Getting Started Guide - John Tiller Software

Getting Started Guide - John Tiller Software
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Welcome to Panzer Battles: Normandy. On June 6, 1944, the Western Allies launched the long awaited invasion to liberate France and the rest of Western Europe. Operation Overlord was a combined naval and aerial assault with paratroopers landing on both flanks of the invasion zone and the heavy divisions landing in‐
between. Page 2
The Germans expected a landing but were uncertain of where. The Allies had run an extensive misinformation program that indicated that the Pas de Calais was the site of the invasion with Normandy a diversion to drag away reserves. Both Hitler and the German High Command were convinced by this ruse and this was to impact the German side for the first six weeks of the campaign. This getting started scenario guide uses three mini scenarios to teach various game functions; 
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#01 Getting Started ‐ Hill 192 includes movement, firing, assaults and indirect fire #02 Getting Started – Utah cover seaborne landings, naval gunfire and plotted air attacks #03 Getting Started – Pegasus Bridge covers glider borne and parachute landings Each of these scenarios are games in themselves and will specifically show the challenges and tactics required when fighting in Normandy. As this is a new game series it is suggested that players both play through this getting started scenarios and also check out the Designer Notes & FAQ for a list of features and design decisions implemented in Panzer Battles. You can open the Notes from the main game by pressing F3 or by using the Menu Help | Campaign Notes. Players who own either Squad Battles or Panzer Campaigns will see where Panzer Battles lineage has come from. Just be aware this is a different game system and that some habits learned playing these other titles may not be successful in Panzer Battles. Page 3
TUTORIAL ONE; HILL 192 ‐ FIRE & MOVEMENT SCENARIO SELECTION
Start Panzer Battles Normandy if you haven’t already and you will be taken to the File Selection Dialog. Click the scenario #01_Getting_Started_Hill_192 and then OK. This takes you to the AI Selection Dialog where you choose the side you wish to play. For the purposes of this tutorial select Allied AI "Manual" for yourself and "Automatic with Fog of War"(FOW) for the Axis. Do not click OK now, but rather the button called ‘Rules…’ This will show the selected Optional Rules. Do not change anything as these are the default choices. If you want to understand the impact of any of these click Help. Click OK to move back to the AI dialog. Page 4
Click OK to get the game underway ‐ you are now the Allied commander. The map should now appear along with your first Command Report with information relevant to the first turn. You should see that you have five salvos of smoke. Smoke availability is the number of shots for the whole scenario. Once used, it’s gone. You will receive notification of various reports at the beginning of each turn. Note the Command Reports contents and click OK to close it. It’s important to tailor the game to give you the information you need during play. Firstly, let’s turn map labels on. Hit ‘Shift – Alt’ at the same time and the location names should appear (and stay) on the map. If you want to turn them off, just tap shift again. If you want to look at the names temporarily, just hold ‘Shift’ and then release when done. For this getting started scenario we want to play at the highest zoom level. Either press the number 3 or click on the + on the Menu Bar will give a zoomed in view of both the map and units. Click on the white and yellow square on the Menu Bar and formation identification colors will appear.
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OBJECTIVE OF THE GAME Click Info and then Victory on the Menu Bar. This shows how many points the first side must earn for each level of victory. As you can see, to obtain a major victory in this battle you must earn 75 Victory Points by the scenario’s end. Click OK to close the Victory Dialog. If you look at the map to the left, you’ll see a there are two square shapes with the value 50 at Cloville and ‘Kraut Corner’. We have circled these on the map for clarity. To win a minor victory, you will need to take and hold at least one of these objectives and inflict casualties on the German forces. As you incur losses, points are taken away from you. Click Info and then Objectives on the Menu Bar to see a list of the objectives in the scenario. As you can see, there are 2 objectives worth 50 points each for the Luftwaffe, currently controlled by the German side. The Luftwaffe represents the Fallschirmjaeger’s that are defending in the scenario. Click OK to close the Objectives Dialog.
Page 6 TURN 1 In this scenario the Americans move first. Before we move anything or fire a shot let’s look at the forces we command and a possible plan. Our task force is built around an infantry battalion, supported by a tank company and some divisional combat engineers. With such closed terrain we will move forward directly south probing for weak points in the German line. This should allow us to pressure the defenses and envelope our objectives. The 2‐38 Infantry Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment has four companies. Three companies (Echo, Foxtrot & Golf) are infantry with the following units; Three infantry platoons and a light machine gun section
The fourth company (Hotel) is a Heavy Weapons (HW) formation. It has the following units/batteries;
The HW company is spread across the other three companies to provide fire support. The three light mortar sections will be combined into a nine tube battery and used at battalion level to either fire high explosive rounds or more importantly lay smoke. The supporting tanks and engineers are shown below; Page 7
MOVEMENT
Click on the hex indicated by the red arrow. There are two units present. Click on the picture of the engineer and it should be highlighted in yellow as shown to the right. Select only the combat engineer unit. This unit will probe forward to find and clear any obstacles or minefields. If we wanted to select both units we could click on each image separately or alternatively double click on the units hex. Click ‘Reachable Hexes’ in the tool bar to see how far the selected units can move. The light area indicated is reachable, the darker area is not. Leaving the tank behind, we want to move our engineer along the road directly to the south. Our unit is deployed and walking to its destination. We might be able to move faster by forming a march column (changing to Travel Mode) but that increases the chance of us taking heavy casualties. We won’t risk that this close to the enemy.
