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Hints/Tips & Steel Panthers Documents
07-06-2007, 06:06 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-15-2010, 02:29 PM by wigam.)
Hints/Tips & Steel Panthers Documents
Attached are several game guides that players may find useful.

.doc   Game Tips For New Players.doc (Size: 78 KB / Downloads: 428)
.doc   German tactics.doc (Size: 196 KB / Downloads: 258)
.doc   Steel Panthers Filter Explained.doc (Size: 27.5 KB / Downloads: 279)
.doc   Matxers SPMBT Tips v1.doc (Size: 83.5 KB / Downloads: 275)

.pdf   OPFOR tactics.pdf (Size: 2.82 MB / Downloads: 219)

.pdf   USA tactics.pdf (Size: 3.31 MB / Downloads: 165)
Some of us are busy doing things; some of us are busy complaining - Debasish Mridha
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12-16-2007, 06:26 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-19-2017, 08:14 AM by Weasel. Edit Reason: Increase award )
Attention those who teach newbies.
The mentor program, as it was, is dead now. Very few new players were using the system yet it was causing numerous hours of work.

I have therefore created an "open" mentor program. What this means is that anyone can teach a newbie and be rewarded bonus points, as long as the following criteria is met:

1. Notify me that you will be teaching a new player as a mentor,

2. New player must have played 3 games or less of MBT or WW2 (for a total of 6 games), ***changed to 3 of first 5 games reported for each version may be a mentor reported game 18 Apr 17***

3. You must agree that you as the mentor will only record a draw if you win, but allow the newbie to record whatever level of win they achieve, and;

4. You must teach the newbie, providing playing tips and critiquing the new player's play during the game.

Once the above has been met, notify me and I will award you 50 bonus points to go on top of whatever score you achieve. This means at the very least you will record 55 points.

If the newbie disappears in mid game, as is often the case, let me know. If he does not show up I will still award the 50 points, but you cannot record the game as a win.
Some of us are busy doing things; some of us are busy complaining - Debasish Mridha
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06-13-2008, 10:16 AM, (This post was last modified: 02-08-2018, 12:38 PM by Weasel.)
Points for tournament scenario testing
Any player who test plays a scenario for a tournament and does not report the game against the ladder is entitled to a 25 point bonus for play testing. If he play tests the same scenario a second time, after modifications, he is entitled to a further 15 points each additional time. Once testing is complete have the tournament owner contact the SP custodians and we will award the points.

NOTE: if the scenario is uploaded to the H2H testing area you do not qualify for these points as the H2H section awards it's own points.

Tournament owners who play test their own scenarios with a human opponent are also entitled to these bonuses with the same restrictions.
Some of us are busy doing things; some of us are busy complaining - Debasish Mridha
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01-03-2009, 09:58 AM, (This post was last modified: 02-19-2009, 08:08 AM by Weasel.)
zicon 2  Hot Keys, Quick Reference Sheet
I just knocked together a Quick Reference sheet for SPWW2.

It reminded me about one or two features I'd forgotten about.

It includes these:

A Selects 'All Formation' mode (Set range of formation with 'Y' key OR move entire formation; but toggle off after use)
B Bombardment menu (Plot artillery, air strikes, spotters and airborne)
D Fire smoke dischargers, for tank or AFV (If smoke dischargers fitted, and have SD ammo left)
E Encyclopaedia
F Fire at current target
G Go to the next formation's HQ unit (i.e. cycle through formations)
H Headquarters menu (Force composition, organisation and HQ contact info; including radios and radio contact)
J Clipboard unit list (Status of all units, including supression, damage, ammo, experience and morale)
L Load/Unload unit on/off transport (Must be in the same hex to load unless beside a barge)
M Map Text on or off (Toggle on or off, if map designer has provided text)
N Select the Next on map unit
P Select the Previous on map unit
Q End turn
R Rally the current unit (Provided it is capable)
S Save game
T Target selection (Also a good way to centre the map over your current unit)
U Clear dark hexes and smoke (Toggles, hit twice to get smoke back after clearing dark hexes)
V Replay opponents last turn
W Select a single weapon to fire (Opens a weapons submenu. Ignored for close assaults)
X Fire a smoke round at the target hex (May have to do this twice for smoke to fire)
Y Set max op fire range (Helps unit hold fire and stay concealed until 'can't miss'; but if shot at they will return fire)
Z Fire suppressive or area fire at a hex, rather than a target (Used by any unit with LOS to target hex; or on-map indirect artillery units & tripod MGs can fire through smoke and trees - but NOT hills - out of LOS)
Z then R Blast Circles on/off (Can also use B then R. Shows max blast radius only. Known units damaged circled in yellow)
\ V-Hexes ON or OFF
? Help screen
. (dot) Hex grid On or Off (Hotkey not available until the next version is released)
+ and - Zoom and unzoom map (Use numberpad + and - )
@ Bail out crew from vehicle or gun (May need another vehicle to load crew, so they don't recrew their vehicle or gun)
} Unit view (Shows all hexes visible from selected unit's hex; checks all around LOS regardless of facing)
^ Set rally point (Choose the hex/direction you want a formation to go towards when in retreat)
Spacebar Unit info screen (Set helicopter altitude; click name to rename leader, or weapon/smoke discharger to turn off/on)
right click On an enemy unit to see basic information about it (Then 'I' for more detailed info)
0 ( Zero ) Opportunity fire filtering screen (For holders of the CD version)
1 PBEM Security Information (Loads & Quits should be equal. Fails can indicate technical problems or cheating)
5 Display Formation IDs (For holders of the CD version)
8 Reverse vehicle, keeping front towards the enemy (Costs 3 times the value of going forwards into the hex)

