Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Company of Heroes Walkthrough - Invasion of Normandy - Mission 9 - Hill 192 (Expert)

Company of Heroes Walkthrough - Invasion of Normandy - Mission 9 - Hill 192

Click here for the index of our Company of Heroes Mission Walkthrough Index and our gameplay paradigm.

Hill 192 is a really tough mission if you want the Medal on Expert Difficulty. Even if you allow unit losses -- which will cost you time to replace -- there is really very little room for setbacks because of the tight time limit.

Because the left and middle of the map looked dense and had little room for maneuvering, we chose to advance up the right where we could use more tanks at the same time. Thicker hedges could not be bulldozed, and because of the tight time limits, we went straight up the main route.
In the picture below, you can see how far we got (blue sectors) at just over half the time limit of 30 minutes.

The clock starts ticking when your first tank reinforcements come. By that time you should have been able to get a Tank Depot ready. Going right gets you Fuel but no munitions. Going left gives you more opportunities to get both but it could take longer to charge up to the hill.
Strangely, you can safely abandon your initial starting position.

We made a number of mistakes in our playthrough but still managed to get the Soldier's Medal on Expert Difficulty:
  • Capturing an AT gun.
    • Too slow to move and most fighting was done with tanks anyway.
    • Ultimately we lost this unit anyway.
  • Not getting a mortar.
    • We destroyed an enemy mortar team but it did not drop a mortar and by that time we were too far from our base to build the required structure.
      • Whenever you get the message that the enemy is flanking, it means squads are moving. They don't always go for Strategic Points you have captured, but they do camp at various locations, so when you backtrack you could run into them. This in turn means that if you Retreat units, you can also expect that they will run into these units.
  • Not getting a Halftrack to reinforce infantry in the field.
  • Not shelling the AT gun positions.
    • We didn't know where they were and initial bombardment did not reveal them, but they are basically located southwest and southeast of the Victory Point you need to capture. See picture below.
    • Not destroying them meant advancing into the fortified hill position took a long time.
    • Calliope bombardment is very unreliable and they are likely to survive several bombardments, so the sooner you start the better.

Part 1 - Get Tanks

You can capture the strategic point to the east, but if you push too far you may not have any tanks to fight enemy Panzers, and end up using too much Munitions on basically useless Sticky Bombs. Calliope bombardment is useless against enemy tanks as the spread is generally too wide to kill any vehicle.
Build as many Shermans as you can. Depending on your resources, you may subsequently build a Motor Pool and get yourself a Halftrack to reinforce units in field. If not, keep your tanks alive and engineers safe as Repairing means you can keep pressing forward with just tanks.

Part 2 - Get Calliope into position, destroy Artillery Tower

By the time you get the Calliope close enough, you will probably come under artillery fire and get a message to destroy the enemy Artillery Tower. There is one Sdkfz 251 Halftrack "Walking Stuka" rocket launcher on either side of the map and they will continually bombard you whenever they can somehow sight you, but not on the Hill itself. Also, if they lack a visible target, they appear to be scripted to bombard the entrance to the hill (see the picture below for approximate location). Destroy at least one then go for the tower.

When the Tower is in sight, something you can do is rush it with a couple of tanks. The German Halftracks do not care where they bombard as long as they are attacking your units. If you rush the Tower location with your Crocodile (to burn out the numerous infantry there), keep moving. When a bombardment appears in the location, pull out quickly and let the bombardment destroy the Tower for you.

After you destroy the Tower, except rocket bombardment to continue. You probably don't have time to destroy the other Halftrack but if you can, a lot of pressure can be lifted.

Part 3 - Secure Hill 192

The final push up the hill will be easier if you can destroy the two AT guns guarding the entrance. Otherwise, you may have to do the following, while dodging enemy bombardment:
  • Line up your tanks to cover the entrance (see picture above). You may have to pull them back if an enemy rush comes out and sights them for artillery.
  • Send in your Crocodile to destroy the tank traps so that your push forward with tanks will advance more quickly. This will probably draw a couple of Panzers, so pull back and destroy them before charging up. One Panzer will remain on the east side of the hill.
  • Rush your tanks up and because the Panzer is parked (and apparently won't move) from the east side of the hill, line them up to the west to flank (see picture below) and advance east.
  • As soon as one side is clear, you can rush your own infantry up to grab the Victory Point for the win.

In the Youtube video below, you can see the interesting option of using a swarm of Rangers to destroy everything and take the Hill (NOT played on Expert Difficulty).

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