UN-OFFICIAL STRATEGY GUIDE FOR STEEL PANTHERS VERSION 1.0
Compatible with STEEL PANTHER version 1.1
Hi there I just couldn't help sending to you guys my favorite tips and
hints about SP , this game is too good and I just want to share the little
I've learn in the hope your comments will help me improve my
gameplay.Moreover the lack of good reference book make this kind of
post usefull ( at least I hope so). Let' call it the Un-Official Strategy
Book ! As a bonus this UOSG is written in an extremely academic
language with perfect spelling so it will be an exellent occasion for you
tough colonials or noble sons of Wellington to learn something really
new : the pure french continental english
1. About 88 AT and german defense .
At start your most potent weapon is the 88 AT buy one section of
those ( they are cheap you can buy more but it is just not fun and
historical to have more than a couple of those in your batallion we are
not playing DOOM II here !) .
88 AT are very accurate , they can punch a hole in any kind of enemy
units , but they are very vulnerable . Use them only for long distance
kills when visibility is good . in scenario where the enemy have heavy
artillery move them the turn after they fire . It is the priority target of
aircrafts and artillery , have them stay more than 15 hexes away from
enemy units. Ammunition is scarce so use it carefully .
In defense scenarios , when they are not spotted yet , set their
opportunity fire to one hexe . Otherwise they will be spotted too early
and the enemy will fire everything available at them and will not engage
the bulk of his units before your spotted 88 AT are destroyed ( well at
least if the player is a competant human , the AI is more
straightforward) . You should deliver a decisive blow when your 88
open fire during your turn using their 6 shot . A well trained 88 should
normally kill any unit in 3 shots at 20/30 hex range , so normally 4
(maybe more) of the most heavy enemy tanks should be burning wrecks
after your first "broadside" . Have your battalion leader (in A0 unit) less
than 5 hexes away from your 88 section leader (the "0" unit ) , it helps
greatly pass the morale check during fire and...successfull morale check
improve *a lot* the accuracy for consecutive shots at the same target
Do not forget to move some cheap big truck or cavalry to draw the
enemy opportunity fire *before* you fire your 88 AT otherwise they
may be suppressed / destroyed by the return fire . After this you may
want to move your 88 AT away from enemy spotting range to lay
another ambush before massed direct fire from enemy start pounding
your vulnerable crew next turn...Your opponent will just see 4 of his
best units burning without any explanation for that , not good for the
enemy major's morale ! I strongly recommand not to place those AT on
top of the hills , sure they have a beautifull view and enjoy the
landscape but it is the first place where the 152 mm preparatory (ie just
before first turn ) shell from your human opponent will land . If you play
against the AI hill tops are just great so different opponents , different
If you like to follow the books , you may want to lay a carefull ambush
near the objective with a first line of infantry/engineers with range set to
1 and some AT with their range set to the distance to infantry plus one
. The idea behind this is to have the enemy tank bump into the infantry
and every AT and infantry fire at the same time. Sure you will kill the
first recon unit but it is a cheap price for him to pay in order to spot
your complete defense system , and your opponent will engage your AT
immediately with all his firepower (since he his the attacker he his
supposed to have more than you and you will loose).If you really want
to play the infantry ambush I suggest you cover the area with smoke (or
use reverse slope) in order to avoid concentration of fire from the
attacker and take his incoming units piece meal preferably with your
enginners (I suggest to stiffen your grunts with some armor adjacent to
kill instantly any unit foolish enough to enter that fog and avoid any
retaliation from incoming unit) . Works great with the computer ,
haven't tried it yet with a human opponent but it should embarass him
because he will not even be able to spot for artillery because of the
In offense 88 AT must be used to kill from a distance the heavy enemy
armor detected by your recon units . Be carefull to leave them outside
retaliation range ( 15 hexes minimum), do not forget to move them the
turn after they have fired (here will come the enemy artillery) and...
move them with AA units because they are the preferred target for
aircrafts.I know , I know, 88 AT were originally AA weapons but ...
they still need some AA to protect them !
