There’s a long way to win this, and a short way . . .
Theater of War Mission Pack: Case Blue
Mission: Assault on Voronezh
Difficulty Level: General
Commander: Anything with mortar halftracks and/or vehicle scope can be useful, but this should be a very short (<12-mins) mission.
“Assault on Voronezh” is a scripted co-op scenario in which—assuming you take the default first slot—you’ll lead an armor unit from your base towards a Russian territory point, defeat some T-34s and T-70s, cap the point, clear some mines in front of a bridge, and then cross a river into a city to join up with German infantry controlled by your CPU ally. You start with two Pz4s and a Stug-III-G (both much better quality, gunwise, than the 1941 versions, though still weak to Russian tanks), two scout cars, and a 251, plus a pioneer squad. Infantrywise, you can build only pioneers. Vehicle-wise you can build normally—Pz4s and StuGs, 251s, scout cars—and mech/armor tech is in place already. You also can use commanders to get extra abilities usable by the units you have.
This can be a long, difficult mission in which you try to maneuver your bulky armored vehicles in narrow city streets against a multitudinous, AT-capable enemy in conditions where fog-of-war blinds you horribly . . . or it can be a short, sharp victory taking about ten minutes. In case it isn’t obvious, I prefer the latter.
To accomplish this quick victory, first approach the territory point just before the lower bridge. Move cautiously and keep your 3 tanks together. They will probably meet one T-70 and 2-4 T-34s. The T-34s will take big chunks of health from your tanks with every hit, so always be ready to back away to base for repairs. Try to concentrate the fire from all three of your tanks onto one Russian tank at a time. Russian infantry will accompany the tanks—use your scout cars to keep them from wreaking too much havoc. Your scout cars may not survive this encounter, as they are extremely vulnerable to tank fire. You will probably have to retreat for repairs at least once.
After you’ve dealt with all the T-34s near the territory point, take the territory point, repair damaged units, and use pioneers (a unit upgraded with mine-clearing capability) to clear the mines at the bottom of the road by the bridge. Then take your forces across the bridge, leading with your scout cars if you still have them, and keeping on the same road until you approach the VP on your right. This is a good time to call in a mortar halftrack and another tank (StuG is fine). There is often a Russian Zis gun in the road here—try to wipe the crew and recrew with your pioneers. There should also be a DshK HMG, plus some shock troops will come out from the victory point area and attack you. Keep your distance and deal with these Russian units. Try not to get stuck in a fight with Russian infantry and tanks at the same time.
Once all your force is in place (in this crowded space), send a scout car or other expendable unit to the Russian base—the next right-turn after the VP. You will see two vetted KV-1s there. If you can, use your expendable unit to get them pointing north, while you run in with all four of your tanks, plus your captured Zis gun if you have one, and pound the KV-1s from behind.
It won’t be easy and you might fail—those KV-1s are overpowered. Withdraw to repair when necessary. Usually you can kill those beasts before they kill your mission, though. Occasionally, miraculously, your CPU ally will tangle with those tanks first and destroy or weaken them, making your task much easier.
With the Russian tanks gone, take out the tank-tech building and then destroy the rest of the buildings as quickly as you can. Take out the HMG bunkers first, and then bring in your captured DshK and your mortar halftrack to wipe any remaining Russian infantry. Watch out for the Zis gun(s) at the back. Usually as you’re blasting away in the base, some kind of incendiary artillery starts hitting the base buildings in the back—I don’t know if it’s just a quirk of the mission, or an ally call-in—and in a few seconds the mission will end, usually with an elapsed time of 10 minutes or so.
Note that at around this time, 10-11 minutes in, a Zis truck and a T-70 will show up at your own base. They won’t damage your base buildings quickly enough that you need to divert any forces from the city. You should be able to build another tank by about 12 minutes anyway.
I don’t think you are meant to play from the infantry-only base while a CPU-ally plays from the tank/vehicle base. The devs seem to have put almost no effort into coding the CPU-ally, so its tanks take forever to get across the river (they never did, the one time I tried this) and in the meantime your all-infantry force in Voronezh will be starved of resources and unable to hold any significant amount of territory. Russian shock troops will immediately wipe your squads, including grens, panzergrens, and HMGs, whenever you encounter them, and are virtually indestructible by your infantry weapons. (That superhuman supremacy is why the Red Army immediately threw back the German attack in June ’41 and took Berlin a month later, remember?) The Russians also have ridiculous call-in abilities such as “propaganda artillery” which will automatically abort any attack you are about to make by forcing your units to rout back to base.