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Posted on Sep 26, 2005 in Stuff We Like

Strategy: Blitzkrieg II

By Jim Cobb

High explosives are not only fun to watch but useful as well. Attacking any strong point without at least one pasting by air bombardment or artillery barrage is usually futile and always costly. On-map artillery should be used as often as ammunition supplies permit. The "range" function should be used to ensure the batteries are close enough to fire but back far enough to be reasonably safe. Counter-battery fire on those expanding orange circles of enemy in-coming is almost mandatory. Ammunition supply levels should be watched and appropriate steps should be taken to establish a chain of trucks from a depot to the front. Leaving a garrison back and having small guard posts on supply routes aren’t bad ideas if troops are available.

This air attack will make things much easier for the guys moving up.

Calling in bombers in lieu of artillery is a good idea but has idiosyncrasies. Bombers shot down by enemy aircraft are a waste. A clue to possible air interdiction is the presence of fighters as reinforcements. Send fighters in ahead of the bombers. Ground units should be pulled away from bombardment targets. Blitzkrieg II allows for collateral damage; hence, "danger close" can cause casualties.


Any combined arms operation calls for knowledge of units. Players should know the range of their units so they can compliment each of the other types of units. Open-topped vehicles should be well-escorted; grenade-throwing infantry should be kept a tad behind the range of any supporting tank; understand that engineers need cover to clear mines and that repair trucks should be kept relatively close to mechanized units.

Stealth and Speed

So far, this article has been about planning and preparation, hardly describing a rip-snortin’, guns-a’blazin’ combat game. Blitzkrieg II, like its predecessor, advances its genre beyond the "bum’s rush" type of game. Players must balance brute force with craftiness to maximize career points. An essential point for preparation is using cover.

Readers may say "Well, duh! Everyone knows cover protects troops." Yes, but there’s more to it than that. Cover should be used to stealthily position troops before the main attack on an objective. "Entrenching" armor should not be thought only as building revetments but also as having vehicles assume hull-down positions. Running an armored column along a river bed may bypass a strong point that may not need to be assaulted. Infantry can use houses and ruins to sneak into ambush positions. Since frontal assaults waste precious reinforcement and decrease promotion points, enemy positions should be flanked so as to allow attacks on the undefended and weak rear positions. A few minutes of unseen creeping can save several squads.

Russian troops can move into position better by using the
tree-covered ridge to flank the enemy

However, once troops are in position, attacks should be made with the utmost speed and violence. The computer opponent will rush forces to a threatened sector. A hard-hitting, well-planned attack should not only be able to take its initial objective but should also be able to crush any counter-attack. Artillery, then, should be prepared to shift quickly from its initial targets to any on-coming threat. The surviving infantry may want to dig trenches quickly. Armor can either help in the defense by using the "ambush" action or roar out to catch the bad guys in march order and press on to the next objective while the foe is off-balance. Regardless of the choices made, a well-prepared attack should provide enough excitement for even the most blood thirsty players.


Defending a position in Blitzkrieg II is more straightforward, and also more nerve-wracking than attacking. Positioning troops early is everything. Two-thirds to half of available forces should be in forward defensive positions that are already in place or built by troops. Tanks should be in entrenched and ambush modes. If expendable units are available, they can be sent outside the perimeter to serve as early warning sentinels. The remainder of the force should be held back in reserve. When the attack begins, the enemy comes on in waves. Players should fight the impulse to click on units and simply allow their guys do their thing – they’re pretty good at it. The enemy will wear down a section or two of the perimeter. Infantry from the reserve can shore up these gaps while short counter-punches with armor stops any breakthrough. An eye should be kept on the mini-map to spot approach routes; a well-timed air attack can stop an enemy column in its tracks. Players won’t have any cues about progress so they must simply stick to their plan until the blessed "Mission Successful" message appears.

A well-made defensive line pays off with no intervention by the player.

What Blue Can Do for You

Finally, players should know how to maximize those friendly blue units they don’t control. Provoking an attack on them may be a cheap way of weakening a foe. If they attack, follow them and take advantage of any holes they make. Blue units can be the backbone of any defense. If blue units can absorb the first attacking waves, the player’s reserve can be enlarged. Blue units will break, therefore, players’ reinforcements should be prepared to shift to protect what ever area blue forces were guarding.

Blitzkrieg II cannot be won by sheer force alone; the computer opponent is too clever for that. Victory can only come with use of appropriate and time-tested basic tactics. The tactics in this article should give players a nice start on their road to triumph.

The CDV Blitzkrieg II home.

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1 Comment

  1. I like Blitzkrieg 1 more than 2.