[Lets Play] Codename: Panzers ~ personal challenge (no videos)

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[Lets Play] Codename: Panzers ~ personal challenge (no videos)

Post by mythos » 2020-05-30 12:17, Saturday

:howdy greetings generals and welcome to my [infantry and towed guns] challenge for "Codename: Panzers Phase 2" (CPP for short).



The idea for this challenge is actually quite old: i got the Platinum Edition in 2008 and around 2010-11 i had played CPP1 and CPP2 so much that i knew them quite well, and playing them with tanks (or a tank-heavy core) became boring. Playing without tanks was the logical next level. However...

CPP is a realtime strategy game (RTS for short).
Main features are core building (tanks/infatry/selfpropelled+towed guns), experience, some campaigns and the "tactical pause" (via hotkey you may stop the action, review the battlefield and consider unit orders).
..."however", to finish the sentence from above: Around 2010-11 i had lost interest/motivation to play RTS.

I am not very fond of RTS games anymore: in PvP tactics usually evolve around rush-killing opponents ASAP, while in PvE all you usually need is a handful of the "best" unit type to blow everything to smithereens.
Granted, some games are more varied and i indeed play 1 or 2 every now and then.
And admitted, i haven't played RTS in multiplayer for about 15 years.

In short: by the time i gained a little interest in playing RTS again, i had lost alot of the knowledge of how the CPP scenarios play, so i "should" replay them to the see layout of maps. To make it easier, i included tanks in the core...so that after 2-3 scenarios i had lost the interest again - 1-2 years later i packed the games out again, stopped playing after 2-3 scenarios - back and forth, back and forth.

Now, in my recreation break from Open General, i think i have enough motivation to play through the campaign, and ignore the fact that i don't know for sure if this challenge i made up is actually winnable :)
(in all actuality: i managed to play through both games again sometime around 2017-2018 and still remember some stuff)



Why CPP2 and not the first part

- technicality: in CPP1 units can only grow to 4 XP-bars, while in CPP2 they can get to 8. Each XP-bar adds 5% damage bonus. The 8th XP-bar additionally grants a "hero bonus" (its really called like that) of 50% damage resistance and another +15% damage - (un)fortunately, towed guns ignore the damage boost.
Infantry is notoriously squishy, and if your Medics die, then your combat inf follows quickly, so at least for medics i consider this damage resistance a must-have (in a "no tanks" challenge)

- design: the CPP1 scenarios have a lot of city terrain, limiting the usefulness of towed ATs. Also, there is AFAIR much more enemy armour in CPP1

I don't say "it is impossible to do this challenge in CPP1".
I only say, that i want to have fun playing and not "work through the game".



Preparations:

- i'm still not sure if i do a "living of the land" = inf-only (in the core) or a mixed approach. Either way i will end up with an inf-heavy core. The tricky part here is: towing guns is slow (no matter if pulling the couple of valid guns by infantry, or pulling any gun by tractors), and i have a tendency to grow impatient every now and then, so maybe after 2 scenarios i go :crazy and switch to inf-only :lol

- the very first scenario in each campaign is difficult (if not impossible) to win without the use of tanks, thus i exceptionally use tanks as attackers in the first scenario (dunno if i play the Allied campaign, too)

- i'll do as much as possible with core units. Exceptions:
* supply depots repair and resupply vehicles and guns, and can heal infantry: why not use them :dunno
* some special abilities (like fighter-bombers) here and there
* aux-only scenarios (yes, all campaigns seriously have some :fit )
* capturing guns in the field (OTOH, you need infantry to man guns, and a destroyed gun (while manned by core or aux units) counts into your losses in the statistics, so aren't they effectively core if manned by core inf :fused )

- allowed core purchases:
* infantry
* towed guns
* trucks/tractors
* repair trucks
* ammo trucks

- difficulty setting: hard
AFAIK (the manual explains nothing and i was too lazy to compare enemy XP and numbers), the only difference between difficulties in the CPP games is, that the harder the setting, the lower the replacement of lost core units:
* on easy you get the lost core unit replaced, with XP (for free)
* on medium you get the lost core unit replaced, without XP (for free)
* on hard you don't get the lost core unit back (not even its prestige value)

- orientation: north
the mini-map has a small white wedge/bow on 1 of its edges, this is however very rarely pointing "up". I assume the white bow shall indicate where north is (according to cardinal directions). While playing, i do rotate the map a lot. However for streamlined orientation, if i mention north/west/etc, i mean that the main game screen was rotated, so that the white bow is pointing up
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Final notes:

- i actually played the first scenario already, and in all actuality: 3 times - i was trying to find other approaches, especially with fewer/no tanks, and minimalize losses. Discovered by this:
* that you can actually finish the first scenario with an "Excellent" scoring (i otherwise only achieved "Average" or "Good" )
* that if you finish the scenario with "Excellent" scoring, you get a medal (IIRC, i usually only got a medal after scenario 2)
I will try to get an "Excellent" in each scen.
Funny to learn something new about the game after so many years :lol

- there is no differentiation between victory types, as you can only continue if
* you achieved all main objectives
* the main campaign heros (like Dario or Barnes) survive
So, instead of BV/V/TV, i will add all objectives (including "secret", but excluding "hero name must survive" ) with their prestige rewards ( "hero name must survive" doesn't award prestige AFAIK), and strike out uncompleted or alternative objectives


With my incredibly over-informative and highly pointless (gotcha :P ) starting blabla out of the way, the next posting will deal with the infantry discussion.





