Grand Campaign "Push to the Volga" is complete. KG_Loki (aka CC_Infected_x_X) and I started this GC back in December 2016. I asked for a campaign already started as I hate beach maps. That is, attacking out of a small square against superior positions on day one. The campaign was on turn two of day one. We carried on from here until the end. Germans set to line and Russians on recruit and 15 minute games. Recruit gives the Russians more tanks and a handful of tanks in units that otherwise would not have them. We chose to view each others force pools prior to battle but not actual units chosen for the battle. We played over 300 battles playing for around 65-70 hours total over six months.
220 battles were recorded using Bandicam. They are available to watch on Youtube at Stalingrad Unedited. They are unedited and not narrated, just raw in game video.
Grand Strategy - My strategy was to meet Loki's armour with mine in the center and move all my infantry units north around RO Settlements through Sculturny Park to get behind the T-34s. This flanking migration of infantry took days and careful planning that strategic moves did not get messed up. Southern strategy was to check the Russians in Grain Elevator and Southern Ferry Terminal. The southern area below Chuikov's HQ and Tsarista Crossing remained quiet for most of campaign after the Russians were pushed back to the Southern Ferry Terminal.
Armour Tactics - Russian armour was very centralized, in about five battle groups. Upwards of 20-25 T-34s in four of them and 30 odd KV-1s in the fifth. Any armour losses suffered reverberated throughout the campaign so I used them carefully. Brute force could not be used against the Russians for fear of a devastating loss of armour. I was usually attacking out of a box with limited sight. My tactics were threefold to beat Russian armour. First German armour would be grouped, sometimes five tanks parked side by side. This would overwhelm any single tanks spotted. Secondly, airstrike support was exclusively targeted on enemy tanks. Finally, all my attacks had the exit VLs in mind. I was never able to force a breakthrough with these tactics but I did force the Russians back very slowly.
Infantry Tactics - German infantry was far superior to Russian and more numerous. While attacking I knew my losses would be greater, and at times much greater. I learned quickly to run my men only to the outer walls of buildings, not to rush in. Once they got to the wall they would fight with grenades first then small arms all together. If I had them rush in, they would get mowed down by waiting Russians. The infantry fighting was brutal. One map in particular that was the most frustrating was Mokraya Mechetka, the northern most center map. I spent days trying to remove the Russians. The map favours defence with its deep gullies and a dry river bed bisecting the map laterally. Each gully had the steep slope terrain element which made infantry movement extremely slow. I ended up attacking from three different directions with three different units. Eventually the Loki just retreated from the map.
Russian Plan (from my perspective)
Grand Strategy - Loki fought a delaying actions most of the game. In the first couple days Loki retreated east quickly to ensure better defensive positions. These days are crucial for the Russians. If the Germans make a breakthroughm, there are no Russian units in depth to stop them, the Russians have only a single line of defence, Loki ensured it was not broken by the early retreats. Loki's armour was deployed to center of the map, in and around RO Settlements, Mamayev Kurgan, Shooting Range, Barracks Hill and West Stalingrad. Infantry units made up the northern flank. In the south a single Guards infantry unit held the Ferry Terminal for most of the game.
Armour Tactics - T-34s were deployed mainly in a static defence role behind natural obstacles and buildings. They had superior firing positions with their turrets already facing the proper direction. German tanks had to roll into their LOS and traverse to shoot. Loki's armour units were deployed to maps that favored long lines of sight and few buildings. Mamayev Kurgan is the best example of this deployment. I was disbanded two or three times attacking into this map. The KV-1s were mostly a deterrent for most of the game, they were used very sparingly.
Infantry Tactics - Russian infantry was sub par is most battle groups. Loki made the best of this ambushing my men. There were two notable ambush spots. The first being in the bottom of a gully in a trench. German infantry would crest the top of the gully hitting the steep slope element and get picked off by one by less superior infantry. The second ambush spot was within ruined buildings in the second room. As Germans would enter the first room blind, Russian infantry would pick them off as they entered. I dealt with this effectively with the tactic I mentioned above, it was still costly.
Russian Maxims are the top machine gun in the mod. German machine guns do not compare.
Panzer3 tanks seemed superior to T-34s, Panzer4 were not.
German ATRs would not perform nearly as good as Russian ATRs. Russian ATRs worked great against ATGs.
Russian T-60 and T-70s are hard to destroy. They would take many hits leaving crew injured but would not die until hit with sustained fire.
Stugs would get damaged in all encounters with tanks, ATGs and ATRs. Not a reliable tank. Most Stugs were gone by mid campaign.
Mortars were only effective at killing standing infantry. No ATG or open topped vehicle was killed due to mortar fire.
The Airborne assault into St. Germain has been corralled into the bottom of the map. I attacked hard and went for a disband only narrowly missing it. With one more minute the Allies would of been disbanded. My German BG now has even less ammo, defence may be the order of Turn 3.