To move our selected units, just right click in an adjacent hex. Repeat, if you have movement points left. Our combat engineer platoon manages to move one hex south without loss. Fortunately the enemy doesn’t fire on them while in transit. Page 8
It’s time now to move our second combat engineer platoon. Under the medium machine gun unit indicated by the arrow to the left is another engineer. We will move south again to the orchard hex above the victory loacation at Kraut Corner. The red ‘?’ marks indicate suspected enemy positions. We expect to find some kind of obstacles in the hex. The move into the orchard triggers both opportunity fire from the defenders at Kraut Corner and reveals an in hex minefield (see the Terrain information box to the right). Our engineers will try and clear away the mines by the next turn. The enemy defensive fire kills a man (as shown on the counter to the left). We are fortunate as the defenders have over 100 men as indicated by the ‘XXX men’ in the graphic on the right. Page 9
ARTILLERY Now that we have sighted an enemy unit at ‘Kraut Corner’ we can call in some of our supporting artillery.
The first thing to remember with Panzer Battles is to use your air and artillery early. This is important because a unit cannot spot once it moves. It’s a good habit to consider using your supporting arms before anything else to ensure you don’t waste them. Let’s look now at what air & artillery assets are available to us. By clicking on the ‘Artillery Dialog’, we can see the following; We have six artillery units supporting our attack. The first four are off board while the last two are 2‐38th Battalion’s organic mortars that are on the game map. Please note that the first artillery unit is selected in the Artillery dialog. Looking at the map shows the sighted German unit is highlighted. This appears as the highlight ‘Targets’ button is selected. When more than one target is spotted more units will be highlighted. These are targets that the artillery unit can currently shoot at. If the ‘Spotters’ button is clicked all friendly units that are currently acting as spotters for that artillery unit will be highlighted. Please try clicking either field now. Moving the cursor over the spotted unit will show a crosshair and allow the artillery to fire at that unit. Move over the highlighted enemy unit stack at Kraut Corner and ‘right click’ to fire. Page 10 You should see a combat result in hex. In our example to the left the Fallschirmjaeger lost 10 men (circled). Don’t worry if your outcome is different. Fire the second artillery piece at the same hex. As this is a smaller caliber howitzer (105mm) you should expect to inflict fewer casualties. Artillery in Panzer Battles uses the ‘Alternate Indirect Fire Resolution rule’ as standard. In simple terms, you can only fire once but that fire is doubled in strength and will impact all defending units in hex proportional to their strengths. Mortars and direct fire artillery (infantry guns) do not use this rule and can fire a number of times in a turn. Don’t fire the any of the other artillery units yet. The light mortars (the final unit on the artillery dialog) are to fire smoke a little later in the turn. We will use the other Field Artillery units if we uncover other enemy positions. Hit OK to close the Artillery dialog now. We don’t want to fire smoke yet as we have some direct fire units capable of shooting at the Fallschirmjaeger. If we drop smoke prematurely it will protect our units from German fire, but it will also stop us from firing ourselves. Panzer Battles is all about timing. Page 11
DIRECT FIRE
With our heavy artillery fired, we can now use some of our direct fire units to try and disrupt the defenders. Click once on the hex as indicated by the red arrow to the right. You should see all the friendly units in the hex appear in the unit box as per below. Click only on the top gun unit and it should now be lighter in color and highlighted with a yellow border once selected (see units to the left). This is the only unit we are going to fire out of the stack. We plan to fire smoke with the light mortars later in the turn. It’s important to know what targets you can see. Press the ‘Visible Hexes’ button. This will highlight all the hexes that can be seen from the current location.