Edit

In the third scenario my "no tanks" challenge came to an abrupt end.
I picked up the save from the first HQ session and restarted the challenge as "living off the land": the core will still be infantry-heavy, i will still use as little auxiliary units as possible, however i this time included a Flamethrower and Tank Crews, so that i can capture enemy tanks in the field (the flamers use fire damage, which can literally burn crews out of their vehicles).

The restart can be found here:
viewtopic.php?p=4486#p4486
Last edited by mythos on 2020-06-24 05:41, Wednesday, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Lets Play] Codename: Panzers ~ personal challenge (no videos)

Post by mythos » 2020-05-30 13:00, Saturday

.
Infantry discussion

- Special Equipment

* infantry units can carry special equipment (Handgrenades, Dynamite, Binoculars...).
The amount per special is limited:
a) by special type
b) by unit's experience

* each special might be limited to specific infantry types (example, Medics cannot carry AT-Mines)

* each unit may carry a maximum of 2 different specials.
Each special costs a little prestige for attaching, consumables cannot be refilled during a scenario, but are refilled for free between scenarios

* from left to right, infantry units can carry
Handgrenades - Molotov Cocktails - Magnetic Mines - Dynamite - AT-Mines (- Binoculars - Rubber Boat - Metal/Mine Detector)

* the amounts are
3-1-1-1-3 (at 0 and 1 XP-bars)
4-2-2-2-4 (at 2 and 3 XP-bars)
5-3-3-3-5 (at 4+ XP-bars)
pieces of the individual specials.
I left out Binoculars, Rubber Boat and Mine Detector. Binoculars and Metal Detector are always working/in effect, thus they don't have a numerical - and Rubber Boat is limited to 1 no matter unit's level and IIRC can be re-used unlimited times during a scenario


- most infantry is there to combat other infantry, thus something for AT purposes would be nice.
* Handgrenades (which are effective against both, infantry and tanks) are a solid choice
* Magnetic Mines are similar to Handgrenades, but somewhat kamikaze (don't forget to RUN after cuddling the tank :sh )
* AT-Mines might be useful, too
* all Snipers and some "frontline" units should have Binoculars for increased spotting range
* Molotov Cocktails might be useful for AT-inf to defend against other inf (OTOH, you can also "burn" tank crews out of their vehicles)
* Dynamite works against buildings, but you still have to deal with the "inhabitants" (don't forget to RUN after hugging the concrete :sh )
* Metal Detectors are useless for an inf-only approach: infantry and trucks cannot be struck by mines
* Rubber Boat, AFAIR, is only useful in some CPP1 scenarios, and there you get it via auxes


On to the actual infantry units.


- i have no clue what to make out of Mortars. Sure, they have (almost) as much range as Snipers and their attacks deal splash/AoE damage. However, slow rate of fire, low "projectile" speed (making it difficult to hit things), confusingly low damage

- technically, i have no clue what to make out of Rifles. Sure, they have good range (Ita+Ger Rifles (and Sov IIRC) even have a bit longer range than US+UK pendants), are 5 soldiers in a unit and can carry all types of special equipment. However, their damage sucks badly. Even worse if you want to clear occupied buildings
(there are much fewer manned buildings in CPP2 compared to the first game, but there still are a couple)
They are okay as gun crews, i guess.
I said "technically no clue what to do with these". Practically however, since i will limit myself to 1 Sniper (more Snipers make it toooo easy dealing with enemy gun crews and inf), i maybe take some Rifles on the quest

- technically, i have no clue what to make out of MGs. Sure, they have good range and deal a lot of damage. But they are only 2 soldiers in a unit, thus their health sucks badly. Even worse if you want to clear occupied buildings.
As with Rifles, i might end up using these anyway: their higher damage (and very high rate of fire, further increasing their damage) compared to Rifles makes them much better at dealing with enemy infantry in the open field

- Flamethrowers have the shortest range, but the highest health per soldier, and can burn through infantry rather quickly.
Flamers are useful if you play with tanks (or at least "with tank crews" ): after burning the crews out of enemy tanks and once the tanks have cooled down, you can put your crews in them :sh

- SMGs have very short range (more than flamers, though), but like Rifles can carry all special equipment types, they deal alot of damage to infantry very quickly, and have the second highest health per soldier, at 5 soldiers per unit. This makes them ideal as gun crews and the most efficient fortress busters->cleaners

- Snipers have the longest range and highest damage (against infantry) of all units. They are ideal to take out stray infantry, tank crews (which left their destroyed vehicles) and most importantly: crews of enemy towed guns.
About the only infantry job they cannot do effectively is clearing enemy-occupied buildings/bunkers.
In an inf-only approach there is enough prestige to replace any Rifle/MG squad you would want to take with you with Snipers, but as said: that's a little too easy for my taste

- Medics are one-trick-ponies into healing (seriously: not even a "throw grenades" order, with their own comrades dying while standing next to a halfdead enemy tank, is accepted by them easily), but healing is all what matters

- AT-Rilfes are okay. Lower damage than Rocket soldiers, but with their higher rate of fire they can still deal some damage to Matildas (not as much as Rockets, though, but Matildas are much rarer than Crusaders anyway). Also, in CPP2 their mechanic was changed, so that they can finally attack infantry as well.
Their biggest advantage over Rockets is: they ignore hills/terrain elevation :)

- Rocket soldiers have troubles in hilly terrain (rockets potentially detonating prematurely on terrain bumps) and sometimes have troubles hitting moving targets, but what matters: they deal enough damage to make a :tiger cry



--> i expect to get myself
* 1 Sniper
* 3 Rifles/MGs
* 6 Medics
* 6 "AT-inf" (a mix of AT-Rifles and Rockets)
* maybe 2 SMGs
Will be a little tight, since the unit cap is 25, and trucks + towed guns are still missing.
Maybe i have to make due without towed guns, but then again: those could be captured in the field...except the 88mm Flak, which can only be purchased.



