Unity of Command

Unity of Command

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General strategies thread
As a lot of people are discovering, this game is hard as balls. It is very, very hard to score victories that earn you prestige, and this can be frustrating. I figured I'd start a thread to share some of the general strategies I have found work for me. Most of my examples will use 2nd Kharkov as a poster child since it's the one scenario that everyone can relate to.

1) Encircle, encircle, encircle! Don't waste your precious attacks pounding away across an entire front. Pick one point, and hammer at it with your biggest, stompiest units until you create a breakthrough then rush everyone else through and cut the enemy off from their supplies. Once a unit has been out of supply for 2 turns they can't even attack so they cease to be any kind of a threat. In 2nd Kharkov for example you should be able to cut of the entire salient west of the river on the first turn. That takes almost half the soviet army out of the fight. The Germans called this Schwerpunkt, which in addition to being a very cool sounding word was also a critical component of their Blitzkirg tactics.

1a) Once you have a breakthrough use your extra units like infantry to make attacks of opportunity. Be careful with this though, especially if you're playing as the Germans make sure you're always attacking at an advantage. You can't afford to start trading steps with poor odds unless their is a particular unit (usually one threatening your supply lines) that you just can't afford to let live. You're better off saving your infantry to help hold the line against counter attacks rather than attacking with them.

2) Use your specialist steps. Again using 2nd Kharkov as an example you've got 3 or 4 engineer steps available from OKS. Not only do engineers negate entrenchment penalties, but any unit they are attached to also ignores the penalty for attacking across a river. That's pretty huge considering the entire front line is stretched over rivers.

3) Use your theater assets. Say you advance an engineer-equipped unit across the river. You can follow it up a bridge. This will allow other units to cross without a penalty and also let supplies move over the river. Things like air strikes should be used early in the turn and used to soften up units that are going to be the focus of a major attack. Other theater assets like supply drops and supply extensions are a bit more self explanatory.

4) Reorganize weak units. This is one that is easy to overlook, but if you've got a weakened unit, or one that is in an out of the way location you can use the reorganization command to disband the unit. Then at the beginning of the next turn, however may steps you reorganized are available in your force pool to re-enforce other units without spending prestige. Just make sure the unit is in supply though or you'll be forced to disband them instead which gets you no benefit.
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Näytetään 1-15 / 26 kommentista
Jelly 20.10.2012 kello 17.59 
Thanks for this. Just got the game and I don't know what I'm in for.
MaC122 20.10.2012 kello 19.51 
Ok. Had a tough time on 2nd k, beat it ( after the third time ) by sending all my reserves north to sweep south east. do specilaist steps cause points? I didnt use it.
Viimeisin muokkaaja on MaC122; 20.10.2012 kello 19.53
MaC122 lähetti viestin:
Ok. Had a tough time on 2nd k, beat it ( after the third time ) by sending all my reserves north to sweep south east. do specilaist steps cause points? I didnt use it.
Yep, they do, 20 prestige. They're actually probably a better buy than the full units you have available from HQ. In addition to the not insignificant buff that they provide to the unit they are attached to they fight as well and have an attack value the same as an armoured step. IME the full units especially that badass SS Panzergrenedier unit just arn't worth the cost. Those PG's cost the same amount of prestige as you stand to earn in the senario if you nail a BV so using them will probably put you behind the curve for prestige in later senarios.
Encircle, don't be afraid to lose troops delaying a spot, cutting of a spot and most importantly, cutting a supply line. Especailly as the Russian, you will not win one on one with Germans. You must overwhelm in that case. There are times a random weather event I believe make a scenario unwinable at max prestige gain level.
Lonestar 30.10.2012 kello 21.43 
great insight and advice, just watching the AI has tough me lots about the game so far tonight, especially how good the AI is at exploiting a weak unit with multiple attacks and sending in a spearhead right after. All of a sudden you have an enemy salient in your rear and cutting off supplies. OUCH! So im learning to do the same and not use all my units to attack as you said, go for key spots especially on supply lines in the early start of the battle♥♥♥s for the help and I will keep these tips in mind as some of it I didnt quite realize how it worked, will help me with replays and try and get top score for best prestige.:) Awesome game, not overly complex like HoI which I do love for the details but sometimes you just want to play a game for a few hours and this is deff one of them you can do that with.
I will add to what you already said: Eginner+ German armor is a great combo you will pretty much shred everything.
I just hit Orel and the Germans are blitzkriefing me! This game just keeps amazing me more! But we Soviets (or Kansans for that matter) don't give up easy. We will fight on!
There are cases where troops can be used to lead a break out. Usually you have to shuffle units around somewhat adroitly. Generally it involves 3+ divisions pounding the crap out of an opposing salient then making a solid barrier.
vendettanine lähetti viestin:
There are cases where troops can be used to lead a break out. Usually you have to shuffle units around somewhat adroitly. Generally it involves 3+ divisions pounding the crap out of an opposing salient then making a solid barrier.