Our guns can see the enemy unit on the high ground at Kraut Corner. Our target is four hexes away. At 250 meters per hex this is a full kilometer in distance. Direct fire takes into account a range of factors including range attenuation (decreased accuracy with distance), terrain and entrenchments within the hex as well as the unit ‘density’. Unit density is based on the stacking limit in a hex – Normandy is 200 men or equivalents. Any hex with 50% or more of the hex stacking limit will have a higher propensity to take losses. The sighted Fallschirmjaeger unit currently shows XXX men so must be 100 or more men. Another important factor to consider is height levels. Our gun is at a lower elevation and will have a negative modifier for firing up hill. Conversely, the German unit will have a positive modifier for firing down. There is a value in the parameter file that determines this modifier and it is multiplied for each height level. High ground is important! Page 12 We want to continue to shoot up the Germans at Kraut Corner. With our gun unit selected, press & hold the ‘Ctrl’ key so the cursor changes to a crosshair. Move it over the German unit we have been shelling. Right Click – you should see our gun fire. Our gun can fire up to three times separately or by holding Ctrl‐Alt simultaneously and then Right Click will fire at the same target multiple times without needing to use the Target Dialog again.
Shot One is ‘No Effect’. This is not surprising considering the small number of guns firing as well as the range. Note that the movement points have decreased by a third and are now shown in green. We will have less points to do other actions. Shot Two is again ‘No Effect’. The movement points decrease again and are now yellow to represent that we can only fire one more time. There is also a reasonable chance that the defenders won’t let you shoot at them without shooting back. This defensive fire is normal and may be either direct or indirect fire. After our second shot the Fallschirmjaeger fired at our hex and put 8 points of fatigue on our mortar unit. Fatigue represents more than ‘weariness’, it is also a measure of organisation. As units fatigue they are less efficient. Shot Three gives us the now expected ‘No Effect’. Our movement points are now at zero and orange. Orange represents less than one third points and an inability to fire again. Lets use a machine gun stack to provide further covering fire. Double (Left) Click the stack indicated by the red arrow. Using the same Ctrl, Right Click method take three shots at the German unit. In our example we managed to get a few hits, like the ones shown to the right. The defenders fired back at our firing stack and we took a few casualties as well. When a unit is disrupted by fire the ‘On Map Combat Results’ are shown in yellow. Your fire results may be different but hopefully you will have started to wear down the defenders. Page 13
SMOKE
We are finished firing for the moment and are preparing to move our assault teams forward. To protect them as they advance over open ground we are going to drop a smoke screen that will hopefully reduce the chance of our troops being seen. Click on the Artillery Dialog again. As we want to fire smoke, click next to Smoke as indicated by the red arrow.
Select the bottom mortar battery as shown above. The mortar unit can fire twice. This will use up two of our five salvos of smoke. Shoot once at the hex directly north of Krauts Corner and then the hex to the left of that (see the example to the left). The cursor should be an O and to fire you just Right Click over the target hex. Our smoke screen will stay in place for both our current turn and our opponents next turn. Smoke is twenty five meters high (i.e. one height level) and in hilly terrain can be seen over if carelessly placed. Take the time to work out where it is most effective as it will help you close with the enemy. Importantly, smoke only blocks sight through the hex. Any unit in a smoke hex can be seen and fired upon. You can see the impact of smoke on visibility. The image to the left shows all the visible hexes from Kraut Corner. Without smoke, all movement forward could be sighted. With the dropping of the smoke screen, Dead Man’s Gulch is now hidden from sight of the units at Kraut Corner. With fog of war on there is no guarantee that a hidden German unit can’t see Dead Man’s Gulch, but at least the large unit at Krauts corner can’t fire into that area. Page 14 With the smoke dropped, it’s time to start moving our combat teams forward. Click on the hex indicated by the red arrow. Select both the Infantry and machinegun unit. These two units are the assault elements of Easy Company. The infantry has combined three units (usually platoons) to become a larger formation. The benefit of this is that they will fire and assault better, the downside is that there are negative modifiers if there are over 100 men in the hex. These modifiers will see the target unit take higher casualties. Click ‘Reachable Hexes’ in the tool bar to see how far the selected units can move. The light area indicated is reachable, the darker area is not. Due to the bocage, we can only move our two units into the rubble at Dead Man’s Gulch as indicated by the blue arrow to the left. Our units are deployed and are walking to their destination. With the smoke screen in place, hopefully we can move forward undetected.
To move the selected units, just right click in an adjacent hex. Repeat, if you have movement points left. Our assault force force from Easy Company manages to move forward without loss. Fortunately the enemy doesn’t fire on them while in transit. Maybe the smoke and suppressive fire has helped? It’s time now to move a second unit, some tanks from 741st Tank Battalion.