Come to think of it: i could replace the SMGs with 2 Flamethrowers, add 2 tractors, 1 ammo truck, 1 repair truck, 1 88mm Flak, 3 tank crews (filling up the 25 unit cap), and play a "living of the land" challenge where everything (including tanks) could be captured if the need arises :crazy :lol
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Re: [Lets Play] Codename: Panzers ~ personal challenge (no videos)

Post by mythos » 2020-05-30 13:27, Saturday

.
1) Sidi Barrani


Main Goals

1) Recon the area.
2) Discover Sergio's airplane.
3) Follow the tracks to find Sergio.
4a) Retreat to the evacuation zone immediately. [or]
4b) Stay and kill all enemies.
--> 150 prestige total


Optional

1) Take control of both oases. (100 prestige)


Secret

1) Hidden supply depot secured. (50 prestige)
2) Enemy air defense group neutralized. (75 prestige)


Specials

3x Heavy Artillery Bombardment



Core makeup:
2x M13/40 tanks
2x MGs
Snipers
AT-Rifles
SdKfz 11 repair truck
Opel Blitz truck/tractor
Tank Crew (mounted on the tractor)



Depending on what "challenge" you play, this scenario is not too difficult - just a little long if you want the "Excellent" score.
The tricky part for an inf-only approach is the lack of Medics and limited amount of AT weapons, while engaging many tanks - thus you must rely on tanks yourself.

To shorten the writing a bit: after each combat (sometimes even during the battle), i repaired vehicles (and towed guns). Once the Supply Depot was available, i used that outside of combat (to preserve the repair truck).
I don't mention the repairing/healing/resupplying from now on (also not in future scenarios) :ihope , just keep in mind that i spent lots of time to repair/heal/resupply my units.



I sent the 3 tanks (core +1 aux) and the sniper (for spotting - it arrives with Binoculars) a little east, to intercept enemy tank patrols.
Meanwhile, the MGs were sent southeast.

After the first patrol was taken out, sent the group a little northeast (maybe a little more, but not to the forest), and then waited for the second patrol to arrive.
Then these units moved south->east around the mountain range all the way to the southern oasis (i find it easier to attack the southern oasis first, aquire the supply depot, and later attack the northern oasis from the south), linking up with the MGs.
Tanks moved in first, and once they got everyone's attention, the MGs+Sniper followed.

After the southern oasis, i climbed into the mountain range, grabbed the Supply Depot and abandoned Crusader tank (if you have an unemployed crew + tank, might as well incorporate them) - aaand: FINALLY, something to heal the infantry units :phew
Unfortunately, during the battle for the depot i had to destroy one of the 6-pounder towed AT guns :whine

On to the northern oasis (tanks vs vehicles, while snipers took out the artillery crew and inf) and nearby area.
Afterwards i roamed the northeastern and eastern areas for the last secondary goals.
In this areas, you can find an abandoned Dingo recon car (if only there was another free tank crew).

This is all there is for the "regular" playthrough - just visit the crashed plane, follow through to the canyon and make a run for the evacuation zone.
You get an "Average" scoring - or "Good" if you killed enough during the retreat.
However, to get more eyecandy (medals) throughout the campaign, you need the "Excellent" scoring. To achieve this...

After the secondary goals were achieved, i refitted all units and prepared a defensive strongpoint (with captured AT, arty and AD guns :naughty ) a little southeast of the evacuation zone:
https://imgur.com/a2TdPiM
Please note that the tanks are still missing: i wanted to put them on the screenshot, but after you visit the crashed aircraft, a "sandstrom" is blowing for a while, this made the screenshot ugly to look at - and later i forgot to save or at least make another screeni :doh

Only then i visited the crashed plane, send the Italian tanks to the strongpoint, and moved with Dario's Crusader through the cutscenes.
Once the cutscenes were played, Dario drove (backwards, to make use of the Crusader's stronger frontal armor) aaall the way over the southern oasis to the strongpoint, while being struck by enemy vehicles.
Around the strongpoint several battles occured - after which the ADs were scaringly low on ammo.

With enemies having come along the southern corridor, i then checked the northern side and quickly found a platoon of Crusaders plus a repair truck.
I manned the strongpoint again and had Dario pull these units into the trap, too. This battle was when i used all 3 Heavy Artillery specials, but still my units suffered a beating - but no losses :phew
The ADs went out of Ammo in this second battle, the AT and arty dropped to 25% and less, the (Italian) tanks dropped to 50% Ammo. Thus, i slowly advanced with tanks and infantry via the southern route to the supply depot (earlier, Dario cleared/pulled everything on his way back, thus i expected a free way in the south).

Past that, it is more or less just mopping up buisiness in the eastern areas - i started at the cutscene-area where Dario had to stop his search for his brother. Down there, infantry suffered some damage again, so i visited the supply depot yet another time (did i mention that you start without a medic :crazy ).
Around the crashed aircraft are some recon cars.
In the north are 2 tank groups - where my infantry used their last Handgrenades.
If the game doesn't end after these tanks, search around in the north, east and south, there might be some tank crews which jumped out of their exploding vehicles and into/past a terrain bump - or ran away into the forests or between buildings.
Once all enemies are killed, the game assumes that you "successfully evacuated" :lol and the scenario ends with the desired "Excellent" and first medal:
https://imgur.com/CBriRZ4
:banana
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Re: [Lets Play] Codename: Panzers ~ personal challenge (no videos)

Post by Ale » 2020-05-30 16:24, Saturday

thumbs up, thanks for input :clap

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Re: [Lets Play] Codename: Panzers ~ personal challenge (no videos)

Post by mythos » 2020-05-31 16:16, Sunday

.

