Great Patriotic War Strategy

The Great Patriotic War is a very cool scenario by David Morse.  I submit it is a far faster and fluid than Ceasefire Collapse.  If you are looking for a great all out battle this is the scenario for you.  No Ogres, no cruise missiles, just good old fashioned fun!

 

Playing the D   - Despite the massive wave of armor you'll be facing, you'll find the defender has the edge.  That's right, the defender.  Check out the 11 games listed in the play testing section of Command Post Gamma.  Eight wins for the defense, 1 draw, and 2 wins for the attacker.  David Morse said it best  - "about the time the Combine is crushing your first HQ, its formations should be sufficiently frayed that you can nibble the flanks productively. Once you force the mailed fist to spread its fingers, its ability to overcome your reinforcements ebbs quickly..."

So your goal as the defender is to accept the fact you will lose a CP, just inflict as much damage as you can every turn.  Eventually you will win the war by way of reinforcements.

I'm going to use the Ogre v2.0 gamebox for my illustrations.  The hexes are a little smaller and you get a wider view than the Classic Ogre & GEV gamebox.  Here's my suggestion for the north end of the map:

When you set up, you don't know where the enemy howies will be.  So the first rule is set up out of range (see dotted line above). 

I've picked a light howie in the middle of the board, where it can participate in battles in the middle and south end of the board.  It helps solidify your defense of Beta and reaches all the way south to the gap in the trees between 0920 and 1218.  Then I've added a super for survivability, and also to block the lane used by GEVs to try to overrun Beta.  The 3 squad at 1209 can move to 1408 or it can blow the road at 1410 if needed.  Your GEVs can head south if needed or stay to defend the center.

In the far north we have 6 squads and 5 LGEVs.  The LGEVs can use the road bonus to shelter in the city at 1408 if they are needed in the middle, or they can defend Gamma using the infantry as a screen.

If you are facing a GEV horde advancing north on the pond, the LGEVs can move forward to the attack, and then choose between a) retreating behind their infantry screen, hopefully preventing a counter attack, or b) overrun unstacked enemies on the second phase.

Your southern defense might look like this:

Six squads shield the southern howie but set up just out of howie range.  They will move forward a hex (if they are out of howie range) on their first turn to give you a traditional howitzer screen.

Five LGEVs are set up in the trees at 0820.  This way they can veer either north or south of the treeline.  Like the LGEVs up north, their goal is to strike and then overrun on the second phase.

One key thought to keep in mind when setting up your D;  keep the bulk of your forces near the middle of the map.  In the setup I've described above, I've put 21/2 armor north, 2 1/2 armor north, and 5 in the center.  This way you can react in either direction based on the the way the game unfolds.

 

Attacking  - This is a lot of fun!  Pick your units and plan your attack.  As the attacker, you have all the options and get to determine the pace, flow, and location of the battle.

The number 1 rule - don't split your forces!!  You will lose for sure if you try any kind of multi-prong attack.  The defender is tough nut to crack.  Concentrate your forces and pick your target.

 

CHOICE #1 - North over the pond.  Seems tempting, no?  Send a bunch of GEVs, maybe some LGEVs and/or GEV-PCs north over the lake and smoke CP Gamma.  Then hook south and polish off the rest.

This is one of those plans that looks good on paper, but in practice is far more difficult.  You face two problems.  The big one is that GEVs just cannot handle the heat.  Hovers are great when you can attack and retreat, but in this game you must advance.  Often your forces are deeply stacked during the first two turns, and that hurts the GEVs even more.

The other problem is that after Gamma is toast, it's hard for the GEVs to hook south.  If they go west on land they have a mass of trees to contend with, so they usually retreat by way of the pond.  Then they've got the water boundary to deal with. 

More so than other attack choices, it seems like the northern choice is prosecuted half-heartedly.  You'll see 10-12 GEVs on the lake and usually 3-4 other armor loitering just in front of laketown.  When the attacker splits his forces, it's good for the defense!

I have never seen this attack work, and I've played about 12 games of this scenario so far.

 

CHOICE #2 - the uppercut!  The same idea as choice 1.  Since you are going over land, you have more choices in your unit selection.  Hovers are favored because of their speed, though heavy armor would be a solid choice. 

I've only defended against hovers, and never armor.  Keep this in mind, as heavy armor in the uppercut may have the potential to succeed.

