Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Company of Heroes Walkthrough - Invasion of Normandy - Mission 3 - Carentan (Expert)

Company of Heroes Walkthrough - Invasion of Normandy - Mission 3 - Carentan (Expert)

Click here for the index of our Company of Heroes Mission Walkthrough Index and our gameplay paradigm.
  • In order to set up for Mission 4, your final objective in this mission is to get the map into a stable state and have access to as much of the roads as possible before ending Mission 3.
    • This will let you choose how much preparation you want to do for Carentan Counterattack.
    • Absolutely do NOT delete your final save for Mission 3 - Carentan. Otherwise, if you choose to re-play Carentan Counterattack, you start with the mission-defined units only. No prep, no captured Strategic Points north of the bridges, and no units carried over.
    • You can clear Carentan almost entirely, and leave just a few units inside the Town Hall. You then have free access to the rest of the map.
  • Heavy Weapons like infantry anti-armor RPzB 54 Panzerschreck chip away at building health more than enemy unit health, so repeated fire won't really help you that much since they will be killing you with attrition while you try to collapse their building.
  • Some buildings only have one entrance. Others have front and back, so you can go "through" a building by entering and then selecting the garrisoned unit to exit the rear.
    • This is important in the early phase of the mission because you might need cover quickly sometimes, and ducking into and through a building is often better than a Retreat.
    • To choose a facing when you exit, use the controls to select an exit location. Otherwise the game chooses the "front" and that isn't always where you want to come out from.
Part 1 - Café Normandin
  • At the very start of the mission, pause the game and immediately grab the 6 units supposedly under enfilade and Retreat them. Trying to move them to cover will probably not be fast enough to not lose any men. Keep an eye on them so they or the new Paratrooper unit don't drift back up automatically since your Retreat is only to the edge of the map.
  • The other unit of 4 can rush to the wall to the right side of the Café. There, safely out of the line of fire, they can throw a Satchel Charge into the Café.
  • Obviously, grab the light machine-gun left over. Keep whichever squad has the gun as healthy as possible as that is your main anti-infantry weapon for most of this phase of the mission.

Part 2 - Get a Heavy Machine-Gun
You can rush the Church, but if you haven't cleared the area around it (including the building directly across, which houses an MG42 machine-gun team), you'll end up holed up in the church fighting defensively until you lose your units.
  • There is only one entrance/exit, which is the front of the church.
  • You cannot convert it into Barracks until the area is clear, so taking the Church won't get you Reinforcements.
  • The main reason we suggest going for the Church early is to grab the enemy machinegun.
First, Satchel Charge the building to the west. Notice that when you moved up toward the building, enemy soldiers charged up to a point. Before we advance too far, lure all these sorties out into the open and kill them so you won't fight too many enemies at the Church.
  • Try to use your Light Machine-Gun ONLY.
    • It has longer range than enemy rifles and the enemy tends to hold ground unless you also fall back.
    • The rest of the squad will drift up because their rifles have shorter range, so use sandbags and periodically direct the unit to stay behind the sandbags if they seem to be drifting out of cover (see below).

Once no more enemy units are inclined to exit buildings and come at you, we can head for the back of the Church (see picture below).

  • Move your LMG team behind the low wall for covering fire and the remaining units to the tombstones. Notice all units can have heavy cover.
  • Depending on how much health your units have lost prior to this assault, you can get through this firefight with no losses -- even on Expert Difficulty.
  • Throw GRENADES (not Satchel Charges) because the enemy will occupy the church once existing units are killed and to limit how much exposure from enemy fire you get from the Church.
    • If the Church is empty but an enemy unit is entering it, wait till it shows as garrisoned or your grenade will have no effect.
  • After the area is clear, do NOT occupy the church because you will end up in a big firefight and die from attrition. Also, the only entrance is up front and going that far will get your troops pinned by the machine-gun across the church square.
  • Instead, build a sandbag wall and move forward to grab the HMG (see picture below). Make sure your forces are supported by your LMG from behind. Crawl back behind the bag, set up the HMG, and clear the courtyard. You probably can't out-shoot the MG42 in the building opposite the Church without losses, so handle that later.

Part 3 - Clear the Area
Now that you have a weapon with a range longer than enemy rifles, it is your main weapon. Sight with your other units and let your heavy machine-gun clear buildings with attrition (see pictures below).
  • If your HMG stops shooting even though there are troops inside, it means the enemy is facing a window the HMG cannot shoot at (if you zoom in, you can see troops in windows). Reposition your HMG to get at them, or your spotting troops to lure them to a different window.

The two buildings behind the Café Normandin can be easily and safely cleared (though it might take a long time), but don't exchange fire with the heavy machine-gun in the building opposite the Church (see picture below).
  • First, clear the infantry on the road with your HMG. If they withdraw into a building, that is also fine.
  • To approach the HMG building safely and Satchel Charge it, send a unit into the alley with the Strategic Point.
    • They will draw mortar fire so you don't have much time. Because of nearby enemy units on the other side of the alley ruins, the enemy can see the alley and therefore fire mortar shells into it. Nowhere in the alley is really safe if your unit stands still.
    • Hug the buildings to the north to stay as much out of HMG fire as you can. Throw a Satchel Charge, then run to avoid mortar fire (see picture below).
    • All you need is for the HMG team to be killed, though this can take a couple of tries. The rest of the building can be taken out with your own HMG as you did with the previous buildings.

Only an AT gun is left, but approaching it can cause Pioneers to set barbed wire across the roads. Cover the roads with your HMG and approach with infantry (see pictures below).

