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Thread: On encirlements

  1. #1

    On encirlements

    So I got fed up with using the AI system for battling the Soviets as Germany as it never could successfully encircle the simplest of opponents on the Soviet Front.

    So I am planning about a total of 24 panzer division with 16 being 1xMedium Armor, 1xMotorized Inf, 1xMobile Art, 1xEngineer and then 8 being 1xMedium Amor, 1xMotorized Inf, 1xMobile Art, and 1xHQ so that I will attack with 3 panzer divisions per province and then leap frog by 3 panzer divisions attacking and then once they take the province then 3 more move and push the next.

    I was thinking a total of 24 so there would be each 3 division per province to prevent counter attack and that way there would be a total of 8 provinces to take a time so I could get a large encirclement with 8 provinces in total.

    Does anyone have any particular strategies with encirclements and should I go with less or more panzer divisions. For the rest of the infantry amry I suppose I will go with the standard 2 inf and two arty units and leave on AI control

  2. #2
    GroFAZ Demi Moderator blue emu's Avatar
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    Adding an HQ to your Panzer Regiments (or vice-versa) will slow them down signifigantly. Even with 1942 Doctrines, the HQ will be much slower than the Armor or Motorized.

    I tend to compose my Panzer Corps... (when I use Tanks at all)... with two Armx2/Motx1/SPArtx1, two Motx2/TDx2, and one LtArmx3/ACx1 or LtArmx3/Engx1.

    That gives me more combat power per IC invested... the Motx2/TDx2 are quite cheap to build and supply, reasonably fast, and get the Combined Arms bonus... and also gives me one very fast unit per Corps, for dashing into provinces that the enemy is trying to retreat to, thus over-running him and removing his unit from the map. I also use the Light Armor unit to make pinning attacks on nearby stacks, to prevent them from interfering with my main attack.
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  3. #3
    Hellgate to the Netherworld Portal's Avatar
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encirclement

    Real life tactics actually give useful information.

    "If there is a natural obstacle, such as ocean or mountains on one side of the battlefield, only one pincer is needed ("single pincer"), because the function of the second arm is taken over by the natural obstacle. The German attack into the lowlands of France in 1940 is a typical example of this."

    That is particularly handy. I typically aim for areas with oceans or neutral countries to act as the second pincer arm, and attempt to pin them against it. It's easier than attacks with multiple pincer arms because the natural barrier acts as a force multiplier, because I can re-allocate forces that would otherwise be used in the second pincer.

    Multiple pincer arms can be used to attain encirclements, but I typically only do this where a salient has formed.

    For the actual act of encirclements, deploy your main line infantry at the center. Use them to pin the enemy by constantly attacking them. Even if you're going to lose, keep attacking. Deploy Motorized and Armoured corps at the flanks of the attack. Use Armour units (2x ARM 1x MOT 1x ENG I find is good) to make a breakthrough in the line, exploit with Light Armour (4x LARM, because that way you can split them into 2x LARM for exploitation), follow up with Motorized infantry (2x MOT 2x TD) to occupy the ground taken. Keep in mind terrain - armour moves faster in plains. Leapfrog your units to minimize attack delay.
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  4. #4
    GroFAZ Demi Moderator blue emu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portal View Post
    Use Armour units ... to make a breakthrough in the line..
    I prefer to use Infantry/Art/Air to make the breakthrough, reserving my mobile forces (and preserving their ORG and Strength) for the exploitation phase itself. After all... it requires no great mobility to break the enemy's front line. Mobility is only required for exploiting that break.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue emu View Post
    I prefer to use Infantry/Art/Air to make the breakthrough, reserving my mobile forces (and preserving their ORG and Strength) for the exploitation phase itself. After all... it requires no great mobility to break the enemy's front line. Mobility is only required for exploiting that break.
    I prefer Armour because of their hardness. Once I tech to HARM I upgrade them, and reserve exploitation to my LARM divisions.
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  6. #6
    GroFAZ Demi Moderator blue emu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portal View Post
    I prefer Armour because of their hardness. Once I tech to HARM I upgrade them, and reserve exploitation to my LARM divisions.
    True... but neither Hardness nor Firepower is the real strength of Armored Divisions... it's Mobility. Using Armor in the break-in role is an expensive way to crack an enemy line. That Armor could be passing through the breach and taking advantage of its Hardness (and relative resistance to damage) to pin stacks of enemy reinforcements instead.

    Different strokes for different folks, though.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue emu View Post
    True... but neither Hardness nor Firepower is the real strength of Armored Divisions... it's Mobility. Using Armor in the break-in role is an expensive way to crack an enemy line. That Armor could be passing through the breach and taking advantage of its Hardness (and relative resistance to damage) to pin stacks of enemy reinforcements instead.