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Click on the hex indicated by the red arrow. Select the tank unit only as shown to the right. We’re going to leave the machine gun unit behind to provide over watch fire. The tank unit selected belongs to the headquarters for 741st Tank Battalion. The 3 tanks are armed with 105mm howitzer and are particularly effective against infantry and other soft targets. Our tank unit moves forward (red arrow) and is unscathed. There are no obstacles or mines in the hex or any enemy opportunity fire. Looking at the image to the right, you will see the vehicle is marked as ‘Vulnerable’. When a vehicle crosses a hedgerow hex side it will have a negative modifier when defending against enemy fire. This effect lasts for the turn the unit crossed the hedgerow. Though the tank unit didn’t use all it’s movement points (there are 26 left), with the closed terrain, there is insufficient to move further. As a second phase move we will move the tanks circled in yellow forward to our engineers on the road. This will give us a base of fire on Kraut Corner.
The three tank units are a HQ section and two platoons. All are vulnerable after crossing a hedgerow that the road traversed. By clicking Combine/Breakdown, we can group the two like platoons into a larger unit.
Page 16 We have 2 more units to move. They are both indicated with red arrows to the left. Select the tank platoon first and move two hexes to the south east – behind the other tanks. Selecting Golf Company (the indicated infantry stack), move 1 hex directly south into the orchard. We need to protect the flank of our tanks and engineers. Golf Company moves south and finds obstacles spread through the orchard. That will halt its movement for this turn. There are suspected enemy in the adjacent hex, but nothing is revealed as we advance. We have one more infantry company that has not yet moved. Foxtrot Company (indicated by the red arrow to the left) will hold for a turn. If it advances into the road to the south, there is a reasonable chance of it moving onto obstacles or worse mines. It will also be adjacent to the large German unit and will be very exposed to fire. We’re better to allow our engineers to try and clear the road next turn and use the tanks we have moved forward to suppress Kraut Corner. We won’t fire Foxtrot Company as we’re currently too exposed to return fire. Page 17
We are out of movement points and can’t move any further or fire. It’s time to hunker down and see if we survive the German turn and the expected blizzard of fire. We’ve moved and fired all the units that we want to this turn. Before we end the turn, let’s review what we have learned and done. The phasing of actions in Panzer Battles is critical. We did the following actions in order; engineers, artillery bombardment, direct & suppressive fire, smoke bombardment & finally movement. It is good discipline for players to try and complete each of these stages before progressing to the next. Spotting & masking of movement are important concepts and actions done out of order may expose units to additional casualties or worse still an inability to fire or fight. In this first turn we have learned how to both move and fire our units. We have fired our artillery and mortar batteries available under the Artillery Dialog. Finally, we have dropped a smoke screen and moved our assault units forward without taking too many casualties. Now that we’re finished moving and firing all our units, click the Next Turn Button on the Toolbar and click OK if prompted. The Germans will now move and fire their forces. Your units may fire automatically in reply using Opportunity Fire. Some enemy movement may be spotted. Your next turn will be announced once the Allied Command Report appears.
Page 18 TURN 2 The German AI moves and fires its units. Our friendly forces fire back in defense. Your play through will diverge from the examples given for turn 2. Try and emulate these moves where applicable following the same order of actions. Immediately after the Axis turn the Allied Command Report appears. It contains three messages. The first message confirms that we have 3 salvos of smoke left to fire. This is after we fired 2 salvos last turn. The second is that one of our engineers is isolated. The third reports that our other engineer has recovered from disruption. It appears both our engineers have been disrupted by German fire. Fortunately, one has recovered but the other is in a precarious position in front of the German strongpoint. As it is the start of a new turn, it is appropriate to look at how we are performing against the victory conditions. Selecting ‘Info’ and then ‘Victory’ from the Menu Bar shows that losses have been light on both sides, but the loss of additional men has tipped the victory points ever so slightly in the Axis favor. The bulk of the men lost by the Americans have come from the engineer units we advanced adjacent to the Kraut Corner. It looks like we need to soften the defenders up further before attempting to close with the objective.
Our engineer has taken nearly 30% losses in the last turn and dropped 2 morale levels due to isolation & disruption. Advancing on undisrupted enemy forces can be very costly.
