PANZER FRONT - PlayStation FAQ (USA Missions - 1 of 3)

by J Woodrow  <jonjon132002@yahoo.co.uk> 

Version 1.0  - 07/07/2002

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                      U S A  M I S S I O N S
                      ______________________


            In tank battles the winner is almost always 
               the one who finds the enemy first. 

_________________________________________________________________________

PANZER FRONT - PLAYSTATION

  Released: April 2001 (UK)
Developers: Enterbrain
 Publisher: JVC

[This game was first released in Dec 1999 on Dreamcast in Japan]
_________________________________________________________________________


C O N T E N T S 
_______________

 
   INTRODUCTION
   PLAYING THE GAME
   'TANK SELECT'
   'SELECT MAP'
   FIRST DRIVE

U S A  M I S S I O N S
______________________

    1: Training-1
    2: Training-2

---------------------------------------------------------
S P O I L E R  A L E R T
---------------------------------------------------------
 
    3: 1944/ 7/ 9  St. Jean-de-Daye
    4: 1944/ 7/10  Le Dezert
    5: 1944/ 8/15  Argentan
    6: 1944/12/18  Poteau
    7: 1944/12/21  Saint-Vith
    8: 1945/ 3/ 7  Ludendorf Bridge

   'TACTICS'
   'ACE'
   CONCLUSION

_________________________________________________________________________


I N T R O D U C T I O N
_______________________


PANZER FRONT is a game unlike any other on the PlayStation. From the 
title and the cover artwork, you might expect it to be at most a chance 
to charge around in big tanks blasting anything that moves; perhaps an 
arcade point-and-shoot joyride. It soon proves to be very far from it. 
This remarkable game is actually a realistic and highly challenging Tank 
Battle Simulator. 

What this means is that while you do indeed get to take charge of loads 
of faithfully modelled WWII tanks and lob shells around in full and 
glorious 3D, you make progress mostly by brain power and not just with a 
happy trigger finger. You fight on realistic battlefields against other 
tanks which you must spot before they spot you. The player must work with 
the capabilities and limitations of each tank, planning a strategy and 
acting quickly to meet the challenge from a variety of convincingly 
determined opponents. Which is not to say that all this doesn't involve a 
good deal of charging around blowing up stuff!

You have a choice of vehicles from either the German, Russian or Allied 
forces, and all the famous fighting vehicles of WWII are available for 
you to command - Panzers and Panthers, Churchill and Sherman tanks and 
different models of the T-34, as well as the fearsome and deadly King 
Tiger. The handling characteristics of each are noticeably different 
according to their specification, and because you can subtly alter a good 
many of its features, the game is as challenging as you want it to be - 
yet it is never easy. You must fight by stages through each authentic 
wartime scenario, giving some 30-odd varied and well-paced battles in 
all. Be warned - some are straightforward but others are extremely tough. 
It will take many hours of practice until you have mastered this game.

Your first few attempts may well be maddeningly frustrating, as your tank 
seems to react very, very slowly and too often you are blasted by 
everybody else from all sides while you try to figure out the unintuitive 
control system and fire off missiles in all directions without hitting 
anything and see the 'MISSION FAILED' screen again and again...

The pity would be to give up on the game, for once you get to grips with 
the controls and have groped your way through the first couple of 
training missions, PANZER FRONT proves itself to be a thoroughly 
absorbing and very exciting game, historically accurate and meticulously 
researched. In all, as close as most of us (thankfully) will get to being 
in a real tank in a real war. 

There are any number of ways to approach each battle. The number and type 
of enemies you face will depend on which route you take, how quickly you 
take the enemy on and what you do with your other forces and so on. How 
you work through the game depends on your own abilities as well as your 
choice of tank. This means that a true walkthrough for PANZER FRONT is 
pointless as well as impractical, and this FAQ should be taken as simply 
an introduction to the game and a guide to basic tactics. The routes and 
strategies suggested are not the definitive ones, just suggestions to 
help you get through those first missions so you can become adept enough 
to start planning battles of your own. 

Try the training levels with this guide just to get yourself started, and 
then you should be confident enough to go off and explore those other 
missions at your own pace. Sometimes it is no fun knowing exactly what to 
do and when to do it, but then again you will miss ALL the fun getting 
stuck and giving up. If you have the determination and patience to figure 
it out for yourself from the manual and by experience, then you will 
probably find it more satisfying, but anyway I hope this guide will at 
least give you some idea of what you can expect from PANZER FRONT if you 
haven't tried it before. More importantly I think it may help if you have 
tried the game a couple of times and perhaps given up in frustration. It 
really isn't so difficult to play, but it takes a little patience. When 
you take the time to understand the controls and begin to think 
strategically, you will begin to get the best out of this complex and 
challenging game.


_________________________________________________________________________


P L A Y I N G  T H E  G A M E
_____________________________


For the unprepared then, PANZER FRONT must have about the highest "What 
the hell is going on?" factor of any title on the PlayStation. The 
learning curve is steep, and for a good reason: this is not your run-of-
the-mill 'Shoot 'em Up' blast fest. It is as near as possible a realistic 
enactment of the deadly, heartstopping, sometimes thrilling experience of 
a contest between matched opponents in battle - with the all too frequent 
consequence of sudden and unexpected destruction meted out at the hands 
of an unseen enemy. At least with a game there is a chance to try again.

If you are experienced at playing the game I will say now that I am far 
from an expert, and there isn't anything here that you won't know 
already. For those who are keen to try it out; let's take it one stage at 
a time and try to get the very best out of it from the start.

Load up the disc and enjoy some sample in-game scenes mixed with dramatic 
B/W film clips of WWII tank action at the introduction. Then press X to 
choose 'START' and you arrive at the Menu screen. 

The default screen is headed 'Veteran Mode' and there are actually three 
levels of difficulty which can be set by choosing 'OPTION'. You see at 
the top of the Option screen that these are Rookie, Veteran and Ace. The 
course of the game is pretty much the same for each, but the controls are 
configured a little differently. If you switch between the modes with 
LEFT and RIGHT, you see which of the settings shown below them are 'on' 
or 'off' for each of the three experience levels. Don't bother with the 
'Rookie' option which is for spoon-fed babies. 'Ace' means that you are 
fighting without a lot of the automatic aids, and because you might find 
the control system a little complex at first, leave the default settings 
for now and play as 'Veteran'. (Which we aren't yet, but hope to be 
soon.) 

I would suggest just one change to the 'Veteran' options: use DOWN to 
highlight 'Double Loading Speed' and press LEFT to turn this to 'on'. 
You'll thank yourself for it later.

[While you have this screen open, use R1 to check out some of the game 
Sound options. You can highlight 'Sound effects' and scroll through half 
a hundred superb battle sounds. 21 and 22 sound particularly satisfying I 
think, and check out the barrage of shots and explosions in the 40's. 31 
and 32 will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and the 
very last one will probably make you dive for cover! Attention to detail 
is often overlooked in the construction of games, and I feel this is a 
good indication of the quality of this one.]

As far as the choice of controller 'Type' goes, these are all explained 
and compared in a table in your manual. Use DOWN to highlight 'Controller 
settings' and take a look. Types 1 and 2 are for digital controllers, and 
if you somehow do not have an analog pad, then now is the time to splash 
out on one. (In fact the Dual Shock adds greatly to the experience; you 
feel every thump and rumble and Ding! as shells explode on all sides.) 
This leaves the choice of Types 3, 4 and 5 which suit Rookie, Veteran and 
Ace respectively. Choose Type 4 (or Type 2 if you prefer digital), leave 
all the other settings alone for now and EXIT. SAVE these settings to 
your memory card if you wish.

The game choice is between 'TANK SELECT' and 'TACTICS'. The scenario for 
each is exactly the same, but these give you the choice now between 
taking command of 'real' or fictitious tanks. The difference is a matter 
of preference, but there are certain other options available within the 
'TACTICS' game which we will consider later.

It isn't a great help, but you might as well put the kettle on, then sit 
back and choose 'TUTORIAL'. The reason it is not much use is that you 
cannot take over the controls to learn in safety - you will have to try 
everything out for the first time on the actual battlefield. Another 
reason is that it all looks deceptively simple because none of the 
tutorial targets are shooting back!

'TANK SELECT' is now highlighted, so press X and let's take a look...


_________________________________________________________________________


T A N K  S E L E C T 
____________________


In this mode you see that you have a choice between six tanks. These are 
all fictitious but carry the characteristics of various real tanks which 
are modelled in the 'TACTICS' game. These fictitious tanks are generally 
more robust, therefore making the missions a little simpler, and so this 
is a good way to familiarise yourself with the methods of operation for 
any tank in PANZER FRONT.

The choice in this mode is between:

    Aureole ....... German
    NC-152 ........ Russian
    SHORTBULL ..... Allied
    T69E3 ......... Allied
    CY-122C ....... Russian
    E-79 .......... German

Choosing either tank between the three armies means that you can play 
three different scenarios one at a time. For this guide we will play as 
the Allies and choose the SHORTBULL. This is about the biggest of all 
these tanks and so it should stand up to the more experienced gunners 
facing you! Actually, it reflects the eternal trade-off in tank design: 
Small = light and fast but lightly armed and weak / Big = strong and 
heavily armed but slow. Broadly, the choice between the two tanks for 
each army is for one of either of these types, although as mentioned the 
relative scenario will be the same whichever you choose.

Simply scroll left or right until your choice is highlighted at the top 
of the screen. Press X. 

(Stirring martial music..!)

You now have the opportunity to press DOWN to highlight 'TANK STATUS', at 
which another press of X will let you see your tank's vital statistics. 
The most vital is 'Armor'. Notice the ShortBull (as with all tanks) has 
thicker armour at the front, and so you will nearly always want to meet 
your foe head-on. Don't worry about all those other fairly meaningless 
figures for now unless you are a trainspotter type. Press SQUARE to see 
your tank in all its glory. Press CIRCLE a couple of times to step back 
and then press UP to highlight 'SELECT MAP' and press X again.


_________________________________________________________________________


S E L E C T  M A P
__________________


Below the title is a grey box, reading: 
 
    ,---------------------------------------------------------,
    |||||| USA ||||| Training-1 |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    '---------------------------------------------------------'

If you press X this box opens up and you see that this is the first in a 
list of missions continuing with Training-2 and then some dates and 
French place names are listed. There are 8 missions in all:

    ,---------------------------------------------------------,
    |      USA       Training-1                               |
    |                Training-2                               |
    |              1944/ 7/ 9  St. Jean-de-Daye               |
    |              1944/ 7/10  Le Dezert                      | 
    |||||||||||||| 1944/ 8/15||Argentan |||||||||||||||||||||||
    |              1944/12/18  Poteau                         |
    |              1944/12/21  Saint-Vith                     |
    |              1945/ 3/ 7  Ludendorf Bridge               |
    '---------------------------------------------------------'

You can scroll up and down and highlight any mission, as 'Argentan' is 
here, and therefore play any mission in any order. There is no 
'storyline' to follow; each mission is a separate episode. To begin with 
we need to get to know our tank, and the training levels are set with 
less action than the later missions (although you will still be fighting 
for real like in all the others), so the first in the list is the proper 
place to begin. Move the cursor back up to 'Training-1' and let's get 
started.