Deployment Phase Only
A Deploy all of the current formation close by the current unit
C Clear dark hexes
D Load all loadable units into the NEAREST available transport (not necessarily units own transport) or unload
E Entrench units (Assault or Defence only. Less types entrench for assaulter. Cannot entrench in water type hex)
F Find the current unit (Centres the map over the unit)
Q Quit deploying
V Show hexes visible to current unit (With its current facing. Turn the unit by right clicking on a clear hex)
W Assign individual unit to another formation (Support & Core cannot be assigned to each other. Cannot assign away the commander of a Company or Platoon)
X Deploy Mines/Dragons teeth etc. (In assault/defence game, defender may use if got build points during purchase phase)
. (dot) Set game length in turns (Player 1, Purchase Phase in the View Map screen ONLY. Do NOT go over 90 turns)

Also does anyone know any hot keys I'm missing?

I'll include my Quick Ref Sheet as an excel attachment.
I made one for US/Canadian 'letter' size, and one 'A4' size for the rest; so it will print out on one page.

Here's another:

Z then R Blast Circles on/off (Can also use B then R. Shows max blast radius only. Known units damaged circled in yellow)

} Unit view (Shows all hexes visible from selected unit's hex; checks all around LOS regardless of facing)

^ Set rally point (Choose the hex/direction you want a formation to go towards when in retreat)

J Clipboard list of units (Quickest way to see the status of all units, including damage, ammo, experience and morale)

Attached Files
.zip   SP Hot Keys letter size.zip (Size: 6.23 KB / Downloads: 36)
.zip   SP Hot Keys A4 size.zip (Size: 6.24 KB / Downloads: 29)
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02-02-2009, 03:45 AM, (This post was last modified: 02-19-2009, 08:21 AM by Weasel.)
AAA routine - how it works
Ok, after many emails to me, and frustration on my part too, I asked the designing powers at Shrapnel how exactly the AAA routine works in winspww2. The reply from Mobhack was educating, and instead of replying to each person whom asked individually I am posting here.

First off: IGNORE the max range on AAA for engaging a/c, it means basically nothing. AAA will normally only engage out to about a range of 20 hexes max; now you may get the odd long shot, but all in all the a/c must fly closer then 20 hexes to the AAA unit to be engaged and have a chance of being hit. Consider the 20 hexes the maximum range. What does this mean? AAA must be deployed close to the units you want to protect. The days of setting your guns on a hill top and hoping they might engage a/c attacking your artillery 22 hexes away is over. My suggestion and as mentioned by Mobhack: set your guns into a U shape near the vital target with about 4-6 hexes between tubes.

Second: SPAA - this AAA is basically only good for very close in a/c attacks, within 8-10 hexes of the target maximum. In my experience it only engages a/c within 5 hexes. So ensure one unit is always stationary near the target (best not to have moved the turn before also) while the other is moving up to the next position; think over watch.

Thanks to Mobhack (Andy) for providing detail on the AAA routines.
Imp at Shrapnel offered the following in regards to SPAA. It makes sense in some regards, anyone have anything different to add?

