Friday, February 22, 2013

Company of Heroes - Normandy Campaign - Mission 3 - Carentan

For a list of all our Company of Heroes Anthology walkthroughs, click here.

This is basically a tutorial mission to teach you about buildings, so it's possible to use up units like water here. However, in our walkthrough (Expert difficulty), we'll try to keep our squads alive to retain their veterancy. Until we get the HQ to make snipers, this means some pretty tricky tactical moves in the early mission.

All units at the end of this mission carry over to Mission 4.

Phase 1 - Destroy the Café
  • First, save your exposed units: Grab the squad currently exchanging fire and move them southeast, toward the map edge. They should shortly be out of sight of the Cafe no longer under fire. Watch for another squad coming up from the south and stop them before they also come under fire.
  • Next, move the 4-man squad hiding behind the building, to just east of the Café. They will be out of the enemy firing arc and completely safe. Satchel charge the café. The squad will start to move and could wander back into the fire zone. Grab the and put them back in cover next to, but not too close to, the cafe (so they won't get caught in the blast.
    • You must destroy the café with a satchel charge ( not just kill the enemy inside with gunfire or grenades) in order to show you that a destroyed building also kills all squads inside.
    • If the light machinegun that drops is not accessible (in rare cases it will fall "inside" the rubble), restart the mission.
    • The wall next to the café can be blown up with a satchel charge. If you move past the cafe there, the game will play the mission objectives as if you had destroyed the casino.
Phase 2 - Secure the Church territory

Cover plays a HUGE part here, as well as choosing when and how to rush a building. The main thing here is NOT to exchange fire with squads in buildings since they have more squads than you do, and even if you are in a building, not only will it take forever but the Axis will eventually kill most of your men. Buildings are for digging in and being hard to dislodge, not really for fighting. When a squad is inside a building, it can fire heavy weapons but it cannot use any skills such as throwing grenades.

After blowing the Café, blow the wall next to it with a satchel charge to access the lane while being out of the fire arc of the building near the arch leading to the alley.

1 - wall near the cafe

Use the light machinegun (LMG) from the Café to out-gun the defenders and clear the plaza. Clear the enemy-occupied building near the archway.

2 - not in alley building arc

Hide behind the Café ruins to spot for your LMG and clear even more of the plaza.

3 - spot for LMG

Satchel charge the house on the south that is near a low stone wall.

Whenever you approach the building you blew up in step 3, Grenadiers will exit the two buildings controlling the courtyard. Draw them out to be gunned by your LMG and your units in the café corner. When they are close, retreat your squad that is near the bombed building. Repeat until enemy units refuse to come out.

4 - draw enemies from the buildings

Your squad behind the wall will always try to advance some of their units in front of the wall. Grab the squad and have them go to cover behind the wall again in order to make them stay in hard cover. You can build additional lengths of wall to keep them penned in, or at least to take longer before they move out, and that way buy you time to grab them and keep them inside.
Also build a short wall to help your bait squad get behind cover more quickly.

Now that you have hopefully thinned out the health and numbers of the enemies in the buildings, blow them both with satchel charges.
First, rush a squad to the L-shaped wall for cover and as a distraction. When they are close, move another squad to the west building. Do not circle around the bombed building from the left as you will probably come under fire from the HMG outside the church.

5a - go for low wall hard cover as distraction

Rush the initial two squads to satchel both buildings, using their Fire Up ability. Meanwhile, since the first squad is headed toward the sandbags in front of the east building, advance your third squad to the low wall for cover and fire support.

5b - rush both buildings and satchel

As soon as a satchel charge is thrown, Retreat that squad. When the second satchel charge is thrown, Retreat all remaining squads. They are basically all out in the open and need to get out instead of a slow retreat. With luck, both buildings will be emptied and you won't need to repeat this.

5c - call Retreat on all units while buildings blow

Build a sandbag wall for your LMG and stand behind one of the bombed buildings to spot the plaza for it. Ideally your LMG is too far for the units in the plaza to shoot back. Look around a bit to make sure the plaza is clear, but you need to be careful of the squads in the building across the street (which has a longer sight range because they are in a building) because they can suppress with their HMG.

6 - spot for LMG to clear plaza

To satchel charge the building across the street, go into the alley. Hug the north side wall. When your squad is close (near the Ammo point), either use Fire Up to dash to the right of the building. There, they will be out of the fire arc of the building, but sill vulnerable to squads coming around the building from the next street over. You can provide a distraction by briefly occupying the building directly across from the building you want to satchel charge.
Pay attention to the mortar team in the big plaza. It will shell anyone in the alley. When you hear it fire, unless you're feeling lucky, you need to move your forces in the alley.

