The first part of this mission sometimes seems impossible; if you can get past that, the rest is easy
Theater of War Mission Pack: The Southern Fronts
Mission: Spring Rasputitsa
Difficulty Level: General
Commander: None—this is a special solo mission.
This mission seems basically misconceived. It’s going to be unclear to a newb player how to proceed, and the mission also doesn’t really make much sense, since the German forces on the map are huge, and the Russian force is ridiculously limited in comparison to what it’s asked to do. The object is to knock out 9 Pz4s and StuGs that are stuck in the mud all over the map, defended by numerous elite German infantry squads.
You can’t just charge out the front gate of your base, since you’re way underpowered compared to the German force just at that base—plus if you do that the tanks will start coming unstuck and running off the map, which means you lose.
The way to win is to fight your way down to the far-right territory point in the little canyon where the tanks exit. You can just park your force there and shoot the tanks like turkeys as they approach or pass. The tricky part is fighting your way down there, past the many German infantry squads and two tanks that lie in your path.
What usually works—not always, for some reason—is as follows:
- Put one of your starting conscript squads in the scout car and take the muni point at the far lower left corner of the map. Bring them back when the point is capped.
- Meanwhile bring in two mortar teams and an HMG, and upgrade one of your Guards Rifle squads to carry LMGs.
- Put the mortar teams in the upper right corner of your base, inside the fence. Everyone else goes out the right-side gate and about 20m north—far enough to draw attention from German infantry, but not so far that you can immediately spy the two stuck tanks or are otherwise in German HMG range. Place your Maxim HMG where it can cover German infantry approaches without being suppressed by German MG42s. Do your best to survive the German infantry onslaught that ensues. Your HMG(s) should pin the German infantry, while your mortar teams kill them. Retreat squads to base when they are taking steady casualties.
If you do reasonably well, you’ll eventually kill all the German infantry that are visible. When that happens, quickly bring your force forward a bit, toward the destination territory point. You will see one or two stuck German tanks ahead and to your left. Use your HMG to suppress infantry in that area and bring one or both of your mortars closer if needed. Use your Zis gun and GR squad with PTRSs to kill the tank(s). Use your conscripts to reinforce more important squads and to man de-crewed MG42s. Have your other infantry scrounge German AT rifles. Suicide your scout car because you don’t need it. Bring in more conscripts as needed. Use your now-large HMG force to suppress any further infantry around the destination territory point. Reinforce your squads as you’re able, and set up along the lower edge of that territory point area, with some units inside the territory point and maybe one 2-man HMG squad and an AT-rifle-equipped unit on the canyon wall to the north. Make two more AT guns (45mm is all that’s available) a Guards Rifle squad or two, and an engineer squad, and bring them down to your new forward operating base.
Now comes the turkey shoot. You just wait there, and the Germans, by and by, will try to drive past, sometimes one tank on its own, sometimes two or even three together accompanied by lots of infantry. Use HMGs and mortars to pin/kill the infantry and your AT guns and AT rifles to kill the armor. Use your GR squads’ (the ones with LMGs) button vehicle ability to slow the tanks—yeah, it’s bogus, but what can you do? Scrounge abandoned AT rifles if you can reach them safely. By the end you should have not only your vet-3 Zis gun but also two vetted 45mm guns, and about a half dozen squads with AT rifles—that amount of AT power will take out a tank in mere seconds. You may also be able to repair and recrew a damaged German tank.
Note that there are sometimes long intervals between one tank attempting to escape, and the next.
Also note that there is a bonus sub-mission in which you have to capture a stuck/disabled German Brummbar (?) vehicle. I never bother with that. It’s very difficult, and it’s also the sort of thing that makes sense to do only after taking care of the mobile tanks—though of course, once you’ve taken care of the mobile tanks, the mission ends.