"From experience I think this is wrong perhaps another explanation
1) AA needs a LOS to fire & like other guns may well not fire if its hit chance is to low saving shots for a better target.
2) If the gun already has a better target i.e. fired at ground unit & has a "lock" it is even less likely to fire.
3) If it moves to hit chance goes down
4) Mobile & static guns both use same rules so if had identical stats both would react to a given situation the same.

So what should you look for in AA gun for it to engage.
To engage initially experience helps plus a good range finder, range & gun accuracy.
To continue engaging good fire control & ROF help as additional shots at same target have a chance to climb to a higher to hit chance.

Range has an effect I think as the shorter the range the quicker the accuracy & damage fall off.
An AA gun would need a reasonably good RF (think post WW2) to fire at max range."
I posted some test results out at the Shrapnel site after running some tests, using one type of AA gun (US 40mm AA gun) and altering targets and experience of the gun. At no point would the guns engage beyond 20 hexes. This was out of 320 opportunities to do so. The only times the guns engaged at 20 hexes was when the AA unit had an experience of 120, on average. If the experience was 70, the maximum range was 15 and this happened only one time out of 160 engagement opportunities.

The target engaged also is a factor. Average engagement range of a Ju88 is about 11 hexes by an experience 70 gun crew. Average engagement range of a Fw190 is about 5 hexes by an experience 70 gun crew. With the Fw190, the guns failed to engage the target before it dropped it's payload 50% of the time. From what I understand, this is basically what you have been seeing. IMO, this shouldn't happen that often. It may be reality, but given my test conditions (clear, flat ground w/visibility=80), I think failing to engage 50% of the time doesn't make sense.

I hope this information helps.


One qualification I want to add with the tests I ran was four guns were set up. When any one of the four fired, that was the range I used. It's too difficult to mark down the range of every engagement and which gun fired. This being the case, the range averages I listed were for when at least one gun out of the group engaged. The crews from the other guns could very well have been sitting there playing cards, for all I could tell.

I am running some other tests, for no other reason really than being bored at the moment. This time I'm using a Russian 37mm AA gun with an experience of 120. It has a better range and accuracy than US 40mm. Rate of fire is the same(8). The maximum engagement range is still turning out to be 20 hexes. I'm going to test Imp's theory that rate of fire could also be a factor. Warhead size could also be a factor.
Additional testing and modifications could not get an AA gun to engage targets beyond 20 hexes. The Russian 37mm gun, unmodified, would engage at a maximum of 20 hexes. In this case, six Russian 37mm AA guns were used and at least one of them engaged at a range of 19 or 20 hexes, but since more guns were used someone was bound to be awake.

With the same gun, I doubled the rate of fire from 8 to 16 and it made no difference in the maximum engagement range. Again, with the same gun, I doubled the warhead size, after returning the rate of fire back to 8, and the maximum engagement range was still 20 hexes. All of this happened on a clear map with visibility 80. At this point, there seems to be some sort of limit to how far out a gun can engage a plane and that limit seems to be 20. The experience for the gun tested was 120.
Tis the range finder RF not ROF that helps with engagement range.

At any rate keep your AAA close to what its protecting, if nothing else it might become a target instead.

Seriously in real life unless these things were the target of the attack or near it chance of a take down is slim.
A plane flying left to right at speed is a hard thing to hit as need to lead the shot, one coming right at you is a whole lot easier hence the effectiveness of aircraft carrier AA though they still missed. Also hedge hopping & the like not possible over water
This was posted on another forum; it speaks a thousand words:

Here are some cold, hard numbers related to the US 40mm AA gun in some tests I ran in the game.

To begin with, the terrain was completely clear ground. Testing took place on a 100x100 map with visibility set to 80. The variables controlled were the experience of the AA unit and the target. Test conditions had four US 40mm AA guns set up to to engage the target coming in on a straight east-west approach. There were four test scenarios with 20 passes in each condition:

1. US experience 70, target Ju88P-2(size 5, speed 5).

Average engagement range: 10.9
Maximum engagement range: 15
Minimum engagement range: 7

2. US experience 70, target Fw190A-8(size 3, speed 8).

Average engagement range: 4.9
Maximum engagement range: 11
Minimum engagement range: 0

3. US experience 120, target Ju88P-2(size 5, speed 5).

Average engagement range: 17.7
Maximum engagement range: 20
Minimum engagement range: 8

4. US experience 120, target Fw190A-8(size 3, speed 8).

Average engagement range: 15.0
Maximum engagement range: 20
Minimum engagement range: 0

The most siginificant factors that come into play for AAA are fire control and range finder, both of which are much improved in MBT era weapon systems. They may have modified the engine to accommodate SAMs, but the most likely reason AAA in MBT works is just improved technology
Some of us are busy doing things; some of us are busy complaining - Debasish Mridha
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04-20-2010, 03:05 AM,
Hints & Tips
While many of our bootcampers are seasoned players some are relative newcommers so I thought some seasoned players advice might be useful.
Feel free to contribute if the thread develops I might consider making it a sticky.