2) Headquaters I


Sold

2x tank
tank crew
AT-Rifles (Ita)


Bought

Binoculars for both MGs (and kept their Grenades)
2x AT-Rifles (Ger) with Grenades and AT-Mines
2x SMGs (Ger) with Grenades and AT-Mines
6x Medics (Ger)
2x 88mm Flak
Ammo truck
Opel Blitz
Rilfes (Ger) with Grenades and Binocs



The reasoning for the switch to German inf: Italian inf versions deal less damage than the pendants of other nations :fit
I kept the Ita Sniper, since Snipers aren't available for purchase yet.
Also kept the MGs, because Ger MGs aren't available, IIRC throughout the campaign (checked for patches, but have the latest) :fused



Core makeup (20 of 25 units)

- support/vehicles
2x 88mm Flak
2x Opel Blitz (tractor)
Repair truck
Ammo truck

- infantry
1x Sniper with Binocs
2x AT-Rifles with Grenades and AT-Mines
2x SMGs with Grenades and AT-Mines
6x Medics
2x MGs with Grenades and Binocs
1x Rifles with Grenades and Binocs



Intended infantry roles

- Sniper
recon/spotter and gun killer (by taking out the crew)
I originally totally forgot that enemy guns can be manned by 2, 4 or 5 soldiers...i might have to reconsider my "only 1 sniper" agenda, else playing might get tedious, but i decide that after 1 or 2 more scenarios

- AT-Rifles
self-explanatory

- SMGs
gun crew and fortress buster
Their health and damage do the trick for conquering a building in 1 go - instead of having to pull out, heal and move back in

* Medics
self-explanatory

* MGs
bodyguard
They will mix into the infantry group and deal with enemy inf that gets too close

* Rifles
gun crew and bodyguard
I don't know if i will keep them - first i experiment a little to re-evaluate their usefulness
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Re: [Lets Play] Codename: Panzers ~ personal challenge (no videos)

Post by Ale » 2020-05-31 20:25, Sunday

...previous comment is for forum activity and your gaming related reading material. when it comes to game itself i never tried it, not even sure RTS is even genre for me (already talked that briefly as subject)* however after reading your post and looking at some screens it looks really nice graphically. too bad that even strategy games had to move to modern times and require some 6 ghz and 128 gigs of RAM nowdays :) when nice outputs already existed in circa 2004 but that is how it is..... anyway have fun Mytho, just btw post from me after checking your game. thanks again for writing about games and not so shortly at all, so videos aren't even needed :p


* when think about why WC 2 was one of the last RTS games i finished and liked i have prepared answer like: I prefer to die slowly (in hard TBS) not fast! (in RTS) :lol ..... and is so true considering difficult nature of some TBS games lately

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Re: [Lets Play] Codename: Panzers ~ personal challenge (no videos)

Post by mythos » 2020-06-04 19:45, Thursday

Sorry for the late answer Ale :o

Ale wrote:
2020-05-31 20:25, Sunday
...previous comment is for forum activity and your gaming related reading material.

anyway have fun Mytho, just btw post from me after checking your game. thanks again for writing about games and not so shortly at all, so videos aren't even needed :p
You're welcome, and thanks :)

I've added some info which i wanted to know myself, but couldn't find on CPP wikis/forums.
Maybe someone will find it useful sometime - maybe me if i replay the game in a couple years another time :lol

Ale wrote:
2020-05-31 20:25, Sunday
when it comes to game itself i never tried it, not even sure RTS is even genre for me

when think about why WC 2 was one of the last RTS games i finished and liked i have prepared answer like: I prefer to die slowly (in hard TBS) not fast! (in RTS) :lol ..... and is so true considering difficult nature of some TBS games lately
I know that feeling :lol
In general, i also don't like to play RTS: too fast, too monotonous.
CPP is quite different in a key aspect of RTS: it is so slow that even i sometimes wish it had a "fast forward" button (well, it actually has, but it barely speeds up the game). Also, it offers a pause, so that for the times that the action is heated, one can pause, check the battlefield, issue unit orders and then resume :)
It also is small, big and varied enough to offer some replay value.
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Re: [Lets Play] Codename: Panzers ~ personal challenge (no videos)

Post by mythos » 2020-06-19 19:05, Friday

Finally found the time for playing - and writing. I need to and will cut down the writing, else the step-by-step guides will take more time than actually playing - no joke, it took me about 2 hours to play this scenario and (now at the time of clicking "submit" ) more than 3 hours to write :eek
:wife became a little angry too :scared


3) Mersa Brega


Main Goals

1) Break through the British lines of defence.
2) Occupy the supply depot.
--> 200 prestige total


Optional

Neutralize both howitzers on the western mountain path. (100 prestige)


Secret

Mustafa the honorable healed. (75 prestige)


Specials

3x Heavy Artillery
2x Recon Aircraft



Mersa Brega - a scenario which i remember very well and which i call "the XP Farm".
If you want, this scenario is highly exploitable, when executed right.

Usually i only stayed here long enough to equalize XP among tanks (and tank crews if i had some without vehicles), add 1 XP-bar to all infantry and maybe grab some additional XP for combat inf.
This time i needed (or actually "wanted" ) to stay here until the 6 medics had maxed out their XP.