I can tell you that using hovers won't work.  They will get Alpha and suffer grievously in the process.  Then the hovers will have to cross the east-west stream, behind which they will meet stiffening resistance.

If I was going to try heavy armor, it would be a mix of either super and/or heavy tanks.  David Morse told me that all heavies worked for him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHOICE #3 - thru the middle.  This is the only tactic that has worked for me.  Straight up the road towards 1408, attacking Beta first, the northern howie a close second, and Gamma third. 

Of all the CPs, Beta is the closet to the island.  With the road movement bonus, it's even closer.  In fact, if you get really lucky, you can get Beta on turn 2!  The ONLY downside to this plan; after you blast Beta, and your forces then go north to Gamma, it's a long way back south to Alpha.

I've tried a couple different types of units.  I thought a stack of Super Heavies would be my best bet.  Range 6, hard to kill, concentrated firepower.  I  tried 8 supers plus a howie and  four LGEVs a couple of times.    If you opponent does not cut the road, you can overrun any opposition (either with the LGEVs or with the supers) and move up to 1409 on the second turn.  This means the northern howie will only get one shot off before you nuke it.

Another advantage of the above set up is it allows you to move your LGEVs to 1612 on the second phase of the first move.  From there, they can overrun Beta on the second phase of turn 2!  Your opponent is usually pouring his firepower onto the supers on his first attack, so often he will overlook the LGEVs.  They can overrun any opposition on the way - only a Super or 3 squad will stop them.

As good as this all sounds, the all Super offense has never worked for me.  They've been very close on a couple of occasions, yet they never got the job done.  Since they are so expensive they are not numerous, and despite their long striking range they just haven't ever made it.

The setup that has worked is the all heavy attack.  15 heavies, plus 5 LGEVs and a howie (see pic to the left).

Sure the heavies take an additional turn to get there.  But when you start with 15 of them, they are unstoppable.  Sure you will have disables in droves.  But there are always other heavies to get the job done.  You will bag Beta on turn 3 as well as the northern howie.  You will also get Gamma on turn 4 or 5, as the heavies can turn north through the forest with no delay.

As above, if you can maneuver your LGEVs to 1612 (now on the second turn) you can look at overruning  Beta on turn 3.  Be careful when you are moving those LGEVs around to stay out of range of the southern howie. 

Note that I do not leave any armor in defense of my CP, other than the howie.  This is because I want to concentrate my forces in the north.  I find that the 6 squads down south, along with any reinforcements I roll, keep my CP secure every time.

I also have found that as the attacker you cannot afford more than 1 howie.  If you go for 2 howies, this means that 20% of  your armor can't move into the action.  You need all your armor to concentrate on the enemy.

A single howie seems like a good compromise.  It can defend your CP if required, and lend support to your forces as they advance.  There are two natural locations for a howie to choose from - 1915 (as in the pic above) or 2113.  Overall, I like 1915 best.  Though you lose the ability to blast 1408 (surely defended and getting the road in the process) and cut the road at 1707 (making it almost impossible for the defenders to move GEV-type forces from the far north-east) you gain a much wider field of fire.  I find I fire my howie more when it is at 1915.

Another alternative may be to choose 2 Light Howies in stead of 1 regular one.  I've not tried it.  It seems to me my howie is almost always firing at range 8.  So I'd guess the light guns would be in use far less often.

Last your Total War Reinforcements.  I recommend all GEVs.  That way they can get to where ever the battle is quickly.  If you are going through the middle as I do, your hovers will enter just after Beta is dust.  Gamma will be in danger.  I enter them on the south side of the island and start moving them over the river.  Then they can participate in the final push on Alpha.

To recap - concentrate your forces, never divide them.  Many attacks fail because of split forces.  Go to the middle first, and them get the flank CPs.  Don't invest many armor in static artillery, you'll need them all on the road.  Destroy the defending armor with overwhelming force.  They will have the first shot.  You must counter attack strongly.

Of the 12 games I've played - 2 victories (both through the middle), 1 draw, and nine defeats.  The defense is tough.  Good luck!

 

Rectangular Callout: GEVs spread out on the second movement phase to avoid spillover fire.  Nevertheless, they will be decimated on the next turn.

v1.0, June 2006.

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