21st Panzer Div attacked into Pegasus Bridge. Up until this turn most of the attacking has been done by Insano, now I get to test his defence. This BG has two 81mm mortar carriers, I took both into battle. In a 15minute game you can basically launch mortars the entire time. My deploy was very constrained and ended up with a traffic jam on the bridge. Insano took out one of the mortar carriers, a massive loss that will echo throughout the campaign for me.
91st Infantry Div attacked into St. Mere Eglise. This is a difficult attack map against Airborne troops with 57mm ATGs and bazookas. Progress was minimal which I expected and bloody. I gained the exit VL I wanted and could advance no further.
Turn 3 should see the Allies moving off the beaches I retreated from. The Bayeux area is severely lacking battlegroups for defence. Fox Green and Dog Green, both maps almost completely overrun and the BGs are mostly useless. In between those two beaches are Dog Red and Fox Red, both maps holding steady versus the Allies. I am predicting my defence will be split through the middle at Bayeux. No heroes were killed after this turn, and I have two more to add to the roster!
Captain_Insano and I started a Grand Campaign in The Longest Day. Insano is playing the Allies. The settings are 15 minutes, morale off, Recruit vs Recruit. The opening turns favour the Allies heavily. The Germans are surprised and unable to make strat moves and are fielding very weak battle groups, some of which only have 10 teams maximum. My goal with turn one was only to inflict as much casualties as possible and hold my exits.
Insano's paratroops were outmatched at La Fiere Causeway. Landing in the swamp, I surrounded their deploy with light tanks, machine guns and an infantry gun and eventually disbanded them. Insano made advances on most beach maps and some of the airborne maps, I conceded large swaths of those maps in favour of a defence farther back with ambushes set up. I retreated from Tare Green, Uncle Red, Arromanches, Juno and Sword beaches at the conclusion of turn one. These units are not fit for further combat and will act only to delay until they are completely dissolved. There are some large gaps in my defence line at the beginning of turn two which should lead to some chasing and trapping maneuvers. 81mm mortars played a huge role in the opening turn inflicting 137 casualties, 112 of those deaths. Here are the results and two heroes!
On March 23 Platoon_Michael and I decided to have a classic Battle of the Bulge grand campaign. 15 minute games with morale on, Michael playing as Germans. Neither of us had played CC4 in awhile, let alone made it any significant progress playing out the grand campaign in the last few years. Starting the game, the force strength bar was in his favor but I like an underdog fight and I knew most battles I would be fighting to survive. In fact, the very first battle I was disbanded by a German group with Panthers at Simmerath.
During the opening days of the campaign as Allies my hands were tied. I was fighting with many under strength battle groups without armour and very little anti-tank weapons. I was facing German groups that could field five Panther tanks turn after turn. My Southern flank was crushed. The German spy network was working overtime to completely screw my chances at countering his drive in the South. Turn after turn all my units were redirected which also resulting in other units getting stuck behind the front line. The spy network was so effective that Bastogne fell without a fight, I couldn't get any of my units in there for a defence, a massive victory for Michael. On December 19th, the spy network was no longer operating and I now I can attempt to clean up the mess.
One aspect of CC4 that was the bane of its existence was the locked forcepools. So many of us shunned it back in 1999 due to that, it was a huge change from The Russian Front. Now however, locked forcepools are something I can appreciate. Combine this aspect with a 15 minute timer and morale turned on you can easily get up to five games completed in one hour! The extremely small maps also help keep up the fast paced nature of CC4. There are very little options for defence. The maps are only a couple hundred meters wide, you are literally dropped into a cage and must fight for your survival. The fights a very lethal and the stakes are multiplied by having morale on.
Relearning the units combat qualities was also costly. The German Infantry Gun carries a ton ammo, is mobile and has a very high rate of fire. I found this out at Wardin on December 18th. Watch this video at the 3:45 mark. I was not prepared to counter that unit and it steamrolled my infantry. During the next battle on December 19th, all my infantry teams focused on it with small arms fire and the gun went down very slowly, only after the outcome of the battle was decided. German flamethrower teams are another unit that is hard to face. These teams also have a high rate of fire but less killing per shot that we are used to in CC5. You cannot engage these units in house to house combat. They are not easily suppressed either.
American antitank weapons like the 57mm antitank gun and bazooka are effect vs all armour and vehicles. However, head on vs Panthers both Allied units will lose. Side and rear shots are required for more than damaging hits. If you are cut off from supply, the 57mm guns will expend all ammo very quickly.The size of the maps limit your ability to get beside or behind a Panther. Sherman 76mms and M10s will also have a tough time head on vs the Panther. Multiple tanks vs one Panther is effective in the sense that they will knock out the combat effectiveness of the Panther, but not destroy the tank. Over and over again I see Michael pulling a Panther back due to losing its main gun or too many crew members.
I am recording each battle of the GC, this will be the first and only complete grand campaign uploaded to Youtube to date. We are 62 battles in with about nine hours of total play time. We are currently on December 20th Evening about to make strategic moves. We have both had our days of defeats and days of victory. One thing the Allies do not have are any heros with huge kill counts. Attrition is extremely high and most of my men do not survive more than two or three battles.
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