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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Cal's LiveJournal:

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Friday, January 20th, 2012
11:51 pm
Okay, not gonna really update this anymore. I'll keep this account around to comment to friends who are still here, but otherwise moving full-over to DW. I'll post links eventually... maybe.

Read why LJ doesn't give a shit over here.

I first opened this all the way back in the year 2000. I was still in high school, as were most all of my friends. We spent our spare time programming video games with software that even at the time was vastly outdated. (That is, ZZT.) When some people started getting livejournals, I got one too. I think I beat the 'Early Adopter' cut-off by about a week or so.

But it all started to go to shit when the first owner sold it off in 2005. Before that, advertisements were something you never saw on here. 'Early Adopter' perks meanwhile became less and less and then faded completely when they started letting you get features similar to a paid account in exchange for displaying lots of ads. Then of course MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter showed up and revealed livejournal for the dinosaur it was. Livejournal tried to counter by linking all of these 'social networking' sites together, which only served to piss off the people who didn't like that even more. Six years or so later, this is the logical conclusion: outright scorn for the users who made up the core of livejournal years ago and even more 'marketing' toward luring people who already use the other social network sites to just add another one. (That and the Singapore-based and Russian users, which apparently are doing well here. I wouldn't know. It seems every time I see a journal all in Cyrillic it's full of nothing but spam.)

To be honest, I think livejournal may be trying to drive all of the 'old' users away. At least one of my friends said she had already receiving a notice saying it was going to delete her inactive account here. Either they desperately need server space and they think the best way to get it is by finally frightening everyone away or... I don't know what.

Anyway, after 2004, I admit I primarily used my livejournal for roleplaying purposes. Now that most all of them have immigrated to DreamWidth, there's no real reason to maintain this anymore except to maintain relationships with the few friends I have left who still primarily use this system. However, I encourage everyone to at least check out Dreamwidth. It requires activation keys to use, but it's got all of the old 'good' features livejournal had at one point.

See title.
Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
5:21 pm
Livejournal: Wishing they'd been Facebook for over ten years.
Friday, December 2nd, 2011
7:56 pm
Recovery... or not.
I have a new computer up and running. Blitzkrieg works fine under Windows7.

However, my saved games of Achtung Panzer! did not survive the trip to the new computer. So I will need to play through it again to get back to where I was.

If I discover any new strategies I may post them here.
Sunday, November 6th, 2011
2:57 am
Short hiatus.
I have been taking a short break. This break was partially inspired by the difficultly of the map after Stalingrad.

Also, I am currently experiencing computer problems and will need to upgrade. Fortunately I have it on good authority that Blitzkrieg will still work on Windows 7.

And to anyone reading this because I joined cfud and they wanted to see what my main journal is: it was once a lot more weird. A lot more.
Monday, September 12th, 2011
1:59 am
Mission 22: Case Blau: Stalingrad

Difficulty: Very Hard

Well, here it is folks. The famous Stalingrad. This is the battle most historians say that when the Nazis lost here, they had no chance of winning the war. Does this mean you are supposed to lose the battle? No, you are playing in control of one of the only offenses into the city proper that achieved all of its objectives. Nice, eh?

You are given a laundry list of objectives: take the artillery position, take the grain silo, eliminate the AA batteries, take the train station, take the docks, and take the factory. But the mission does not begin there. The mission begins with an attack on a defensive position set up a little bit away from your starting position. Most all of the units there are partially damaged. You must escort one officer away from the blast zone. There are a number of enemy troops in the way. Furthermore an attack on the position is happening in a few minutes and it's very difficult, maybe impossible, to hold without any help from your main units.

Waste no time, start moving your tanks out to the position. You should also deploy your artillery and 88mm guns around the main starting position. This is harder than it sounds because the area is so cramped, and if you wander too far you will run into some Soviet troops. Make sure you get at least one 88mm gun deployed because the Soviets will call out bombers very quickly.

You now have a choice. Do you defend the position, or do you evacuate what you can? This is a real decision. Since there are many infantry squads in buildings though, it may be advantageous in the long run to hold the position. Even if you go this route, get the officer out of there in his car. Drive him back to the bunker in your start position and have him move over to it. The objective should then be complete. But the officer must survive the entire mission, so just put him in the bunker there and forget about him.

There will also be a frontal attack by infantry to your main position. You may lose an AT gun or two, but it is pretty easy to defend.

After saving the officer, you are given your actual objectives. The game tells you to tackle the artillery position first, and you should. Assuming you're playing this game well, you should be firing your own artillery at the likely 'artillery hiding spots' on the various hills all ready.

Here is the hardest part of this map: see the area on the far right of the map which is separated by river and cannot be crossed? This area is crawling with strong AA guns and strong artillery. There is no way to take out this artillery except by suppressing it with your own. (Calling out your air force will just get it destroyed by the AA guns.) Therefore, you absolutely need to bring artillery pieces to this battle. It will take a lot of sweeping and suppressing, but when it's finally silenced it will be worth it.

As for attacking the artillery hill, there is no easy way to do this. Get ready to slog through the city, encountering house after house of infantry, AT guns and mines hidden randomly, and the occasional infantry attack. Eventually you'll reach the incline, which is dotted with Czech hedgehogs. There's no easy back-door way here. Have a combined assault on the hill and hope for the best, retreating when necessary.

There is one good thing about this map: very few trenches of infantry to deal with because most of the map is just city.

You will eventually take the area, and reinforcements will show up. But don't celebrate yet: you will get a message stating that the Soviets are going to counterattack you. Get supply trucks, engineer trucks, and at least one 88mm gun on the hill. Man unbroken enemy AT guns if necessary. The counterattack is not small! Fortify your tanks and get the StuG Fs in position.

If you deflected it, you now have the hill. The really great part of this hill is that it has a supply refill depot! It is a great place to put the non-core artillery that appeared. But now you might be wondering what objective to go for. You might be tempted to go for the factory now, but the area down past the hill near the river is lined with mines, trenches, AT guns, and all of the artillery on the other side will rain down on you once it appears. Best to avoid it.

Make sure you have enough units stationed on the hill that can suppress mass infantry assaults which will come occasionally. Go back through the city and get ready to attack the grain silo. If the nebelwerfer reinforcements have showed up, use those to clear out buildings a little faster and focus the main artillery units on suppressing distant targets or countering an counterattack.

The silo isn't too harshly guarded. There's a KV-1 tank in the center of it which must be destroyed. After that, nearby units will start surrounding and attacking, so if you move a tank into the silo proper it will be quickly destroyed.

Regroup, send strong teams to control both sides of the silo. Have the artillery pick at the area the AA guns are supposed to be while the nebelwerfers keep firing on infantry positions. Eventually you will have the objective complete.