You can press CIRCLE again to step back one screen and now press START. A 
small box-out appears with MISSION BRIEFING highlighted, so press X again 
to assess your task:


       T r a i n i n g  1  D e c  1 9 4 4 ,  A r d e n n e s
    ____________________________________________________________


                       Enemy vehicles sighted!
                 2 tanks and 3 SP guns approaching!
        Destroy all enemy vehicles to the east of the village!



Well, that seems straightforward enough. Press X once more and feel the 
tension build as the loading screen takes over. Soon enough there is your 
tank directly ahead in the 'Battle screen' and we are in business.


_________________________________________________________________________


F I R S T  D R I V E
____________________


If this is your first time playing PANZER FRONT, then forget the mission 
for the moment; we are just going to learn how to handle the tank and the 
other controls. 

You are playing as Fireball 2 and normally your efforts will be in 
following or giving orders to co-operate with your other forces to 
destroy the enemy. For just this first occasion, don't press any buttons, 
but watch Fireball 1 as he heads off to meet the enemy. Above his tank 
are Green numbers which show you the distance between your tank and his. 
Pretty soon a Red triangle appears ahead and you see Fireball 1 exclaim 
"We've found the enemy!" (Or something similar.) Clearly then, the 
direction of any enemy target when spotted is shown by a RED triangle. 
Your priority throughout the game is to quickly identify and if necessary 
go to meet the challenge of a Red marker.

Press START and you are presented with a MAP of the current battle arena. 
This is the Map screen. Yours is the vehicle flashing Blue (denoting any 
friendly force over which you have control) and there is your 
identification - Fireball 2. Press and hold RIGHT and the cursor tracks 
along the road to highlight the position of Fireball 1 who is flashing 
Green, which denotes a friendly force but not controllable by you. Press 
and hold RIGHT again, and some distance up the road is another tank, and 
this is coloured Red (for Danger!) and will also flash as your cursor 
passes over and you can now see it is labelled 'Assault Gun'. Since it is 
directly ahead (as that red onscreen marker was earlier) you can be sure 
that this is the Enemy to which Fireball 1 is referring.

Use the D-pad and the front shoulder buttons to zoom in and out and 
scroll around. This is useful for noting gradients and ditches which the 
top view doesn't show. You can see the full extent of the arena and 
various types of terrain, including roads and bridges as well as rivers 
and trees and the location of buildings. The map for each arena is 
fundamental to your successful progress through the game, so take the 
time now to familiarise yourself with the concept. Although you can 
scroll around the full arena, only that one enemy is to be found - 
obviously because the others mentioned in the Mission Briefing have not 
been located yet. Only those forces shown by triangular markers on your 
Battle screen will be identified on your map. Press CIRCLE to exit the 
Map and once again do not press any buttons, but watch as your brave 
Leader goes to engage the enemy. Pretty soon, and with just a few puffs 
of smoke, Fireball 1 declares "Enemy Assault Gun destroyed!" Good show! 
Take another look at your map and scroll along to see what he's done. 

There is the enemy tank, but now it is coloured Grey and is no longer 
flashing and does not need to be identified - clearly for him Ze Vor Iss 
Over. (OK, I'm not going to do that anymore.) Whenever a target is 
knocked out, you will find these greyed-out wrecks, and they can be 
helpful in orienting yourself quickly should you get lost on later 
missions. Press CIRCLE again and await developments. In a few moments 
another Red triangle appears onscreen probably followed swiftly by 
another as Fireball 1 declares once more "We've found the enemy!" You can 
take another look at your map to see the location of these, not far from 
the first one. Time to lend a hand I think.

[There is a certain random element to each mission, so the actual 
sequence might differ from that described here, but the principle is the 
same. For example Fireball 1 might not take out the first opponent but 
come under fire from two or even three at once and not kill any of them. 
If so, you can check for 'dead' tanks later.]

Exit the map screen with CIRCLE again and let's get to grips with the 
tank controls. Press and HOLD L2 + R2 and your metal steed rumbles into 
life. As you trundle up the slope, lift off one or other button. The tank 
begins to turn, and most likely in the opposite direction from what you 
are expecting! If you know anything about tanks (or paid attention to the 
introductory film clips), then you know that the tracks on each side feed 
across teeth on the motorised wheels to give traction. You can operate 
either side individually while the other is 'locked' to force the tank to 
turn against it. Think of it as a brake on each track that is always on 
and you have to hold the relative button to release it. It will become 
like second nature very quickly. 

Advance along the road and you will arrive at the village of Poteau where 
by now Fireball 1 will probably declare "We've taken massive damage!" and 
if so the red markers will disappear off your screen. He is no longer 
able to report the enemy positions, and so these will no longer appear on 
your map, but of course they are still out there. It's up to you now! As 
you pass through Poteau you will see another Red triangle marker appear 
somewhere off to the right ahead, and this time there are Red numbers 
similar to the Green ones you saw above Fireball 1 at the beginning. The 
numbers indicate the distance to your enemy, and unfortunately for you it 
also means you are within range! Press START to pause the action and take 
a look at your map to locate the culprit. There he is - a Panzer IV up on 
the heights around Polberg. You'll have to take him on quickly. Once 
again exit the map screen and prepare to get to grips with your armoury.

First off, press and HOLD L1 + R1. You are in motion again, but this time 
in reverse. And a good thing too as probably you are under fire from that 
Panzer! Try lifting off one or other of the buttons again for a moment 
and once more you will veer off wildly, in an even more unexpected 
direction. No matter, just back off as fast as you can and watch the 
numbers over the Red marker count up as high as comfort allows. You'll 
have to take a stand somewhere and now let's try and hit back.

Move the LEFT ANALOG around and notice how the turret swivels 
accordingly. You will see the crosshairs of your gun in a small white 
box. Try always to keep that 'crosshair' icon facing forwards, by turning 
your tank to face the enemy whenever you meet them. The camera will turn 
with the turret too. Turn the tank towards that Panzer right now with the 
turret facing forward and try to line up the crosshairs (with LEFT ANALOG 
or the D-pad if you are using it) to be somewhere just underneath the red 
marker denoting his position until the icon turns RED and starts 
flashing. If you can't find where to place the icon, see if you can make 
out the tank as a little black shape right under the triangle. (If you 
can't see anything or the red numbers disappear, then you are too far 
away or blocked by scenery - move around a bit.) Get the little circle in 
the middle bang over that black shape. Well done - you have him in your 
sights! Unfortunately, your sights are way off the mark unless he is ten 
feet in front of you... You will have to calibrate them before opening 
fire. Take a look at the numbers above your target, and now press CIRCLE.

This is the view through your gunsight and you should get a close look at 
that tank. Probably too close! Don't panic. Press the TRIANGLE or SQUARE 
button in turn, and notice the scale across your sights moves up and down 
accordingly. Can you remember the number above the enemy tank? If not, 
press X to return to the Battle screen and take a quick look (it might 
have changed if he is advancing on you). Make sure the box is still 
flashing Red (adjust your turret again if not) and now press CIRCLE to 
quickly return to the gun view. If your crosshair when aligned with the 
marks on the scale matches close to the number you just saw (rounding up 
and knocking off the last two digits), place the crosshair on the centre 
of that Panzer, and press CIRCLE once more to Let Him Have It!

You get a lovely kick out of the Dual Shock and a most impressive noise.
If you kept a cool head and lined up the crosshairs properly, then you 
should be rewarded with a fantastic sight - the camera follows the 
trajectory of your shell smack-KABOOM! into the beastly Hun. Of course, 
it is more than likely that you yourself are under fire at this point, 
and any hit will shake your aim, so if you missed then wait patiently as 
your gunner reloads before you can have another go. Don't waste the shot! 
This is the very opposite of a blast fest, remember... in the game proper 
you will only have a certain number of shells, and your goal should be to 
make every shot count. 

Watch as your gun is loaded. First the type of 'warhead' and then 
(usually painfully slowly) the shell itself. Use these few seconds to 
check your aim and make sure the trajectory is correct. Usually it is 
best to aim slightly high if you seem to be missing. Now let it go once 
more... BOOM! 

    Tank Commander: "Whoa! How do you like that!?!" 

Lots. With the Panzer in flames, press X to return to the Battle screen. 
Take a look at the icon down in the bottom right corner. That shows the 
type of ammo presently loaded. Press SELECT and you see the icon change 
from 'AP' to 'APCR'. If you consult your manual, you see that this means 
that you have switched from 'Armour Piercing' shell to 'Armour Piercing 
Composite Rigid'... (Huh?) Different tanks have different arsenals, and 
the ShortBull carries both AP and APCR, which is a more destructive type 
of ammunition (at short range anyway). Another press of SELECT changes to 
High Explosive (HE), which is not effective against tanks, and there is 
also the option to switch to Machine Gun (MG) which is really only of use 
against infantry later on. Don't press this by mistake when you have a 
Panzer in your sights - the slugs will simply bounce off like a 
peashooter! As we progress through the game you will find out the 
different capabilities of each of these types of shell and others, but 
for now it is enough to know that the type can be different and each has 
its advantages against various opponents. Just get used to switching 
quickly between them by pressing SELECT. Scroll through to load up the 
stronger APCR once more, which we will use to try to deal with the 
remaining German tanks. 

By now you should be getting a good feel for the movement of the tank, 
but of course if you need more practice, simply head off over the rail 
road tracks to the right (out of harms way), and trundle about among the 
scenery for more practice - don't go too far though, as you will forfeit 
the game if you ignore the objective. Watch out for obstacles such as 
walls and trees; you can crash through them with a bit of effort but 
don't get tangled up if you are under fire. Single trees will fall gently 
under your tracks, but thickets will block you, as of course will large 
buildings. Observe that steep slopes will slow you down and leave you 
vulnerable. Also use your map to keep an eye out for ditches and rivers - 
if you stumble into one of those it is all over for you. 

If you press TRIANGLE you get a nice view as if through binoculars, and 
this can be quite useful in assessing your target from a distance, but 
obviously not when they have spotted you and you are under fire. It lets 
you see all around but without having to rotate the turret, which would 
be a bad idea since you need to keep your gun facing forward as much as 
you can and it turns agonisingly slowly.

Especially get used to manoeuvering your turret so the crosshair icon 
faces mostly to the front as you turn side to side. Notice that the 
crosshairs sometimes arrive at the target before the turret has swivelled 
to meet it, so remember that it is better (i.e. quicker) to turn the 
whole tank in the direction of attack and not just the gun. There is an 
option to turn the automatic targetting off, but while we are learning 
the ropes we will need a bit of help. You can swivel all the way round, 
and take on any enemy coming up behind you, but on nearly every vehicle 
the rear is extremely weak and one hit will often finish you off. If you 
meet an enemy and can't fight him off don't turn tail and run - reverse 
to a safer place so as not to expose your rear. Similarly, the flanks are 
usually only lightly armoured, and so try always to swing around to face 
the enemy rather than spend an eternity rotating the turret before you 
can fire and in the meantime leaving yourself vulnerable. You'll learn 
all this very quickly. Head back to your start position and advance back 
up the slope through Poteau.