2-About setting infantry trap against armor:
0 range is usefull for nothing , if you want to trap tank set your range to
1 since close combat occurs at 1 hex distance not 0. Maybe 0 range
can be usefull if you want a sniper to stay unspotted in a tree hex (I 'm
not so sure it works). Use engineers preferably because they can blow
off almost any tanks with flamethrowers and satchel charges.Preferably
use your infantry in reverse slope condition in order to avoid enemy
concentration of fire once they are detected.See below.
3-About stopping heavy russian armor .and the reverse slope trap
Try those 88 AT , set their range to 1 (to avoid them being detected
early with opportunity fire ) and fire massively all of them at long range
when your enemy have commited the bulk of their forces (if visibility is
good).Of course after they fired wyou may want to change their range
.Do not forget to have all your leader within command range(5 hexes) to
improve the accuracy of successive shots. If visibility is bad try the
reverse slope trap (just set all you units massed behind a hill or forest in
the path of the enemy) in order to avoid enemy
concentration of fire . Have your tanks behind your engineers and
destroy the incoming forces piece meal (thanks to your concentration of
fire) , it can be usefull also to back them up with some 88 AT (to punch
big holes into those KV easier) in the rear area but not too far
since visibility is bad. Just be sure the enemy has fired all his
opportunity fire before firing your AT : just move or fire (alternately to
avoid enemy accuracy increase) a couple of expendable or well armored
unit . After a while repelling any kind of armor attack will be second
I've found the reverse slope works also pretty well against the german
too, he cannot use his long ranged 88 and his superior accuracy , he
must fight your T34 in close combat at a disaventage.
PS: You can also use smoke in front of your units in order to create the
artificial "reverse slope" , it is even better because the enemy doesn't
benefit from beeing on top of the hill (I think there is a bonus for that) .
4 Searching for a way out of the Mines!
Yes those are really a pain in my ... too ! I think mine are the most
potent weapon of a defending AI.
I had very few scenarii with them . I used some cavalry to detect the
minefield and advance quite fast , one cavalry will not always detect the
minefield but 4 of them stand a good chance to have some losses in a
dense minefield area (I have them followed them closely by some
_support_ expendable Stugs just in case they get really unlucky to pass
theminefield without losses!) , once the mined area is detected I
dismountmy engineers from my tanks and try to find a way out of it , its
seems you do not have to wait till the engineer clear the minefield
completely, sometime the engineer can make a path , for the
mechanized units . It seem also once the engineers are in the hex you
can move trough the hex safely , it seemed to work but I just tested it
once so I'm not sure 100% . Once you have crossed the dangerous area
, just repeat the process with advancing cavalry. The funny thing is that
enemy artillery do not take long to fall on your dismounted engineers so
you better find the path quickly ...
Maybe there is another way to avoid minefield ,
attacking enemy objective from the rear after a large enciclement (I
haven't tried this one yet !) . According to the latest info I got from
other players , the minefields are always in your path whatever it is !
5- Best reconaissance
For me the best reconaissance unit is the cavalry , they are not
fully destroyed when they bump into enemy position (unlike armored
carriers or light tanks),you can use them again after rallying, they are
cheap, and they spot much better than vehicles since they are infantry
so why not buying a platoon of them as support unit ?
6-Spending enemy opportunity fire f
Move alternately 2 expendable or heavily armored units , the
enemy will switch target and loose all cumulated accuracy bonus .
When the target stop firing move some armored killer adjacent
preferably in his rear .Take care if you want to dispatch him with
infantry since the bad guy may still have some machine gun left and
your precious engineers may be pinned before shooting , move some
cavalry within range in order to spend his MG opportunity fire . Be
carefull this adjacent aproach can be dangerous if you suspect some
enemy concentration around the target .