Get resupplied. This is a hard objective next, but if you can take it you will have another resupply story. The AA gun position. If you're lucking with suppression fire, then a lot of them will be empty. Empty of men, but not broken so you can use them later. (The AI, except on Kiev, does not 'respawn' gunners.) There are a great many numbers of infantry in buildings, tanks, and surviving guns here, all of which can be a danger. It's also not an easy area to retreat from one you enter. be careful. Also Soviet air attacks will be made around here, you might want to put a 88mm gun near the front line. Keep in mind the hardest force to gather here is supplies, because there is some distance to the warehouse and the trucks are likely to run into Soviet troops you just passed around. Furthermore, getting your infantry up here is difficult because they will run into building after building of Soviet infantry, and meet even more of it at the spot itself. Keep your nebelwerfers firing!

Eventually you will succeed the objective. Probably at this point you should notice things are definitely starting to swing in your favor. Your air force should be good and strong from infrequent use, while the Soviet air force which always meets guns to shoot them down is not doing well. Start to push further down into the field in front of the large building to grab whatever AA guns are left unbroken. This will trigger another counter attack, so make sure your supplies are up. Once you have done this, you can now start to implement the "Call out a recon plane, have the enemy call out their fighters, it's shot down, your guns can shoot their airplanes down, and eventually you will have air supremacy.

The docks and the factory (and the far river bank) have AA guns. The railway station does not. It should be broken up completely with your stukas, he-111 bombers, and recon aircraft. Call out your own fighters just in case the Soviets aren't fully out of them. Bomb the hell out of everything. Then move in your tanks to take the station. There are some Soviet armor hiding behind the trains which will attack, but beating them isn't too big a deal.

With the railway taken, a train full of infantry squads will arrive! Besides this a few tanks and other guns in the nearby streets. You may have not properly cleared out this section though, so a tank may lose its treads from infantry grenade, but nothing too severe.

Before moving on to the docks, you have the question of whether you should go back and kill the Soviet armor and infantry hiding in the alleyways of the city you by-passed. You can ignore them forever, but if a supply truck gets too close, or you're sick of planning out the 'long way' to get through the city, then yeah. Get a recon plane out, and go in and kill them all. I'd say it's a good opportunity for experience, but if your core units have been surviving consistently now, they should ALL be elites.

The dock areas carry several rocket trucks. Use suppression artillery to destroy the AA guns in the city, then call out your air force to destroy them. How do you do this? Well what I like to do is call out german fighters to attack just next to the dock. They're fast and fly all over the place, so a gun will occasionally take a shot and maybe hit it, but probably miss. But this gives it away on the screen. Shell these areas until the firing stops. Then you know you've destroyed the high-altitude guns. Call out your bombers and bomb the area until you find the small AA gun (and maybe the rocket truck.) Once those are gone, you can call in your stukas to kill whatever is left over.

Attack when you feel ready. There is one area set up that makes advancement very difficult. Try to avoid high casualties here. But you will have to split your force. Have infantry, 88 mm guns, and supply/engineer trucks nearby. Eventually you will reach the docks and take the objective.

The final one is the factory, and actually by now it's sorta easy. You have some AA guns to take care of again, so shell until you get them, then use your air force/artillery to weaken them. Attacking from the dock yields some tanks and infantry in buildings in the way, but nothing too bad. Make sure you shell the pillboxes with your large guns before advancing. Then attack from both the AA gun position direction and the Dock direction. (Do not try to advance from the artillery hill direction, it is too hard.)

You will swarm in, mop up the rest of the enemies, and this map is over. Hard, and easy to mess up if you are not careful, but not impossible and gets easier as you go on and earn more reinforcements.

But after this we enter the 1943 summer Kharkov offensive. We are getting dangerously close to the end of the war... after this is the defense of Italy, Operation Herbstnebel, and the Battle of Berlin. Difficulty will spike exponentially.
Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
7:24 pm
Mission 21: Case Blau: Mozdok

Difficulty: Normal

This mission isn't too different from Rostov. You must capture a town, then hold it from counterattack. The only difference here is the town is blocked by a river and you must cross a bridge (or build one) to get there.

First thing first, deploy your artillery and such. You may want to actually set up some defenses (trenches with 88mm guns behind them) in case there might be an attack at some time... Now examine the map.

There is a strong stone bridge to the south. It looks nice, but there are a fair amount of AT guns, tanks, and infantry in front of it. Beyond that further south is a railway bridge. That has even more guys in between you and it so it is not worth considering. You should also notice that in the left side of the map is a small village with a place you can build a river. A perfect 'back door' entrance, if you will. I recommend you choose to try to cross the stone bridge.


The small village doesn't have a lot of troops, true, but this location is a trap. First of all, the Soviets have some rocket trucks here that will bombard you once you cross the bridge. Even if you know their location and bombard them with artillery, if you miss them you are done for. Second of all, there is a strong armor group here that will attack you, and you probably won't be able to fight them all at once just after crossing the bridge. There's just too much defense. It's a trap. And the railway bridge is too far, so that defaults to the stone bridge.

First you will need to clear a path past all of the defenses here. You should know the drill of advancing, stopping when you see a trench, and then blasting behind it with artillery by now. Stukas might be effective here, AA Guns are strong everywhere else. The Soviets also have long range artillery, but you can counter it fairly easily. Your long range artillery can blast anywhere on the map! When you've cleared a path to the bridge, set up some defenses with trenches and 88mm guns. At least one 88mm gun must be deployed here.

How to cross the bridge? Like any good bridge, it is mined to hell. Also there will be some AT guns pointed at it. Try this: advance a little more than halfway across the bridge with a tank, stop, and then bring in an engineering truck to clear mines. If done right, it will clear the path and let you move on. The Soviets will probably call out their ground attack planes now. Make a retreat and let your 88mm guns take them out.

You'll see trenches eventually in the town and should bomb them. Eventually you'll be able to get a tank across the bridge. Bring more, then infantry. You can now proceed to the left or down. I suggest down, because there's more room to maneuver and less surprises. The only thing that might surprise you here are some mortars.

There are several buildings full of infantry here. If you want more safety taking them out, try the old trick of bringing up 88mm guns, calling out a recon plane, then destroying the fighters with 88mm guns until you've destroyed them all. There are some random AA guns throughout the city, but they can be found pretty easily.

As you start clearing the town, it's also good to be extra prepared and use your engineer trucks to start making some trenches, laying mines, etc. Note that the town does not have a supply depot! Your trucks must run all the way across the bridge to get back to the depot. (This is another reason not to build a bridge, too far a journey and sometimes the trucks will run over the other bridge anyway, in which case you need to clear those defenders out regardless.) There are some tanks hidden around the tiny houses in the top of the city, and you will eventually meet that tank group and rocket truck group, but this is not quite as hard to clear as the Rostov mission.

Once you get the objective clear message, you have about four minutes to prepare for the counter attack. Build trenches facing down (close, but not too close, to the river) and facing to the left on the edge of town. Putting two AT guns facing down just in front of the church on the left of town is a very good way to keep tanks from coming in. Another area tanks will attack from is the railway station. This is not an easily defensible section of the town. You should either back up and try to surprise them down the narrow streets, or lay out a lot of mines and artillery blast anything that you can see through this area. A lot of good tanks (including KV-1 tanks) will come through here.