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We start turn two like the last – calling in artillery. A hidden machine gun unit has been revealed to the west of Kraut Corner. Panzer Battles uses ‘Persistent Concealment’. Persistent Concealment will only reveal units when they spend movement points if they are in a hex with cover. Opening the Artillery Dialog, fire is requested on both spotted enemy units. Fire the first two artillery batteries at target 1 (as indicated in the graphic to the left). You should inflict some losses on the defenders. Do the same thing with the next two artillery batteries – fire them at target 2. If we’re lucky we will disrupt our targets but that is unlikely with the Fallschirmjaegers high base morale level. We will again hold our mortars back to either fire smoke later in the turn or to hit targets of opportunity that may appear. Here is our plan for Turn 2. We will first use Direct Fire to try and weaken and hopefully disrupt the German units. The units firing and their targets are shown by blue line in the graphic to the left. The main target is the unit at Kraut Corner and we will use our tanks, AT guns and machine gun unit The units moving are shown with the purple arrows and the hexes they are moving to. The key move is the engineer unit that is under the tank stack. It is to move to the hex north east of Kraut Corner and to clear any minefields or obstacles in the hex. Foxtrot Company will move into either of the hexes that are being cleared next turn. Easy Company is moving into the obstacles between the two German positions in the hope that it will be able to assault either position in the next turn. Page 20 As planned, all the Direct Fire is completed. Only a few casualties are inflicted on the defenders. A mix of the terrain in hex, hedgerows and height advantage is making it very hard to suppress the Germans. Easy Company manages to move into the obstacles between the enemy positions with negligible casualties. The engineers stacked with the tanks advance along the road and discover a minefield. Golf Company parallels the engineers and unfortunately stumbles into a minefield losing 10 men. Losses are mounting and the outer defenses have hardly been breached. If there are any other units you want to move or fire do it now. Now that we’re finished moving and firing all our units, click the Next Turn Button on the Toolbar and click OK if prompted. The Germans will now move and fire their forces. Your units may fire automatically in reply using Opportunity Fire. Some enemy movement may be spotted. Your next turn will be announced once the Allied Command Report appears. Page 21
TURN 3 Just like turn 2, the German AI moves and fires its units. Our friendly forces fire back in defense. Your play through will continue to diverge from the examples. Do try and emulate these moves where applicable following the similar order of actions. Immediately after the Axis turn the Allied Command Report appears. There are many more messages this time round. Visibility has improved from 4 to 5 hexes. We still have our remaining smoke. 3 of our units are isolated in minefields and 1 of our HQ’s is having command issues. An engineer has recovered from disruption and both engineers manage to clear the minefields. Again, as it is the start of a new turn, it is appropriate to look at how we are performing against the victory conditions. Selecting ‘Info’ and then ‘Victory’ from the Menu Bar shows that losses have been light on both sides, but the loss of additional men has tipped the victory points further in the Axis favor. The enemy at Kraut corner is causing continued casualties for the Americans. Last turn it was the engineers, now it’s the infantry that have come forward.
Though the losses are termed as ‘light’ they have tripled in the last turn and are now the equivalent of 2 platoons for the Allies. The ‘Total Points’ is calculates by taking the first sides (Allied in this case) objective points, subtracting the Allied losses and adding the Axis losses.
Page 22 Like the previous two turns we will call our artillery in again. A further two hexes with enemy units are revealed. At Cloville, infantry and STuG’s are sighted and further east a Fallschirmjaeger is redeploying and has been seen in open ground. When seen in clear terrain, the first digit of the strength is shown as it is easier to estimate unit size. Opening the Artillery Dialog, fire is requested on both forward enemy units again. Fire the first two artillery batteries at target 1 (as indicated in the graphic to the left). You should inflict some losses on the defenders. Do the same thing with the next two artillery batteries – fire them at target 2. With the fourth shot we get lucky and disrupt the Germans at Kraut Corner. Our mortars target the newly spotted infantry in the clear hex. Here is our plan for Turn 3. We will first use Direct Fire to try and weaken the German units further. The units firing and their targets are shown by blue line in the graphic to the left. With the main target unit at Kraut Corner disrupted we will use our tanks, AT guns and machine gun unit to hit both forward enemies evenly. The units moving are shown with the purple arrows and the hexes they are moving to. Yellow arrows designate assaults that are planned. Now that the engineers have cleared the minefields we can use Foxtrot Company to move south and hopefully assault and clear Kraut Corner. Easy Company is the backup if Foxtrot Company fails, otherwise it will move south into the road hex. Page 23
ASSAULTING
