Combat Engineers?

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Combat Engineers?

Postby nhill40 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:43 pm

Can any vets out there give me some pointers on the best use of combat engineers? I have basically been using them in the front lines to help bolster some understrength/exposed infantry units, but I have a feeling I could be using these units a little more intelligently than basically treating them as stop-gaps.

At 40 VPs, it really hurts to lose a combat engineer group! Maybe I should be holding them back?

Having a blast with the game, BTW. Just finished my 2nd scenario. Played the Carentan scenario to get started...got off to a really, really good start (blasted a huge hole in the German lines) but then I let my inexperience show - I managed to open several large gaps in my line in my rush to exploit the breakthough. Embarrassingly enough, the excellent AI quickly made me pay, infiltrating my rear areas...I had to hastily fall back, abandoning a lot of ground...Germans end up w/a 205 pt victory - YIKES!

2nd scenario was Bloody Omaha...went much better overall ("only" lost by 26 pts this time! :lol: ) Managed to maintain the integrity of my line this time, but was unable to exploit a potential breakthrough situation due to some poorly thought-out AA placement on my part that quickly led to a supply nightmare - d'oh! Another lesson learned though - still had a great time!
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Eng's

Postby critter » Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:04 am

Dont use your combat groups in the line. Way to vulnerable.

1) I assume you know of their mine reducing. In a Zoc they'll take off 2 steps off the mine fields and out of Zoc they'll reduce it by 3. Mines are reduced at the start of the controling players turn, so always try and get control of the hex they're in during your turn. Rangers destroy mines too.
2) You're doing right using Combat Engs to plug week spots. I also use them with an AT gun and a M-10 to hold a hex or two so I can free up some Inf regts to attack with. But don't do this next to a SS Div. :( They're also good as line backers to keep any break thru's from getting to the guns. You need to thin your lines a little in some spots to get enough break thru power in others. Always keep a few recons in attack area's to rush thru and kill guns and Hq's. Or to hold break thru open.
3) I land at least 3 Eng's at Utah and use them to work up the East coast road towards Cherbourg. Pop the strong pts with the Navy...Then leap frog the engs up the road. I try to keep Eng groups just behind each Inf Div. You'll never know when the Germ's will pull back..You'll need to get on the mined hex asap. Defending on a mine hex is a -3 on the crt.
4) While the Brit's have mine clearing built into some of their combat units. You can send a few US groups to help them out. (They only have 1 Eng unit) While they can't stack together. they can repair or sweep bypassed areas. Or you can move the Brits out...Move a US group in and fix the bridge and get out...then move back in with your Brits. The group's high movement pts work fine for this.
5) Last but not least...and not so much in Normandy. An Combat Eng unit stacked with 2 or 3 sub standard units will keep them from surrendering. You'll use this alot in BII Husky sen.

Keep asking...We all went thru this...As soon as you can get a pbem game going. The sooner you get up to speed.. The sooner we all get another worthy opponent.
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Thanks...

Postby nhill40 » Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:54 pm

Thanks for the advice - I am currently on about turn 5 of the Carentan scenario, I'll definitely be looking for opportunities to use my Eng's a little more wisely!

As long as I am firing off some embarrasingly noob questions, I might as well clear up this one, too! I just noticed the other day that some artillery units have a pretty decent defense factor…like I noticed some of the SP guns have a defense factor of 8 with a couple of the little roundels too (which I have understood to represent that unit’s anti-tank capabilities). SO, my noob question is, do I need to have these SP guns in line with my combat units to take advantage of their defense factor pts, or does just having them pulled up far enough so they are covering my units with their guns enough to enjoy the benefit?

Thanks again for the advice - I've got a lot to learn, but still having a great time with it!
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Guns

Postby critter » Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:21 am

I assume you mean the +1 on the attack, -2 on defense SP Arty and not the true Jag pz units.
Most of the Allied units got 2 roundels or better AT capability so I use them in their Arty role. Adding the +'s or -'s to the combat crt.
I never put them in the line. Unless I really need to. If the hex they're in is attacked and they split hexes retreating. they can be picked off by the advancing units. The -2 crt bonus they provide is to valuable to risk in my opinion.
The bigger SP arty units can also intradict road hexes. Used with Air int and low odds attacks for a turn or two, can send sections of the German line scrambling back for lack of supply
I usually put them 2-3 hexes behind the line and spread out to cover as many units as possible. Dig them in if not used to attack that turn. They are really needed becuz the -2 stiffens up your line well.
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Thanks again...follow up/clarification...

Postby nhill40 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:41 am

Thanks again, Critter - I'm learning a lot!

For some reason that had never dawned on me to entrench an artillery unit for a little extra protection in the event of a breakthrough...I will definitely be incorporating that strategy into my play style.

Just to make sure I did follow correctly - an artillery unit that is within range of an attacked friendly unit does offer a defensive shift, correct?
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Arty range

Postby critter » Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:41 pm

Yes...when you click on an gun.. It will show a green circle for its range. All units inside will get the shift on defense(1 gun per hex attacked)
If there is a choice the puter will pick the best one. Also 1 gun will defend multiple hexes if no better choice exsists.

****Guns will defensive fire even if you use them to attack with..So bang away!!!****

Thats why you spread them out so everybody gets some. 8)


Of course you add Guns on the attack yourself. Unless you hit the max odds button. Be careful with it though...It will add every shift and Gun in range and alott of times you'll waste your combat shifts by piling on. I use it to see what I can get and then back off and make the attack myself. Watching how it wants me to move...Why... and what to add.
This way you'll begin to see it for yourself..When you get shifts. Crt odds
When to add Tanks...Ect
Your at the best part of the game..The AI is tough..Then it gets to be a breeze and you'll want to venture into PBEM. And the pain starts all over again.....
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