The first wave will start. Follow standard defense procedures (adequate resupply and tank repair) and you should be fine. The second wave is when Soviet tanks will appear on the other side of the bridge, trying to cut you off and take your depot! THIS is why you should have a collection of trenches, non-core tanks, and 88mm guns here! If you have taken precautions, you won't need to worry. If you haven't, prepare to lose your artillery!

More and more tanks and infantry will attack. It is varied, both in direction and whether the bulk will be tanks or infantry. The easiest to defend sections are along the edges of the river. Near the church, warehouses, and railway station house is more complicated. Do not spare using those AT guns you get as reinforcements. Keep your supply lines open and the ammunition up, and eventually you will wear out all waves of the attack and finish this map!

Air force is very difficult to use effectively here because of the short amount of planes you receive, the strength of the Soviet Air Force, and the various strong AA guns scattered throughout the map. But if you take care, wear the Soviets down with your own 88mm guns, and keep your Air Force from 'wandering' too much, you can get some use out of it. Just don't attack too strong areas you don't have to and prepare for the counter attacks and the map is easily won.

Next: Stalingrad! Luckily you are only attacking, not preparing a winter defense...
Saturday, September 3rd, 2011
2:18 pm
Mission 20: Case Blau: Maikop

Difficulty: Easy

This is a fun "blowing off steam" mission. It's straightforward and rather easy. Just don't get overconfident.

You start with three trucks full of infantry and two armored cars. With this you are expected to clear a path and take a factory. You have five minutes. You cannot mess around.

First unload the infantry behind the first obvious cliff. There's an AT gun and some infantry there, so kill them all. Next, send a squad or two toward the second trap. That should be enough to kill the stray infantry and AT gun there.

Approaching the factory there is an AT gun. Use your infantry to destroy this. Now bring closer your armored cars and have them sit and fire at the first building full of infantry. The game is merciful this mission as they appear not to have AT gun infantry, so just hang back and fire.

Now move your armored cars to the right (not through the middle) and start doing the same thing to the upper house full of infantry.

Meanwhile, you have one task left. There's a T-34 tank sitting on the left side of the factory. There is no way to easily take it out. You have two options:

1. Infantry spam it with grenades. You will need to pull back the infantry to give them more grenades with the supply car, because it won't be enough to kill it the first time.
2. Capture the AT gun with infantry and bring it up to shoot down the tank. You must not be seen first. (Or at least there must be a distraction.)

After that, and assuming you have cleared the houses of infantry, you have succeeded. I had less than ten seconds on the clock when I completed this objective!

Next you will be told engineers are coming to blow up the factory. Just position your armored cars in the way at the top of the factory and you will kill them all without thinking about it. All they have guarding them is one armored car.

Then you will get your core units. An attack is coming soon. Set up defenders pointing to the top and to the bottom of the map. This is a pincer attack. This may be one of the few times you might want to exchange your super-heavy artillery for a lighter one, or even some AT guns. Repelling the attack is not too difficult, and when you succeed you are done with this mission.

Very fun mission! The only hard part is there is no air support and no way to refill supplies. Only one of the trucks you start out with can 'respawn' infantry, so you must be careful with how you use it. The hardest part is getting rid of that one pesky T-34 tank, but after that it is easy.

Next, even further into the Caucasus with Grozny!
3:41 am
Case Blau will make or break Germany
Mission 19: Case Blau 1: The Seizing of Rostov.

Difficulty: Hard

This is a bit of a prelude to what the missions are going to be like now. On the plus side, it is also the first official 1942 mission. You no longer have to worry (mostly) about not being able to kill an enemy tank with your own. The StuG F and Panzer IV Gs are very adequate vehicles. You might be tempted to keep a Panzer III, but the PzIV is better I think. But you should feel some ominous feelings because Case Blau includes the battle of stalingrad, what's thought of as the definitive turning point in the war where the Germans now had no more chance of winning...

Your first order of business is that some enemies will start out attacking you in the right corner of the map. Put your infantry in defensive mode and fight them off. Eventually the shelling from the deep long-range howitzers and the train artillery will start. But we'll deal with those. For now, kill those artillery, pull back, and get your other units out of range of anything being shelled. After that gather your core units on the left side of the map. We are going to attempt a 'spoiler' operation. (That is, launching a small attack to destroy some vulnerable important target, then retreating the hell out of there before they counterattack and destroy us.)

The target is the train station. It's amazingly poorly guarded. All you have to worry about are some AA guns. And of course the train itself. The armored train has a gigantic artillery gun on it, and some AT guns attached. Destroy them both with all of your tanks (after you finish off the AA guns). Note that the Soviets have large AA guns that can now hit any aircraft in the air. You must be even more careful with your air force now.

Once you accomplish this (it may take a few tries) get the hell out of there because the large howitzers will start shelling you (if they haven't all ready). At this point, you should be setting up your own large caliber guns. You upgraded to the largest artillery possible didn't you? They can attack anywhere on the map and need no moving around. If you look at the 'destroy the enemy artillery' objective, you can see it is based around the south where there are some various obvious cliffs. Suppressive fire those cliffs and hope that you destroy them before the Soviets return fire. You may, or may not, get the object complete message here. If you do, great! If you didn't, that means you haven't destroyed the Katyusha rocket trucks which will give you problems later, but if you don't, then it's not worth worrying about too much.

Now you must take the village. Attack with most of your infantry through the main road, and roll your tanks over the open field where the church is. There are anti-tank mines all around the main road, so that is why our tanks avoid that place. There are no huge surprises here really.

Next you must slog through the town. And oh god this is a pain. There are infantry in many buildings and AT guns and mine traps around every corner. There is no easy way to do this other than to set up 'properly' for a long siege. Here is the best method for taking the town I've found.

1. Attack the small houses on the outskirts from the direction of the train station, which is the weakest defensive point. Clear them all out, get rid of the trenches of infantry, and get the supply depot.
2. There is a small opening on the edge of the river that leads into the town. This is the easiest way to avoid mine fields and such, but you will need infantry support to pick off stary enemy infantry that's left after a building is leveled.

Other than this, don't slapdash this attack. Bring up nebelwerfers, 88mm guns to protect from air attack, mortars, etc. Whatever you got.

Eventually, through bombing, shelling, attacking, and bringing up engineering trucks to take care of mine fields after clearing out enemies, you will get to a chokepoint: a strong KV-1 tank and a strong new T-34 model are both sitting opposite behind a building. It's at a point you cannot simply rush some tanks in and kill them both. You're best off trying to attack with infantry and tanks at the same time. Target the T-34 first, it'll be destroyed easier. Also watch out, because there's a T-34 hiding in the buildings right after the dock.

After this stress point, it is not so hard to reach a path to the river. Here's where you should start worrying about those Katyusha trucks if you didn't bomb them all ready. Either shell some more until you get them, or call out heavy bombers/stukas once you use the air superiority trick below.