    Different strokes for different folks, though.
    True, but once HARM gets rolling, nothing stops it.
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  8. #8
    Second Lieutenant Corugi's Avatar
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    The Holy Corugian Empire shall add its near infinite wisdom to this topic..

    Encirclements on a large scale are vastly overated. It takes way too long before the enemy suffers any serious supply effects, and this coupled with the need to fully envelop the pocket with your own troops means that the resources devoted to such grand encirclments, if it succeeds and if you dont get successfully counterattacked, are still an inefficient use of your forces.

    The fact that the AI will retreat its forces in a rather random fashion following your successfull attacks along a broad front means that frequently many opportunities to create small, one province, encirclements present themselves. Having uncommitted mobile forces in reserve, scattered along your main front, will enable you to take advatage of these opportunities, advancing them past the enemy main line, quickly encircling and then destroying a number of small pockets en passant, (in passing), so to speak.

    Then you simply rush to the VPs and claim GREAT GLORY and FAME (as befits the Holy Corugian way)!

    !!!6!!!

    By contrast, large scale encirclements (of several provinces or more) simply means you are stuck for a long period of time with a great commitment of your troops serving to contain and then reduce the enemy within its pocket. Yes, it does work, but with enemy forces within the pocket able to retreat within the pocket, the process of elimating them takes longer compared to one province encirclements. It delays your VP rush because you simply can not leave them there and go upon your merry blitzkreiging way.

    This is why the typical HCE OOB places one or two mobile units in each infantry corp, rather than concentrating them in Panzercorps.

    I have shared my wisdom with you. You may get up off the floor now.

  9. #9
    First Lieutenant Wunderlicht's Avatar
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    What everyone else is saying is right, essentially pin down enemy by attack and exploit specific points to thrust and then curl. However, paradox as made the AI understand this maneuver and it can be quite adept to pull back troops or attack your thrusting units.

    I prefer instead to have the enemy help me do what I want. You should never underestimate the retreat and surround option. For instance Barbarossa, retreat to Poznan area with reserve infantry drawing the russians in and then with patience pounce via Prussia and Hungary with fast units. The main goal is to cut them off as soon as possible as once there is no supply for them from Moscow it's only a matter of time before you crush a huge portion of their army. This tends to reward you with greater portions of enemy prisoners.

  10. #10
    Trying to go for big encirclements is fun, now, because the AI finally seems to understand the concept and tries its best to avert it. Like the other day, i had some 18 italian divs in a pocket somewhere along the boot, but managed to kill only a couple of them, because the AI put everything on one card and successfully counterattacked in time.

    Due to the big (default) carry-on supply of units in the game, encircling in HoI3 isnt so much about depriving the victims of their supply-source (that takes months to take effect, without additional effort like bombing), but rather to get those units off the board permanently, by cutting their way of retreat.

  11. #11
    I use the HQ units for the flanks to block counter attacks. I suppose you are right that they aren't fast enough for the encirclement thrust itself but with the AI as it is, I need strong units in the flanks. Might as well be the HQs.

  12. #12
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    What Corugi/ Blue Emu say is very sound tactically in the game. Just get your inf moving, pre-plot their course in agonizing detail zig zagging across the map (always have attacks coming from multiple directions) and leave your mobile units behind to clean up the pockets that naturally form, and the SOV front will vanish in almost no time.... Once a hole opens (which wont take too long), push through your mobile units
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  13. #13
    re Pz div setup: if your Pz/CA div are more hard than soft, you get an extra effect of more rapidly depleting the enemy organization in battle: 5x vs the normal 3x. My 24 Barbarossa Pz div are all built on this basis, with half light and half medium armor [2 + 1 motor ]. For my Pz HQ, I add 2 Cav to all the Pz HQ so that the HQ can safely advance and fill gaps.
    101010

  14. #14
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    Grand encirclements are good IF you trap many divs and know how to deal with the pocket. In HPP I learned that using foot infantry to hold encirclements is effective. Therefore, I follow up attacks made by mobile forces with foot infantry and try to move or redeploy them ASAP to outermost provinces that are important for holding the encirclement. This allows me to position most of my mobile troops in preparation to the next attack.

    Also, once the grand pocket is formed, it's best to reduce it to several small pockets and throw every air unit you have at them. The main attack should happen only after the enemy units are confined to single provinces, where they will suffer severe stacking penalties. Their ORG will be depleted quickly and you should be able to destroy the pockets with several infantry divs only.

  15. #15
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    for OP: I too use what Emu recommends in his first reply. It works wonder- period!

    Additionaly i like to add a cavelry brigade to some of my corps HQ and let them support the initial breakthrough attack for some xtra leader experience. It rarely fails and i rarely get into serious trouble - especialy when taking on the sovjets.

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