Since none of the infantry soldiers is skilled as gunner, they are not likely to hit much and will only be able to fire a handful of rounds per minute, but the simple fact that there are two guns for the German tanks to worry about instead of one has its own merit.
The last crew member from the left gun is killed by a burst of enemy machinegun fire. We order two soldiers as well as the squad leader to man that gun. The squad leader has good leadership and even some basic experience as gunner, and should have much better chance to actually hit something.
The crew reaches the gun after a wild dash, with machinegun rounds following close on their heels.
With the enemy infantry advance all but broken, the remaining two tanks advance.
Notice the shadow effects!
It's not visible in this shot, but one of the tanks actually has his main gun damaged and is only able to fire with its MG. In the background, the field of death.
A lucky hit from one of the re-manned guns immobilizes one of the advancing tanks.
But the remaining tank continues to advance, and some of our guys break and panic.
Luckily not all! But with inexperienced crews manning the remaining guns, the remaining German tank continues to press forward slowly and with little to fear. The anti-tank rifles soon run out of ammo.
Left with little more than a pistol, we order the anti-tank rifleman to pick up some other weapons from fallen comrades. We order Gefreitor Ponomaryev to move inside the trench to one of the bodies.
Clicking on the "Combat Gear" button (which indicates the amount of equipment available at a given position), the Equipment window opens up. We drop the AT Rifle and pick up an SVT-40 rifle and all available ammo.
Hit! One of the tank guns finally scores a direct hit on the turret from close distance. The German crews bails out, but there are no survivors.
Despite many casualties, we've managed to repel the enemy attacks, destroy or at least severely damage all tanks and break the morale of the infantry. We've learned that the key to a good defense once committed to a position is to stay on top of events. You don't have to micromanage your troops as much as shown in this walkthrough - soldiers will pick up ammo and even weapons should their own become useless on their own. But the artificial intelligence controlling one's soldiers is only able to react to the
situation, and it takes a human player's interaction to actually foresee events before they happen, plan ahead of time to gain the initiative, and make sure that the various elements of a force act in coordination towards the goal of winning the battle.
This concludes the third article in the Walkthrough series. In the next and last article titled COMMAND & CONTROL, all elements will come together as we will explore the difficulties of maintaining command & control under fluid and fast changing battlefield conditions.
Martin van Balkom
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