As said in the beginning, i decided to shorten the whole thing, thus i only played the "XP farming" version, and didn't replay for the "fairplay" version.
But on to the real deal.


First things first:
- the core Sniper was mostly used as spotter (especially for the Flaks in the beginning)
- SMGs were put as crews into the 88mm Flaks
=> rest of core infantry was put into a group
- the trucks were ordered to tow the guns
- aux infantry (1x medic + 1x sniper) were sent to the southeastern map corner and then ignored
- enemy medics were kept alive (they are part of the engine of the exploit)


The inf group was sent southwest to the mountain path, then rushed up there and took out some infantry.
Meanwhile, the sniper was sent north to spy on the first line of defence, with the guns being slowly towed into position.

The "mountain inf" was set to passive mode (so they don't attack what's visible and within range) and ordered to go prone (standing = running = very loud, croughing = walking = less loud, prone = sneaking = very silent - the game tutorial explains it better and with text and icons), then slowly advanced further up the path to the first "mountain gun" and took out its crew.
This first gun in the mountains won't be of any use, since you cannot move it to a different position :(
Meanwhile, the Flaks destroyed piecemeal: 2 tanks and a recon car (and 2 tank crews, however i pulled them with a Flak shot and then let the SMGs jump out of the guns to take them out in "melee" combat - tank crews surviving the destruction of their vehicle is random).
This made the first defence line crumble and the survivors made a run for the Supply Depot.

When looking at the mini-map, you will notice a white square around the map center. This is a (empty) building and great orientation mark.
I now towed the Flaks west-southwest of the landmark - Mersa Brega is probably the only scenario (quite freaky considering there are 6 campaigns) where Flaks have some meaningful Flak-work to do (*): the enemy has a couple Recon Aircraft specials here and these can really screw you up your infantry.
(*) at least i don't remember that i elsewhere thought "oh my cat, would be cool to have Flaks here"
But back to buisiness.

I sent the 2 MGs (just a reminder: i outfitted them with Binoculars) down to the Flaks, because spotters will be needed in a moment.
Meanwhile, the (core) Sniper ran all the way west and up the mountain path to join the Medics and other inf units.
Once the MGs arrived, i moved 1 close to the mountain's base, a little northwards, set it to passive and prone, then hided it in the bushes to spot the western side of the enemy's second defence line.
The second MG moved to the river, a little northwards, also went passive and prone and hided in the bushes on his side to spot the eastern side of the enemy's defence line.
I doubt the bushes provide actual "visual cover", but they are a good distance checkmark. Anyway, time for some orientation:
https://imgur.com/A49BfaO

i have seen that i screenshotted without timestamp - IIRC the one above was at 10 minutes and the next screenshot at 11 minutes "ingame time"

Back to the infantry group on the western mountain path.
With the combat inf up front and the Medics a little behind, these units moved further along the path. Before so-to-say falling down to the area where the MGs were napping, i put them to passive and prone.
https://imgur.com/WYOeHXe

Combat inf moved further along the path a little, taking out some infantry. Snipers, 1x Medics and the single Rifles continued to the far northwest, taking out the crew of the second "mountain gun". The Medics (on passive) were sent to man the gun and were left behind.
Meanwhile, the other inf units were sent a little back (white circle on the screenshot above).
The sniper and rifle then took out the nearby AT Gun - the rifles continued with the Ammo Truck, while snipers attacked the artillery and MGs.
Once you start with your action around here, 2 things will happen:
1) enemy arty shoots your Snipers (good that you have some Medics nearby)
2) AI starts its recon planes (good that you have some Flaks nearby)
:)

With the ATG and truck gone the rifles were useless (*) so i sent the rifles, 3 medics and the AT-rifles down to the Flaks.
(*) quite literally: i did some testing in this scenario and no matter its XP, the rifles are only good as cheap gun crews if you need some. But overall, IF you want some gun crews: the SMGs have more health and access to the same "attachments", as well as dealing more damage (clearing buildings or dealing with enemy tank crews), while costing only a handful of prestige more.
Anyway.
Snipers continued taking out stuff around here - i even sent 1 of my Recon Aircraft specials to take out an enemy mortar squad (infantry, if attacked, goes prone, making it difficult to spot from distance).
At some point i sent the remaining inf (snipers and 2x medics) down to the Flaks - the snipers to take out the MG and Ammo truck on the eastern side of the defence line.
Once enough units are destroyed, this second defense line also crumbles.

Meanwhile, the group of 3x medics 2x AT-rifles and 1x rifles moved up the path into the eastern mountains and to the far northeast, taking out some infantry along the way. Ultimately, the medics healed Mustafa.
Meanwhile (with the second defence line gone) the MGs moved north towards the sandbags, discovering a "rearguard" tank, so that trucks towed the Flaks into position to attack that tank.

Past that, i used the flaks and the captured artilleries (1 in the mountains, 2 in the valley) to take out all vehicles around the Supply Depot - starting with the enemy Bishops. This was time consuming (i played the scenario mostly on the higher speed setting, but in the end the "Zeit: 2:05" from the screenshot below is quite accurately depicting the required 2 hours for playing) to pull the guns back and forth.
The idea here is to preserve as much enemy inf as possible (for the XP exploit).
The depot, together with the 2 medics, can forever heal wounded infantry (medics have unlimited "ammo" or "healing supplies" for healing, and depots also can heal indefinitely, as long as they still have at least 1 "ammo" or "supply point").