When the turn began it was planned only to try and further weaken the defenders at Kraut Corner. The disruption of the units at the objective opened the opportunity for the adjacent infantry to assault them out. The Americans waste no time moving Foxtrot Company forward. An Assault is initiated by selecting the attacking units and right clicking on an adjacent enemy unit. The Assault Status notice (see left) will confirm that an assault has been initiated. An assault will not be resolved until the Resolve Assault button is pressed. An assault can be canceled right up till the point it is resolved. With fog of war (FOW) on the odds for an assault are not revealed to either player. Fortunately the infantry were successful, but at a steep price. Losses for both sides were heavy, in the graphic to the left the attacker (American) lost seventeen men to the defenders five. Also significantly the retreating Germans end in a clear hex and can be target with effective artillery fire. Page 24 There is a final action for the turn. With the capture of Kraut Corner by Foxtrot Company, it’s imperative that Echo Company advances into the road directly south. This will have two effects; it will isolate the machine gun unit to the west and put the company adjacent to the retreating Fallschirmjaegers. Hopefully their presence will discourage any thought of counterattack by the Germans. Echo Company advances successfully, taking a few casualties from defensive fire. The first line of the German defenses is now compromised and the Americans can now focus on the second objective at Cloville. Golf Company will not move this turn as it is both disrupted and isolated in the minefield. With the engineer having moved forward to assist, hopefully the infantry will rally next turn. If there are any other units you want to move or fire do it now. Now that we’re finished moving and firing all our units, click the Next Turn Button on the Toolbar and click OK if prompted. The Germans will now move and fire their forces. Your units may fire automatically in reply using Opportunity Fire. Some enemy movement may be spotted. Your next turn will be announced once the Allied Command Report appears. Page 25
TURNS 4 to 7 Play through the remaining turns, keeping in mind what you have done through the first three. You may have to fight off a counterattack by the Germans as they try and recapture their lost victory location. FINISHING THE SCENARIO You now know how to move your units, fire, and assault with your forces. With the victory conditions in mind, keep maneuvering your forces in the manner you see fit. The end of the game will be announced at the conclusion of the enemy’s final turn, at which time, final Victory Points will be shown. To restart the scenario, click File and Selection in the Menu Bar. A list of scenarios will appear and you may select any by double clicking on its entry. Page 26 Page 27
TUTORIAL TWO; UTAH BEACH ‐ AIR & NAVAL ACTION SCENARIO SELECTION
Start Panzer Battles Normandy if you haven’t already and you will be taken to the File Selection Dialog. Click the scenario #02_Getting_Started_Utah and then OK. This takes you to the AI Selection Dialog where you choose the side you wish to play. For the purposes of this tutorial select Allied AI "Manual" for yourself and "Automatic with Fog of War"(FOW) for the Axis. Do not click OK now, but rather the button called ‘Rules…’ This will show the selected Optional Rules. Do not change anything as these are the default choices. If you want to understand the impact of any of these click Help. Click OK to move back to the AI dialog. Page 28 Click OK to get the game underway ‐ you are now the Allied commander. The map should now appear along with your first Command Report with information relevant to the first turn. Air units are available this turn. You have ten salvos of smoke. There are six tank units that are currently isolated. These units are amphibious ‘DD’ tanks. Starting the scenario in deep water results in them being isolated and very vulnerable to enemy fire. Note the Command Reports contents and click OK to close it. Tutorial Two will teach a range of new actions a player can choose. It is not intended to provide a full play through here but to rather highlight these new functions. Players should have played Tutorial One – Hill 192 to learn the basics of Fire & Movement before trying Tutorial Two – Utah Beach. Page 29
An opposed beach landing is probably one of the most dangerous operations an army can attempt. Amphibious actions require co‐ordination, skill and luck. The landing troops are at their most vulnerable once they enter the defenders artillery range and before they have disembarked. Crossing shallow water and beach is only marginally less vulnerable with modifiers increasing the impact of enemy fire. It’s imperative to breach the beach defenses as quickly as possible.
Page 30 HITTING THE BEACH
For this tutorial do the following in order. There are six infantry companies (Alpha to Golf) from the 8th Infantry Regiment. They are currently in ‘travel mode’ (denoted by the white stripe on the bottom of the counter). They are assumed to have just debarked from their landing craft. Units that are in travel mode are extremely vulnerable and will take additional casualties. Change to ‘deployed’, by selecting the unit and then clicking ‘Change Travel Mode’. Units can move in shallow water but not normal ocean/lake water. After changing travel mode, you should be able to move at least one more hex. Try and move towards the beach, you are slightly less vulnerable when on land. Alpha and Bravo Company of 70th Tank Battalion are landing in Sherman DD (Duplex Drive) tanks. These vehicles begin in deep water and in most cases it will take 2 to 3 turns for them to make landfall. Like the infantry, flip out of travel mode if you want a safer but slower landfall. If you want tank support quicker then it’s best to stay in travel mode and move as far as possible. Landing craft are transport units and can carry up to 40 men or equivalents. The ‘P’ on the counter on the right and the ‘Carrying’ in the unit picture denotes that the landing craft has passengers. Landing craft are much faster than other units in the water. They do need one third of their movement points to unload. You can reserve these points by clicking on the ‘Save Movement Cost’ button on the menu. You can only unload units if you are in shallow water, unless you’re carrying amphibious units such as DD tanks. The carried unit will disembark in travel mode. If you want to examine what unit is being carried by the landing craft, just right click on the unit image and it will reveal the passenger. Losing a landing craft to enemy fire while loaded will usually result in at least some of the passengers being destroyed. Ideally you want to unload your landing craft as quickly as possible, but that will require moving into shallow water while still possessing at least one third of the carrier’s movement points. Page 31
