilly (they lose effectiveness too). Make his shots count. Don't burn through RPG's on infantry in the open when you have bunkers and AFV's to tackle. This is especially vital on weapons that have low reliability (meaning they lose effectiveness quickly reflecting a high ammo usage) like HMG's.
Use leaders effectively. Don't stack them with a squad on the advance. Getting him hit early due to some bad luck can be killer. Keep him behind (in cover) a firing line (especially if he is not armed with a ranged weapon - you are just asking for an unlucky loss). If a unit gets pinned, have them fall back to the leader, rather than moving the leader forward. (Give the leader 3 chances to rally him, and if need be more than 1.) DO bring a leader in for an an important assault or defense against assault. (There is a high likelihood that you will lose him, so it better be an important assault.) I mentally calculate a leader as a 'column shift' on an odds table. If you have Human Waves, keep your leader close by your teams and your company leaders near your squad leaders and battalion leaders near the company leaders. Use the highest leader you have for the HW attempt. (Though you may be better off using a lower rank with a higher rating if your higher up has a really poor rating.)

jztemple
03 Dec 08, 14:36
Great suggestions Mike. I still am guilty of moving my leader forward to a pinned unit instead of moving it back and accepted the big "D" status.

TheBigRedOne
03 Dec 08, 16:33
I just want to re-emphasize this.

There were/are(?) some nice articles on the TFE4 website.

A couple of quick tips:
Use the Toggle Hold Fire on weapons. No need burning your effectiveness at long range. Don't let snipers fire willy nilly (they lose effectiveness too). Make his shots count. Don't burn through RPG's on infantry in the open when you have bunkers and AFV's to tackle. This is especially vital on weapons that have low reliability (meaning they lose effectiveness quickly reflecting a high ammo usage) like HMG's.
Use leaders effectively. Don't stack them with a squad on the advance. Getting him hit early due to some bad luck can be killer. Keep him behind (in cover) a firing line (especially if he is not armed with a ranged weapon - you are just asking for an unlucky loss). If a unit gets pinned, have them fall back to the leader, rather than moving the leader forward. (Give the leader 3 chances to rally him, and if need be more than 1.) DO bring a leader in for an an important assault or defense against assault. (There is a high likelihood that you will lose him, so it better be an important assault.) I mentally calculate a leader as a 'column shift' on an odds table. If you have Human Waves, keep your leader close by your teams and your company leaders near your squad leaders and battalion leaders near the company leaders. Use the highest leader you have for the HW attempt. (Though you may be better off using a lower rank with a higher rating if your higher up has a really poor rating.)

Those articles are a MUST READ for all newer SB players, and even those who have been around a while. They are somewhat dated in terms of the games out when they were written, but in general, they are an excellent resource for the novice player. They are still available on TFE4. I converted mine to PDF form if anyone would prefer that version of them, just send me a line.

The only thing I'd say is that, back when it was written, it was commonplace to keep the leader behind a platoon, to keep him 'safer' and allow any pinned units to move backwards towards that leader. If you are using the Alternate Fire Density option, this makes the leader, if alone in a hex, much easier to kill, which means keeping him stacked with a squad for his own protection.

jztemple
03 Dec 08, 17:05
Regarding the Alternate Fire Density rule, if you are interested I have on my site the AFD testing I did (http://sites.google.com/site/jzs-place/jz-s-squad-battles-home-page/squad-battles-field-test/alt-fire-density-test).