With this, the exploit is set up and i stayed here until all medics had 8 XP-bars - out of habit i started with combat inf and brought them up to 5 XP-bars (most were already at 4) until i remember i only wanted to push medics :doh :o

The points for XP is inflated: 6 medics x ~16.000 = 100.000 and the other units (i think auxes are included) combined should be 50-70k. Lets say a total of 165k and not 260k :fused :dunno
Anyway, here is the screenie - and the second medal:
https://imgur.com/fO4jXPZ
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Re: [Lets Play] Codename: Panzers ~ personal challenge (no videos)

Post by mythos » 2020-06-23 06:50, Tuesday

.


4) Headquaters II



Sold

Snipers (Ita - despite having lots of XP, their lower base damage compared to the Ger version will hurt their overall usefulness)
Rifles (probably officially the most useless core unit)


Bought

2x Snipers (Ger) with Binoculars



Core makeup (20 of 25 units)

- support/vehicles
2x 88mm Flak
2x Opel Blitz (tractor)
Repair truck
Ammo truck

- infantry
2x Snipers with Binoculars
2x AT-Rifles with Grenades and AT-Mines
2x SMGs with Grenades and AT-Mines
6x Medics
2x MGs with Grenades and Binoculars




5) Halfaya Pass


Main Goals

1) Secure both British bases.
2) Tow the 88mm Flaks to the marked positions to fend off the counter attack.
3) Hold both bases.
--> 350 prestige total


Optional

none


Secret

1) Rescue (one of) the abandoned vehicle(s). (75 prestige)
2) British self-propelled gun captured. (75 prestige)


Specials

2x Fighter-Bomber
3x Heavy Artillery
2x Recon Aircraft
--> i didn't use any (sidenote: there is no bonus for preserving Specials)



The Battle of Hellfire Pass :scared

First things first.
I won't mention when i set inf to passive and/or prone (and in turn back to running and/or active), but i switched around a lot.
Also, you start with 2 aux "hero" tanks (actual campaign heroes: Hans and Dario) and 4x 2-soldier aux rifle squads (otherwise a bought rifle squad has 5 soldiers). I left all of these in the starting area for the moment.

The beginning is pretty much smooth sailing, you don't even have a time limit.
I towed the Flaks around, taking out enemy vehicles and let infantry (especially snipers) mop up enemy tank+gun crews and inf. In between the SMG squads had some bunker busting clearing work to do (at both bases).
A slightly dangerous part is the enemy recon cars: there are 2 groups (groups ? the second was small, probably just 1-2 cars - i was occupied with the infs in a differant part of the map, so i didn't see what the flaks killed) which will charge your units, not at the same time though (sidenote: there are also stationary recon cars around the bases).

I started with the western base - without trees it appeared to be the easier target to begin.
Immediately north of the base you can find 2 capturable Dingo recon cars (if you have crews) and a German 50mm Pak - all damaged, but full of ammo.
A bit further north (SdKfz 222) and respectively northeast (Pz III) are 2 of 3 vehicles legit for the Secret Objective - again damaged, but this time with tank crews nearby (they join as auxes once you get near - oh: and these are badly wounded).
I used the 2 tank crews to drive all those units to a central spot in the base with the core Repair Truck (and 1x medics to heal the crews) - i'm a completionist and it is not as if the Repair truck has anything better to do. Not to mention that repairing takes a while - just as moving units around, so i had a little bit more to do while chasing my inf units around :)

The most dangerous part in this first phase is an enemy inf+gun group straight on the ridge in the map center:
2x mortar squads
1x towed AT gun (with 2-soldier crew)
2x sniper :eek squads
The snipers are initially prone and thus invisible, so that i lost 1 of my sniper squads. I then restarted and advanced here much more cautiously (if prone isn't already careful :crazy ).
Both of my sniper squads were positioned on the western ridge. 1 of my snipers then shot at 1 enemy mortar, the other sniper waited (once the enemy snipers shoot they become visible) and then ordered both my sniper squads to attack the enemy sniper.
Heal up (capture the Bishop) and repeat from the northern ridge - no worries, the whole group is motionless :dunno
In retrospective, it would have been easier to just unleash all 3 Heavy Atys on the hill :rocket

As mentioned, on the ridge north of the danger spot, i discovered the enemy Bishop, thus before continueing with the 2nd enemy sniper i took care of that.
Once these 2 ridges were clear i sent 1 of the tank crews to the Bishop and drove it to the Repair Truck (as the other capturable units, it is badly damaged).

The infs then moved around to recon the rest of the map.
In the northwest i found the last "abandoned" German vehicle (Pz III), which again had a nearby crew.
Otherwise nothing of interest - the only thing the snipers still did was taking out the crew of that watch tower, on the northern end of the second base.
Then i sent the infantries and flaks to the south - the second base has a large plain on its southern side, which i found more appealing to attack from. Turned out that (almost) all units of this base either start or move down here - only bunker crews are in the bunkers, of course, and a lone Matilda remains at the northeastern side of the base.

So much about the easy part.
Once you killed enemies around the 2 bases, the brief second phase starts: deploy the 4x auxiliary 88mm Flaks on the designated spots.
Took me roughly 15 minutes to move units around and decide where to plant them - then i remembered something, see next paragraph.
Once you plant the last Flak on the positions (you get objective markers on the minimap and the main screen), the last phase starts: defend against the British counter attack.