When you near the crossroads past the buildings you will no doubt find 
the smoking wreckage of Fireball 1 nearby. Watch out now, as you will 
also find whatever knocked him out! The Red triangle will pop up as soon 
as you are in view, so as before keep a cool head and don't waste any 
time in drawing a bead on your opponent somewhere there off to the left. 
Turn quickly on the spot by running one tread forward and the other in 
reverse (L2 + R1, or in this case L1 + R2 - think of the letter 'X'). 
Centre the white box icon so it turns Red, note his range and press 
CIRCLE to return quickly to the gun view to set this range and FIRE!! 
Once again, take note of your mistake if the shot appears to fall short 
or overshoot, and if you are already under attack simply estimate the 
distance and adjust your shot a little up or down but keeping the target 
dead centre. Keep the shots coming if you missed and watch also for your 
gunner's comments, as sometimes you have the correct range but the angle 
causes the shell to deflect. Bad luck!

Do your best to hit whatever you can. It is a real thrill when you see 
the damage you cause with a careful shot, but I expect that very soon you 
will see a little cut scene from far away as an unseen assailant lobs a 
shell in your direction and the camera zooms across to your burning tank 
and you get the unwelcome news:

    ____________________________________________________________

                    M I S S I O N  F A I L E D
    ____________________________________________________________


    Tank Commander: "We're finished! Bail out!"


Never mind. It gets easier with each go (or less difficult anyway), so 
press START and then X for 'RETRY'. This time, head out close behind 
Fireball 1 and let's try some joint firepower...


_________________________________________________________________________


U S A  Mission 1:  T R A I N I N G - 1

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

At the first opportunity press CIRCLE and then TRIANGLE to cheat slightly 
by calibrating your gunsight in advance: lower the crosshair to align 
with the lines marking '10' which means the sights are adjusted to 1000m. 
It is a good idea to do this anyway first chance you have - you rarely 
meet your first target at point-blank range. Return to the Battle screen 
by pressing X. (Not CIRCLE by mistake, or you will blow the lid off 
Fireball 1. Don't ask me how I know.) Next press SELECT to switch to the 
more powerful APCR ammo, and then head up the slope after your Leader. 
Pull slightly to the left side and lag just behind him until you 
encounter the Assault Gun. It helps if this enemy targets him and not 
you, but anyway waste no time then in charging forward into Poteau. Stay 
slightly left (leaving Fireball 1 a clear shot to keep that Assault Gun 
busy) and advance to NO MORE than 1000m of him. You should by now have 
alerted the Panzer off to the right, but you are shielded by the 
building. Don't go too far forward either, and you have the other 
buildings to screen you from the waiting guns to the left. (If a red 
marker pops up to the left, you have gone too far and are now exposed to 
crossfire - use L1 + R1 to back up a bit.) Now draw a bead on that 
Assault Gun and press CIRCLE, and since you have your sight preset, you 
simply get him in your crosshair and press CIRCLE again to let one go... 
ka-BOOM!! Easy.

If Fireball 1 is still behind you, advance a little past the building to 
the left and turn quickly even as the Assault Gun over there pops into 
view. Take note of his range (about 700m) and adjust your aim down at his 
base slightly to compensate for the 1000m preset and quickly loose off 
another round. He is nested among the thicket of trees and that is his 
downfall as there is no escape from your deadly accuracy (!)

By now Fireball 1 will have trundled ahead and is probably engaging an as 
yet unseen opponent around the corner to the left, so move slightly 
forward and turn your attention to the Panzer up there on the right, to 
protect his flank. That enemy may already be targetting either you or 
him, but often he will be trundling along the ridge almost out of sight. 
This is where your targetting ability comes in handy: carefully note the 
range and recalibrate your sight (probably not far from your 1000m 
preset) and one shot will drop clean over that ridge and land on top! 
Once again, don't panic if you miss, and take note of your mistake. The 
shell takes a little while to travel, so it helps to aim very slightly 
ahead if he is on the move.

Press START to pause the action and take a look at your map. In PANZER 
FRONT things can often happen very quickly, so it helps to take a 
breather and assess the battle as opponents sometimes seem to pop up out 
of nowhere. Take a cool view of where the biggest threat is; for example 
the nearest target may not have seen you, while you are already under 
fire from a more distant opponent. Later you will see that some things 
such as Anti-tank Guns can be a swifter and more deadly foe than tanks. 
Prioritise. For now, have a look to see what Fireball 1 has spotted. If 
all has gone to plan, one or other of you should have knocked out 3 of 
the 5 reported enemy already, so you are doing well. You see from the map 
(if Fireball 1 has spotted them both) that the last two are off around 
the corner to the left. Press X to go and help mop up.

Move forward to the left where Fireball 1 should be engaging the last of 
the Assault Guns parked up on a ridge about 800m ahead. Mark the spot 
carefully and it is an easy knockout. If you have been accurate enough 
and done all this quickly, there is still time to move forward a little 
(keeping almost to the single trees on the grass verge to the left so you 
are protected by the bank) and then simply STOP and wait.

Soon enough the second Panzer comes menacingly in sight along the road, 
but you have loads of time to aim slightly ahead of him at point-blank 
range, press CIRCLE once.. twice... KABOOM!!

    ____________________________________________________________

                   M I S S I O N  C O M P L E T E
    ____________________________________________________________


    Commander: Alright! That takes care of hte south.


[As mentioned before, there is a certain random element, so don't be 
surprised if your mission plays a little differently to this, which from 
my experience is the simply the most likely. For example the Panzer to 
the right may advance to come up behind you across the little bridge, or 
the other one may appear from the left around the corner a bit sooner or 
Fireball 1 may get knocked out and so on. With careful shooting on your 
part, the outcome should be the same.]

Press START and then X, and after a short pause you EXIT to the battle 
statistics screen:

   ________________________________________________________________
  |                                                                |
  |   Battle results             M I S S I O N  C O M P L E T E    | 
  |________________________________________________________________|

      Name                 Vehicle            Tanks(Total)

      Fireball 2           ShortBull             4 ( 4)
      Fireball 1           M4A1(76)              1 ( 1)
  


   ,--------------------------------------------------------------,
   |  Hit Ratio           4/5( 80%)                               |
   |  Hits taken          4                   TOTAL SCORE         |
   |  Total time          1:40                 1 1 4 2 1          |
   '--------------------------------------------------------------'


Well, that's OK but it Needs Improvement. In which case, you see that you 
have the chance to press LEFT ANALOG UP and then X after START at the end 
of the mission in order to 'RETRY'.

The Battle results depend on several factors, most especially your 'Hit 
Ratio' which is obviously how many shells you use per target destroyed 
(tanks only), for each of which you score 1000 and your allies contribute 
500 points. Deducted from this will be 500 points for every ally lost 
which is controlled by you (in later missions). In addition to these 
factors there is a certain time limit to be met, although this limit is 
never specified. The manual mentions "other indefinite factors" which 
influence the score, which as far as I can figure may as well be for 
Artistic Impression. There are no league tables, so just have some fun 
trying to perfect your missions.

Run through this first mission a couple of times anyway and try to 
improve your abilities now that you can see exactly what is going on. 
Especially get accustomed to switching between the Battle screen and Map 
screen and also practice quickly zeroing your target to lay down accurate 
fire. When you are really comfortable with these procedures, try swapping 
the ShortBull for the nippy little T69E3 (the same as Fireball 1). The 
methods of use are exactly the same, but the handling is quite a bit 
different. Give it a really good workout and see which best suits your 
style.

After viewing your Battle results at the end of the mission, press X and 
you now have the option to Save. Whether or not you choose to save this 
first mission, press X once more and then again on 'SELECT MAP'. Another 
press of X and you return to the list of Missions. You can choose any of 
these, but I suggest you continue with the training, because anyway it is 
really a mission just like the others. 

Highlight 'Training-2' and press X. 

_________________________________________________________________________


U S A  Mission 2:  T R A I N I N G - 2

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

This mission teaches you how to use the other forces at your disposal.


       T r a i n i n g  2  J a n  1 9 4 5 ,  A r d e n n e s
    ____________________________________________________________


              Press an attack on enemy held territory.

          Make your advance, but watch for enemy ambushes!
                     Destroy all enemy vehicles!



Press START and have a look at your Map. It is an expanse of open country 
with patches of woodland and various rivers and bridges, with a number of 
narrow tracks through the snow. Your objective will be Maldingen, far off 
to the south, and you can bet that the terrain will not stay empty for 
long! Once again, yours is the tank flashing light Blue, identified this 
time as Marlin 1. If you scroll behind you a little way you find Marlin 2 
(a darker Blue) in close support, and further back and facing south-east 
is Marlin 3, also dark Blue. You probably noticed their respective Blue 
markers on your Battle screen, which point off to the side because they 
are identified but not visible unless you rotate the turret or turn 
around.

Return to the Battle screen now and start your advance. Move forward a 
little and try turning off the road onto the grass off to the right and 
notice how the tank slows down a little. Now put her onto the snow and 
the handling changes again; different types of terrain make your vehicle 
travel differently and this is something to be aware of throughout the 
game. It is a nice piece of programming that certainly adds to the 
overall highly realistic experience of PANZER FRONT. Get yourself onto 
the speedy road surface again and head straight on and pretty soon the 
enemy put in an appearance far off somewhere to your left - check your 
Map and scroll along to find him. Uh-oh, it's a Panther. These are big 
and yet fast and are fitted with angled armour to deflect your shot, and 
they also have formidable long-range firepower. They can pick you off at 
enormous distance if you sit around too long - watch for those Red 
triangles and get moving! 

If you place the cursor over any tank in your Map screen, you can press 
SQUARE and then use the D-pad for an all-round examination, and zoom in 
and out with the shoulder buttons. This is fun to do, but it has a 
serious purpose too; you can assess the enemy tank to see its weak points 
in respect of armour, so you will know the best angle of attack rather 
than trusting to luck. You can consider their firepower too, since these 
can vary on similar model of tank (although you don't have to worry about 
this too much, even when you play through in 'TACTICS' mode - shoot at 
everything!). I'm not sure what 7.sch KwK42L/70 means in respect of 
'ARMAMENT', but I don't like the sound of it. Time to summon 
reinforcements...

You notice that even though you began the advance, Marlin 1 and 2 stayed 
put. You have to give them orders or they will sit out the entire 
mission! So how do you 'give them orders'? In the Map screen press 
TRIANGLE to move the cursor to the nearest Blue tank. You can always move 
quickly around the map wherever your Blue forces go by pressing TRIANGLE 
again to jump to the next nearest available ally and so on until you jump 
back to your own tank. Once you have your cursor over your chosen vehicle 
(in this case Marlin 2), press X to select it and you see its icon 
disappears from the map while it is selected. Then use the D-pad UP to 
set the required rate of advance - 1, 2, 3 or 4 (the fastest speed) and 
then you see you can also move them backwards, which is handy if they get 
stuck or you need to pull back. You can vary the rate of advance within a 
single path, but it is a bit fiddly to do and there is rarely a need for 
it. There are also other options available by pressing LEFT and RIGHT, 
some of which we shall look at shortly. 

For now, and with the rate of advance set at a steady 2 or 3, press X to 
set the start point for Marlin 2 and move to a point a little way ahead 
of it and press X again to place a 'marker' i.e. the position to which 
you want the tank to move. The line of travel will be shown by a Red 
line. Make sure there are no obstructions! (It is best here to put 
straight lines along the roads ahead, as there are many single trees on 
the verges and they are hard to see as the small darker spots on your 
map. These guys haven't got the sense to come in out of the rain, so 
don't expect them to cope with a line of trees or a ditch.) You can place 
further points with more X's to move each tank by stages as far as you 
like until you finish their route off by pressing SQUARE. The line turns 
Grey, and the camera will pan along all the way back to your target tank 
to confirm the route. Press TRIANGLE to move to the next one and repeat 
the trick.