7 - approach on alley building outside fire arc

7a - stop automatic retreat to stay safe from building fire


Look for opportunities to draw more enemies from the courtyard and church without exposing your squads to the HMG at the church. Note that we did not put two squads in the same building. This was because there were apparently not enough windows for all units to fire out of the side facing the courtyard, and the LMG squad did not fire its machine gun.

8 - draw more enemies without exposure to church HMG

8b - draw soldiers from church

When no more troops can be drawn, we have no choice but to rush the church from the HMG flank. Direct one unit to satchel charge the church, one to satchel charge the HMG position (more area to get more troops blasted), one unit to either satchel charge or grenade the church. When bombs are away for a squad, Retreat the squad.

9 - rush satchel church and HMG, then Retreat

Hug the north building and pop out to drop a grenade on the AT gun instead of trying to out-shoot them. Don't destroy it so we can use the AT gun later in mission 4.

10 - grenade AT gun to capture

Establish defensive line of sandbags and mines around the church before occupying it.

Phase 3 - Defend the Church
If you have 16/30 population from retaining your full initial attack force, you can build 2 snipers. Put 1x6 and 1x4 paratroopers into the church, and when the snipers are ready, put them immediately in the church for a total of 12/12 population.
Shortly after the briefing about capturing the Town Hall, you will hear the metallic sound of barbed wire. That is the Germans cutting a hole to bring in their counterattack, from the NE and NW, which were both initially blocked with barbed wire. A third unit could be at the alley strategic point.
On the outside, move your remaining squad to cover by going to the side opposite the enemy. That should also encourage them to come closer and walk into any mines you have laid. If not, the snipers should eventually clear the two enemy squads before you lose any units.

Phase 4 - Secure Map
Build a third sniper and fill out your paratroopers to 6/6, for a total of 30/30 population. The snipers can spot for each other and advance quite quickly. When areas are safe, move the paratroopers in to collect German Panzershreks. Leave heavy machineguns for green troops in Mission 4.

The barbed wire to the northeast might be hard to satchel charge without exposing yourself to the sniper in the building behind, so you can leave that for later or grab an AT gun now with one of your paratrooper squads (splitting the squad as a result) and shell a section of it. Or go to the alley near the Cafe Normandin and satchel charge a section of wall to get to the east side. There are two snipers in buildings there, so you need to be careful to get the first shot with your own snipers while not exposing your sniper to enemy fire after they take the shot.
Remember that units in buildings can generally only (but not always) be shot at if they are in an opening (e.g., a window) that is facing the shooter.

If you enter the Town Hall plaza area, a motorcycle will move to your position even if the unit entering is camouflaged. You can, however, approach the motorcycles from outside the Town Hall plaza area and they will not move unless you are visible to them. You can then snipe them safely.

As you clear the Town Hall plaza, enemy units will spawn to flee to the northeast, possibly triggering mines you have laid. When you empty the Town Hall of enemy troops, a vehicle will spawn somewhere in the city on the east side, and endlessly re-spawning troops will also appear.
  • The enemy vehicle can be instantly destroyed if you have extensively mined the east side and it spawns right on the mines, or drives through a minefield. You will otherwise have to use mortars or the AT gun.
  • These troops begin in the Plaza, but if destroyed will respawn at the northwest bridge instantly and move toward any units that are closest to them anywhere in the Town Hall territory, whether they are camouflaged or not.
  • As soon as you destroy the vehicle, all enemy units flee and the mission ends, so don't trigger the appearance of the vehicle until you are ready.
Phase 5 - Prepare for Mission 4
Prior to Mission 4, mine every inch of every territory you own and set barbed wire around your strategic points to draw German engineers (Pioneers) there to be destroyed by your mines when they rush to cut the barbed wire. Before the enemy can reach your Church HQ, the 15 minutes should be up, Able Company reinforcements should have reached town, and you should have gotten the Bronze Medal for inflicting enemy casualties.

When you have finished your preparations, destroy the Axis vehicle to win the mission.
At the start of Mission 4, the game will make an AutoSave for the mission. Do NOT erase that. If you do and you restart Mission 4, you will have only basic troops and none of the troops or preparations you made in Mission 3.

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