Campaign Game

Mastering the Campaign Game

Note:  This will be subject to much change and reorganization, right now this page is primarily a series of notes.

German Army:

I've played three campaigns as of August 30, 2001.  In all three, the Germans pretty much had the win sewn up by December 24th.  What does this mean?  Not much yet since I don't consider this a real statistical sample.  My gut feel is that the Allies are favored!  I think the Allies can ill afford to make mistakes while the Germans can hope to win by minimizing negative impacts of bad luck and maximizing the possibilities of outrageously favorable results.  Here are some things I've found that have worked for the Wermacht:

Preserve the army.  You do not want to lose units early as they will be needed to guard your flanks and secondary defensive lines.  Especially avoid jeopardizing your mechanized units to surrounded attacks.  I like Fire Fight (FF) results in the beginning as I think any attrition at an 'even exchange rate' favors the German.  Especially if the German loss is a step from a lousy infantry regiment.  When the US starts attacking, however, I don't like FFs as he is often attacking German mech units and he'll choose a cheap US infantry unit, or Brit, to take the step loss.
Don't risk losing a battle!  Always focus on getting the magical 4-1(-1) attack where you will always 'win'.  The defender will ideally be surrounded thus forcing his elimination!  Don't waste too much time getting odds higher than that.  It's usually better to have two 4-1(-1)'s rather than one 7-1.  Go for US artillery in particular.  Avoid any battles where the negative results of an "ENG" result outweigh the benefits of the other results.
Choose to attack in areas where the subsequent US defensive line has a longer front to defend.  You want to force the US to defend in stacks of one, not two, and a longer front forces the US to keep his forces spread out.
Sometimes you can get territory just by maneuvering and threatening to outflank US defenders in the subsequent turn unless they retreat from their current positions.  If they are 'off-road', US defenders will also have to deal with more limited mobility for their forces.  Successfully attacking such defenders will minimally put them closer to roads so be wary of attacking just for the sake of attacking.
Save Angriff attacks for situations where you're assured of advancing or where the consequences of a long advance are devastating to the Allied player.  Using it merely to gain ground is a waste.
Only rebuild bridges where you need the route for next turn's advance.  NEVER rebuild bridges if you think it gives the Allies another path into your rear areas!  You only have 8 bridges to rebuild so you'll want to husband that bridging equipment carefully.
Maximize your effectiveness:  That means use your Endurance Rating and Flank Attack modifiers when ever possible.  I rarely put Pieper or Fuh Esc into 'reserve' status as that ER of 6 is necessary for combat against the elite US infantry divisions with an ER of 5.
A key decision is whether or not to go for Bastogne followed by 'when' to go for Bastogne.  I strongly believe you don't need it to win.  If you decide to take it, you'll need to do it before the reemergence of Allied air power on 23 AM.  You will need to count on at least 3 turns of assaults.  Of course, luck is critical here as a D4 will go a long way towards killing the fortified defenders.  Bombarding is a must; without it you'll be making low odds attacks.  Count on several complete panzer divisions being required.  In the Series Replay match with John Grant, I ignored Bastogne but, of course, had to assault a fortified Marche.  Marche is worthwhile to assault because your attacking forces are well within range of the front lines.  Assaulting Bastogne, on the other hand, will often leave your units out of place for a turn or two, especially if the Allied army is rapidly withdrawing.

Allied Army:

Unfortunately, my credibility here is rather weak since I've never played the Allies in the campaign game.  I hope to remedy that shortly.  In the interim, here are some key points that I've picked up from my opponents:

Preserve the army.  I think in the age old equation of Time vs Space vs Strength, BW rewards those who preserve strength.  The US can't give up their army early in Bitter Woods as they will definitely need fodder to protect the Meuse.  Of particular value are your artillery units.  You'll get plenty more but you'll need them.  I don't think it's worthwhile to fortify BOTH Marche and Bastogne and stack them to the hilt; you'll only a few days at the cost of 6-8 units.  I think it's important to prevent the Germans from getting that 48 Dead Allied Units victory level shift as you'll never be able to recover that 'lost' victory level.
Spank the German Mech.  When ever it's safe, try to take out German mech units.  This accomplishes several things; key among them is 'breaking' the ability to get that -1 Flank Attack shift.  Additionally, in the end game, the Germans will need that mobility to get around the impenetrable point defenses the US can establish.  (Leader, tons of artillery, backed by air.)  It's often not worthwhile to kill a German unit if the riposte only sees your counterattackers demolished in the subsequent German turn.
Use the terrain.  Trade ground for time - you only get stronger while the Germans get thinner as they have to defend more ground.  You'll want to defend off road and in positions where you don't risk being surrounded by German advances from previous combats on the flanks.
Threaten the 'shoulders' of the Bulge.  Delay reinforcing units on both the north and south  so that the Germans have to screen them.
Strengthen the northern flank - here is where the Germans can realistically contemplate breaking out.  Use the Brits but don't hesitate to put US units on the line so you can threaten to cross the river.
Blow bridges.  Try to do so with units that don't stand a chance of being eliminated on the next turn.
Always keep an eye out for situations where the Germans can use reserve movement to cause problems for you; block the roads accordingly.

Of course, once I get a chance to pit my Allies against the Wermacht, I might have some additional specific guidance!

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Copyright 2001 by Tom Gregorio.  All rights reserved.

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