They will not actually begin their advance until you return to the Battle 
screen. Remember to keep an eye on the Blue markers as you move yourself 
around to keep track of them, and watch for any alerts they might give. 
If any unit runs into an enemy they will let you know, so act promptly by 
calling up that Map screen and quickly assessing the danger. Update your 
orders or move them out of harms way; perhaps while you deal with a 
greater threat. (As if you didn't have enough to do!)

To begin, set Marlin 2 rolling straight ahead and then down to the left a 
short distance along that road behind you. Then set Marlin 3 a course 
straight ahead and then to the his right another short distance, so that 
he will approach from your far left. The intention is to rendezvous 
somewhere near that little bridge a bit further along.

With the other units now under way, put some distance between yourself 
and that first Panther by heading off to the left toward the riverbank 
(or take him on if you now feel confident about your targetting ability). 
Then waste no time cutting across where the trees are across the little 
road and ignore the faint Red marker to the right (that target is a long 
way off yet) and track down the darker Red triangle pointer which appears 
on your screen and you should come across another tank through the trees 
lying in wait for Marlin 3 coming down that road. Too late he will be 
alerted to YOUR presence close behind, and you can zero him quickly and 
pop one straight up his wienerschnitzel. Hehheh!

By now, Marlin 2 should have arrived at the turn-off, so assess the 
battlefield by using the Map and if it looks safe, send him down to the 
little bridge over the river. (This is good, isn't it?) Join up with 
Marlin 3 and plot his advance to the river where there is another bridge 
ahead. There also seem to be one or two enemy vehicles now moving about 
on the other side... Time to get in some target practice.

There are only a couple of Panthers and two Tank Destroyers in all, so a 
few well-aimed shots will wrap this mission up nicely. If you feel you 
have got the hang of moving the Blue tanks around, why not attempt this 
mission using JUST the other tanks? It is possible, but you will have to 
keep them working together and sneak up on the enemy one at a time; go 
with them as an 'observer'. One thrilling option is to set them both at 
assault speed over the bridge and up to the right. Try to keep up as they 
storm those two tanks over there and then you can turn their attention to 
the last one over the rail tracks to the left. Alternatively try the 
mission without the others to hone your own skills. Find alternative 
routes such as running all the way down to Beho and Aldringen, dodging 
the enemy fire all the way and then coming up behind them one by one. 
Practice this simple level well, because you need to be up to speed for 
the next mission, which is a lot tougher.

_________________________________________________________________________




+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
+                                                                       +
+                    S P O I L E R  A L E R T                           +
+                                                                       +
+  -------------------------------------------------------------------  +
+                                                                       +
+  The following sections describe in fair detail what you can expect   +
+  from each Mission now that you are ready. Many of the surprises      +
+  will be gone! (And therefore much of the challenge.)                 +
+                                                                       +
+  If you now have the taste for it, you will no doubt play each        +
+  mission many times anyway, but there is nothing like the sense of    +
+  adventure and achievement in doing it yourself the first time.       +
+  Try to play on without further guidance and the experience will be   +
+  far more rewarding I feel. Read the tips for your latest mission     +
+  only if you are constantly failing or still wondering what to do.    +
+  (Although I repeat that this is far from the definitive guide.)      +
+                                                                       +
+  Each section represents only one way of finishing a mission. There   +
+  are many others and your own ideas may be better or easier, but      +
+  anyway I hope that it makes for an interesting comparison when you   +
+  have finished the missions for yourself.                             +
+                                                                       +
+  If this doesn't bother you then read on - there are still a few      +
+  things to practice. Get Them before They get You!                    +
+                                                                       +
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +




_________________________________________________________________________


U S A  Mission 3:  S T.  J E A N - D E - D A Y E  

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

This mission, and many of the others, is played out among the fields and 
hedgerows of rural Northern France; this accurately reflects the actual 
battlefield conditions in the days and weeks after D-Day. You will have 
to keep your wits about you, as the roads are likely to be well defended 
and there is not much room to manoeuvre. Cut across fields and screen 
yourself behind the hedges and at all times proceed with caution - the 
enemy can appear in moments around any corner and you will soon see what 
I meant by sudden destruction at the hands of an unseen enemy...



    9  J u l y  1 9 4 4,  S t.  J e a n - d e - D a y e
    ____________________________________________________________


    Begin an attack to the south from St. Jean-de-Daye.
    Capture the two points shown and assist the infantry units
    attack on Pont-Hebert.



Once again, they aren't asking much! When do we get some Leave? Press X 
and press on.

First as always, press START to open the Map screen. Your ultimate goal 
is to enter/capture the village at the very bottom of the map. Along the 
way you must support the infantry as they move up on those two points 
indicated in the mission briefing, and since you can't be in two places 
at once, this mission will test your ability in moving your units to 
where they can be most useful. If you thought it was tricky dealing with 
just two Dummies, then try it with this lot...

You play as Amber 1, and line astern are Amber 2, 3 and 4. All are dark 
Blue and are therefore awaiting your orders. The Green tanks just ahead 
of you are Bola 1 and 2 and they will look after themselves. 

In the Map screen press X and then LEFT or RIGHT on the D-pad. You can 
scroll through a number of useful options here - including 'RETRY' if you 
are making a hash of it - and you will see 'FIRE SUPPORT' (sadly not 
available on the USA missions) and then 'MAP' and 'SEARCH MAP' among 
others. (Make sure the cursor is moved away from any Blue vehicle but 
your own or you will be selecting a different set of options. Anywhere 
else onscreen is fine.) Scroll to 'MAP' and press X to get an aerial view 
of the entire battlefield with all known forces marked. Off to your left 
some distance ahead and to the east are two green flashing dots which 
prove on investigation to be Bola 3 and 4 in close support of allied 
infantry. This 'MAP' function is very useful in keeping tabs on your 
forces when there is a lot going on like this. Don't forget that the 
infantry are spotting the enemy movements as well as your buddies in the 
tanks, so you will sometimes have almost too many targets to deal with at 
once. Stay focused and bring to bear some deadly fire to take them on 
just one at a time.

From the start, let Bola 1 and 2 head cautiously up the road and try 
making your own way off to the right, crossing the little stream and 
hugging the hedge and turning the corner to ford the stream again just to 
the south (where it bends slightly). Clamber up the slope and soon enough 
Bola 1 will come under fire from a Panzer IV to his right, which should 
now be marked with a triangle somewhere directly in front of you. Ignore 
him for a minute, but instead burst through that hedge sticking out by 
the pond on your map and you see why I suggest this route - an enemy tank 
is lying in wait just where the gap in the hedge is, overlooking the 
Chateau! Let him have it at short range. With the surprised Panzer in 
flames, manoeuvre yourself through that gap and turn swiftly to the right 
and rush forward a little. The other Panzer is trying desperately to back 
up to meet your sudden appearance, but he hasn't got a chance..! Two 
down, eleventeen to go.

Carry on straight down, using the hedge to screen yourself from a tank 
which is lying off to the west of the map. If you trundle all the way to 
the trees in the corner of that field and wait a second or two, another 
Panzer will show itself only just on the other side of that hedge - if 
you judge it just right you can pop one through at point-blank range 
without even seeing the target! DON'T crash through this hedge though, as 
there are a good many enemy guns trained on anything approaching from 
that direction as you will see from your map if Bola 1 or 2 are still 
engaged. 

You are close to your first objective now, which is a couple of enemy 
Fire Points in the buildings south of the dirt crossroads to the west of 
La Chesnee. Stay off the actual crossroads as this area is heavily 
defended and the open fields around there are a killing ground, so you 
won't get far on your own. Waste no time then in going to the Map screen 
and directing Amber 2 to join the battle now raging on the road straight 
ahead. Having cleared the Chateau area it is now safe to bring Amber 3 at 
speed diagonally across the fields behind it to join you, and send Amber 
4 front and left to support the infantry over there with Bola 3 and 4 to 
the east of the map. No doubt by now some of Bola squadron have been 
knocked out of action, but you need to start to work a pincer movement to 
keep those Assault Guns busy. Bola 2 will be valiantly battling to 
support you in the centre, so bring up those tanks quickly or he will be 
overwhelmed. You will have to make frequent updates as the battle heats 
up, so give them just a few short directions each time, keeping to the 
side roads and avoiding obstructions as before, although you can easily 
get them to plough through the hedges. (I have occasionally had to make 
tracks to find a straggler only to find it churning its tracks trying to 
head through a copse like a fly banging against a window. I don't know - 
if you want something done...) Your comrades are perhaps most useful in 
this mission as spotters and decoys - there are an awful lot of enemy 
tanks wandering around out there.

You yourself should concentrate on clearing the area to the west. There 
are half a dozen tanks to hunt down as well as a couple of tricky A-T 
guns, any of which will finish you in one shot if you stand around for 
too long. Of course you will usually have to stop to fire, so make sure 
you do this quickly at close range and line up your best shot straight 
away. If the shot deflects or misses, don't sit there slugging it out - 
someone somewhere is drawing a bead on you! Too often it seems, no sooner 
have you started to line up an enemy than somebody else is having a go at 
you. One message you definitely do not want to hear when you have 
something in your sights is

    "We're taking fire from someone at seven o'clock"

Far from being later on about tea-time, this is rather urgent. You will 
grasp that 12 o'clock is dead ahead and 6 o'clock is directly behind, but 
a slight confusion in the heat of the moment may be "Which side is 4 
o'clock?" Think of your tank as standing on a giant clockface and it 
comes easily. You don't want to present your rear as an easy target, so 
flick quickly to the Map screen to assess the danger and look for the 
right way to turn or reverse without making things difficult. You will 
have to think very quickly at times and this is where a cool head will 
save you. Don't get flustered and try to do two jobs badly - prioritise 
again.

Mostly try to stay in the fields behind hedges and pop in and out as the 
opportunity arises and take those Panzers out one by one. A handy trick 
is to use HE to blow a hole in the hedge and then angle yourself to fire 
through the gap. (Of course, you may like to 'cheat' a bit, because 
sometimes the enemy units will be drawn by the computer before the hedges 
and trees, so if you pay attention you can sometimes see them looming out 
of the 'mist' as you approach a hedge so you will know where they are! 
Call it advance reconnaissance. Similarly, move close to a hedge and try 
the binoculars for 'X-Ray' vision.) With Bola 2 ideally still covering 
the east, bring Amber 3 down from the north-west and Amber 2 can continue 
to distract the A-T gun and any remaining tanks around La Chesnee as you 
burst through the corner of the hedge at north-east of the crossroads. 
You will encounter at least two tanks parked at far left of the 
crossroads on the map (if you didn't pick them off earlier) so waste no 
time in directing Amber 3 straight ahead to distract them so you can 
knock them out broadside. Move across now using the far hedge where one 
of the tanks was for cover, as an A-T gun makes its presence felt. Stick 
to the hedge to come around on it from behind with the HE ready. Keep 
this loaded and make an assault on the two now defenceless Fire Points - 
launch a couple of rounds of HE at the buildings showing tracer fire and 
before you know it, that is Objective 1 accomplished.