You must get air superiority now. The Soviets have probably all ready been calling out ground attack planes to you many times, and if you've played defensively, you should only have called out fighters to defend the areas not covered by 88m guns.

Now you must move your 88mm guns as close to the front as you can get without being overrun. Right behind your advanced tanks. Then call out a recon plane to explore the area just in front of you. Assuming there's no AA gun to shoot it down right away (there just might be, shell it if there is) then the Soviets will call out their fighters, shoot down the recon plane, then be shot by your 88mm guns. Do this until the Soviets stop calling out fighters.

You can call out your own fighters to give air support, but their victory against soviet fighters is not guaranteed now. It's a lot safer to just use the 88mm guns and nothing else.

After that... you have the tedious task of crossing the bridge. Of course there are tons of troops waiting on the other side. Also you should notice next to where the artillery was is another conspicuous cliff. This has a KV-1 gun, and there's no easy way to take that out. I suggest calling out paratroopers and dropping them right on top of it, then grenading it down to a point that a tank can kill it with a lucky hit.

Once you cross the bridge, destroy the troops at the other end of the bridge in the corner. Be prepared for a fight, the Soviets have a large stack of tanks here which will all swarm when provoked. But you will win. Now you must destroy the rest of the troops in the city. Don't try to attack over the bridge again, attack from the side. You will probably run into mines, but there are not other huge surprises. Shell everything, bomb everything, use the recon plane to pick off straggling units, and you get that objective.

Last is to take the 'secret' camp. This is the easiest objective to complete. The only surprise is there is one small AA gun here, so use your heavy bombers if you use your air force here. There are a few straggling tanks and some infantry in the buildings, but after that you are done with this map!

The city is by far the hardest point. But this is only the first bump in the road. Next stop: the Caucasus! (Not Stalingrad... yet.)
Thursday, September 1st, 2011
3:53 pm
No regard for casualties should be considered in the taking of objectives.
Mission 18: Operation Typhoon 3: The Defense of the Rzhev salient.

Difficulty: Normal.

This is the first fully defensive mission in the game. This is very suitable, because the repulsion of the operation to capture Moscow was the first time in the entire war that a German offensive was deflected and that they did not later regroup and attack again.

Your three objectives also reflect the situation: you must maintain your position across the bridge without falling back. You must also protect your interior behind the bridge so the Soviets do not cut your supply lines and encircle you. Thirdly, you must protect the airfield in the bottom right of the map. You can lose this and not fail the mission, but if you do then you will not get any air support.

This is NOT like that one North African mission where you must lose an objective to continue. You can and should hold all objectives over the entire game. The 'no retreat' situation reflects Hitler's orders: rather than order a retreat during the winter, Hitler instead ordered that all occupied positions were to be held to the last man. There is some debate over whether or not this was a good idea: of course many positions were overrun and cut off from supplies, but perhaps if they had retreated, the retreating units may have simply frozen to death exposed to the harsh elements.

At any rate, you must not let that happen to you! Before you can react to anything, the soviets will paradrop some infantry into the small village in the middle right of the line. You have no fighters at the start, so there's nothing you can do about it. Soon behind them will be strong KV-1 tanks. You have a choice. You can either abandon the village, or you can try to fight them off. I think the game expects you to lose this village, but keeping it is not impossible, and it helps ensure the airfield will never be seriously threatened. It also has a mini-supply depot, which is always nice to have and nice to keep out of the hands of your enemies.

To keep the village, this is what you must do:
1. Have your infantry come out of the houses when the KV-1 tanks arrive.
2. Tell them to attack the KV-1 tanks. At least one infantry troop should be able to grenade the treads, immobilizing them.
3. Try to save whatever infantry is left by going defensive and staying put.
4. Bring in your StuG D and Panzer III tanks near by, and try to maneuver where you can kill the T-34s out of range of the KV-1s, then somehow (and you have to hope for a miracle) kill the KV-1 tank by blasting it until you get some lucky hits.

Congrats, you have held the village. But when I say the AI expects you to lose this area, it is no joke. In later objectives, Soviet tanks and troops will just spontaneously 'spawn' here. So you must be wary.

The field right behind the river is an excellent place to set up your artillery. It will let you reach most of the enemy attacking positions. Give areas that are being attacked by T-34s and KV-1s priority.

The Soviet Air Force consists only of recon planes and bombers. Furthermore, they can call them out much faster than you can call out your planes. Best solution is to have several 88mm guns spread out. Taking down the bombers is much higher a priority than taking out the recon planes! Do not forget to have a least one 88mm gun across the river. The others should be on the right and left side of the column, with maybe some smaller AA guns around the artillery just in case. Note that the Soviets do not have AA guns (that I encountered) or fighter planes. Keeping your airforce and using Stukas is far from worthless!

When the Soviets attack, just pause the game and react. Get artillery , mortars, and nebelwerfers shelling, rotate AT guns if necessary, have trucks behind the lines to replenish infantry, and have some engineering trucks in the back too. MGs are the best weapon against infantry, and 88mm guns are still your best weapon against tanks. (Although you do have several Pak40s in this mission, which are very nice.)

Note that the only defenses set up are barbed wire, some czech hedgehogs, and trenches. If you want to position some mines, you will have to do that manually. Personally I think setting up mines is a pain. First you have to click where you want them set up (and they will only set up two of them); wait for them to be set, then set them somewhere else. All the while praying a sudden attack doesn't catch your engineering truck and kill it. (Though at least this is a mission where you will have plenty of engineering trucks.)

Your safest positions are on the right near the top. Your unsafe positions are the entirety of the force over the river, and the left side. The airfield is usually safe, but keep the PanzerIV tank there just to be sure. You can move the AA gun if you really want to. The left side, if you can spare the time, build some trenches on the bottom left edge of the map on the hill. If you can't, don't worry about it. The small spattering of houses along that area are also a bit of a worry spot. The trenches above those near the river will be attacked, but are pretty strong so you won't have to worry.

Just play it by ear. When you get reinforcements, don't ignore them. Bring them up to replace broken guns and such. At some point, the soviets will start shelling you. There will be artillery on the top left edge of the map that should be shell-able if you have artillery set up in the field, and then there are some artillery pieces in the top right corner that are not. Both are good candidates for bombing runs! Beside this there is at least one Katyusha truck that you probably won't be able to do anything about. Striking out over the defensive positions into the enemy's area is not recommended because they will always have KV-1 tanks in reserve, and they're just too strong. Take out the normal artillery through shelling and dive bombing, and hope the katyusha attack doesn't hit you too bad. One good thing is that the enemy does not have a warehouse, so the supply trucks will never resupply. Once they have used up all starting material in their trucks, that is it! That means you will usually only have to deal with one (maybe two?) katyusha salvos.

I forget the exact number, but there are at least five-six waves of attacks. The hardest will be called "Repel the Massive Attack Wave," and it means you are in the home stretch. If you survive this, then the last wave is miniscule in comparison and will probably be easy to repel as long as you are not all ready devastated. Keep it up, you will win. Not too difficult a mission.

