Though your overall mission may be of one type or another, you should be prepared for any eventuality: Sometimes it will be necessary to attack while your mission is defensive in nature, and vice versa. Whether you are on attack or defense, you should remember a few basic rules.
First, never expose your troops to fire without a good reason. If you must expose them to fire, then make sure that you have at least as much or, preferably, more than the enemy can bring to bear at the given points of attack or defense, at least during the initial exchanges of fire. Infantry units which are moving are much more vulnerable to fire than positioned units, so by all means if you are exposed to fire move only if you have too. Vehicles, on the other hand, are harder to hit if moving, but their accuracy when firing is also greatly reduced. Finally, when you do expend copious amount of firepower, don't waste it firing at targets which are of little or no consequence to the overall course of the battle. Don't waste 88s firing at Jeeps.
Second, pay attention to the amount of time the mission is taking. On attack or defense, players frequently get caught up in the action and shed a lot of blood unnecessarily to take or hold objectives when a little patience (and a well placed artillery barrage) could do a big part of the job. If its almost the end of the night in a Long Mission and you have very little chance of taking the last objective, don't rush toward it, sending your troops in like lambs to the slaughter.
Finally, be aware of something called "Force Morale." This concept can result in all or most of enemy force retreating at high speed. This happens when you've caused so many casualties to the enemy force that even undamaged enemy units will begin retreating. It may be that no matter how bad things seem for you, destroying just a couple more enemy tanks or squads will break their Force Morale, and stop their attack or clear out the last objective without a fight. Be wary, however, since you as a player are not immune from these same effects, and you could lose control of the battle if you ask your force to do too much with too little.
Remember to upgrade your units with the latest possible weaponry. This is fairly easy to remember with respect to tank units, but also keep in mind that infantry units of various types can also be upgraded. Around 1943, infantry units of many nations upgrade their squads to include an antitank weapon such as the Panzerfaust or Bazooka. Your core units will not be upgraded automatically! Unless you check to see what is available and compare that with what your troops actually have, you could lose an opportunity to make your infantry much more able to deal with enemy tanks.
Use support units (meaning players not in out squad, that join up for the night) to detect enemy lines of advance or defense points. Discovering the location of the enemy is a hazardous occupation which is best left to men who will be leaving when the battle is over, and not to the men who will be encamped near your HQ for most of the war. It just doesn't make sense to use core units in a first line or infantry reconnaissance role when you know that there is a much higher likelihood that they will not only take heavy casualties, but may even get wiped out. Of course, this is not a rule, just a policy. Sometimes you have to reconnoiter with core units, and sometimes you want to bunch up everyone into a powerful defense line. Antitank guns, in particular, whether they are core or support, are best left behind infantry anyway. If several of your core units are really inferior players, don't hesitate to kill them off. Core units, if they survive, will improve over time. With some core units, however, this may take most of the war -- assuming they make it! Sometimes you get stuck with players that, for lack of a better word, suck. Rather than start the whole process over, either take the time to train them or convert them to suicide units and hope for better replacements.
Retreat off the map if things are going badly. No matter how good you think you are, there may be times when discretion is the better part of valor. Even if you are pretty sure you can win, it may not be worth the expenditure of life (especially in the core units). It's better to suffer minor losses and live to fight another day, than to lose half your force and win the battle. Remember, death will rule rank and rank will rule upgrades. If you've wound up in a position where after a battle or two, you can't even replace your losses, then your should opt for retreating even more readily.
One final word about the Germans: 88mm's. These awesome weapons could kill tanks at long ranges better than any other crew-served weapon in the war. Just a section or two can make a huge difference in the outcome of a battle. Actually, they were very efficient vs. infantry as well because of their range and accuracy. It's just plain silly not to be using them!
Please try and remember that although I've played strategic WW2 games since 1978, that doesn't mean I'll always be right, but the situations will no doubt be virtually the same. Also there is a lot of historical information that I have not touched on, for example Panzer formations. I feel that this is better left for the advanced players who have control of battle field situations and have some grasp of command leadership. These pages are for those of you who are trying to gain a foothold in this popular genre of gaming or those who think it might be fun to try. I wish you all the best of luck on the battle field ... "For Blood and Honor"
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