I’m not the first to discover how to conquer Poland in two turns playing Fury Software’s Strategic Command WWII: War in Europe (SC:WiE), much less to post a written or video ‘how to’. Using this august forum I will do so now, however, demonstrating at the same time my opening moves for the “1939 Storm Over Europe” scenario as the Axis. (Future articles featuring the Allies may be forthcoming.)
First, I need to clarify a few abbreviations I am wont to use, as I find they are less cumbersome:
Ar = Armee (or Army)Ak (or Co) = Armeekorps (or Corps)Pz (or ACo) = Panzerkorps (or Armoured Corps)Br = BrigadeCav = CavalryGar = GarrisonMech = MechanisedR. = RiverN = NorthS = SouthE = EastW = West
Thus, 4. Ar is 4. Armee (or 4th Army); if 4. Ar moves to 187,69 S Königsberg, then 4. Armee redeploys to hex 187,69, South of Königsberg. I trust that’s simple enough, and that others will be self-explanatory. I have to additionally assume that readers are familiar with SC:WiE concepts such as Blitz Attack, Sleep, Cruise, Set Mode, and so on. Finally, note that battle outcomes can vary significantly, depending on the Difficulty setting as well, so don’t take the following as ‘gospel’ in any way. More in a bit.
ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROERRR WARSAW
I begin every turn by going to a certain theatre, e.g., North Africa, the Mediterranean, North Atlantic, etc., and proceeding in some kind of grid or loop pattern, east/west or north/south along my front(s). I don’t use the Next/Previous buttons, as they cycle even minor allies’ units, yet putting them to Sleep risks missing them later on when they might be threatened. I then check the situation everywhere before moving anything, to determine where reinforcements are critical, upgrades may be advisable. For example, upgrading aircraft is best done during bad weather. I then spend all the MPP I have till I’m satisfied that units are strengthened where necessary and I’ve made whatever upgrades seem feasible. Progress in the game determines my priorities for Research or the Purchase of new units; certainly for the first couple of turns, reinforcements and upgrades take precedence for me.
Now for actual moves! Initially, I use Cruise to deploy U-30 and Deutschland to around 78,78 and 79,77 on the Canadian convoy route; don’t forget to Set Convoy Mode>Raider on Deutschland. The rest Cruise to the Rockall Bank area, but avoid coastlines! Next turn we should be able to raid Canada’s convoy routes, albeit note that Canada may not declare war for a few turns, so Deutschland and U-30 may not get any action right away. Next, I upgrade Admiral Scheer’s and Z2 destroyer’s Naval Weaponry; sail Z20 into port to do the same next turn. I also dock Gneisenau and Scharnhorst for safety. (The Axis will seldom be able to challenge the Allies’ naval power at any time, certainly not the first few turns; sortieing beyond the Skagerrak buys the Kriegsmarine a one-way ticket to Davy Jones’ Locker!)
Shifting my theatre of operations to Poland, I activate Fall Weiss. The Polish capital is the Axis’ only objective at this stage; smashing a few Polish units along the way will help break their National Morale, but is really only incidental to capturing the capital. First, Set Mode>Manual on all HQs; the AI will pick garrisons and other less desirable units, so I have found it’s best to have full control. But be sure to check each turn, because some may have advanced (or perhaps retreated) out of range or there might be more optimal picks. Note that von Rundstedt (Armeegruppe Süd; Breslau; 180,79) has too many available on Turn 1; Detach IV. Ak and Attach 8. Ar in lieu. I do this because the former is too far away from the action for the moment, plus 8. Ar has better firepower anyway as an army vs. corps.
To start, use bombers; target the Modlin Army (187,73) first, since it’s in the way the most. We’re not likely to do much damage yet, but the idea is to ‘soften’ the enemy reduce Morale and Readiness, as well as Entrenchment and, most importantly, ZoC once <5 Strength, so we can flank and encircle. Advancing 3. Ar to 186,74 will not reveal the Modlin Garrison we know is there, but scouting ahead is always wise; just don’t go too far with weakened units. Send fighters to scout the Modlin Garrison (187,75) so it doesn’t ‘ambush’ us, then attack with XXI. Ak (185,71), as it’s stronger than Wodrig due to having Level 1 Infantry Weapons already. Keep attacking till Modlin Ar is reduced or destroyed.
Looking along the Baltic coast, once more start with bombers against the Pomorze Army at 181,72; again, little damage should be expected, but your ground forces should do the job. Scout the Wielkopolska Cavalry at 181,74 and the Poznan Army (180,75); our intent is just to pin Poznan Ar, since attacking now would be largely pointless and wasteful.
Looking west, bomb the Wolynska Cavalry (183,78), then punch a hole through it; if it retreats, chase it and finish it off; advance toward Warsaw if possible. Lodz Army is your next obstacle; take Czestochowa, then, if you still need to reduce Lodz Ar <5, hit it, otherwise attack Krakowska Cavalry Brigade (184,80). Ten Armee (183,82) remains in place to pin the Krakow Army (184,81); attack if the odds are favourable, else ignore it. Advance all as far toward Warsaw as possible.
In Slovakia, scout the mechanised corps in Krakow and attack it. The Slovakian Bernolák Corps (Presov; 188,85) and VIII. Ak (187,74) can Blitz Attack the Karpaty Army, if desired. Although an initial Prepared Attack with XVIII. Ak (188,84) would normally be wiser, this time we want to soften up Karpaty; if you check XVIII’s odds after the flanking attacks, you’ll see they improve. Even so, chances are we will do no damage and take some, so this attack is optional.
Finally, move up all HQs as close to your front lines as practicable. Don’t worry about nearby enemy forces, even if they’re fairly strong; they’ve never attacked my HQs (don’t count on this later on, though!). Also redeploy your air units closer to Warsaw while watching their Supply situation; use hotkey ‘S’ twice to pick a spot ?6, which is where you’ll need to be in order to fully reinforce or upgrade (see my article on Supply for more tips). It won’t be a problem finding such spots in Poland, but it’s good to get in the habit now. Finishing up with Germany, upgrade Luftflotte III, and reinforce all forces along the Westwall, to the limit of your MPP.
Visiting Italy, not much can be done just yet. Reinforce 1 Squadra Fighters (Bari; 180,103), 1st Medium Bombers (179,103), or else you have lots of ships and understrength units, including Arieta Tanks (163,93). I generally leave Italy on AI for the first few turns; it knows what to do. Otherwise, that’s it for Turn 1 (press End Turn), and tune in for the next part where we finish the job!
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