Steel Panthers strategy guide

Tactics tactics tactics....

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  1. About 88 AT and German defense:   At start your most potent weapon is the 88 AT buy one section of those ( they   are cheap you can buy more but it is just not fun and  historical to have more   than a couple of those in your batallion we are  not playing DOOM II here !).   88 AT are very accurate , they can punch a hole in any kind of enemy units ,   but they are very vulnerable. Use them only for long distance kills when   visibility is good. in scenario where the enemy have heavy artillery move them   the turn after they fire. It is the priority targetof aircrafts and artillery ,   have them stay more than 15 hexes away from enemy units. Ammunition is scarce   so use it carefully.    In defense scenarios , when they are not spotted yet , set their   opportunity fire to one hexe. Otherwise they will be spotted too early and the   enemy will fire everything  available at them and will not engage  the bulk of   his units before your spotted 88 AT are destroyed ( well at least if the player   is a competant human , the AI is more  straightforward). You should deliver a   decisive blow when your 88 open fire during your turn using their 6 shot. A   well trained 88 should normally kill any unit in 3 shots at 20/30 hex range ,   so normally 4  (maybe more) of the most heavy enemy tanks should be burning   wrecks  after your first "broadside". Have your battalion leader  (in A0 unit)   less than 5 hexes away from your 88 section leader (the "0" unit ), it helps    greatly pass the morale check during fire and...successfull morale check   improve *a lot* the accuracy for consecutive shots at the same target    Do not forget to move some cheap big truck or cavalry to draw the  enemy   opportunity fire *before* you fire your 88 AT otherwise they  may be suppressed   / destroyed by the return fire. After this you may  want to move your 88 AT   away from enemy spotting range to lay  another ambush before massed direct fire   from enemy start pounding  your vulnerable crew next turn. Your opponent will   just see 4 of his  best units burning without any explanation for that , not   good for the  enemy major's morale ! I strongly recommand not to place those AT   on  top of the hills , sure they have a beautifull view and enjoy the    landscape but it is the first place where the 152 mm preparatory (ie just    before first turn ) shell from your human opponent will land. If you play aga  inst the AI hill tops are just great so different opponents , different tactics   ...     If you like to follow the books , you may want to lay a carefull ambush  near   the objective with a first line of infantry/engineers with range set to 1 and   some AT with their range set to the distance to infantry plus one. The idea   behind this is to have the enemy tank bump into the infantry  and every AT and   infantry fire at the same time. Sure you will kill the first recon unit but it   is a cheap price for him to pay in order to spot your complete defense system ,   and your opponent will engage your AT immediately with all his firepower (since   he his the attacker he his supposed to have more than you and you will loose).   If you really want to play the infantry ambush I suggest you cover the area   with smoke (or use reverse slope) in order to avoid concentration of fire from   the attacker and take his incoming units piece meal preferably with your   enginners (I suggest to stiffen your grunts with some armor adjacent to kill   instantly any unit foolish enough to enter that fog and avoid any retaliation   from incoming unit). Works great with the computer, haven't tried it yet with a   human opponent but it should embarass him  because he will not even be able to   spot for artillery because of the smoke .     In offense 88 AT must be used to kill from a distance the heavy enemy armor   detected by your recon units. Be carefull to leave them outside retaliation   range ( 15 hexes minimum),  do not forget to move them the turn after they have   fired (here will come the enemy artillery) and move them with AA units because   they are the preferred target for aircrafts.I know , I know, 88 AT were   originally AA weapons but ... they still need some AA to protect them!      2-About setting infantry trap against armor:   0 range is useful for nothing , if you want to trap tank set your range to 1   since close combat occurs at 1 hex distance not 0. Maybe 0 range can be useful   if you want a sniper to stay unspotted in a tree hex (I 'm not so sure it   works). Use engineers preferably because they can blow off almost any tanks   with flamethrowers and satchel charges. Preferably use your infantry in reverse   slope condition in order to avoid enemy concentration of fire once they are   detected.See below.      3-About stopping heavy Russian armor .and the reverse slope trap:   Try those 88 AT , set their range to 1 (to avoid them being detected early   with opportunity fire ) and fire massively all of them at long rangewhen your   enemy have commited the bulk of their forces (if visibility is good). Of course   after they fired you may want to change their range. Do not forget to have all   your leader within command range(5 hexes) to improve the accuracy of successive   shots.    If visibility is bad try the reverse slope trap (just set all you units massed   behind a hill or forestin the path of the enemy) in order to avoid enemy   concentration fire. Have your tanks behind your engineers and destroy the   incoming forces piece meal (thanks to your concentration of fire) , it can be   useful also to back them up with some 88 AT (to punch big holes into those KV   easier) in the rear area but not too far since visibility is bad. Just be sure   the enemy has fired all his opportunity fire before firing your AT: just move   or fire (alternately to avoid enemy accuracy increase) a couple of expendable   or well armored unit. After a while repelling any kind of armor attack will be   second   nature !   