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The Soviets are assembling more Stalin's Fist Mobile War Factories around Europe, rapidly increasing their reach and production. A significant group of these must be destroyed.
—Mission description

Operation: Panzer Ace is the eleventh Allied cooperative mission.

This mission is part of the French rebels' struggle against the Soviet Union. Notably, the Paladin Tank Hunter makes its appearance in this mission, despite the first ones appearing in Relentless, which is far apart from this mission on the timeline.

Briefing

After we took Bordeaux back, the Russians have begun preparing for a counterattack. Stalin's Fists have been deployed near the town, and might change positions at any time. These mobile war factories can become a serious threat to our positions in the region. We must stop them at all costs, before they begin a full-scale vehicle production. Further intel says the Russians' heaviest armored forces haven't arrived yet. Right now only a small amount of Soviet light troops is defending the town. Use airborne troops to clear the bridgehead, and get the bridge repaired at once. After that our armored forces will enter the town in order to eliminate the Stalin's Fists.

Objective 1: Destroy the Soviet forces at the bridgehead.

Objective 2: Protect the bridge from the Soviets until more forces arrive.

Objective 3: Destroy all of the Stalin's Fists in the area.

Events

Arrival of the task force

Intel pointed out that the enemy did not deploy many heavy troops in the town so only two infantry task forces went to the northeast corner to carry out the operation. It was not bothersome to wipe out the enemy forces in this area.

Capturing and defending the bridge

After the enemy at the bridgehead was destroyed, an Engineer was sent to repair the bridge. Then, two commanders were told to stick to the bridge for five minutes and armored forces reinforcements were on the way. These infantry units preferred to eliminate Crazy Ivans - the guys who tried to rush towards the bridge to blow up the bridge. In addition, the emergence of Desolators also posed a problem for defense.

Change of plans

When the Allied tank divisions had finally arrived, the Allied forces began to push into the bridge and commence attacks... However they soon realize that the Soviet armor divisions had already arrived and Allied Command realize that their Intel was wrong. This force them to order the forces to fall back.

3 hours later, 2 divisions of Paladin Tank Hunters had arrived in the south. A recent development by the Germans, they consider this that it will able to match against the mighty Soviet armor. True to what they say, the Paladin Tanks manage to push onto enemy territory and to ensure that the tanks will survive longer. A pair of Engineers with 2 Archon AMCs appeared to help for repairs.

Back to the town

The troops decided to return to the bridge, on the way they found a Stalin's Fist that was running away; when they destroyed a large number of tanks and returned to the bridge without difficulty, some Harriers also came to support the elimination of the re-deployed forces at the bridge. But at the same time, the enemy was also trying to call Wolfhound reinforcements, and they would arrive in 30 minutes. As there was no anti-air force, the two commanders decided to hurry up.

More and more Paladin Tank Hunters rushed to the site. After returning to the city, many Apocalypse Tanks were deployed here. Although they pack quite of punch, they were still eliminated by large amounts of Paladin Tank Hunters and were called by Allies as "outdated relics".

Finally, the position of Stalin's Fists was revealed: they were located on two high platforms.

Eliminate all Stalin's Fists

Two Paladin squads quickly rushed to the high ground and destroyed four Stalin's Fists, but two more fled to other places, and the farthest one fled to the front base on the southwest side. Paladin Tanks immediately went to a position nearer to destroy the fifth Stalin's Fist. Then they annihilated a large number of vehicles blocking them and reached the base where the sixth hid. Although the Stalin's Fist was planning to escape from the shortcut once they reached the base, it was still unable to get rid of the destroyed outcome.

Aftermath

Thanks to these Paladin Tank Hunters, Bordeaux was completely liberated, and the French rebel forces were further away from their goal of national recovery. More importantly, by the late period of the war, the tanks that they had designed independently had been formally used by the main force and made their first practical test for the main forces in Cape Town.

Difficulty changes

Casual

  • All armored units of players are able to get Tech Machine Shop's self-repair ability initially.
  • No time limit in later phase.
  • No pursuers appear when approaching Stalin's Fist in the lower left corner.
  • Snipers are among the starting forces.
  • Reduced number of enemy Desolators during objective 1 and removed a Desolator paradrop after reaching the bridge again.

Normal

  • A Tech Machine Shop is present in the open space to the left of the bridge head. After approaching it in the later phase, an Engineer for each players will be paradropped to capture it.
  • Snipers are among the starting forces.
  • Amount of Paladin Tank Hunters obtained by the players after destroying the Apocalypse Tanks at the bridgehead has been reduced to one for each.

Mental

  • A Tech Machine Shop is present in the open space to the left of the bridge head. After approaching it in the later phase, an Engineer for each players will be paradropped to capture it.
  • Reduced one initial Paladin Tank Hunter for each player in the second stage.
  • No additional Paladin Tank Hunters will be given after destroying the Apocalypse Tanks at the bridgehead.
  • Removed the armor upgrade crate in the lower right corner, the healing crates in the lower right corner and at the first Stalin's Fist.

Easter egg

SPOILER

In the Paladin phase of the mission, destroy the big Tiki Face at the bottom of the map to receive a firepower and armor crate.

Trivia

  • Panzer is a contemporary term used in English-speaking popular culture to describe highly-decorated German tank ("Panzer") commanders and crews during World War II.
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