To get the ball rolling in no particular order here is a list of things people have asked me about or how did you in PBEMs over the years. Being anal I decided to save & recycle rather than answer each time?

Included in word document to & these are MBT orientated hopefully somebody might find them useful.

By no means is this a definitive list of tactics but they are proven, not hard & fast rules just things to be used when appropriate

Using Attack Helos
Like any unit accuracy is affected by speed.
Always move 1 shot if any type of missile is round otherwise move the bare minimum, consider going up & down.
Depending on its FC quality if moves more than 6 hexes or so I will often not fire ATGM & waste it, move him to a position where you can use effectively.
So just behind hills is a good place for or start of game move once to take up position & let him come to you.
If there is no cover & he has any hills on his side do not buy if Radar FC is available they will die.
Don't be silly but if buy a pair get a scout helo for them. He can draw fire for them & check a hex for LOS before moving & finding its no good.
Helos can be very handy in dense terrain like jungle urban as can see stuff in advance & fire at. Need care as will stumble in to troops did not see so keep high while moving if can. Remember a helo moving at 100mph is not going to see a lot first 1/4 or so of move hes a good scout.

Tactics vs attack helos
Try & make them move several hexes to take shot as accuracy goes down a lot, so consider temporary retreat it may also bring him more in range for your AAA.
If your AAA is not up to the job use your vehicles.
If your APCs have AA capability get them ahead of your tanks as a screen. Late date stuff with auto cannons are pretty accurate against others can still upset.
If within move range of APCs run right up next to him & you will get an accurate shot.
Need several APCs first couple will probably die or be unable to fire but start chasing him. Even if do not kill will make him run so wont get a good shot on tanks. Also he is using his ammo on APCs not tanks.
If it does not have TI can run APCs up & use dischargers if have to screen.
If they are silly enough not to move ATGMs & modern tank guns can shoot at hovering helos.
Some very late era stuff actually has a decent damage protection sort of like light armour so AAMGs may not hurt even if hit.
Note some HMGs, MMGs need to be on a hill as cant get angle to fire up at helos, others don’t no way to tell that I know.

Spotting units
The faster you move the less chance you have of spotting & foot units see a lot better than vehicles. Low experience 60 or so vehicles in particular are blind as bats.
Tanks find it hard to spot vehicles moving 1 hex in cover like woods at range say 20 hexes. This means you can move 1 hex in woods & often get a couple of shots off before they spot you. So you should do the following

Supporting Tanks
Tanks should be escorted by Mech infantry at least one platoon of infantry for a company of tanks.
Use as follows remembering they see better & are harder to spot.
Moving to contact if have 1 platoon escorting (4 squads)
Each turn 2 move & get out of vehicles while other 2 are picked up & catch up, this gives you eyes on the ground.
Once contact likely get them all on the ground. You can now use infantry to look, send them into hex first to check LOS & see whose there. Now tank can move there.
If do this moving tanks is safer & if a target is in range of RPGs can fire at possibly to kill but general thing is to suppress & if spots you draw fire before tank comes in for the kill.
In the right terrain where you can pop up with infantry near tanks you can kill suppress or drain fire for the loss of a few men. Then send tanks to finish the job.
You can also load your infantry instead of tanks & run them right up to in a Mech Assault. Fire RPGs at using the W button.
If think still not badly suppressed assault it with your last shot but if fails your infantry will be suppressed.
Note tanks are a lot easier for infantry to kill if suppressed or damaged
With practice you will soon be killing tanks with infantry.
If you have infantry supporting your tanks stops this to a large extent as they are firing to.
One thing to remember that can upset plans is tanks might start popping smoke.

Combined Arms
Simple rule infantry are cheap & relatively hard to kill so use them to explore backed up by the tanks.
Tanks fire first if not under threat to allow infantry to move fire after you have suppressed the enemy.
If tank in range of RPGs infantry might need to fire a couple of shots first.
The later the date & better radio contact the easier it is to use combined arms, you can lose a certain amount of cohesion & still maintain contact & rally making a modern force far more flexible.