By now you are probably exhausted but the mission is still not over...

With the way clear, you can work your way now to the east with any of 
your surviving units. Amber squadron will be replaced by Arrow squadron 
and then Conqueror units replace them. Do try to be a little more 
careful, Bond.

There is a good deal of mopping up to do; leave the infantry to the 
others and concentrate on the A-T guns. Bring your tank replacements down 
from the start point at top speed to press an attack on Pont-Hebert which 
is being defended to the last Assault Gun. Several of the buildings to 
the front have been turned into Fire Points, so spread your Blue units 
across the approaches and pour in some more HE. Even though they do not 
appear on your map beforehand (camouflage of course) they will show with 
a Red triangle just as soon as the tracer starts flying out of the 
windows, so you can at least see what to aim for. The only indication on 
your map should be a large Red X when you or someone else destroys them. 

And that's another little job done.

There is so much to cope with in this battle that there is no point in my 
trying to give you more than a few hints like this. This is one of the 
tougher missions, so if you managed it then you are going to be OK on 
your own. By now you will be confident in the handling of your tank and 
will no doubt want to have another go to find your own way down to Pont-
Hebert. The aim as always is simply to knock out every tank on your map, 
and you can't do it on your own, so this mission will be the test of how 
good you are at directing the other units. Bon chance!


_________________________________________________________________________


U S A  Mission 4:  L E  D E Z E R T   

-------------------------------------------------------------------------



    1 1  J u l y  1 9 4 4,  L e  D e z e r t   
    ____________________________________________________________


    Enemy tanks approaching! Don't let them break out 
    at Le Dezert!
    Protect the 39th Infantry Regiment that is defending the 
    village until air support can arrive!



This time you are Dodger 1. Dodger 2 is up ahead in Le Dezert and Dodger 
3 is in close support of your own tank with Dodger 4 further back 
screening the infantry around La Caplainerie. They will have their own 
battle to fight, because you will have to go forward to the crossroads 
approaching the village which is under imminent attack. As always, press 
SELECT to load your deadliest ammo. (When playing as an 'Ace' there is a 
limited stock of each, but for now we can go nuts with it.)

Head up the road and set Dodger 3 a course to follow you at about speed 
2. Take it easy as things are about to get lively. Straight away you will 
see one and then two Panthers coming down the road into Le Dezert. The 
range is about 1800m so waste no time in knocking one or other out, but 
watch it because you remember that the Panthers are much stronger at long 
range. If you miss with a couple of shots, move quickly or they will have 
too much time to zero you. Yet another tank will appear up the road 
shortly so don't hang about. (When you get more proficient you can speed 
straight up the road swerving under fire, and knock them out at close 
range one by one as they trundle into view.) Dodger 3 will arrive about 
now and carry on laying down fire. All the Blue units will open fire 
whenever they encounter an enemy; you just need to be sure they are 
targetting the right thing. Before long you will also face Incoming from 
somewhere to your right. More Panthers!

Direct Dodger 2 forward at speed over the road (if the Panthers do not 
still command it) and toward the fields to the west of Le Dezert. By now 
the road behind there will be crawling with enemy tanks moving north and 
you need him to stall their advance as you head up the track and cut 
through the field to the right to try to sneak up on the Panthers which 
are already troubling Dodger 4. Follow the Red triangles moving past the 
hedges and locate them exactly on your Map screen and spring an ambush 
from behind (as long as another unit is tracking them - if the markers 
disappear you will be blind). Through all this, take frequent sightings 
in the Map screen to direct your comrades most effectively. Bear in mind 
that even when you give orders (i.e. place points for them to advance 
to), these may need to be changed should circumstances dictate - to reset 
each tank's directions just press X to select it again and choose the 
rate of advance once more, then add or delete points as necessary (the 
buttons used are shown onscreen). Don't forget to press X in a blank part 
of the screen and scroll RIGHT occasionally to check the aerial MAP to 
keep abreast of the overall picture. There is a lot of action and you 
don't want to be running round like a headless chicken.

You can't expect to end the battle with everyone intact (although that is 
something to aim for), but quick thinking saves lives; break off your own 
conflict whenever you can to move Dodger squadron out of imminent danger 
or set them to confront it. Reserves from Bravo and then Red unit will be 
available should you need them, so keep checking your Map screen and tab 
around with TRIANGLE to locate them over to the east when they become 
available. Hold out as long as possible and take on as many of the 
invaders as come your way. It seems to be that this mission is based on a 
time factor and not the number of enemies you destroy, so keep mobile and 
keep shooting.

Remember the objective and don't stray too far from Le Dezert, but try to 
knock out anything to the west and then return to the crossroads back in 
the village and see how Dodger 3 is coping. Move any replacements across 
the bridge and into the village straight away. Try to tuck them into 
buildings so that the constant stream of Panthers coming down that road 
have nothing to shoot at (they are better shots than your men in the open 
unfortunately). This way, the Blue units can at least pick off the 
attackers if they trundle by. Experiment with this idea and keep the road 
there well defended; however well you are doing elsewhere, if Le Dezert 
falls to the Germans the mission will fail. 

At long last the promised air support arrives. See if you can swing your 
sights up in time to see them swoop overhead with a thrilling roar and 
cannon blazing; it really is quite something.

    Tank commander: "Here comes the air force! It's about time!"

Whoo-hoo! Pour It On, Boys! Give 'em Hell!

But still you have to 'clean things up' - probably there are still a 
Panther/Panzer or two and some infantry around la Caplainerie, so head up 
there now and bring any remaining Blue units with you. The enemy infantry 
is usually to be found scurrying about the hedgerows - they don't do much 
harm, but of course they can relay your position to their own tanks, so 
slap an HE round in the tube and turn them to ashes (aim down) or strafe 
about with the MG a bit. The aiming is sometimes a little awkward and 
don't bother with them if there is a tank bearing down on you. Don't 
forget to switch back to tank ammo! Stay off the vegetable patches as 
well because these will bog you down just like a real ploughed field - 
such is the superb attention to detail. 

Eventually and unexpectedly the mission is complete.

[Just to let you know how hard you will have to work, on my latest test 
run I knocked out 15 tanks and my seven buddies (yes, SEVEN) didn't 
register a single one between them! Actually six of them didn't make it, 
so they have an excuse - of course I directed them badly. You will know 
that you are irretrievably hooked on this game when you start to fret 
about leading a single one of your buddies into danger.]


_________________________________________________________________________


U S A  Mission 5:  A R G E N T A N

-------------------------------------------------------------------------



    1 5  A u g u s t  1 9 4 4 ,  A r g e n t a n
    ____________________________________________________________


    The enemy is trapped in the Falaise pocket and looking 
    for a way out!
    Don't let them get back home! 
    Destroy as many enemy vehicles as possible!



You play as Bacchus and you have control of Brandy and Cognac close 
behind. Masker is up ahead. As usual, take a moment from the start to 
load up with your strongest ammo and preset the sights to about 500m. 
There will be some close action to start.

Forget the others for the moment, but advance at speed toward Ecouche. 
Lose no time in cutting diagonally across the fields to the left - zip 
through the little gap in the corner instead of wasting time crashing 
through the hedge. (Assuming you are still using the T69E3?) If you are 
quick enough, you will see 3 Armoured Personnel Carriers speeding past 
the gap in the corner of the field - try a potshot to take one out 
straight away if you can, and then burst through the hedge and you will 
have a couple of easy knockouts as you blast the others from behind. Your 
objective is to stop these vehicles escaping over that little bridge up 
ahead, or hunt them down on the other side where the others already are 
if they do. 

Meanwhile, Masker will have started his advance, but is soon pinned down 
by Anti-tank fire from the direction of the village, where an Assault Gun 
and a Tank Destroyer are also prowling. Having blown up the retreating 
APC's, make your own way carefully into Ecouche from the south-west. You 
will soon see an Anti-tank Gun nested in the buildings at the very north-
west of the village. Watch out! These can knock you out with one shot the 
very moment you cross them, (as you remember from Mission 3). When you 
have sent in a couple of HE rounds from a safe angle and destroyed it, 
make your way through to the north of the village to come up behind 
either of those tanks which will be engaging Masker from the far east 
side of the village. Even as he declares "The enemy is too strong: pull 
back!" you will be belting a couple of shells in from behind, and if you 
have timed this just right, you won't have many easier knockouts in the 
game. A bonus is to do all this quickly enough to save Masker as well.

You ideally need the village clear as you bring your forces with you to 
cross that little bridge. Bring them both forward and send one to the 
west and up from there, and the other can go straight ahead and then left 
to meet on the riverbank by the wooden bridge. This will split the 
attention of any enemies on the far side.

Make your own way to the riverbank to cover the approach of your buddies. 
There will most likely be a couple of Tank Destroyers approaching. When 
your men arrive at the bridge and the way is clear, send one over and to 
the right a little way to attract the attention of any Tank Destroyers as 
you dash across and speed off with the other to the left, where the rest 
of the APC's are to be found in a field on the far left side of the Map. 
As well as some more Anti-tank Guns and yet more Tank Destroyers... 

Fill your boots but stay mobile. Take out the Anti-tank Guns before the 
tanks, since those will just stay put unless you get too close, whereas 
the A-T Guns can get you from a surprisingly long way away once they 
sight you. Press START to have another look in your Map screen and scroll 
to the 'SEARCH MAP' option and press X. The computer takes a little while 
to assess your field of view and - Voila! Every bit of ground you would 
be able to see on a clear day with binoculars in all directions is 
highlighted. The areas below hills or behind buildings is shaded dark 
blue. So what? Well of course you can scan to line up those enemies you 
can see (those you can't are not shown of course) and see if you have a 
clear shot if they are in range. There again, this also shows which 
enemies can target you! That is sometimes worth knowing if you are out of 
range but heading into danger, so use this option frequently when you are 
stalking around. 

If you seem to be a hot target right now, see who has you in range and 
perhaps bring up any surviving Blue tank for use as a decoy. If 
necessary, pull back a little to avoid the fire from the right, and just 
wait for the APC's to make a break for it one by one in front of you and 
knock them out at your leisure. Try to keep them bottled up and don't let 
them slip past or you will be drawn into an endless game of cat-and-mouse 
among the hedgerows to the east and all the roaming enemies therein. If 
that spare Blue tank is still covering the bridge and has seen off the 
Tank Destroyers, perhaps send him north up the little track to cover the 
escape route. There are lots of tanks around that area though, so keep 
checking your map to monitor the situation. Don't expect to destroy every 
single enemy target; your primary concern should be those APC's. When you 
have finished off all the troop carriers and a sufficient number of other 
tanks it's Mission Complete.

Sadly after all that effort, those APC's and the Anti-tank Guns don't 
show up on your Battle results; just the tanks. Don't be surprised if 
your useless mates failed to get on the scorecard either.


_________________________________________________________________________


U S A  Mission 6:  P O T E A U

-------------------------------------------------------------------------



    1 8  D e c e m b e r  1 9 4 4 ,  P o t e a u
    ____________________________________________________________


    In order to strengthen Saint-Vith, you must hold 
    the Vielsam - Saint-Vith highway.
    Destroy all enemy vehicles that appear from
    the north of the highway!



