Our force will have one of four basic missions to accomplish: Defend, Delay, Advance, and Assault. The type of mission you are given will have a lot to do with what type of tactics you decide to employ and where you decide to deploy your forces. Just as important, however, is the nature of the terrain you'll be fighting on and the nature of the enemy you will fight. Besides the missions mentioned above, two other kinds of missions can also occur in a campaign: River Crossing and Amphibious Assault. These missions are relatively rare and involve some very special considerations. They will not be discussed here.
The defensive mission may seem like the easiest, because all you have to do is wait for the enemy to attack and you also have the advantage of being on defense. Translated tactically, our troops will face abundant opportunities to bushwhack the enemy. Actually, however, this is one of the hardest types of missions to accomplish. First, we will be more often then not, heavily outnumbered. Second, because we will have to defend objectives and areas, we will lose some degree of tactical mobility. Third, once our forces become engaged there is a good chance that we will either be destroyed, route or hold our ground, with the latter being somewhat rare unless our troops become very experienced. Fourth, the enemy will most likely have plentiful support units in the form of murderous artillery fire, air attacks, mortar attacks, and special infantry units concentrating on us. Did I scare you yet? No? Just wait till you hear the sound of artillery batteries scoring direct hits on our infantry positions.
We will have some advantages, though, and they must be used to the fullest extent possible if we are to win. First, we will have some basic knowledge of where the enemy units are going. That is, through us to get to something beyond. This will aid us in the setting up of our forces. Secondly we have the advantage of knowing the local terrain. Once we do get to see the terrain, we will be able to discover likely lines of approach and defend them accordingly. Most importantly, in the initial rounds of combat at least, we will be able to pick and choose high value targets for destruction with long-range gunnery. Last, we will more likely be closer to respawning bases then that of our enemy.
The Delay mission is a variation of "Defend". We will still try to hold an objective, and our ratio of force will be slightly improved, due to gaining some tactical movement, but we will generally get less support. The enemy will be advancing while we are pulling back, which will lead him to have less directional firepower also. This will be of small comfort when one of our core infantry platoons is defending a "quiet" sector when two platoons of tanks emerge in front of them, but generally our troops will have a somewhat easier time. On the down side, none of our units will have the ability to be entrenched. Besides the fact of being over powered by the enemy, there is another factor that may cause a "Delay". This may also be because, even though we still have to hold the objectives to win, higher command has already decided that the sector cannot or should not be held. It is quite possible that we will not have been given enough time or resources to carry out a preparation for defense. At any rate, our troops will be more vulnerable to fire than in the "Defend" mission.
During "Advanced" missions our force density will be lower than in the "Defend" or "Assault" missions. Obviously, the character of our tactics will be entirely different in offensive missions such as this. Our troops will generally have to move more, and they will usually be moving towards the enemy. This means that detecting the enemy is critical to our success. If we can get Air strikes, we will not only gain the firepower, but the Axis planes can actually spot concentrations of enemy forces much in advance of your ground troops. Without that support it will be left up to our eyes. Our reconnaissance unit will be working far out in front of the division, but they will not see everything, due to terrain. One tactic that will work well when we believe an enemy might be ahead of us is indirect fire. That is were our troops fire into an area, such as a tree line, in hopes of routing the enemy. When you fire into an area this way, our percent chance to hit is greatly reduced. However, its much better than zero, which is what it would be if we didn't fire at all. A couple of really damaging hits will flush out weaker troops.
The Assault mission is quite difficult for a beginning to novice game player. Many more hazards will abound in the form of mines and artillery, as well as bunkers and pillboxes, if in fact all of these items are included. Not only do you have to advance and take objectives, but you have to do it while the enemy calls down artillery fire. The pace of your movement will end up being much slower than in the "Advance" mission, not only because of the Artillery and other hazards, but also because of the danger of mines. The biggest problem players will have when on either an Advance or Assault mission is dealing with an enemy counterattack from unexpected quarters. The enemy will no doubt frequently hide units in out-of-the-way places, and they will tend to move toward any objective which we have just taken. More often then not, we will either not see them coming, or the forces that might be left at one objective, such as an infantry battalion, will not be able to handle the appearance of fresh, high-value enemy forces. Many players take the first objective they can and then hold their ground awaiting the inevitable enemy counterattack. They try and decimate the enemy counterattacking forces, and then easily capture the remaining objectives. This doesn't always work, but it is one way of dealing with these troublesome tactics.
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