AIR STRIKES With the movement of our forces near the beach, there is a reasonable chance that German units have fired on us. Let’s call in an air strike to try and suppress the defenders. Air units are different to artillery in that they need to be plotted. You select the target hex this turn and they will only resolve their attack at the start of the players next turn. This delay reflects the time needed to co‐ordinate a World War 2 airstrike. First, let’s click on the original target hex that contained the German defenders. Click the Airplane button, (see example to the left). This will open the ‘Air Mission Dialog’, which will look like the below; If the air unit is greyed out then a valid target hex hasn’t been selected. Just hit ‘Cancel’, select the target hex and open the Air Mission Dialog again. Once you have the target you want, click on the air unit so that it is highlighted – like below. Click Ok and a plane symbol should appear over the target hex. It’s important to realize that once placed air units cannot be moved or canceled. As mentioned, air missions are not resolved till the start of the player’s next turn. This delay may mean that the target hex is empty or may have different units in it. If the hex is empty there is a chance the airstrike will hit units in one of the six adjacent hexes. The player has no control over the air unit once a strike request has been placed. Air units may not always be available every turn. Many factors such as the time of day, visibility, previous losses or disruption all effect whether an air mission is present and available. Your Command Report will indicate whether any air units are available this turn. Page 32 NAVAL BOMBARDMENT In Turn One, there would have been very few spotted enemy units and quite probably no unmoved friendly spotters. We won’t be able to use any naval bombardment until Turn two. At the start of Turn two, a number of German units will have been revealed as they tried to shoot at the landing forces. You will have also received a range of reinforcements including rocket landing craft. Naval units are essentially floating artillery. You select and fire them like any other artillery unit from the Artillery Dialog. Looking at the example below, rocket landing craft as well as some American destroyers are available. Rocket landing craft are Single use units. This means they are only available the turn they arrive. Single use units are removed, whether they have fired or not at the beginning of the subsequent turn. They have high factors, particularly against soft targets and once available they should be used as quickly as possible. They can’t be moved once they arrive in a scenario. There are three destroyers available (DD’s) and unlike the rocket landing craft they are able to fire every turn unless they become unavailable (low ammunition) or they are sunk. In this scenario there are two classes of DD with either three or four guns each. The small caliber of their armament requires players to use them against soft target rather than hard targets such as bunkers. Battleships, Crusiers and Light Cruisers are available in a number of scenarios where naval bombardment is present. Play Tutorial Two ‐ Utah Beach out to conclusion using the lessons and tips as outlined here and in Tutorial One. Page 33
TUTORIAL THREE; GLIDER & PARACHUTE LANDINGS SCENARIO SELECTION
Start Panzer Battles Normandy if you haven’t already and you will be taken to the File Selection Dialog. Click the scenario #03_Getting_Started_Pegasus_Bridge and then OK. This takes you to the AI Selection Dialog where you choose the side you wish to play. For the purposes of this tutorial select Allied AI "Manual" for yourself and "Automatic with Fog of War"(FOW) for the Axis. Do not click OK now, but rather the button called ‘Rules…’ This will show the selected Optional Rules. Do not change anything as these are the default choices. If you want to understand the impact of any of these click Help. Click OK to move back to the AI dialog. Page 34 Click OK to get the game underway ‐ you are now the Allied commander. The map should now appear along with your first Command Report with information relevant to the first turn. It’s a night turn, which means very limited visibility. You have five salvos of smoke. Reinforcements have arrived, which will be you glider and parachute troops. Note the Command Reports contents and click OK to close it. Tutorial Three will teach a range of new actions a player can choose. It is not intended to provide a full play through here but to rather highlight these new functions. Players should have played both Tutorial One – Hill 192 and Tutorial Two – Utah Beach before trying Tutorial Three – Pegasus Bridge. Page 35
Airborne operations are on par with amphibious actions for complexity and the chance for disaster. The Normandy drops were complicated by being exclusively at night, a decision made based on the experiences of Sicily The biggest challenge with a night operation is the ability to organize men that might be scattered over a very wide area. The positive is the confusion it creates for the enemy, but ultimately any military action requires mass and that takes time to collect when dropped from the air. Page 36 AIRBORNE OPERATIONS The British units in this tutorial all arrive as reinforcements. You can place reinforcements on the map whenever you want during a turn. If you attempt to end a turn without placing your new troops you will be reminded to bring them on. Clicking the Arrived Units button displays the Arrived Dialog. On the first turn there are two distinct landing groups. Major Howard’s Ox & Bucks company was glider borne and tasked with taking the bridges at Benouville and Pont de Ranville. Howard’s troops were supported by the Para engineers who also arrived by glider. 