This ends the Operation Typhoon chapter! Not since France has it been so short, has it? Get ready, the next chapter is... Stalingrad! At last, 1942 and the beginning of the era of the strong German tanks!
3:00 pm
So close to Red Square, but so far...
Mission 17: Operation Typhoon 2: The suburbs of Moscow

Difficulty: Normal

Your objectives here (to start) are to take two towns. The smaller one is less heavily guarded, but it works better for you in the long run to take the large town first.

First thing you should notice is there are a lot of cliffs in various areas. Of course every cliff has at least an AT gun on it, so hit it from behind or use your artillery. The defenses are pretty standard, trenches full of infantry, mortars, one Katyusha truck, and lots and lots of AT guns. The real surprise is that there are mines all over the place, even behind the infantry on the roads in the actual towns. It's easy to slip up and lose your tank tracks, so be careful.

The more AT guns you can capture, the better. Especially if they're placed around ravines. Something you must do when you start the siege: put an 88 mm gun on top of the ravine closest to your starting point. Not only will this help counter tanks and infantry, it will protect you from the Soviet Air Force, which will usually send out fighters and bombers. Once you clear the town, watch out for straggling infantry squads and a few AT guns in the forest.

Now you can attack the smaller town. You might want to reposition your artillery so it can shell this site easier. There are a few tanks, infantry in the crap houses, mortars, and AT guns here. Mines are also placed on the road and the field leading up to the town.

Once you take the town, you get a new objective... take the railway station in the top right corner!? Yes, this is real and not fake. It's not immediately obvious from the text, but this is a timed objective. If you don't hurry up and send forces out to take it, you fail the objective! The mission won't end if you fail, but there are good reasons to do it, so grab what tanks you left in the first town and send them out! (See why we took the small village second? So it's easier to just march through to the new town.)

A few infantry squads and AT guns are in your way. Crush them and continue. Do not get held up! Once there, the railway station itself is full of infantry. Destroy it (and maybe the train too) and you complete the objective.

Now you have a choice. You can either move your tanks out of there as fast as you can, or you can slug it out with the T-34s and a few KV-1s that will show up. Though it sounds suicidal, I suggest keeping your healthy tanks here for one reason: eventually some Katyusha rocket trucks will spawn along the edge of the map stretching until the locked-down compound in the upper left corner. You can run your tanks along here, destroy them, then run back to your own lines before they hunt you down. Destroying artillery before it fires it worth a hundred troops!

At any rate, you will get two new objectives: defend the large town you took, and defend the supply depot. You don't have to worry about the supply depot yet, so focus on the town. When you took the railway station, a train should show up and you get the message "clear the rails!" Move any units you have off the railroad and the train will eventually pull into the strong town. The trains cars are full of friendly infantry and you will need all of them for the defense of the town! You should have moved your own mortars there (a good position for them is where the row of supply trucks was) and set up the captured AT guns. Some T-34s will try to head through one ravine in the bottom right corner of the town. As long as you have some AT guns positioned right, you can kill them all without thinking about it. Others are a little more difficult, as they will attack from the upper right and the top where the mini-supply depot is.

Eventually you will drive them off. You will then get the message that you are allowed to make a strategic retreat and must focus on guarding the depot. There's no point to defending the town, so go ahead and gather up all of your troops and equipment (even if they have to push it back by hand) and haul it back to the depot. Make sure you don't run into a stray mine and lose a tank track or a truck! Use your engineering trucks to set up trenches all along the perimeter of the depot. Put the captured guns behind that. Assaults will come to the bottom-right part of the map, and the top. Since you've pulled out of the town, a lot of troops will hang around there. Soon you will defeat them and that is it for this map.

It's not to hard to get air dominance, and the objectives aren't too difficult except for the sudden 'take the railway station' one.

Strategically this mission is very much like history. The Germans reached the suburbs of Moscow and the German officers could even see the Kremlin through their binoculars, but they lost the initiative and the approaching winter forced them to go on the defensive. They never came close to taking Moscow again.
Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
10:47 pm
Achtung Panzer! continues.
Mission 16: Operation Typhoon 1: Start of the battle for Moscow

Difficulty: Normal/Hard

You now have the option of adding nebelwerfer rocket artillery to your core units, but I think it's better to stick with the shell artillery and 88mm guns. There are a few regular nebelwerfer units anyway.

This mission divides your units into north and south (or top and bottom). The units on the top are stronger and include your core units. However, the units at the top do not have an engineering/repair truck. The south units have two repair trucks. So your principal goal before doing anything too risky is to kill enough of the enemy to run the southern units to the north side!

But you can't do that yet. Your first objective is to advance to the west to act as a diversion from your south forces. There are a few trenches in your way, so use artillery to bomb them and continue on. The Soviet Air Force may be a problem, so set up your AA guns in case any of them fly too far to your warehouse. There are no AA guns in the city, so if you know you can get away with it, feel free to call out your Stukas.

Eventually you will reach the objective. Keep in mind if any tank loses its treads or becomes damaged, you won't be able to repair it until you manage to bring the engineer trucks up later. Do not move your units out into the mud field past the road. Maybe you have heard about the German advance into the Soviet Union being stopped by "General Winter"? Well, just as important was "General Mud." The Soviet roads were unpaved and turned into giant fields of mud in the rainy autumn season before winter. A lot of German equipment simply sank into it and couldn't be recovered. Therefore, if you take a tank into a muddy area in this map, you will lose your tank! (Technically it becomes 'neutral' and sorta disappears, but the result is the same.)

Once that's done, you must start the somewhat tedious task of uniting your top and bottom forces. There's a few trenches and tanks in your way. You can use the nebelwerfers to get rid of some of the close tanks, but the trenches are full of mostly AT gun-infantry which will make life difficult if you let it. Don't try to go through the town, much too many infantry forces there. Sneak around it to the left. Some tanks, including a matilda lend-lease tank (you thought you were done with those, didn't you?) will appear, but if you keep your tanks healthy you can beat them. It is hard, but eventually you'll clear a path. This is a good position to build a fortified place to place artillery and shell and rocket-attack the town until it is destroyed enough you feel confident attacking. It's no more difficult than taking any other strong town.

Once you have taken it, you are given the objective to continue to the right along the road. This objective is NOT similar to the invasion of France mission where you must only make one tank reach the end of the road. No, there are several trenches, guns, and tanks in your way. Furthermore you cannot flank these lines because there are large patches of mud on both sides. You must bring up your artillery, nebelwerfers, 88mm guns (for protection) and infantry and tanks to make a good honest assault.

...there is also a major surprise. Once you move past the second line of trenches and engage the third, a large Soviet armored division will attack you! This includes hard KV-1 and T-34 tanks! Soviet tanks historically were built to operate in the muddy conditions and are able to go along the mud with no problems. Beating it will be no easy task, but there is one good thing: your air force can target the group before it attacks. They're hiding in the mud field right above the road, so try searching with recon planes and go ahead and shell them. Every tank you can defeat this way is more you don't have to worry about when they attack.

