I’m just starting to play Panzer Elite seriously and I have to admit, it’s by no means an easy-win faction. I still stand by my contention that PE have a noticeable advantage over Americans, but vs. the Brits, I’m not so sure.
In this first Battle Report, I had the fortune to draw a level 9 British player named jimpey with my level 6 PE (Jianshu). The map was Semois (is there ever a non-raining version of this map anymore?) and I was very nervous.
I haven’t watched very many PE vs. British replays, but I figured I would go for a fast Panzer Jaeger Kommand strategy, skipping Kampfgruppe’s Halftracks and Panzershrecks in favor of a fast Armored Car and Marder III.
This was a mistake. Semois is not a very fuel-heavy map, and my AC reigned supreme only for one minute or so before jimpey’s Stuart tank popped out and forced a retreat. In the meantime I realized it was very stupid for me to have skipped Kampfgruppe, so I built a Scout Car and used it to OP the fuel sector.
Then I built a Mortar Halftrack to put some fire on the middle of Semois, where jimpey had his entire base set up. He had a 17-pounder AT emplacement, a Bofors cannon, and a Casualty Clearing Station. I told the Mortar HT to start attacking the Bofors, and while I tended to something else, the HT driver decided to drive right up next to the Bofors and was promptly buttoned by a Bren-squad and owned by the 17-pounder. There goes a 40-fuel unit on a fuel-scarce map.
From then on it got much worse…
jimpey used Cromwells to probe my lines and engage my Marders, then used the 25-pounder he subsequently built to provide devastating artillery support. I pretty much lost every engagement, but jimpey was unwilling to engage my Tank Buster squads and Marders and AC outside the range of his 17-pounder. He was instead quite content to camp the middle, watching the Victory Points tick down his favor.
I was limited to slowing him down by disabling strategic points (I went Scorched Earth) and using Sector Artillery to stop him from capping too much territory. Given the slow nature of this game, he had plenty of time to repair the disabled points and recapture them. Really I’m thinking it’s better to disable the points right after a battle or during one, so he’s hurting and cut off for awhile.
I was running out of sectors and was forced to my manpower float. I was almost ready to quit, so strong was the unstoppable feeling of impending doom, but I had one final ace up my sleeve — the Panther Battlegroup. I figured I could rush jimpey’s defenses with two Panthers and my Tank Busters, then count on my immense manpower stores to instantly order a second Panther Battlegroup. I am sure it must’ve seemed to him as if I had Allied War Machines on, except with Panthers.
This is how I won. He lost his Bofors, 25-pounder and 17-pounder to this attack, which occurred from an unlikely direction (from the direction of his base, with my tanks and infantry attacking with the foot bridge behind them). He killed both Panthers, but my triple-vet Tank Busters escaped.
jimpey, figuring I had nothing left in my base, sent his Cromwells to my base, but they ran smack into my second Panther Battlegroup, which destroyed both effortlessly. From then on it was a tight battle for VPs, and he made the mistake of sending Tommy squads and Cromwells in separate groups, which were eliminated again and again.
– Avoided the majority of artillery by displacing infantry whenever the sound of the 25-pounder was heard
– Didn’t give up
– Good tank micro
– Decent unit preservation (AC survived almost entire game, as did several Tank Busters and a Panther with six Cromwell/Firefly kills)
– Poor choice of opening strategy
– Not aggressive enough in early game, let opponent build defenses unchallenged
– It’s a bad idea to tell the Mortar HT to attack anything in the fog of war (get the HT in range, then use bombard instead)
– Somehow forgot to use boobytraps, like an idiot
– Floated too much munitions, manpower
– Good opening game and infantry micro
– Fast Stuart
– Good use of combined arms, infantry + tanks + artillery support
– Bad base placement (large opening for rear attack, which was exploited by Panthers)
– Not aggressive enough; could’ve attacked earlier, when advantage was greatest; this would have prevented Pantherspam from picking up steam
– Split Cromwells and Fireflies toward the end, making them easy pickings for vetted Panthers
– Picked Royal Artillery doctrine, but only built/called in two artillery pieces the whole game
Pantherspam seems a little too good right now; then again it was only possible to float enough manpower for repeated Panther call-ins because jimpey was very passive after establishing a clear advantage.