Always fire early in turn as can be further back & cause area suppression. If several vehicles are in same or adj hexes they can be very effective at suppressing several of them, even tanks. Can hit 3 or 4 with 1 shot sometimes.
If you are going to Z fire these are your guys but try to do most with artillery. If its Z firing its not attacking.
On Z firing way up the gains & don’t be silly.
It gives away your rough position & composition so is very useful to the other player if he did not know you were there, thanks for the info.

Don't use your scouts to draw fire he cant see if he is suppressed, move some other units first then move him up.

I class these as an annoyance time waster whether the cheap or expensive ones they are not worth the cost as rare to kill what they cost. Only saving grace hard to spot but easy to kill with vehicles esp if have decent fire control. Because of this they make terrible scouts designed to snipe at range so use correctly if at all.
Can be handy to guard a flank delaying foot advance or if assaulting as better at engaging dug in units but so are MGs I think, in an infantry only environment they are better
You can buy a scout & MMG for same cost as mid level sniper, more flexible bigger punch area suppression & even possibly AT capability need I say more.

Generally the smaller the gun the faster it fires so it has more chance of suppressing but less of killing. Small guns are therefore best to use near your troops as wont kill if hit. A lot of people ignore that they are good vs armour even if no chance of killing as if you now attack their chance of a hit is less as suppressed.
Tends to be far more effective in my view if used concentrated rather than spreading it all over the place.
Remember pre TI smoke is very powerful & even after TI is still useful.
None TI ATGM for example hit with several guns or just smoke it out with one till you can deal with it.

Try to get an idea for the pace of a game a slow cautious start that forces a rushed battle for objectives is no good. It will come but a common mistake is trying to rush to fast. Once engaged don’t rush everyone around, remember moving effects accuracy & makes infantry more vulnerable to incoming fire.
You will get the pace of the battle wrong it happens.

Biggest is best is not always the case infantry are your most flexible units & most squads have the gear to fill any role at a pinch.
With armour Penetration Protection & its to hit chances are probably the main criteria. Good stuff is nice but you do not always need it try mixing other stuff.
Remember if his cost half of yours could have twice as many.
Try using things like Armoured Cars Light tanks, if fast you can move to ambush positions hes not expecting. Be aware of there capabilities they cant trade shots but can cause nasty surprises & upset him, shoot & scoot.

This is the big one, if you can keep him reacting to you that is the battle half won try not to lose it. If your attack stalls you have to find a way to restart it even if its falling back to reorganise. Never just sit there unless dug in you are giving him a chance to gain it do something. You do not have to attack on the whole front at once & indeed probably have not got enough arty to do so but you want to try & control it.
Sitting in one place to long means arty & possibly relief forces coming if you can position for a destructive blow you can hit & be gone moving to next location.
Don't do the obvious running down that road at the start may not be a good idea. Fall back to regroup after a causing destructive blow instead of pushing forward sometimes etc. Now if hes not sure what you are up to you could do the obvious & get away with it. Keep him guessing if you do it right he will spend his turn reacting to your attack rather than mounting one himself, job done.

Look at your force & the terrain & use tactics accordingly.
Try different things to see if they work.
Have a plan but be flexible they never last adjust it.
Know your & his capabilities.
Adapt adapt adapt….

Example I had a great game opponent bought best tanks I could not take them on with mine, think I only killed a couple with tanks rest was infantry. Reversed roles using my tanks in CS role to snipe infantry & taxis, sent infantry in for the dirty work once his eyes had gone.

Attached Files
.zip   MBT Play Tips.zip (Size: 6 KB / Downloads: 37)
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04-20-2010, 04:14 AM,
RE: Hints & Tips
With AH's remember that at low level they are NOE (nape of Earth) which is +1 to whatever level the hex they are in is. So use -2 levels to hide your AH's whenever possible.
Another thing about AH's is that if you are using Ordinance sections to re-supply them ( somewhat gamey but commonplace) Re-supply always does HE first. So if you have emptied your Chain gun magazine(s), those will be loaded before the ATGM's. If you have rockets, the HE rockets will be loaded next, then ATGM's. So it's better to use the 'w' key to shoot your ATGM's then run back to reload. Save your chain gun and rockets for op fire.
Sometimes when your AH gets supressed, you can land it in a quite spot and let it rally.

On defense, before you shoot at an AH, check it and see if it is retreating. AH's seem to get 'hero' rally rolls, which if they pass gets them back to ready status. SO if it's in button or retreat mode, leave it alone.
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