My suggestion is to move up cautiously, clear out the second trenches full of infantry, have at least one 88mm gun setup, and then move to attack the third line. If you can have a recon plane out to watch the armored group's movements, that's very advantageous.

At any rate, they will quickly swarm. Infantry helps to grenade the stronger tanks. Artillery will take out one or two for you. The 88mm gun should target the KV-1s and then the T-34s. Your normal tanks should target whichever ones are closest or they have the best angle to attack. Destroy them all and you fulfill the 'secret' objective of destroying the armor group.

After that, there is one trench left. Shell behind it first, then attack with your tanks... maybe using smoke bombs to cover your advance once you confirm the guns are destroyed. There are some mortars here, but hopefully you already destroyed them.

That's it. Other than that you have to watch the mud, and that you have to really work to get your engineering trucks, this mission isn't too bad. Getting the engineer trucks to the main force is the hard part.
Sunday, August 28th, 2011
1:11 am
Back to blitzkrieg.
Mission 15: Operation Barbarossa 5: The Kiev encirclement.

Difficulty: Hard

I highly recommend two artillery pieces/two 88mm guns.

You start this mission with a large force in the upper right, and another force in the lower left. You must take two villages, after which there will be a counterattack. The mission is hard to start, but it gets easier as you go along.

I highly suggest you do not try to attack with both forces at the same time: the top force is much stronger than the bottom (and includes your core units) and there's no benefit to trying to attack at the same time. In fact, you can leave the units at the bottom there and just conquer both towns with the top core units.

First thing you must be aware of is that this is the first mission where the Soviets have their Katyusha rocket launchers. Luckily there's only one, and it's in the north town where you should hit first. Hopefully they will only fire it once. These blasts are very powerful, they will even destroy tanks. Artillery and infantry that is standing up will be absolutely decimated, so have your infantry crawling and your artillery far away.

Start the attack, using artillery to fire behind trenches before rushing in. You don't need to shell the houses really because they are so weak your tanks can destroy them with only a few hits. But there are a fair number of Soviet tanks here as well, including T-34s. The best way to kill these are to surround them somehow on their flanks and behind them. You probably won't be able to bring in your infantry to grenade them.

As for your air force, you should use your fighters most here. There are several AA guns in the villages which will shoot other planes down, and the Soviets will call out Ilyushin Il-2 planes whenever it can so you need the defense.

Eventually you will clear out the village. I suggest leaving the trenches full of infantry for last, and once you have destroyed all the other guns and tanks, bringing in the weaker non-core tanks to 'mop up'. You will need the supply stock of your core tanks because there is no refill depot in the top town. Take the opportunity to bring in your artillery and 88mm guns.

At the south, it's more of the same. I suppose you could try to attack with your south troops at the same time, but there are tanks there that can counter your southern force, so it's better to use the strong ones to do everything. One thing you should notice by now: the Soviet supply trucks will refill their lost infantry. I talked to the game designer and he said that he wanted this to feel like a desperate mission, so he lets the AI resupply their troops, though they usually don't do this in other missions. (I suppose a time limit would be too limiting.)

Once you take out the enemy troops, you are told a counter attack will begin soon. It will, but it's generally concentrated on the sides of the towns facing the right and the stretch of empty land in the middle of both towns. You should take this time to build a trench in the center, preferably facing to the right. As for the rest, man the guns still left behind and bring in all of your forces. Try to have a protective 'ring' around your artillery and supply trucks especially. If you run out of supplies, you now have a field depot you can refill from if you manually click on it. Make sure your artillery is kept in supply this way.

This is not too hard, the biggest surprise is that the Soviets will have artillery support, and at least one KV-1 tank will be among the T-34s. Just make sure you have the 88mm guns set up properly: I suggest one at the south end of the north town, and another at the side of the bottom town facing right. There are some artillery that will start shelling you, but your own artillery can suppress it. Or try to take out their AA guns and use Stukas against the artillery.

I don't think the Soviets try to attack through any place but the towns themselves, so concentrate around there. With luck, you will win and finish this mission!

Next, the road to Moscow!
Saturday, August 27th, 2011
2:38 am
About a quarter done with Kiev... it's just a bit of a slog and you are really limited supply-wise.

I downloaded some mods that are considered 'must-have'. One of which was this mod called CCM2. Unfortunately whenever I went to play it, the game crashed. Eventually I figured out what did it: the download site listed all games for CCM together. But games made for the earlier CCM1 would not work with CCM2, and caused the game to crash.
Thursday, August 25th, 2011
8:06 pm
Kiev is a brick wall.
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011
3:04 am
oh god...
Mission 14: Operation Barbarossa 4. The attack on Smolensk

Difficulty: Hard/Very Hard

You will need at least one artillery piece. At least two 88mm guns are recommended.

Just looking at this mission name should scare most players immediately. Why? Because the attack on Smolensk was the first time the Germans met the T-34 tank. The T-34 at the time outclassed any tank the Germans had: it was quick, had a gun that could counter German tanks, and great sloped armor most tanks couldn't penetrate from the front. The only thing in the Germans favor is at the time, they didn't have a lot of them, and they were mostly being used by inexperienced crews who couldn't make full use of it. The bad news for you is that the latter cannot be simulated.

First you must control two army groups at once. You have to swoop in, destroy anything in your way, and surround the city on the sides. Do NOT try to attack the pocket, the defenses are too strong. It is also awkward to use your air force here because the Soviets have one AA gun in the town, and will shoot you dead. (Also the Soviets will call out their fighters right away.) You just have to shrug on, try to take as few casualties as possible, and watch out for AT and machine guns.

Depending on how fast you get there, you will have time to set up a defense to stop retreating Soviets on the main road. It is just infantry at this point, and not in large amounts, but it can catch you off guard. Once you take that, you will be ordered to take the city. The game helpfully suggests you start with the rail station in the top left.

First prepare defenses in the center. You will need to be guarding this mainly from attack from the outside to the city now, so have 88mm guns, trenches, and AT guns set up. Then put your artillery in the middle of it. If you position it well, it will be able to fire over the entire city and reach that small village in the top right which will be important later. Start shelling the city, taking out the AA gun and letting you bring in some recon planes and stukas. Start to take the railway station. When you capture it, a train will pull into the station and give you several infantry brigades.

When you've cleared the buildings with artillery and taken out most of the guns and mortars, then start advancing into the city proper. Attacking from both in front of the city and the railway station is good. (Not from the bottom- strong defense.) Eventually you will take it.

The game will then inform you that the pocket is going to try to break through. This isn't too hard a counter-attack to beat. Just have some infantry in the remaining buildings and be prepared to kill a few more weak Soviet tanks. After that though... two things happen.

1. You will get a lot of new units, that will appear from inside the pocket. All of the Soviet units here will then go 'neutral' and not attack to show they've surrendered. You can move them to your lines, but be careful because a few straggling infantry brigades will not surrender and will attack!
2. The Soviets will start a large counterattack against the front of the city. It will include KV-1 tanks and T-34s. There's also a Katyusha truck which will appear in the middle of the road, but I didn't see it fire so it might just be for decoration.