From the start this should all look very familiar... Check your Map 
screen and it is indeed the same arena as 'Training-1', when you were 
just a Rookie. Now you are truly a Veteran! As you might guess, Poteau is 
a little better defended this time, and it will take a lot more effort to 
clear it.

There are your squadron of tanks to the right, all nicely lined up with a 
clear run ahead. Time to try something a little different - press X and 
then UP a few times to take a look through the 'FORMATION' option. This 
is best suited for Missions like the Russian steppes, with flat terrain 
and lots of space to move around, but this is a nice introduction. Having 
the Dummies move en masse takes the headache out of it anyway! Choose a 
shape you like and press X again and then exit the Map screen. Make your 
way up the slope towards Poteau and then take another look at the Map. 
There are the Blue tanks now clustered together like a gaggle of geese 
and all set to follow you wherever you go until you tell them to 'HALT'. 
Take care with this option as you can too easily lead the lot of them 
into danger. When it is time to get serious you will need a proper 
strategy for moving these guys about, though. Experiment a little for 
yourself. If you want to concentrate on the missions, then mess about a 
bit and Retry to get serious.

There are many more enemies to be aware of this time, and the incoming 
fire is a lot more accurate - expect to find yourself getting blown up 
from unexpected directions over and over until you figure out a safe 
route ahead. I recommend going left around the back of those buildings to 
ambush the Tank Destroyer waiting there (he will otherwise blast you as 
soon as you poke your nose around the building if you just breeze up the 
road) and then set about the German infantry with some HE. While you have 
it loaded, nudge forward and locate and destroy the A-T gun in the open 
just ahead (while it is firing at someone else of course) and try a few 
shots at the more distant one behind. Then change back to APCR and try 
for the Tank Destroyer tucked in by the trees to the right of it. Stay 
close to the buildings and don't expose yourself to crossfire. Edge 
forward and be ready for fire coming from the left as in that training 
mission. Stay tight in. That gun needs to be taken out as he has the 
crossroads at his command and can pick off any of your forces trying to 
move up.

The Green tanks will have taken a pounding and may call off the attack, 
but you are made of sterner stuff, so press on regardless. This is a good 
place to try out the 'Smoke' shells. Simply load up and toss one down the 
road to the left a short way and be ready to dash forward under cover of 
a thick white cloud. The enemy won't see you but then again you won't see 
them, so know where you are going first. Of course the smoke is also very 
much appreciated I'm sure by the poor bloody infantry who are even now 
slogging their way through a hail of fire behind you. Lob a couple of 
canisters high across the field overlooking Poteau to block the view of 
the A-T gun there and since you have screened the lethal crossroads from 
fire coming from the left, it is now safe to send a couple of your tanks 
over to attack it now. (There are Cherokee or Cheyenne and possibly even 
Cliquante replacements for your Braves should they get knocked out - keep 
checking and press TRIANGLE to locate them when they arrive as they are 
no use to anybody at the back of the line, where they are already exposed 
to shellfire in any case.) 

By now you will know the real value of those Blue 'Dummies'. To play the 
game properly you should think of the overall picture and try to come up 
with ways to use them really effectively and not just throw them forward 
as I have been suggesting. Experiment with different routes and speed 
settings, and maybe try laying them up to spring an 'ambush' when you 
replay the missions and know where the attacks are likely to come from. 
You can use the 'FIRE POINT' command to set the target when it arrives. 
Just click on the chosen Blue unit with the 'long' red arrow icon 
displayed and then click CIRCLE on the intended target and your man will 
open up on that target and no other. With the 'short' red arrow they fire 
at anything they see, but actually it seems to me they do that anyway. It 
doesn't help or hinder your progress to use these commands in any event. 
You can also set them to fire when you do by using the yellow arrow, but 
that is not much use unless you have set an elaborate ambush. The 
explanations for all these commands are in the manual, so explore them 
for yourself if you are interested.

Make your way left under cover of the smoke and quickly knock out the 
Assault Gun up there on the slope as before, and now you see another 
around the corner as well. Use more smoke if you are cautious, but in any 
case deal with him quickly and then retire back around the corner leaving 
a clear view across the field but with the trees screening you slightly. 
Settle back and wait for the arrival of several Assault Guns from the 
north. Pick them off as they come into view at about 1500m, and see off 
any infantry round about you heading for those trees in the meantime. Any 
surviving Green units will join you here after the area in front of 
Poteau has been cleared, and you should now call up any spare reserves as 
well. Soon enough there are swarms of tanks heading your way and you need 
as much help as possible when the shots come raining in. Give plenty of 
your own back.

After wreaking some destruction, you get a call from 40th Mechanized 
Battalion urging you to help in pressing their attack from the west. This 
is trickier than it first appears. There are two Tank Destroyers parked 
up at the far east side of the map, so after having repulsed the attack 
from Huppertsburg make your way over there now (perhaps entertaining 
yourself by wiping out some more infantry on the way) and help knock out 
the enemy on the far bank. They are a fair distance away so your shells 
are weak, and the angle is not favourable when they are shooting at you. 
You will certainly need at least one Blue tank to distract their fire so 
you can pour in the rounds when they turn aside. Meanwhile, make sure you 
send some reserves to cover the Salmervenn road back there, as there is 
about to be one last attempt to break through by yet more Assault Guns. 
Having cleared the way for the 40th Mechanized, you can now speed along 
the south of the river and catch the attackers in a classic pincer 
manoeuvre. Bring to bear whatever firepower you can and that's the end of 
that chapter.

[Like all these 'TANK SELECT' missions, this task is easier than it will 
be when playing with the - authentically - weaker 'real' tanks in 
'TACTICS' mode.]


_________________________________________________________________________


U S A  Mission 7:  S A I N T - V I T H 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------



    2 1  D e c e m b e r  1 9 4 4 ,  S a i n t - V i t h
    ____________________________________________________________


    A massive German attack is underway on the 
    7th Armored Division, which is defending Saint-Vith 
    on the north side of the Battle of the Bulge.

    Protect your infantry units!
    Don't let any enemy vehicles get through!



Check your Map as always. Another empty and snowy wasteland but before 
you know it you are joined by half a dozen German attackers dead ahead! 
This time you have 3 tanks to help you in Cutlass squadron. You are going 
to need them all. Further back are Tomahawk and Sword squadrons, 
defending 'Sankt Vith' with the infantry.

As the enemy Assault Guns start to sweep forward from the east, it would 
be suicide to move right to block them. Take off at speed straight ahead 
and swing around the trees to come up behind them instead. You'll be met 
by two Panzers, but if you stay off the road and close to the trees to 
sweep around on an angle you will have the edge, since they are covering 
the road and so need to swing around slightly. Put in some pin-sharp 
shooting and hurry on around the trees to come up behind another tank and 
then two more up on the ridge. Take them one at a time with a full 
broadside and hunt down the one that escaped. As always, ignore the 
infantry for now.

About this time, Ste. Vith will be menaced by Panzers from the south, 
while other units report tank movements to the north! What to do? Stick 
with the task in hand, but make swift preparations elsewhere. Pull 
Cutlass 3 and 4 back over the river (just to see how the 'Move Backward' 
command works) and by now you should be near to the position of Cutlass 
2. Good work.

You should be in hot pursuit of a stray Assault Gun, so let him go one 
way around the trees to attack Cutlass 2, while you skirt around the 
other to catch him broadside. Now you are facing south in front of Prumer 
and you have the opportunity to intercept the two invaders from the 
south; do it like this and you already have them in your sights and can 
put in a couple of hopeful shots. Don't worry if they slip past in the 
distance; there are other units to block them and you can't fight every 
battle. Turn around and strafe any German infantry moving across the snow 
if you feel like it, but next you should turn your attention to the more 
urgent situation in the north. 

Assess the position. You will face half a dozen tanks including a couple 
of Panthers. But not just any old Panther that you would find at the 
bottom of the garden; these have bigger guns and even stronger armour 
than the ones you have already met. Send Cutlass 4 to help the Green 
tanks start the defence. If you lose any of your Blue tanks, the 
replacements appear in the area behind the woods to the south-west of 
Ste. Vith on the far left side of the map, so move them up quickly. Join 
the barrage raining in from the Green tanks, and they will draw some fire 
as long as they are active. You will have all the targets available to 
you at once, but keep a cool head and a steady thumb and target those 
Panthers first - they will most likely be the ones in front. Now you will 
see just how hard it is to take one of these monsters on at distance - 
your shells are so weak that as often as not they just bounce off. This 
wouldn't be so bad, but you will be taking a pounding from all the shells 
exploding around or on top of you, so you will probably have to reset 
your aim after every shot. No time for precision, just adjust your aim 
visually. (At any rate, this will give you a taste of life as an 'Ace' in 
TACTICS mode.) If you are taking too many hits, you'd best move closer to 
the town so that some of the others draw the fire instead. It seems that 
you are the only decent shot amongst them anyway. 

Keep the fire coming and remember to use those replacements as soon as 
you lose one of your own units. This is like the battle of Kursk! Whoever 
has laid down the greater firepower will win, and hopefully that is you.

[Remember that all these are just suggestions. You will always have your 
own ideas, and there is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to complete any 
mission. It's your game and it's up to you. For example, one alternative 
here is to speed along the river on the east side and up to the north to 
traverse the railway tracks and close in from behind. This is quite 
exciting since you will draw the fire of the whole bunch of them as you 
race alongside in the opposite direction, but at least you will be able 
to knock them out from behind, and they are now caught in deadly 
crossfire. Experiment a little.]

Meanwhile, the sneaky dastards are mounting another attack from the east, 
so no sooner have you wiped out that lot than you face a horde of Nazis 
closing on Prumer. You should still have Cutlass 2 guarding that 
approach. Don't be lured away, but turn your attention there now, and 
start by bringing any replacements through Ste. Vith to support him. With 
enough firepower on that bridge you can beat off the attack, but even 
then another Panzer is sighted advancing from Schloss in the north-east 
this time. However, this is just a diversion; the final onslaught comes 
from three Panthers closing from the north-west to pound your weakened 
defences in Ste. Vith. What is so damned important about this town?

If all the Green forces have been wiped out, you're in trouble - pull 
back to Ste. Vith. Your best chance is to use the buildings for cover and 
snipe at any opportunity or manoeuvre around them to try to sneak up 
behind the Panthers one at a time. You need to return to the town in any 
case when the Panthers are annihilated. There you receive the unwelcome 
news that it has all been for nothing - the line must pull back.


_________________________________________________________________________


U S A Mission 8:  L U D E N D O R F  B R I D G E 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------



    7  M a r c h  1 9 4 5 ,  L u d e n d o r f   B r i d g e
    ____________________________________________________________


    Capture the steel bridge across the Rhine!

    Suppress the defenders from Remagen and destroy all 
    enemy units on the far shore!



Ah yes, the Bridge at Remagen. For a game that is clearly as meticulously 
researched as this one, it seems a little strange that nobody has 
troubled to blow any of the many bridges so far. Now we fight for the big 
one.

