Panzer General Air Superiority

It’s kind of laughable now but when I first started playing Panzer General, I was overwhelmed by the number of different units and their different characteristics.  There was a time when I thought I’d never get a handle on it.  But as I played more and more I grew to understand how the AI (artificial intelligence) of the computer worked, and how a few little tricks could tip the scale of the battle in favor of the human player.

The computer AI is actually quite poor and simply relies on crushing you with mass amounts of prestige to buy units with superior experience to your own. This is especially true with respect to the air superiority enjoyed by the Allied General in scenarios starting in 1943.

In my experience, air superiority is virtually key in winning or at least staving off defeat, and this becomes especially true as you play later in the war. In order to win air superiority you must concentrate all available fighters on eliminating the opposition fighters. If possible it makes sense to fight over your own airfields so that you can replenish units as they suffer battle damage. For replacements go for quality over quantity – in other words try to use elite replacements if you can afford it. Your ground forces can also support the air superiority effort by holding or taking key airfields to prevent nearby refuelling by the enemy. Also the Panzer General has access to some excellent ground to air units, such as the famous 88mm anti-aircraft guns, which when in the hands of experienced troops can punch holes in enemy fighter numbers.

In the campaign you can steadily craft your air forces to be heavy in fighters, and always add elite replacements so that it truly becomes an elite fighter group. However, in the scenarios you have to play the hand you are dealt – so in this respect air superiority is much more challenging to achieve. But it is still possible!

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