Just keep up the pressure, hope your 88mm guns are in a good place, and if all else fails have your regular artillery fire at stopped T-34 and KV-1s.

Eventually you will stop them... but without warning at least two more waves will come. You will know when they are done because the "protect the capture town" objective will be complete.

Your last objective is to take the village in the north. There to meet you are several houses full of infantry, several trenches full of the anti-tank rifle infantry, some more light tanks, and some mortars. Also you can't really use your air force here because there are some strong AA guns in the mid-right edge of the map, and they CAN hit your high altitude planes! This is a sign that the days your high-altitude bombers and fighter planes will invincible are over.

Shell the village as much as you can with your artillery, especially the small pillbox. Then make a few raids with your tanks with infantry support and you are easily finished.

You might wonder why this is ranked Hard/Very Hard. That is because of several reasons:
1. Your air force is not supreme.
2. You have a complicated series of objectives and only so much time to fulfill them.
3. You must control two different groups at once.
4. If you let the supply trucks refill themselves, they will run into enemy forces and be killed. You must manually drive them back to the base, then drive them back.
5. Other than some mortars, you don't get any free artillery. Your core units are all the artillery you get.

This is the first 'wake up call' of the invasion of the USSR campaign. It is also very close to the mid-point for the entire campaign!
Monday, August 22nd, 2011
6:02 pm
Mission 13: Operation Barbarossa 3. The Mogilev Crossing.

Difficulty: Easy

I suggest two artillery and two 88mm guns for this mission.

This mission seems a lot harder at first glance than it actually is. Your first objective is to destroy the bridgehead on the top right side of the map. Stukas will make this easy. Next you must cross the river. There are a few bridges all ready created, but the best choice is to build one over on the left side of the map, just a little up from the small infantry-only bridge.

But you can't build there right away: there are pillboxes here. Use your artillery to destroy them. You will be given a 'Karl' mortar which will make this a little easier. Once you've destroyed the pillboxes, build the bridge and cross. A few light tanks may come out to meet you, but they should be no problem for your core units. Now you must prepare for the counterattack. Bring both your 88 mm guns over quickly, you will need them. Beware of some mortars coming from the left behind the infantry bridge. Destroy them and then get ready for the counterattack. The big surprise here is that a KV-1 tank will be among the attackers. This is much more dangerous than a matilda: use your 88mm gun to destroy it. (If you can't, your only hope is to grenade it and then direct your artillery on it.)

When the counterattack is over, your problems are not done. Another will be sent against you shortly, and the Soviets will try to cross the bridges that all ready exist. You must put your AT guns and extra tanks around these bridges before hand. These attacks will include TWO KV-1 tanks, and if you're very lucky, they will only attack the place you have your 88mm guns set up.

Before you can advance, there are a number of pillboxes you must destroy. Move your artillery (not the Karl Mortar!) over the bridge and next to the 88 mm guns, just in case. Shell the pillboxes into oblivion. Your final objective is to take a small town. Stukas will help here, but the Soviets do have two fighters, so give them fighter support. If you're unlucky, a pillbox will be out of range of your artillery. If it's more than one, you have no choice but to move your artillery up. If it's only one, just get a few infantry brigades together and storm the pillbox.

Once you take it, there are no counterattacks or other secret objectives, you just win!
2:01 am
Mission 12: Operation Barbarossa 2. Closing the Minsk pocket.

Difficulty: Normal.

This is not an incredibly difficult mission, but it is not a pushover either. You will have to make an encirclement, and then repel a number of attacks. Since there is a way to disable Soviet aircraft in this mission, and only one counterattack features a strong tank, you can probably use three artillery pieces and one 88mm gun, or just four art. pieces.

You start with a meager number of armored cars and infantry. With these, you must overrun a few Soviet armored cars and trenches full of infantry to take some crossroads. Stukas will of course help you, but watch out for the enemy fighters. It's not too difficult, just think back to the first 'training' mission and how you had to empty trenches full of infantry after killing the one soldier with the AT gun. (Though why someone else doesn't just pick up the gun and use it is a mystery.)

Once that's done, you will receive the main body of your force. The mission gives you the 'option' of occupying the Soviet airfield. If you do this, the Soviets will lose their ability to call in all air support. For this reason I highly suggest you do it. It is not easy by any means, though artillery support will help. There is an AA gun at the airfield though which will shoot down your stukas if you call them to help.

The defenses at the airfield consist of a lot of infantry in the buildings and just standing around which will attack, a fair number of armored cars and maybe a T-26 tank or two (watch out, these are exceptionally weak but can still sneak in the odd hit). Also there are mines along the road leading in and a few in the fields. The hardest part of this objective is that the soviets have a LOT of artillery in the town which they will call down upon you when you try to take the airfield. It's not centralized, and there are too many of them, so there's nothing much you can do other than try to keep your tanks mobile and hope for the best. Make especially sure your infantry don't get decimated. It can be a good idea to have some infantry (shifting between 'attack' and 'lie down' mode) attack one end while the tanks work on attacking the other end, which will at least likely split the artillery defense. When you manage to take the airfield, withdraw from it immediately. You don't have to actually hold it against counter attack. Once you take it, rejoice! The soviets won't have air power for the rest of the mission and you can do whatever you want as long as you don't venture too close to the AA guns still standing.

Only once the airfield is taken should you start moving to attack the next crossroads. Once you get close enough, the soviets will start a counterattack along your entire line. Hopefully you anticipated this after your battles in France. The attacks are primarily infantry, so they are not too hard to hold off. They occur in a number of areas so the real problem is maintaining an even spread of forces and good supply.

After the middle crossroad is the supplies depot. There are a number of infantry in the south of the map near the corner. They don't have AT guns there, so you can run your tanks through to clear them out a little, but it's best not to get bogged down here. (You might want to take this time to build trenches along your various points in the line. One pointing to the corner of the map near the second crossroad is advised.)

With full air power, taking the supply depot is easy. Unfortunately you can't actually use the supply depot. Beyond this is the taking of the final crossroad. When you are ready and fully supplied, take it. Stukas will again make this beyond easy.

Once you take it, a lot of units will appear on the opposite side of the 'mud' field. You must quickly set up defense and spread them around. The next objective is repelling the counterattack. While the Soviets will attack the entire line at various places, the brunt of the attack will happen at the final cross road and the 'mud' field. You must not let any soldiers through! Luckily it is not too difficult. Feel free to use artillery bombardment. Your troops at the last crossroad are a little in range of two-four Soviet artillery pieces, and in this case it may be worth it to throw your stukas at them and hope they take them out. (Or at least show you the location so you can suppress them with your own artillery.)

The waves will soon come and assuming you've built trenches in the right places and keep a solid enough line to defeat them, you will eventually reach the 'final' wave. This is where the only surprise comes: one Soviet KV-1 tank will be thrown at you! You cannot hope to defeat this, so you have two options or so.

