Alrighty, here comes the second part of my series on tough situations you’ll find yourself in, this time from the perspective of the Panzer Elite. First off, the PE is a faction that started off absurdly overpowered and has since been toned down repeatedly, through several patches. They now find the Americans significantly tougher opponents, and the British, while vulnerable early on to a well-microed PG/Infantry HT push, are very hard to unseat if they survive into the late game and build a colony with fortresses, officers in those fancy red uniforms and white hats, Hindu slaves and— whoops that’s from one of my college essays on the British East India Company. What I meant was, PE have a hard time taking out British once they’ve got a 17-lbr, multiple trenches and tanks up, even if PE has similar army in terms of manpower consumption.
1.) Fast M8. I’m talkin’ fast — so fast that all you’ve got is one or two panzershreck squads when that hellcat comes racing over, .50 cal blazing, main gun sniping PG after PG, sending their helpless little bodies bouncing high into the air. The problem here is that the M8 can force your essential support vehicles (Infantry HT, Mortar HT) to run for their lives while his Riflemen attack in force. A well-microed M8 can also constantly kite your men, bleeding your manpower by sniping PGs that cost 45 MP to reinforce. And anytime an M8 gets on the same screen as your Kettenrad, kiss it goodbye unless you picked Luftwaffe and can cloak your Ketten in time.
2.) Defensive line with Motorpool units. This is when the American player has Rifles, a Quad, an M8 and two AT guns guarding VPs or another crucial point. This is one tough nut to crack and it sometimes devolves into a really dicey game of chance. The AT guns prevent you from advancing any light vehicles, so you will need to bombard them with your Mortar HT. But the Mortar HT must be carefully microed so it doesn’t get into range of those 57mms. Even then a good U.S. player will shift his AT guns around and replace dead ones instantly with Riflemen, who can reinforce immediately off the Quad. Come time to actually attack, the Quad suppresses your men while grenades and BAR fire rain down on them. The M8 goes BEHIND your men to hunt down your precious, vulnerable 40-fuel Mortar HT.
3.) Snipers. My God, are Snipers annoying!!! With three-man squads, PE is incredibly vulnerable to a Sniper, which can kill 1/3 of a squad and when you have Rifles focus-firing the survivors, guys die fast. Scout Cars can now detect Snipers in the beta, but a smart Sniper that snipes from behind the protection of Riflemen and AT units will simply be a constant thorn in your side. You really can’t do squat directly against a Sniper, especially given the nerf to the Luftwaffe Ketten, which could detect Snipers from pretty far away and not be detected itself. This was sweet. Luftwaffe also has Butterfly Bombs, which can frequently kill a Sniper because Butterflies are cluster munitions and a Sniper has low individual HP. Four-man squads is a decent investment, and remember Snipers kill TWO GUYS AT A TIME IF THEY’RE IN A HALFTRACK!
4.) Early trench, right up in your GRILL. Man, is this annoying. A Tommy section up in your face, forcing you to respond to a well-placed trench that you can’t defeat without researching Incendiary Grenades. Particularly nasty when the trench gets you by the balls, say by cutting off a crucial strategic point. There’s naught to be done about an early trench, aside from watching for one and constantly applying pressure on your enemy. Best idea is to go for his mobile HQ and force him into a position where he needs the men from that trench to stop you from killing his base structures. Over time, trenches stall you long enough for the British player to get up all kinds of disgusting emplacements, which really puts you in a bind.
5.) British colonialism. By which I mean a sprawling base that can defend two VPs (the right side of Angoville comes to mind) against armor and infantry. There may even be a 25-lbr tucked inside to make attacking extra tough. You really can’t let the game devolve into the kind of stalemate where the British player can build two 17-lbrs, a Bofors and multiple trenches plus a casualty-clearing station. He can do all this AND field a couple Cromwells and a Firefly, if you sit by and let him build up. Nope, your objective must be to force the British into decisive battles and apply constant pressure throughout. It’s always possible you can somehow overwhelm a British colony by sheer force, but as he has artillery support and Button Vehicle and assorted nastiness, plus he’s got reinforcing infantry huddled behind emplacements and time to react.