The war gets ever-easier for the Russians.
Theater of War Mission Pack: The Southern Fronts
Mission: No Retreat No Surrender
Difficulty Level: General
Commander: No need for one, but 120mm mortars, DShK HMGs, and Guards Rifle infantry (which can “button” German tanks) are useful. Do not use a commander with KV-1 call-in (if you want KV-1s), as that ability is bugged and will actually make KV-1s harder to bring in.
A workable strategy here is to take the left VP and next-door radio tower, guard the middle VP after your CPU ally takes it, and build up lots of AT power at that middle VP for the mid-game German armor assaults which will include Panthers and maybe an Elefant and Tiger.
At the left VP/tower, build up to a force including 2 HMGs, a Zis gun, an engineer, a mortar team, an M5, and the commissar squad.
The second or third unit you bring in, though, should be an HMG to cover the middle VP from the building just to the left of it. When an Ostwind comes out and starts pounding that building to pieces, move the HMG and crew across the street, against the west wall of the building directly south of the VP. That HMG position is key because it covers the VP very nicely and will also attract German tanks. Bring in two or three AT guns and position them to the left, across the street from that HMG, and they will destroy German tanks as they come. An engineer squad, a mortar team, an M5 with .50s, and a couple of Su-76s—which are essentially truck-mounted Zis guns—can support. Mid-game bring the commissar squad over to your middle-VP force.
You will hold the left and middle VP on your own, essentially. Your two CPU allies usually will not manage to hold the right VP except briefly. At around 12-13 minutes the Germans will suddenly get a bunch of tanks including several Panthers. They’ll often work their way through your allies from the east before approaching the middle VP, but anyway you should have plenty of AT power to handle them. Ditto for the flood of Panthers and an Elefant tank destroyer that come out later when the Germans are getting low on points.
Prepare your positions well and you will kill 6-12 German tanks plus many other vehicles and infantry squads while sustaining hardly any casualties.
- You cannot retreat your units in this battle. (Good thing you don’t need to.)
- Your infantry reinforcements arrive almost instantly when ordered.
- A bug causes a large cube with coders’ troubleshooting messages to appear to the left of the middle VP, mid-game.
An alternative strategy is to bring in only penals (upgraded with PTRSs asap), mortar teams, and M5s for reinforcement, splitting your force evenly between left and right VP. Four penals with PTRSs will kill any tank quickly.
Another, slightly off-the-wall alternative is to bring in a standard mix of anti-infantry units (HMG, penals, M5s with flamer-engineers, mortar teams) with a couple of KV-1s and, after gathering at the left VP/tower, charge up the left side of the map to the German base. There are two bunker-HMGs at the corner of the base, and you’ll have to kill them first, but once you get into the base and start killing base buildings you will seriously distract the Germans, giving your CPU allies an important advantage everywhere else on the map. The Germans will throw a lot at you, including Panthers and sometimes even an Elefant, and will almost certainly end up wiping out your entire force, but by the time they do, the Russian side collectively will have been holding two or three VPs for a while and the Germans will be down to 100-150 points. Once your base-assault force is wiped, you can bring in new forces quickly to hold or re-cap the left VP—your allies should be dominating elsewhere.
All these methods tend to result in a victory around 25 minutes.
Playing from the right-side base is a little more fun and intense, but usually also a shorter mission. Basically you cap the right VP and tower and points back to base, and bring in three HMGs, then 3-4 AT guns plus M5s and mortar teams, to cover the VP and surrounding area. Your strong grip on the right VP will get the German points down more quickly, and when three Panthers arrive with scout car and infantry support after about ten minutes, the Germans will be seriously in the hole, pointwise. If you have at least three well-sited, well microed, instantly reinforceable Zis guns, you can quickly snuff those Panthers and the scout car, stopping any German momentum and allowing your CPU-allies to expand their holdings elsewhere. An Elefant and a Tiger Ace will appear when the Germans get below 100 points, but if your side is holding 3 VPs at that point, the mission will end (at ~14-15 minutes) long before all that buffed armor can achieve anything.
[updated 3 Dec 2020]