I remembered just in time that the AI throws lots of Matildas and recon cars (and some trucks) in your face - so i took another 15 minutes (ingame time. Realtime was more, since i used the pause function).
Despite having a total of 6 flaks (with the 2 core units), i could not try to win here without tanks on my side:
- they are needed to protect your soft units with their armour
- consider that on a "normal" playthrough you would have the 4 aux flaks plus at least 4 aux tanks, maybe the captured Bishop and 1+ Dingos, and at least 4-5 (if not 6-7) core tanks (some of those probably the Italian 105mm "Bassotto" SPATs)

I made a save before planting the last flak and tried 3 times, but i always lost 1+ core units (a medic and a flak in the final attempt) and also always failed the "Excellent" scoring.
Thus, despite doing quite well without core tanks, my "no tanks all BVs challenge" itself failed :whine

https://i.imgur.com/NWs9jLy.jpg




I am currently thinking about changing my "no tanks" into a "living of the land" challenge: add 1 or 2 flamethrower squads, exchange some inf units (probably the SMGs) for 2 or 3 tank crews, and then capture not only guns but also tanks in the field.
Maybe i won't do this with the German campaign though: i played the CPP2 German campaign more often than the other CPP2 camps and would find it more interesting to try this challenge with the Allied camp.
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Re: [Lets Play] Codename: Panzers ~ personal challenge (no videos)

Post by mythos » 2020-06-24 05:31, Wednesday

Decided to stick with the German campaign, after all i never did something like this before.
As said above, i change the challenge to "living off the land", with some gun tractors and supply vehicles and lots of infantry. Inf plays the main role, including the "liberation" of enemy vehicles :)
Thus, i went back to the first HQ to rebuild the core.


Sold
everything :angel except the Ita Sniper (it also has Binoculars)

Bought
6x Medic
2x AT-Rifles with Binoculars
2x SMGs with AT-Mines + Mine Detectors (just in case i need that in future scenarios)
2x Opel Blitz
2x 88mm Flak
an Ammo Truck
4x Tank Crew

Remaining Prestige: 11

With the sniper, that's 20/25 units. Future purchases will be 1x Flamethrower, 1x Repair Truck and 2x Bazooka squads - and 2x Snipers (the Ita Sniper will be sold): i forgot to mention it in yesterday's post, but i deviate from my "only 1 sniper" rule, it is simply more convenient (and faster) to play with these instead of 1x Sniper + 1x Rifles.
Also, i "germanized" the core and will buy German squads for the missing units too: more expensive, but more damage - and i understand what they are saying :lol

Replayed "the XP Farm" with given strategy (just added the aux sniper to speed things up and replaced "MGs as spotters" with "AT-Rifles as spotters" ). The tank crews were brought up to 4 XP-bars (that's what the Ita had after the first scenario), the AT-Rifles and SMGs also to 4 (they had gathered 2 and respectively almost 4 during the scenario) and the medics to 8 again.



At the second HQ:

Sold
Sniper (Ita)

Bought
Repair Truck
2x Sniper with Binoculars
Flamethrower

Remaining Prestige: 16



Core makeup (23 of 25 units)

- support
2x 88mm Flak
2x Opel Blitz
Repair truck
Ammo truck

- infantry
6x Medic
2x AT-Rifles with Binoculars
2x SMGs with AT-Mines + Mine Detectors
4x Tank Crew
2x Sniper with Binoculars
Flamethrower
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Re: [Lets Play] Codename: Panzers ~ personal challenge (no videos)

Post by mythos » 2020-06-28 02:12, Sunday

.


5) Halfaya Pass



Basically the same strategy as before, just that this time i captured - in addition to the guns, "damaged" Dingos and "rescued" German vehicles - 3 Matildas and another Dingo :devil

https://i.imgur.com/tsnrmSB.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/9mZ7ES7.jpg

The tractors, recon cars and repair truck within the defense lines is to keep the AI from rushing through with its recon cars and trucks to the bases and recapture them (i only had the ammo truck and 2 Opels sitting there to maintain ownership).

With the Matildas among my lines, i could defend all core units :banana
Still lost some auxes and it took me about 8 tries to at least achieve "Very Good": you need to kill all vehicles from the counterattack...before they turn around and escape :crazy

Dunno how to get "Excellent" here - maybe without losing any units, but i definitively won't try that.
https://i.imgur.com/wEKmK2A.jpg
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Re: [Lets Play] Codename: Panzers ~ personal challenge (no videos)

Post by Ale » 2020-06-28 21:08, Sunday

while German officer on your screens looks like one would expect from Hollywood or Yugo-com movies of the time, serious and with strong lines (Hardy Krüger was preferred option in second)) somehow Italian officer looks like modern sportist or something similar :lol

forget it, nice game there have fun and hope, since Randowe is done :) you keep up lets play traditions after this one..... and honestly said maybe something without Germans on screen, had enough of them frankly but this in private, nobody to hear

:P

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Re: [Lets Play] Codename: Panzers ~ personal challenge (no videos)

Post by mythos » 2020-06-29 01:03, Monday

Ale wrote:
2020-06-28 21:08, Sunday
German officer on your screens looks like one would expect from Hollywood or Yugo-com movies of the time, serious and with strong lines (Hardy Krüger)
:toast i thought it was only me thinking that :lol


Ale wrote:
2020-06-28 21:08, Sunday
forget it, nice game there have fun and hope, since Randowe is done :) you keep up lets play traditions after this one..... and honestly said maybe something without Germans on screen, had enough of them frankly but this in private, nobody to hear

:P
I will play the Allied campaign too, probably also in a "living off the land" style :)
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Re: [Lets Play] Codename: Panzers ~ personal challenge (no videos)

Post by mythos » 2020-07-05 09:25, Sunday

.