Looking at the Map screen, you see your Fireball squadron all lined up 
ready for the advance. It has been a long time since basic training, and 
you have earned the right to be Fireball 1. Have another go at moving 
your men in formation - just pick a pattern you like and press X. Move 
forward slowly and give them time to fall in line, and then practice 
moving left and right over the open ground and see how they respond; 
again not too fast. You will find that you can break any of them out of 
the formation by selecting them individually as usual. If you return to 
the Map screen and give the order to 'HALT' then they will stop and 
dutifully turn their attention to the nearest target but stay where you 
want them. It is not usually worth the bother of trying to advance in 
formation, but now you have tried it you can decide for yourself.

Scout ahead and get the lie of the land. Open heath and a few scattered 
trees. A ridge of high ground to the left and not much cover. The 
infantry are already on the outskirts of Remagen which is crawling with 
tanks. A wide river bisects the map and there is only one way across. The 
other side doesn't look too heavily defended though...

The terrain looks simple enough, but you are soon met with a hail of 
fire. The enemy have had plenty of time to get their range across here, 
so it seems that there is little choice but to dash forward and hope for 
the best. Notice those little scrubby patches of darker ground? That is 
marshy bog which will slow you frustratingly always just when someone has 
you in their sights... There is no point in stopping to return fire, as 
there is a ridge running all the way across the front of the town and you 
can't see a thing shooting at you, nor be able to draw an accurate bead. 
If that wasn't enough to cope with, when you get closer you find a new 
and deadly enemy - 88mm Anti-tank Guns! Lots of them. You can try a 
frontal assault with all guns blazing, but you are quite likely to be cut 
down in a short time because most of the buildings are turned into Fire 
Points as well as all those tanks and guns which are trained on your 
little tank crawling pathetically slowly over that ridge. It can be done 
this way, but it's a whole lot of hassle and you'll take a pounding.

Plan B: From the start, head off to the left and make towards that big 
hill. Pause over the railway line and draw a bead on those three Tank 
Destroyers at about 1700m. Some careful calibration should give you three 
swift kills before any of them turn on you. This will allow the Green 
tanks to move up. Don't waste time if you start drawing fire. Proceed to 
the high ground and skirt carefully along the foot of it using the 
lighter ground among the trees so you don't get bogged down. As you get 
closer to Remagen the 88's will pop up at short distance; side-on they 
present a good target. If you are lucky, the Green tanks will repay your 
favour by knocking them out before you arrive, but if not get in as close 
as you can as quickly as you can and lay down some deadly fire. Pick off 
any available target, as all guns are focused on the frontal attack by 
the Green tanks (prioritise anybody who seems to be aiming at you). Know 
what you are shooting at by checking your Map screen frequently and 
switching between HE for those 88's and the usual APCR for the tanks. 
With a rush of blood to the head (because even a single round at point-
blank range is a bit fatal) you can charge straight down on an 88 and the 
crew will abandon it - much quicker than picking it off anyway. With 
enough support as a diversion you can swiftly clear the high ground and 
then aim down at Remagen. Bring up a couple of your Fireball squadron if 
the Greens get thinned out, and in any case they seem reluctant to 
advance too far and you need decoys for the run to the end of town.  

As you get closer, the targets will be the buildings which are being used 
as Fire Points. Look for the tracer to identify them and bring those 
buildings crashing down with some HE and then carefully assess each Red 
triangle target to knock out the remaining Tank Destroyers or A-T guns 
one by one. (What appears to be a direct shot is sometimes a tank behind 
a building, as you will see from the rubble flying as he tries to shoot 
you 'through' a building. Edge forward very carefully for a clear shot 
when he turns away.) Try lobbing a couple of smoke shells across the town 
to confound the enemy and give the Greens a breather, as this plan will 
only work when there are sufficient numbers of attackers to keep the 
defenders focused elsewhere. There are way too many folk shooting at you 
if you try it alone. If at first you don't succeed Retry and try again. 
You have to sweep everything out of the town because those guns parked on 
the riverbank will be determined to prevent you crossing the bridge.

The fly in the ointment is that in amongst this close action you will 
shortly come under pin-point fire from the far bank. That fellow is a 
nuisance and jammy too - you won't believe the distance when he 
inevitably picks you off. Try again and this time when you get this far 
keep moving fast and shoot quickly to clear some room. When you trigger 
the warning to "Watch the far side of the river!" you may like to open 
the Map screen and scroll over to that newly-arrived tank and examine it 
with SQUARE. You will get a nasty surprise. So that's why he is such a 
handful - look at the size of that gun! Be grateful he is so far away. 

You need some peace before you can keep a steady aim to try to hit 
anything at all on the opposite bank. If you are quick after the 
JagdTiger appears on the scene you will see him motoring along the track 
down to the bridge, so you have a good target but he is moving fast. At 
least he hasn't seen you yet... Your heart may sink when he does turn 
slowly towards you. Fire quickly at a range of about 2000m and you might 
get lucky. The problem is that at this distance, even deadly accuracy 
will probably see your shells dint harmlessly off that sloped armour. 
Bah! The solution is to bring up a couple of Blue units once the town has 
been cleared a bit, and set the 'FIRE' command on that big boy up there 
in order to get him to turn his attention to them. Which means he turns 
his side to you. Which means you hit the side. Which means... ka-BOOM! 
You can never get tired of hearing it. It is vital that he is taken out 
or you have no chance of getting across the bridge. 

Now you can concentrate on the last cluster of guns at the end of town 
below you. Send a couple of Blue tanks to draw their fire and put in some 
accurate shooting or they will be knocked out fast. When you are sure 
that Remagen has been cleared of defenders it is time for the final act. 
You can roam the riverbank and try to get a shot at that last defender on 
the other side, and it may even be possible to hit him but I've never 
managed it. We'll have to go check it out.

Trundle along the railway track and approach the bridge. Fire Point 
ahead! Launch some HE to demolish it with surprising ease, and then 
cautiously drive forwards and you cross the Rhine with dry feet. There is 
that lone Tank Destroyer and he is still just sitting there..? Now you 
see why you were unable to knock him out - he is shielded by a concrete 
bank and his intention is clearly to stay there and stop you passing. It 
must be commanded by Robert Vaughn. There are a number of ways to knock 
him out, from mad dash to creeping caution to pushing your buddy 
reluctantly ahead as a shield. (They won't advance beyond the end of the 
bridge by themselves, even when directed. Not so dim after all!) Just one 
shot will do for that fanatic defender, but there again just one shot 
will do for you! Do you feel lucky?

(After all that effort and a good half-hour of close action, there is a 
distinct possibility that your score for this round will make you weep!)


_________________________________________________________________________


T A C T I C S
_____________


Finish a mission and after your Battle results you see the SELECT MAP / 
TANK STATUS screen. Press CIRCLE twice to step back through the TANK 
SELECT screen and arrive at the Menu screen from the beginning of the 
game. This time choose 'TACTICS'.
 
    ,---------------------------------------------------------,
    |||||| USA ||||| Training-1 |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    '---------------------------------------------------------'

    ,- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -,    
    |                             |     PLAYER   U S A
    |                             |     CPU      G E R M A N Y
    |                             |   
    |                             |      
    |                             |     0. M4A1(76)    x1
    |           M A P             |     1. M4A1(76)    x1
    |                             |     2. PzIV H s    x2
    |                             |     3. StuGIII G   x3
    |                             |     4.
    |                             |     5.
    |                             |     6.
    |_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _|     7.

                   |>  = S T A R T  B A T T L E


In this screen you see that you are the PLAYER (still playing as USA) and 
your CPU computer opponents are Germany. Your forces are Blue, and theirs 
are Red, and that is matched in the list to the right just underneath. 
These are all the types of tank and the number of each that will be in 
play for each level you choose. Press X and you get another screen 
listing the Missions, and it looks very similar to the one we saw at the 
very beginning when we played 'TANK SELECT', and indeed there are all the 
missions we have just played, but this time there are even more 
underneath.


    ,---------------------------------------------------------,
    |||||| USA ||||| Training-1 |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    |                Training-2                               |
    |              1944/ 7/ 9  St. Jean-de-Daye               |
    |              1944/ 7/10  Le Dezert                      | 
    |              1944/ 8/15  Argentan                       |
    |              1944/12/18  Poteau                         |
    |              1944/12/21  Saint-Vith                     |
    |  ___________ 1945/ 3/ 7  Ludendorf Bridge               |
    |    RUSSIA      Training                                 |
    |              1941/12/ 9  Strike Army                    |
    | __           1942/ 8/27  Gaytolovo                      |
    | \/           1942/ 1/18  Poselok No.5                   |
    '---------------------------------------------------------'
 

These are all the Missions available for play in PANZER FRONT. You can 
scroll DOWN and see the list for Russia and also of course Germany and go 
on to play those later. For the rest of this part of the FAQ we will stay 
with the Allies. In 'TACTICS' mode you can play exactly the same missions 
as you have just been through with your fictitious tank, but now you will 
have the more interesting choice of taking command of a tank modelled on 
ones used in WWII. This is much more challenging because often your tanks 
are weaker and the enemy is stronger, so replaying all those Allied 
missions will be quite different next time around. 

Some if not most of the mission strategies outlined here will not work as 
well with the weaker tanks which are the default in 'TACTICS' mode. Where 
previously one shot would knock out a tank at distance, now your shells 
bounce off as often as not. You can't afford to take as many hits either, 
so sharpen up your shooting skills. Learn to make best use of your Blue 
forces and know which battles are safe to fight - charging in is usually 
the route to failure. You will certainly notice the difference in 
handling; gentle slopes that you breezed up before are now a maddeningly 
slow grind and the snow and those marshy areas bring you to a crawl. Try 
the simple 'Training-1' mission again now and see what you think. It is 
going to get a lot tougher than that as you well know, so see how you get 
on and then start in on your favourite mission if you feel confident.

The default vehicles for each mission, together with their respective 
opponents, are as follows (in-game descriptions):


             |     Player      Blue units     Green units      Enemy     
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
             |                                                          
 Training-1  |    M4A1(76)          -           M4A1(76)     StuGIII G  
             |                                               PzIV H
             |  
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Training-2  |    M4A1(76)       M4A1(76)          -         Panther A
             |                                               Hetzer
             |  
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
  St.Jean    |    M4A1(76)       M4A1(76)       M4A1(76)     PzIV H s
    de       |                      M4             M4        StuGIII G
   Daye      |               
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Le Dezert   |       M4             M4             M4        Panther A
             |                                               PzIV H s
             |              
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Argentan    |    M4A1(76)          M4             M4        StuGIII G
             |                                               PzJagdIV/L48
             |                                              
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Poteau     |       M4             M4                       StuGIII G
             |                                               PzIV/70(V)
             |              
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Saint-Vith  |    M4A1(76)        M4A1(76)         M4        StuGIII G
             |                                               PzIV H s
             |                                               Panther G
             | 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Ludendorf   |    M4A1(76)        M4A1(76)       M4A1(76)    PzIV/70(V)
  Bridge     |                                               Hetzer
             |                                               JagdTiger


As you see, the main battle weapon for the Allies is an M4 or a variation 
of it. While this is adequate for most of the missions, it is seriously 
lacking in others. (Of course that is the challenge.)

If the default tanks seem just too vulnerable for your liking, then we 
come to the most interesting feature of the game. With the 'TACTICS' 
screen open, take another look at that list of tanks down the right side. 
Press DOWN and you can tab through them one at a time. Highlight your own 
tank (listed as '0. M4A1(76)') and press X again and accept the warning 
about your scores by saying 'YES'. 