1. Have an 88mm gun at the final crossroad. (Very hard to do since the previous attacks will swamp you and make it hard to cart a new gun in.)
2. Use infantry to stop the tank by grenade-ing its treads, then blow it apart with your artillery. (Use recon aircraft to maintain sight of it because you will be using all your infantry squads in the defense.)

Assuming you can do this, that will be the end of the mission. Not extremely hard, but requires patience. Taking the airfield will make it much much easier.
Sunday, August 21st, 2011
8:05 pm
Operation Barbarossa
Mission 11: Operation Barbarossa (the invasion of the Soviet Union) 1. Specifically, Brest-Litovsk

Difficulty: Easy

You are now starting on Operation Barbarossa, and this is where thing really become interesting. Notice how it says they expect invading the Soviet Union to take three months. Ha and double ha.

This first mission is not hard at all. You have a great number of units and the capacity to use those units. Upgrade your tanks to StuG D and Panzer III J tanks. (This is a much better tank to use than the Panzer IV D in my opinion, even if the Panzer IV has the better gun, the better armor makes a huge difference.) Your artillery can be upgraded as well. You may want artillery pieces instead of 88 mm guns here. (You will not face hard T-34 tanks yet, but you will need to call fighters out all the time if you don't have at least two AA guns.)

First you must take a bridge. The game suggests you use paratroopers, which is the best idea in the world. They can take out the guns and invade the pillbox easily, after which you can roll in your tanks and start setting up a defensive line. You don't have to worry about a hard counter attack.

(Note that if you want to advance units down the bridge in the south, you must also use paratroopers there.)

Your next task is to destroy an armor group. Gather up some good tanks, give them infantry support, and just walk across the fields to the tank group. Watch that the infantry don't march past some pillboxes or trenches. The tanks here are just weak armored cars and T-26 tanks. Easily destroyed! You don't need to call out stukas yet, because there is at least one AA gun in the city, but if you can destroy it with artillery and then use them as much as you like.

Once the armor group is gone, pull back. The territory isn't really strategic for taking the city. Here you must use your recon planes with artillery, and stukas, to 'soften' up the town defenses before you siege it. This just takes time, there's nothing the Soviets really do to stop you. Eventually you may think you are ready, but watch out. There are mines in front of some trenches and along some crossroads and such. The only surprise you can have here is that the Soviets do have some good AT guns that can kill anything you throw at them, but if you take them out first you are fine.

Once the town is taken, you must attack the warehouse and the small houses. Nearly all of the houses have infantry in them, but they're so small you can just destroy them with your tanks if you don't want to bother shelling them with artillery. I don't think there is an AA gun here, so stukas will also help. Beware even if you have killed all of their fighters though, the AI likes to call out heavy bombers over your attacking force. Other than that, the only surprise is that there are some mortars, but that's it.

You will win. Another easy mission! Well, it is the beginning of the invasion of the Soviet Union when the Soviets were completely unprepared, so it's a bit expected that this would be easy.

Next is closing the Minsk pocket.
4:48 pm
Blitzkrieg vs. Stalingrad
I thought I'd make a post about how Great Battles of WWII: Stalingrad differs from its predecessor Blitzkrieg. This won't be a step by step guide to all the missions (yet) but just a general overview.

Note that this focuses mostly on engine differences and not how many new tanks and other units are introduced to the game.

1. Most maps do not have a place to refill supplies, what you start out with and whats on your trucks is all you get. If there IS a place to refill supplies, you will probably have to do it manually. (Through selecting the truck, right clicking on the supply depot.)
2. All units have their firing ranges vastly increased. This means the 'aggressive move' function is not as useful and can actually get you killed. It's very possible and in fact happens a lot that your tanks will stop to shoot at some infantry and then will be blown apart by an AT gun they couldn't see because they came to a full stop to chase infantry.
3. Supply trucks can no longer 'respawn' infantry. You start out with all of the soldiers you're going to get. (Unless there are reinforcements.)
4. You can only call out recon planes, ground attack planes, and tactical bombers. Fighters cannot be called because the scale on which fighter planes operated was much larger than how big maps are shown. All planes now move very very fast, to reflect their true speed in real life. AA guns are much less accurate. Heavy bombers seem to release less bombs.
5. Houses are much more resilient. It used to be that any tank better than a Panzer II could destroy a house eventually. No more. Only some tanks can damage houses, and getting normal artillery or heavy bombers to level a house is impossible. (Or at least seems impossible.) So to take a building that has infantry, you really have to use your own infantry to storm a house if you don't have tanks that can destroy them.
6. Engineering trucks and repair tanks/tractors are different. You use one set of trucks to lay/remove mines, construct bridges/obstacles etc., and another truck/tank to repair your damaged units. (Presumably this is because of the lack of supplies problem.)
1:48 am
Operation Brevity was true to its name.
Mission 10: North Africa 4

Difficulty: Easy

Another mission that is a bit easy and very fun. This is the last North Africa mission and deals with the German defense against Operation Brevity, a British attempt to relieve the siege on Tobruk. It starts with an attack on the Halfaya pass. Some bombers are called out, and you can do nothing but watch the defenders that are set up die horribly. British tanks of all sorts (including the new crusaders which we are seeing for the first time) will soon roll in.

Here's something which some player may not find readily obvious: you must fail the first objective. The british are SUPPOSED to take the Halfaya pass. It is impossible to defend anyway, even if you throw your entire forces at it. Rather, it is a good idea to withdraw infantry that is not in the trenches and various machine guns/mortars. Leave the AT guns and the 88mm though, with luck it will take out many tanks before being overrun. (If you're really lucky, the British will only kill the crew of the gun, leaving you to recapture it later.)

Soon you will get your core units. The worst part is that your artillery core units are all ready set up, and if you want to move them you will have to do it one or two at a time because you only have two heavy haulers. You don't have much time to set up: you must quickly set up a defense at the town on the left part of the screen. The attack is not so bad (the crusader tanks, unlike the horrible matildas, will be easily countered by your tanks). But you will have to worry about the British calling out heavy bombers again. You will have fighter support, but only two planes, and the British will likely shoot them down. But if you have an AA gun or two close (but not too close) to where they bomb, you can at least take them down and prevent the British from using them again.

Now you must ready a defense at the other town. If you have any guns left at the beginning opening defense, then this part will be a little easier as they can pick off any tanks attacking head on. The British will mainly attack the left side of the town, so if you have your tanks and get an 88mm gun set up there, you can counter them pretty easily.

Your next objective is to retake the positions you started out with. For the northern part, this was as simple for me as moving tanks/infantry up to destroy the one tank that only got grenade'd and stopped there. Feel free to bring in trucks to re-man the guns, but you do not actually have to put new infantry in the trenches and ready a defense again, the British will not have another counterattack. Finally you must retake the part in the south. There are some AT, MGs, matildas, and other tanks and infantry here, but with Stuka support and most of the forces you have left, it should be no problem for you now.

That is it. Note that in real life, the operation began on May 15th-16th and the Germans did not retake the lost territory until around May 27th.
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