6) Operation Battleaxe



Main Goals

1) Lure the British to the marked areas, and destroy them!
2) More British forces inbound! Lure them into the trap.
3) More British forces inbound! Lure them into the trap.
--> 250 prestige total


Optional

1) Do not let the enemy pilot escape. (50 prestige)


Secret

1) Fuel truck destroyed. (50 prestige)
2) At least one Matilda tank destroyed. (50 prestige)


Specials

4x Heavy Artillery
3x Recon Aircraft
(2x Carpet Bombers, if completing the Optional Goal)



Aux-only scenario :-X :fit

Restarted once to achieve the Optional - and another time, because enemy waves can get stuck beyond the map border, if trying to stop them too close to the map border (the last wave seems particularly vulnerable to this).


The first wave is easy: send the repair truck and hero (Dario's) tank already down to the main road (roughly draw a line from the mountain to the road and position the tank there). Also, send a tank and the ammo truck to the map center, actually to the entry point of the central Flak group.
For the Optional Goal, disband the northern and 1 of the eastern flak groups and send all infantry to the west (there is a small path leading into the mountains).
For directions, keep "the indicator points north" ( *screenie* from first post) in mind.
Meanwhile, send the SdKfz 222 down to the remaining tank, let the hero (Hans) jump out of that and mount the last tank. Then send this tank to Dario.
Also, from the (last active) eastern flak group, drop the sniper out of the watch tower and send it close to the uncontrollable spotter a little to the southeast - then set the sniper to passive and prone (i had the impression the sniper spots a little farther - and passive+prone prevents him from getting killed by enemy Bishops).

With everything set up, pick out 2 tanks once they arrive, then damage the others until their healthbar turns red - without destroying them. Once that's done, start destroying tanks - keep firing at them when they start fleeing.
Let your hero tanks slowly follow the Bishop, while repair and ammo trucks refit them.
Meanwhile, send the third tank (non-hero, from the map center) to chase the Bishop too - babysit the tank, else the Bishop might escape.
With the Bishop destroyed, send the tank (and ammo truck, if ready) back to the Supply Depot in the center - while the 2 hero tanks and repair truck get back to the "lure" position.

Once the Optional is achieved, position all the infantry in the southwest - there should be 2 Rifle squads with AT-Mines (they have 3 "ammo" each - i mention this because there are also a couple of Rifles with Magnetic Mines, with 1 "ammo" each) among them. Put those in a group, but don't lay the mines yet.

The second wave is a bit murderous: more tanks and they are accompanied by 3 Bishops this time.
Concentrate fire - you should be able to destroy 2 tanks (the small Stuarts) before you need to retreat.
When retreating: send the most damaged tank and the repair truck to the central Depot (once there: let the hero jump out and mount the fresh tank), while the second tank slowly drives (use the "backward driving" command) to the Depot as well. If damaged too badly, send it all the way to the depot and use another tank for luring the enemy to the flaks.
Cycle your tanks (and heroes) around, and draw the enemy units to the depot until at least 1 flak can shoot at them.
If you're lucky you will lure the Bishops close enough to take out 1 of them.
Once enough vehicles are destroyed, the survivors will also try to escape. Send your tanks after them (probably letting the most-damaged tank getting repaired at the depot), and send your ammo+repair trucks after your tanks for refit.

With this wave also gone, send your tanks and repair truck back to the "lure" position on the road, all the way to the east.
Meanwhile, finally, lay your mines (recommendation on the screenshot below).

The third wave arrives, again lots of tanks, 3 Bishops...and this time also 2 repair trucks.
This time shoot what you want, but i recommend concentrating on 1 of the tanks with 2 XP-stars, once they are close enough (do not order your tanks to roll into the enemy lines, but keep your position). Idea is similar to the previous wave. Just, once the repair trucks arrive, drop all the Bomber and Artillery specials on these.
With the enemy repair trucks gone (and the stuarts badly damaged), send the repair truck a little west, the damaged tank to the supply depot (if needed) and call the third tank down. Destroy the remaining Stuarts - if needed, retreat to the central supply depot again.
Once the tanks are gone the Bishops will again try to flee (actually, in this last play they went north into the valley - where i had dismounted all 3 flak traps :doh :lol the units of the third flak group where still nearby, so i let them mount the northern most flaks, once ready) - but with the minefield on the road, they will get stopped.

https://i.imgur.com/CqnbuqU.jpg
White: your own minefield
Yellow: abandoned flaks
Blue: central flak+depot
Orange: position for the blockade/luring

With the Bishops immobilized on the minefields (chase and destroy if any of them are still rolling), time to repair and ressuply your tanks, and take on the secret objectives. They are located in the far southeastern corner.
While on it, also chase any surviving enemy tank crews (they might have gone prone).
When that's done, destroy the last Bishops to complete the scenario :crazy :phew



I tried out different tactics (i.e. luring the enemies into the already existing large minefield in the west, or indeed north into the valley), but the above seems (to me) to be the most efficient when it comes to "kill vs loss" ratio.
If trying to lure the enemy waves to the north, chances are you lose auxiliary units from the "flak traps" there. If you don't destroy some enemies and instead lure the whole group to the central "flak trap", you probably not only lose units from the trap, but also a tank.

Anyway, for this dense exhausting execution of plans, the third medal :banana
https://i.imgur.com/Yit2Q1f.jpg





7) Headquaters III


Bought
2x Bazooka squads with Binoculars

Remaining prestige
696 (actually, i could refit all the infantry units with a more fitting set of "attachments" according to their roles - i could also outfit the medics with stuff, but i am not quite sure yet what is needed the most :fused and medics with grenades and molotovs, their only equipment besides a rubber boat, is a no go ;) )
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