Game Platforms

Allied General

PC Windows

Walkthrough :

Allied General - Hints by Henri H. Arsenault

Having spent the last week mostly losing at Allied General, here are some

comments and advice that may be useful for beginners.

Note that playing the scenario as part of a campaign or stand-alone can

make a big difference in playing style, because in campaign games it is of

the utmost importance to develop and preserve high-quality core units, a

factor that doesn´t count in stand-alone games. The comments, except where

noted, apply to campaign games, though many ally also to stand-alone

games.

In many scenarios, you are on the defensive, outnumbered two- or

three-to-one, facing a much superior air force, and you are expected to go

on the offensive and take all the cities on the map. War is Hell!...

If you don´t know the following, which should be written above your

computer screen in letters of gold, you are destined to lose every

campaign: the bread and butter of this game is the nurturing and use of

core units, and the efficient management of prestige points. If you are

incompetent in either of the two, you have the word "loser" branded on

your forehead!

The scenarios are actually puzzles to be studied and solved. Some are

tough! Don´t be discouraged if you lose all the time. Think positively, it

is a learning experience...I lost the Crusader scenario six times before I

even got a minor victory.

The need to develop and preserve experienced core units in the first

couple of scenarios of a campaign cannot be overestimated. Losing your

best core unit in one of the first two scenarios practically guarantees

losing the next scenario. In the Agheila scenario (the second of the

Africa campaign), a single Matilda II tank single-handedly destroyed about

ten German tanks (the Matilda II is useless against infantry, but its

thick armor and powerful gun make it a powerful tank-killer in the early

scenarios - the Matilda I is all but useless).

Turn down the prestige and experience dials for the computer player all

the way down. This will not change the German starting lineup in any

scenario, but it will severely limit the number and quality of German

replacements. When you can win, turn them up if you wish - I haven´t

reached that point yet...).

Avoid sending your experienced core units into a risky situation near

enemy units where they might be severely damaged, especially if there is a

chance that it could be surrounded. The Germans will throw everything but

the kitchen sink at the unit until it is destroyed. The computer is

particularly competent at sniffing out weakened core units and destroying

them with combined arms attacks. The computer will drop everything else

for the chance to destroy a good core unit. The most hear-sinking feeling

in the game is seeing your two-star tank unit reduced to three points by a

massive combined arms attack of bombers, artillery and tanks, and

realizing that the path of retreat to safety and replacements is blocked

and that the unit is doomed (and so are you).

NEVER finish off an enemy unit with an auxiliary unit : the experience

points go to the unit that kills the unit, and you want that to go to a

core unit. Even if a core unit has taken 9 out of 10 points off an enemy

unit and an auxiliary kills it, the core unit will get no points, which

will all go to the auxiliary. OK, there are exceptions, but remember the

rule.

Almost never give elite replacements to an auxiliary unit. There are

exceptions, but remember that those points are lost forever when the

scenario ends (auxiliary units don´t go on to the next scenario).

In the early scenarios, don´t waste too much prestige on airplanes: you

will not be able to match the German air force, and it is too costly.

Instead use air defense units at key locations (usually your main city and

anywhere there is an artillery unit); AD units are cheap and very

effective at shooting down German planes. When the German air force has

been depleted by your AD, then you can wreak havoc with your own air

force. The Germans will keep attacking key points despite heavy losses to

AD units. Consider having one AD unit as a core unit (maybe not in the

first or second scenario), which will make it even more effective as it

gains experience.

Be careful about overextending yourself on the last move: it is better to

lose the scenario (unless it is the last one of the campaign) than to lose

a key core unit which ensures that you will lose the next scenario and the

campaign. I have often lost a key core unit on the last move by making a

desperate attack on a city that had not been investigated nor softened

up, losing five or six points on the attack; on its last move, the

computer counterattacks and destroys the weakened unit. A vouloir tout

gagne, on a tout perdu (Sniff...).

To stop a massed tank offensive, set up infantry units in a line on rough

terrain, backed up by artillery if possible. Most tanks will take heavy

losses if they attack infantry in rough terrain. If they are stupid enough

to attack (and they sometimes will), your artillery , tanks and possibly

planes can kick their ass on the next move.

The computer will usually try to counter the latter tactics by bringing up

artillery, which can effectively weaken infantry from a distance. For that

reason, your air force, if it is operational, should usually target enemy

artillery first. If it doesn´t weaken your position too much and you have

the opportunity, consider sending an auxiliary infantry unit to attack the

artillery. If you can´t destroy the artillery, it will eventually cripple

your infantry sufficiently so that the tanks can take them out, so

sometimes you should consider falling back to a secondary position. In any

case, you will have delayed the German offensive by a few turns, and

possibly set them up for a devastating counterattack.

For example, I used the above tactics in the Agheila scenario (the second

of the Africa Campaign). In this scenario, you have to take all the

cities, but taking the offensive immediately is suicide, as you are

strongly outnumbered and the Germans have control of the air. After my

infantry backed by an artillery unit stalled the main German tank

offensive along a N-S line five or six hexes SE of Tobruk, while my tanks

nipped at the force from the S flank, the Germans succeeded in reaching

the fortifications of Tobruk from the NW, which were in no immediate

danger as the infantry in the fortifications was backed up by artillery

and an AD unit that kept attriting the Bombers trying to hit the

artillery.

After the German planes were wiped out by the AD with help from my own

planes, I had control of the air, and launched a decisive counterattack in

the center that ended with the total destruction of the German force,

after which I waltzed into the German-held cities just in time for a major

victory. A key role was played in this battle by an experienced Matilda II

tank that was practically invulnerable to German tank attacks, and that

could reduce less experienced German tanks to rubble with a couple of

shots.

Consider buying the Panzer General Strategy Guide by Alan Emrich; the two

games are very similar and most of the units are the same. In addition to

many tables of units, the book gives a lot of formulas that show how

calculations are made in the game, and they are probably the same or very

similar for Allied General. The prestige calculations alone are almost

worth the price of the book.