Tuesday, August 4, 2009

OCS learnings

I've played a few OCS games now, and here are a few thoughts on what I've learned, especially after the Sicily game.

1. Use reserves

For the defender, this is critical, especially artillery. Sure, it burns supply, but it forces the attacker to call off the combats or attack at low odds. And throwing more units into a hex that's had a stack lose a step to a freak barrage result can be the difference. For the attacker this is also critical. You never know when you're going to get that freak set of results that opens up the defenders, and throwing in the reserves can be crucial. Anther point is that your opponent cannot put units in a ZoC into reserve, so using your reserves to move adjacent cuts down the defender's flexibility, perhaps allowing an even better exploitation next turn.

2. Attack reserves

Attacking the defender's flexibility is critical, so using barrages to attack reserves can be a good tactic, even with the big negative column shift for unspotted barrages.

3. Keep up the attack!

Sometimes you've just got to burn the supply (and units) and keep attacking. That means an overrun in the movement phase, followed by a combat, then an overrun and more combat with released reserves (or, if you're lucky in the combat, exploitation units) in the exploitation phase. Keep the defender on the run!

4. Defend in depth

To counter the above, you have to defend in depth, to ensure that the attacker isn't exploiting in your back field. Nothing is going to ruin your day more than an armored division breaking through and cutting supply to everyone.

5. Be aware of Spotting rules

(This one is related to Sicily) Keep a mix of Italian and German troops together, as the one nationality cannot perform barrage spotting for the other. Keeping them mixed means more flexibility when performing barrages, especially when your opponent has air superiority, and you don't know which of your artillery reserves will be the target.

There, an exercise in teaching granny to suck eggs.

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