If you face an enemy concentration let him move toward your
position and use the reverse slope trap to defeat him piecemeal.
7-Fighting "invisible" armies (ie Japanese or Finns)
For those who are upset by invisible Japs , I think I've found a
miracle cure ... screen your precious core with some unexpensive
(support) snipers , they will die detecting the incoming japs and you will
crush them before they can crush you . Of course I understand it is very
un-american to sacrifice precious human lives just for detection ( I would
expect this from Russians or Japanese ) but c'est la guerre SP way
I haven't experimented it (not played the american side yet) so
can anyone confirm if it works ? This technique worked not so bad
when I played the russians against the invisible finish army ...
here is another interresting tip from Craig Boulton:
Pascal, I found another way as well. Put your core units behind the
objective area, hopefully in cover. Buy a lot of fast armored cars and
put them there too. When you see victory flags change color you charge
over the hill with the armored cars. Most of them will get whacked, but
so what, they are only support. Once the japs have used up all there
shots, you go in with core units and rack up the kills. If you have
movement points left, hide the core units again. Repeat until all japs
8-About attacks and smoke.
First you have to decide if you have "long distance" supremacy.Long
distance supremacy is the ability to have enough long distance gunnery
to inflict a decisive blow to your enemy without much risks for
retaliation . This is the case if you are the german with enough 88 AT (I
consider using more than 2 of them is "cheating" ) or enough Panthers
or Tigers . Usually the german can be expected to have long distance
If you have long distance supremacy do not use smoke , If you do not
have long distance supremacy buy a lot of cheap mortars to lay smoke
lavishly along your avenue of approach and go straight for the objective
(use some 152 mm to soften them before) with your troops massed and
covered with smoke.Remember smoke is the most potent weapon if you
are outclassed by enemy gunnery.
If you have long distance supremacy almost everything will work ...
make some concentrated attack since the enemy will probably use
smoke (unless it is the dumb AI).
Always recon before moving precious units , I like to have some
expendable support cavalry spearheading the attack , then some support
stugs or heavy close support tanks mounted by support engineers and
then my precious core , if you can keep your force concentrated nothing
can stop you exept mines , maybe also enemy artillery can disrupt a
little too ... Have some air support attack along your path of advance
during preparatory phase to take out some potent long distance killers
and/or use smoke for cover if you do not have long distance supremacy.
9-Do not forget AA
The enemy aircraft will always bomb your most important assets ,
protect them with specialised AA units.
Try to have your units within 5 hexes range of the platoon/section
leader (the "0" unit) and the platoon leader within 5 hexes range of the
battalion leader (A0 unit) . Your suppression will be removed more easily
and your firing accuracy will improve greatly with consecutive shots.
Always try to rally before firing since suppression is very bad for
11-Off board artillery
Everything less than 150 mm is just good for laying smoke . Corollary
:buy cheap mortars for smoke, buy nothing but 150 mm for OBA.
12-Experience and morale.
Morale , experience and leaders ability are extremely important factors
in SP. Very often a veteran outguned unit will kill or rout an
inexperienced enemy thanks to superior accuracy and rate of fire .The
more you kill enemy units the fastest your experience grows.The unit
credited for the kill is the unit who destroyed the vehicle or killed the
last infantryman . Alway have your support units supress the enemy and
leave the kill for your core units in order to gain more experience , use
every opportunity to finish enemy units.Exeption (bug?) if you kill a unit
with area fire (targeting the hex rather than the unit , this happen when
you use flamethrowers for instance...) you won't be credited for the killl
Hope it helps
Pascal Ode ( Compuserve e-mail:100257,1375 )
PS: This is the very first version of the UOSG . I didn't have enough
time to play a full campaign with all this on line chatting so I'm
conscious there is a lot of potential for improvement, I will be very
pleased to get all your comments for the next version.This text file is
freeware and you can use it as you like , just drop me a post to help me
improve it .