I agree, and sometimes that is the best course of action especially when playing as the Soviets. If you have very limited mobile forces and your enemy has a supply line that you need to sever yesterday then it can make sense to do the unit shuffle and take a lot of casualties among your infantry to force a breakthrough. Those situations are not terribly common and extremely dangerous to pull off since it can often leave your armoured spearhead cut off and out of supply itself. Even then though it still makes sense to try to 'up armour' your attacking infantry as much as possible. Put T34's in the Russian units, or Stug III's in German to try and give them a bit more backbone.

The same principal applies though, don't spread your attacks out. Find a weak point and hammer away at it until either you win or you're taking such ridiculous casualties that it makes no sense to go on.
"No battle plan survives contact with the enemy"

Before moving any units, check where the supply souces are for both sides. Then check the victory objectives.
Now sit back grab your cap with the propeller on it and envision how to reach those objectives and encircle the enemy within the time available.

Use the button that clears the units off the map and see what the terrain looks like. Note choke points and river lines and how to use the terrain to box in enemy forces. Roadnets are very important, control them.

Now look at force pool reinforcements and Prestige based reinforcements. See if there are units arriving during battle. Add specialist steps from Force pool as early as you can so you get full benefits from them. Strip specialist steps from weak, axis allied, and understrenght units to give to stronger more effective forces. Don't give specialist steps to weak units, axis allied forces, understrenght units, or any unit that you think will be attacked the same turn.
Use prestige if you think it will upgrade your victory save your front from collapse.
Try to win battles using no prestige.

Air Power strike priority. Attack front line units you plan to eliminate for the breakthrough, armor, motorized, units defending objectives. If more than 1 strike available, don't be gunshy use them all on the same unit or spread them out if you think that works better. Sometimes airpower fails no matter what. Avoid the -2 and -1 if you can.

Move units out of supply. Rotate them back into supply next turn, or airsupply if available.

Weather can foil the best of plans. If you find your Brillant victory snafu'ed, get the victory you can. Go take a shower, drink a beer, smoke'em if you got'em and come back for the next battle.

Aim for victory then replay for the elusive brillant victories.

Hope this helps a little, Good luck with those brillant victories.
Viimeisin muokkaaja on Gurggulk; 9.1.2013 kello 11.09
Good thread; please keep offering advice.
anyone managed to work out how to play Leningrad for a brilliant victory?
This one can be easy to miss, when you're used to other games, but don't be afraid to throw guys into the meat grinder when it's do or die. Losing a soviet infantry unit so the next one will break the line just means you have to plan less canned food in the next five year plan
Jasonmm 27.2.2013 kello 6.16 
runequester is correct , its not about keeping your units alive , its about getting to the objective , if Stalin didnt care about his troops , why shoud I ?
OK I will try that approach - seems at odds with the supply focus elsewhere.
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