I've found the reverse slope works also pretty well against the German too, he   cannot use his long ranged 88 and his superior accuracy , he must fight your   T34 in close combat at a disaventage.    PS: You can also use smoke in front of your units in order to create the   artificial "reverse slope" , it is even better because the enemy doesn't   benefit from beeing on top of the hill (I think there is a bonus for that).      4. Searching for a way out of the Mines!:   I had very few scenarios with them. I used some cavalry to detect the   minefield and advance quite fast , one cavalry will not always detect the   minefield but 4 of them stand a good chance to have some losses in a dense   minefield area (I have them followed them closely by some _support_ expendable   Stugs just in case they get really unlucky to pass the minefield without   losses!).  Once the mined area is detected I dismount my engineers from my   tanks and try to find a way out of it; it seems you do not have to wait till   the engineer clear the minefield completely, sometime the engineer can make a   path, for the mechanized units. It seem also once the engineers are in the hex   you can move trough the hex safely, it seemed to work but I just tested it once   so I'm not sure 100%. Once you have crossed the dangerous area, just repeat the   process with advancing cavalry. The funny thing is that enemy artillery do not   take long to fall on your dismounted engineers so you better find the path   quickly ...     Maybe there is another way to avoid minefield, attacking enemy objective from   the rear after a large enciclement (I haven't tried this one yet !). According   to the latest info I got from other players ,the minefields are always in your   path whatever it is !      5- Best reconaissance:   For me the best reconaissance unit is the cavalry , they are not fully   destroyed when they bump into enemy position (unlike armored carriers or light   tanks), you can use them again after rallying, they are cheap, and they spot   much better than vehicles since they are infantry so why not buying a platoon   of them as support unit ?      6-Spending enemy opportunity fire    Move alternately 2 expendable or heavily armored units , the enemy will switch   target and loose all cumulated accuracy bonus. When the target stop firing move   some armored killer adjacent preferably in his rear .Take care if you want to   dispatch him with infantry since the bad guy may still have some machine gun   left and your precious engineers may be pinned before shooting , move some   cavalry within range in order to spend his MG opportunity fire. Be carefull   this adjacent aproach can be dangerous if you suspect some enemy concentration   around the target .   If you face an enemy concentration let him move toward your   position and use the reverse slope trap to defeat him piecemeal.      7-About attacks and smoke.   First you have to decide if you have "long distance" supremacy. Long distance   supremacy is the ability to have enough long distance gunnery to inflict a   decisive blow to your enemy without much risks for retaliation. This is the   case if you are the German with enough 88 AT (I consider using more than 2 of   them is "cheating" ) or enough Panthers or Tigers. Usually the German can be   expected to have long distance supremacy.   If you have long distance supremacy do not use smoke. If you do not have long   distance supremacy buy a lot of cheap mortars to lay smoke lavishly along your   avenue of approach and go straight for the objective (use some 152 mm to soften   them before) with your troops massed and covered with smoke. Remember smoke is   the most potent weapon if you are outclassed by enemy gunnery.   If you have long distance supremacy almost everything will work....make some   concentrated attack since the enemy will probably use smoke (unless it is the   dumb AI).     Always recon before moving precious units , I like to have some expendable   support cavalry spearheading the attack , then some support stugs or heavy   close support tanks mounted by support engineers and then my precious core , if   you can keep your force concentrated nothing can stop you exept mines, maybe   also enemy artillery can disrupt a little too ... Have some air support attack   along your path of advance during preparatory phase to take out some potent   long distance killers and/or use smoke for cover if you do not have long   distance supremacy.      8-Do not forget AA    The enemy aircraft will always bomb your most important assets , protect them   with specialised AA units.      9-Command control   Try to have your units within 5 hexes range of the platoon/section leader (the   "0" unit) and the platoon leader within 5 hexes range of the battalion leader   (A0 unit). Your suppression will be removed more easily and your firing   accuracy will improve greatly with consecutive shots. Always try to rally   before firing since suppression is very bad for accuracy.      10-Off board artillery   Everything less than 150 mm is just good for laying smoke. Corollary :buy   cheap mortars for smoke, buy nothing but 150 mm for OBA.      11-Experience and morale.   Morale , experience and leaders ability are extremely important factors in SP.   Very often a veteran outguned unit will kill or rout an inexperienced enemy   thanks to superior accuracy and rate of fire. The more you kill enemy units the   fastest your experience grows. The unit credited for the kill is the unit who   destroyed the vehicle or killed the last infantryman. Alway have your support   units supress the enemy and leave the kill for your core units in order to gain   more experience , use every opportunity to finish enemy units. Exeption (bug?):   if you kill a unit with area fire (targeting the hex rather than the unit ,   this happen when you use flamethrowers for instance...) you won't be credited   for the kill.  

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