 
    ,---------------------------------------------------------,
    |      USA       Training-1                               |
    '---------------------------------------------------------'

    ,- - - - - - - - - - - - - -,    
    |                           |     PLAYER  U S A
    |  | PzIIIJ/L42 |||||       |     CPU     G E R M A N Y
    |    PzIIIJ/L60             |   
    |    PzIII N s              |      
    |    PzIII H s              |     0. M4A1(76)    x1
    |    Panther  A             |     1. M4A1(76)    x1
    |    Panther  G             |     2. PzIV H s    x2
    |    Tiger I  L             |     3. StuGIII G   x3
    |    Tiger II               |     4.
    |    Hetzer                 |     5.
    | __ PzJagdIV/L48           |     6.
    |_\/_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ |     7.



Now the map has been replaced by a window with a list of tank names. 
Press DOWN and you will find more than 30 German, British, Russian and 
American tanks, as well as those fictitious ones bringing up the rear. 

What now? Highlight any one you like the look of. Some of the names you 
should recognise and why not go straight to the top of the Allied tree 
and choose 'Firefly Vc'? If you know anything at all about tank history, 
then this will be a familiar name, as it was just about the only tank the 
Allies had that could match a Tiger. When you press X again you return to 
the TACTICS screen, but of course you will notice that your player line 
now reads '0. Firefly Vc'. Could it be..? Press START and yes, indeed - 
there is your mean green fighting machine ready for awesome action. In 
fact the Training level is just too easy for you. (Notice for example 
that the ammo type says 'APDS' and this is no ordinary weedy shell. Try 
it and see! - One shot. One shot...)  

After finishing Training-1 in record time, go back to the list and pick 
another tank (DOWN and then X). They all have different capabilities, 
most notably the relative speeds. Try the 'M10' - after lumbering around 
in all those monster tanks it is as nippy as a motorbike and packs quite 
punch even so (just don't get hit broadside as it is very weak). No need 
to limit yourself to the Allied tanks either; you can choose ANY tank in 
the list, friend or foe. Go on then - get the Tiger. Whoa-oh YESSS!! 

The gunsight on the German tanks is a little different: the TRIANGLE and 
SQUARE buttons give a rapid digital readout of the distance and then you 
aim the tip of the central triangle at the target. Fantastic! The pin-
point accuracy will leave you reluctant to go back to the other type. If 
you like to live dangerously, why not try it in the Marder? This looks 
like a comedy golf-cart with two paper thin gunners clinging for dear 
life as you swing it around to dodge the flak. Weak, slow AND poorly 
armed... now there's a challenge!

Well, now that you can choose your own tank, why not set your opponents 
to match? This is where the game gets really interesting. Try this first 
training mission with you and Fireball 1 in a Firefly and your opponents 
to be Tigers and JagdTigers. (Just keep pressing DOWN to highlight the 
others after you set your own tank.) That should make it about as tough 
as it can be. You can even set EVERYBODY in Tigers for a 'death match'! 
How about everybody else in Tigers and you stay in your Sherman? No?

Try and give all the tanks (and non-tanks) a work-out and assess their 
strengths and weaknesses. You will soon see which match each other and 
then you can start to plan how to make all those missions even more 
challenging by setting your opponents as strong as you can handle, or 
giving yourself the handicap of a weaker tank when it all gets a little 
easy. But still that isn't even the half of it... don't forget about that 
'Ace' setting.

_________________________________________________________________________


'A C E'
_______


Go to the Menu screen and choose 'OPTIONS'. Press RIGHT to set the 
difficulty to 'Ace' and take a look at the changed settings beneath. 

Compared to what you are used to with 'Veteran' there may not appear to 
be much difference, but a couple of these will have a major impact and 
should add greatly to the challenge. The automatic aids for the 
'Transmission' and 'Turret Rotation' won't be much missed, and the loss 
of the 'Double Loading Speed' you can cope with because of your improved 
shooting ability. However, the 'Tank Damage' and 'Limited Ammo' will 
affect you greatly, and in a bad way at first.

The 'Tank Damage' is an ingenious feature that contributes yet further to 
the sense of realism in PANZER FRONT. Seemingly randomly, your vehicle 
will take on unwelcome characteristics such as suddenly not having the 
turret rotate or (more seriously) not being able to fire the main gun. In 
that case, and also when you lose a track or suffer mechanical breakdown, 
it is as good as over. Just like the real thing. On the plus side, you 
will be able to inflict identical levels of damage on your enemies!

The 'Limited Ammo' option similarly adds another touch of realism; just 
as with a real tank, you now carry only a small stock of shells according 
to type. You will have to husband these very carefully, and keep your 
strongest type for the most deserving enemy. You should switch often 
between the type according to the target and stop loosing off hopeful 
shots into the distance, as you will curse the loss of every wasted shell 
when you go to meet three targets at once with only half a dozen of the 
strong ammo left! Again there is a plus side in that your enemies can 
also run out of shells, and you will know this when a Panzer starts 
pathetically spraying you with MG fire... To compensate for this handicap 
in 'Ace' mode, there is an added feature with this option which is a 
'Supply Point' to replenish stocks, but it is usually in a remote place 
and you may have to fight hard to get to it.

Just for the first time playing as 'Ace' I suggest you turn 'Tank Damage' 
off; that really does make it a game for experts, and at least knowing 
there is another grade of difficulty in store gives you something to aim 
for when you have played through all the missions a few times over.

Start with the Training-1 mission (even though you may be sick of it by 
now). Open your Map screen and you see the first big difference in this 
mode. There is a large semi-transparent Red square just behind the 
starting position which is labelled 'SUPPLY POINT'. Whilst it is not 
critical on this training run, this is an important feature in later 
missions, so always locate it in your Map screen first thing.

When you set off after Fireball 1 your tank seems very sluggish. Not 
surprising, as it is still in first gear! Of course you have swapped your 
automatic gearbox for a manual, so press X to change up and SQUARE to 
change down (which you don't have to do if you only let it slow down - it 
won't stall! This gives you one more thing to worry about and you can't 
be doing with that when you need a quick escape with two on your tail and 
you're stuck in a bog... I usually switch the automatic gearbox back on, 
but see if you like it. It's more of an irritation than a challenge.

Soon we come to our first opponent, so start launching shells his way. 
With the default tank, these consist of APC M62's. I'm guessing that the 
first bit stands for 'Armour Piercing' something or other, but if you hit 
that first Assault Gun with it the effect is quite spectacular anyway. 
Glance through your arsenal and you see other unfamiliar names (which I 
suspect have little significance to any player not into trainspotting), 
but which you can see are beefed up versions of your familiar arsenal, 
and they carry all the same characteristics and usages.

Notice that there are white numbers above each shell type, and that 
ominously the numbers count down once with each shot. Well, that isn't 
going to be a problem on this run unless you are the world's worst shot, 
but some of the tanks carry less shells and even this tank has a limited 
stock of the type most useful in other missions. This is where the Supply 
Point comes in.

If you fancy checking it out, reverse back to the start point (allowing 
you to keep that Panzer at bay with a couple of volleys). Don't forget to 
change gear (from Slow to a Bit Less Slow) and simply trundle over the 
supply point - it tells you onscreen when you are over it. Take a look in 
the Map screen and click for 'Yes' to 'Replenish ammo supply?' Now you 
see a small box-out listing the ammo you carry according to your tank 
type, which for the default M4A1(76) reads:


                    ,- - - - - - - - -.
                    | M4A1(76)        |
                    |- - - - - - - - -|
                    | APC  M62   x 32 |
                    | HVAP M93   x 20 |
                    | HE M42AI   x 33 |
                    | HCBI M88   x  5 |
                    |- - - - - - - - -|
                    | REMAINS       0 |
                    '- - - - - - - - -' 


Despite letting fly with a few shots at that Panzer, whatever your tally 
of shells was on arriving at the Supply Point, you now automatically have 
the full complement shown above. Cool! 

But that's not all - the figure at the bottom next to 'REMAINS' says '0'. 
Tab down to the HE (which is entirely useless on this training run) and 
follow the guidance of the onscreen help and press SQUARE a couple of 
times to 'DECREASE'. The figures beside HE go down accordingly because 
you are now offloading those useless shells at the Supply Point, and you 
will see the figure for 'Remains' goes up by the corresponding amount per 
click. Now tab to HVAP and press TRIANGLE for 'INCREASE' and this time 
those numbers beside 'Remains' go down but your HVAP numbers start to go 
up! Even cooler. You will grasp that the idea is that you only have so 
much capacity in the tank and you must juggle the ammo around according 
to your usage. The 'Remains' figure is a sort of credit meter - give one 
and get one.

Apart from the handling of your tank (if you choose to play on with the 
automatics aids switched off) about the only difference in the game will 
be that you won't see replays when you hit a target. This means that you 
should be aware of when a tank is knocked out so you don't pour 
unnecessary fire in - watch for comments from the crew and check the Map 
screen as sometimes it can look as if there was a big explosion but he's 
not dead yet. More realism.

If you find this is all well within your capabilities then there is one 
more adjustment to make that even the 'Ace' has as a default setting: 
turn off the 'Range Indicator'. Now you will have to judge visually the 
distance to the target when you come across one and home in shot by shot, 
just like a real tank gunner! This is where your experience will pay off, 
but you can guess the difficulties ahead when you find yourself 
surrounded and alone, damaged and nearly out of ammo, and a long, long 
way from the either supplies or the objective... 

Happy hunting!
    
_________________________________________________________________________


C O N C L U S I O N  
___________________


Of course PANZER FRONT is not for everybody, but as you have seen there 
are so many wonderful features to try out that even when you have played 
through every mission, for an enthusiast this game should never lose its 
appeal. 

If you breezed through some of the earlier rounds in 'TANK SELECT' then 
you may be surprised at how much of a challenge 'TACTICS' mode is when 
you try them again. Now you must think up different approaches, and there 
are so many ingenious touches and discoveries that you will think you 
have never found the perfect route. Of course there are also scores to be 
improved upon - and the little matter of all those Russian and German 
missions!

Always be ready to try something new and you can get surprising and 
sometimes very satisfying results. For example, when playing 'Le Dezert' 
I got to wondering why the forces with Dodger 4 to the north got 
overwhelmed so easily every time, so I did a U-turn and crashed off 
through the hedges to take a look. After a fierce battle with the three 
tanks and not paying attention to the radio calls, I realised that 
because I had sent no reserves, the defenders at Le Dezert had been wiped 
out. Three Panzers were closing from the west and two Panthers from the 
south and the village wide open! I raced along the lanes and expected to 
see the "Defences have fallen" message any second but rounded the corner 
from the north-west to come across the lot of them trundling along the 
open field and lined up broadside... 

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

...with only a slight turret adjustment, and then sped around a building:

And just where are YOU off to? Not so fast, my friend... Ka-BOOM!! 

An exhilarating victory snatched from the jaws of defeat in 15 seconds. 
Now what other game gives you that experience 100 times over? 



_________________________________________________________________________

PANZER FRONT - PLAYSTATION

  Released: April 2001 (UK)
Developers: Enterbrain
 Publisher: JVC

_________________________________________________________________________


(c) J Woodrow 2002

<jonjon132002@yahoo.co.uk>