  • When you are moving up the main road toward the Town Hall to attack the AT gun, rush your LMG BEHIND the gun.
    • All you need to do is kill two of the crew.
    • Remember that you are in mortar range and cannot really dally too long. You can buy yourself a bit of extra time by coordinating a distraction in the alley by trying to secure the Strategic Point there as this will draw mortar fire. When the mortar has turned to set up, rush your units to cover the road and kill the AT gun crew. The mortar has to change positions before being able to fire at the unit attacking the AT gun crew.
      • If the mortar turns to attack your other units, continue capturing the Strategic Point. It can help a lot if you are low on munitions and want to mine the area around the Church.
      • You can capture the Strategic Point without trying to distract the mortar crew, but this is chancy because although mortars are notoriously inaccurate, even splash damage can be dangerous.
      • If you capture it, don't bother putting a Listening Post on it because the mortar will blow it up anyway.

Part 3 - Secure the Church

Once the Church can be taken, secure it with defenses (sand bags and mines) before converting it into Barracks. After the briefing, you will hear barbed wire being cut -- that signals the Germans sending in a counterattack force.

Part 4 - Clear Carentan

Build 1 Mortar Team and 2 Snipers.
  • You can steal the single enemy mortar, but getting to it is very dangerous. Also, until you destroy the mortar team, your snipers cannot operate north of the Town Hall without coming under fire. Therefore, get your own mortar and destroy the enemy mortar early.
  • With 2 snipers, one can spot while the other shoots at a distance safe from detection. Also, there is more than enough in 50 sniper kills to get both to Veterancy level 3.
Mortar Team:
  • The approximate range limit of the lone enemy mortar is the alley with the Strategic Point closest to the Church. Set your mortar behind this range and shell the enemies spotting for the mortar. These are the Pioneers north east of the building that housed the enemy HMG team opposite the Church; and a sniper in a building to the north east (see pictures below).
  • Once the Germans are blind to the alley, seize the Strategic Point and move your mortar up. You already know the approximate location of the enemy mortar, so you can get first strike and move your mortar before the enemy shells you back. Keep repeating this until the enemy mortar is destroyed.

  • These two sniper houses (see below) are hard to counter-snipe or AT-gun without being exposed to deadly counter-fire. Instead, use a mortar.

Sniper Team:
  • Keep an eye on your shooter, especially if you direct him to attack units in a building. He can only shoot models he can see -- he is not shooting the building itself -- so if your shooter wanders off into enemy range, it is probably because he is repositioning to shoot a model peeking out a building window that is not currently facing him.
  • Go north up the main road, but not too far into the Town Hall piazza as motorcycles will come down to look for snipers. You only need to kill enough troops to safely secure the AT gun. You will not be able to safely get the AT gun until the enemy mortar is destroyed.
  • Head out the west road and mind the sniper in the building there. Either snipe or mortar that building.
  • From now on, the snipers are basically to scout ahead and take out any motorcycles or infantry that are not in a building.
    • For enemies in a building, try to use your AT gun (or Mortar) for the easy Veterancy as you can spot with a sniper and safely bring down the building with your AT gun at a safe distance, killing all enemies inside when the building collapses.
Town Hall
    • Once you are in the main piazza, do not get too close to the Town Hall or enemies will start streaming out of buildings and running for the bridges to escape the map by northern road exits.
      • See the picture below for approximately how close you must be to trigger this and note that the zone is approximately marked by the raised pavement.
      • These enemies are not endless, but there are a lot of them, so set up units that need Veterancy at the bridges before triggering the event. You can also stop it by stepping out of the zone.
    • You can shoot town hall from the rear through the gate facing the water. The garrison won't reposition to shoot back but you also won't be able to get at all the units.
    • You can blow the gate and enter that U-shaped ring. This ought to let you Satchel Charge the units inside from the rear.
    • You can sometimes throw grenades or Satchel Charges at the Town Hall centre building through the outer buildings. In general you can do this but it is chancy -- it depends on the position of the model actually doing the throwing and whether the game registers if the projectile collides with anything. See picture below for a successful grenade toss.
    • Do NOT kill all units inside the Town Hall. This ends the mission.

    Part 5 - Prepare for Mission 4
    • Leave at least 1 unit/model inside the Town Hall until you are ready to complete this Mission. By clearing all of Carentan and leaving the Town Hall in enemy hands, you can now choose just how much of the map you want to prepare/mine in order to help you with Mission 4 - Carentan Counterattack.
      • In the video below, you can see how an obscene number of mines carpeting all of the map can make Carentan Counterattack ludicrously easy -- you don't even have to lift a finger in defense and still get the Bronze Medal.
      • We'll talk about preparations for Carentan Counterattack in our walkthrough for Mission 4.

    Part 6 - End Mission
      As soon as all enemies are cleared from the Town Hall, two events occur.
      • First, a German vehicle magically teleports into the map and drives toward the Town Hall. You can see where it starts from in the picture below, where it got blown up by mines as soon as it appeared. Notice the mines all around it are unexploded -- the vehicle either had immunity while driving in, or just appeared in that location suddenly.

      • Second, a few units appear outside the Town Hall. Whether you kill any or not, these are probably supposed to be the fleeing enemy units in the cutscene that ends the Mission.

      This is our complement of troops just before killing the last enemy soldier inside the Town Hall. Map is stable at this point and we can just sit and accumulate resources to do extensive mining in preparation for Mission 4 - Carentan Counterattack.

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