A quick, 1943 mission in which you can exploit early advantages.
Theater of War Mission Pack: The Southern Fronts
Mission: Retreat to the Donetz
Difficulty Level: General
Commander: Don’t need one, but 120mm mortars are often useful. Don’t ever use a commander with KV-1 call-in.
This is one of the easier missions in ToW if you move quickly.
Start by teching up for HMGs. Then call in three of those and site them in buildings and on the ground to cover the top VP and the nearby intersection leading to the left VP. Use your engineers to take points including the right VPs, and then the left VP if possible—you want to be on top of all three VPs asap and continuously. Use your initial M5 to protect your engineers and shoot down German aircraft. Apart from the 3-4 HMGs you bring in immediately, bring a mortar team, an extra engineer squad (with flamethrower), and an M5 or two (Lend Lease provides these as call-ins, which is expensive but convenient). If you can’t capture the two Paks the Germans start with, bring in two or three Zis guns. You shouldn’t need tanks but bring in an SU-76 or a KV-1 if you start to struggle.
Most of your force should cover the right VPs, especially the approach to the top VP from the German base. More mobile units can zip across and assist with the left VP as needed. Planting explosives at the left VP also can disrupt German capping attempts even when you have no units there.
The Germans after 10 minutes or so may start getting lots of Panzers and StuGs plus panzergrens and AT-nading grens.
Note also that the mission features low-flying German Stukas, which will sometimes kill or seriously damage your vehicles and squads, occasionally with gunfire but more often by falling on them after being shot down.
This one usually takes less than 20 minutes.
The CPU-ally in this mission is so weak that you end up playing the mission the same way, whether you start in the left- or the right-side base. For some reason, victory takes a few minutes longer if you play from the right-side base.
[updated 2 Dec 2020]