22nd Independent Parachute Company was a pathfinder for the following drops and parachuted in, rather than land by glider. Double clicking each line in the dialog places the new reinforcements on the map. Glider landings, by their nature tend to arrive in good order and with fewer casualties than pure parachute landings. With both reinforcement types present in the first turn it’s a good opportunity to compare the impact. Howard’s men (shown to the left) landed on target and with less than 10% casualties. None of the units were fatigues or disrupted. This tends to be the norm for gliders if they land in relatively clear terrain. By comparison the 22nd Independent Parachute Company (shown to the right) is significantly worse off. All units are disrupted; fatigue is substantial and casualties heavy. Parachute drops tend to be more scattered. It is advisable to try and gather the component platoons together and recombine them into companies. Using them as platoons that have taken 50% or more casualties is a sure way to destroy them quickly. The challenge is the time required to recover from disruption and then get the component platoons together. This scenario will demonstrate very quickly the chaos that can occur with a night time drop. Play Tutorial Three – Pegasus Bridge out to conclusion using the lessons and tips as outlined here and in the prior two tutorials. Page 37
CONGRATULATIONS If you have played through all three tutorials, you’re ready to tackle the other scenarios included with the game. Here are a few additional tips to help you learn the game quicker. To check any units’ statistics, chain of command and special unit abilities, right click the Hex Info Area while the desired hex with the unit(s) is selected. You will see the chain of command for a unit on the left; on the right appear its various combat factors, speed, and special abilities, if any. The Hard, Soft & AA values are Attack/Range respectively. The Assault value is used both when attacking and defending in Assault combat. The Defense value is used when fired upon while Speed is modified by the type of unit and whether it is deployed or in Travel mode. The Terrain Information box provides a lot of information on the currently selected hex. In the example to the left, the hex is predominantly grass at an elevation of 125 metres with German owned trenches. It is also an objective (worth fifty points) and in supply. Local visibility is up to four hexes.
Right Clicking on the Terrain Information box will show both hex side information and the current stacking in hex (graphic to the right). White numbers means road movement is possible, yellow numbers no road movement, while red digits are over the road limit and accruing penalties for over‐
stacking. The penalty is shown in parenthesis. Page 38 Units can move in Travel mode. In the case of the panzer grenadier platoon shown here this represents the infantry moving in trucks rather than walking. Note the differences ‐ movement points have increased substantially and a ‘T’ has been appended to indicate Travel mode. In addition the unit counter has a white stripe across the bottom. When a unit is selected other members of its organization can be highlighted. An organization can be anywhere in the hierarchy. For example selecting a Regimental HQ and ‘Highlight Org’ will show all members of that Regiment. In our graphic to the left the HQ of 2‐38th Infantry Battalion has been selected and all members of the battalion highlighted. It’s easy to keep track of which units have already fired and moved. Clicking on the ‘Used Movement Points’ on the tool bar shows the player all the units that have expended at least one movement point. In our example it is easy to see that all the British troops have moved or fired this turn. If players do not like the yellow highlight a white highlight is available. Click ‘Settings’ | ‘Alternative Highlighting’ to enable this function. Page 39
There are three different conter sets included in Panzer Battles Normandy. The default set uses the unit side art graphics to show the different types of units and weapons systems. A small NATO symbol is included and if Divisional Markings is turned on this symbol will be colour coded to the appropriate formation. The alternative unit counters have top down views for each unit. Like the default graphics a small NATO symbol is included that will be coloured when Divisional Markings is used. To select the alternative counters click on Settings | Use Alt Unit Graphics. More traditional NATO symbols are available. A description of the primary function or weapon system is included on the counter. When Divisional Markings is enabled the NATO symbol is appropriately coloured. To select the NATO counters click on Settings | Use NATO Symbols. These three graphics sets can be changed in game and work at both zoom level two and three.
Page 40 FURTHER INFORMATION
This Guide is designed to make you feel comfortable with what’s going on in Panzer Battles, but it is no substitute for reading the Game Help files. You can access Help from the Game Help Menu. The Game rules are really in two parts: Part 1 is the User Manual, which is the series rulebook. You can see this while playing by pressing F2. The Main Program Manual discusses the various elements of the interface in helpful detail such as each Menu or Dialog. There is even a list of HOT KEYS Show in the Other Features section of this manual. You can view this program guide while playing by pressing F1 Pressing F3 opens the Campaign Notes, which include both the historical background for the battle and the Designers notes. This is a good place to start when you want to understand why the designers included certain features and the historical situations they were trying to emulate. Pressing F4 invokes a feature called the Parameter Data Table. It provides a host of information including movement costs, terrain benefits, and stacking limits amongst other things. Lastly, documentation for the game’s editors may be found in help files accessed from the Help Menu when you open each editor. Page 41
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