Just thought I'd say that I resubbed in May and have had a really good time. At first I was looking at it and thinking little had changed etc, but for the first time in years I gave it a really good shot, immersed myself in the battles, and just enjoyed it for what it was. The difference was pretty cool as I started to appreciate the smaller things again.
Graphics are still dated but seriously, there is almost no way of prettying it up without exploding our computers, so it's no big deal, plus there are still times when it looks surprisingly good. There's simply nothing like the feeling when a panzer or enemy infantry comes out of a bush near you, it's a huge adrenalin rush. I wrote this for www.otf2.com the forum I own, but it's probably far more interesting to those of you looking at playing the game again:
Off work yesterday for the installation of Virgin and had an amazing time defending the French town of Stenay.
I joined the attack with just a single depot having fallen into German hands and a handful of defenders aimlessly milling around. One thing that always annoys me is that often the focus is on getting out of town rather than defending our depots adequately. When we have sufficient men, by all means get out, but when there's only 5-10 of us, we need all hands to the pump until the rest of the allies realise some shit is kicking off. If they don't, they'll click on a mobile spawn mission that will start them off up to 3k out of town, useless unless we can hold the facilities within a town.
Anyway, I looked at the map and saw they'd taken a depot near the eastern side of the town, but those responsible (probably a small group of infiltrators) would likely be headed to another to keep us on the back foot. I guessed right, but by bad luck, I ran through a door of a ruined house to find two of them running in the same door. Armed with a rifle I couldn't do a thing as they shot me with their SMG's, but now I had a rough idea what was happening and organised a defence accordingly.
After 10 minutes some of the AHC (allied high command) joined and took over, which I was glad of because it's hard enough conducting a defence when you have enough men, let alone when you are also in the front line. I took an LMG down to the centre of town, and by now we had lost half of the depots to the Germans. I hid under a bush that gave me a good view North and East along two main thoroughfares, and sure enough 3 Axis troops rushed from some ruins into the central depot of town. I gunned down 2 and wounded a 3rd from about 100m, easy stuff.
Unfortunately my shooting attracted a soldier who was South of my position near the town church. He lobbed a grenade at me and caught me pretty well with it but somehow I survived as he sprayed the bushes. I went to ground and hid behind the bush, waiting for him to come and finish me off, but somehow he walked almost on top of me and kept looking, less than a metre away. I pulled out my pistol and went to shoot him in the back, but he was running like a loon and the pistol is about as accurate as a badly thrown paper aeroplane and before I knew it, he'd just vanished. I scouted the bush and the guy must have ran off thinking I was dead.
I recovered a tiny bit and after a couple of minutes decided the offending German wasn't sitting beside me in the bush waiting for me to fire. At this point something ridiculous happened. I noticed, waddling along like a shit duck, a German AA gun about 50m from my position AA guns are notoriously slow and cumbersome, so I assume he'd been towed by a truck to the edge of town. Quite what he was hoping to achieve I don't know, but I suppose he may have thought he could suppress our armybase from a good vantage point. Anyway needless to say, his journey was wasted as I emptied a full magazine into him to make sure.
Another German appeared in a doorway to my East, and I managed to pick him off with a couple of well placed rounds, taking me to 4 kills, a rarity for me as infantry. By chance I glanced north to see a german running past me, so I quickly adusted to pick him off, but he ran almost directly to my bush, so instead of deploying the LMG I had no choice but to spray him from the hip, which for anyone unfamiliar with the Bren is about as likely to succeed from a position facing exactly 190 degrees away from your target as it is from the front. Incredibly, I dropped him, much to both of our surprise. Incredibly, I then managed almost the exact same achievement a few minutes later.
With loads of kills, I was well pleased and decided the action in centre of town had died off and I was in danger of being flanked by this attack as more depoits fell. I ran out to the north depot to try and help a team recapping it, hiding behind an upturned table. Sure enough a german ran to get into the depot door just 10m away, so I hosed him down. Sadly, one of his mates saw me and I ducked down as he came to the building and reloaded, before poking my head up and promptly being shot. 7 kills and another wounded was good going though.
I returned to the AB which by now was surrounded. Our attempts to save Stenay looked futile and a few German troops were already breaching the walls and trying to get into the bunker building to capture it. By now I was feeling pretty confident with an LMG and decided to stick it out as much as possible with that weapon. The AB is quite open plan, with a vehicle spawn and infantry spawn quite far apart, so getting out when it is under attack can be quite frustrating at times. Eventually, after managing to prevent a couple of infiltrators getting in around the walls, I took a position on top of the vehicle spawn. This is a traditional spot to occupy for attackers and defenders because it allows players to attack/defend vehicles as they spawn in.
We had managed to get 2 tanks out of the spawn and into the open, where they were at least preventing most of the infantry from attacking the bunker. By now there were 5 men inside the bunker and they were regularly battling to hold it. Every few minutes the Germans would sneak a couple of men through our defences and get up the stairs, only to be cut down at the last. To make matters worse, the Luftwaffe had complete dominance of the skies and now Stukas arrived in force, attempting to bomb our tanks.
Now, the LMG is a good anti-infantry weapon, and if a plane is on the ground it is pretty useful, but actually scoring a kill on a plane is difficult because of the low calibre of bullets and extremely short range (in air terms). As a pilot though, I have some expertise in this and used it to pretty good effect on some very complacent pilots. As usual they headed straight for the vehicle spawn, only to see that our tanks were further out, which left them (thankfully) bombing about 100m away from me. I was hesitant to draw attention to myself hidden on the ridge of the roof, ut I managed to get into a position away from the snipers just outside the armybase and where I could mount the LMG on a wall. As the first Stuka came down I watched people trying to shoot him down, but helf my fire till the last few moments, opening up with a stream of bullets aimed squarely at his cockpit. He didn't pull out of his dive and I was credited with a kill, much to the amusement of me and my fellow defenders.
After 10 minutes mostly spent trying to drive snipers out of the tall buildings around the armybase, we started to finally get some tiny victories. a team ran out into the ruins and succeeded in capping a depot, which in turn diverted enough of the enemy away that we could get all three tanks in the AB out in the open, where they wreaked havoc. A second Stuka appeared but this time I was confident, opening fire a little too early and only damaging him, though on his second pass I managed to clearly damage some flight controls as he wobbled like a duck and started spewing grey smoke everywhere that was not a water leak. I know from experience that in that scenario you either run home or your engine will die, but this guy wanted revenge and he'd noticed my spot even from above, strafing my position after his bombs had gone. By his 4th pass, I reckoned his wheels had almost touched my head and he had no thoughts except killing me.
He wobbled around like an ungainly chicken trying to turn round and by now it had become an amusing duel between his great big plane and me with a light machine gun. He dived down into my sights, making no attempt to avoid my fire and wounding me slightly in the leg, but by now he was too close and my burst went straight into his cockpit and he crashed into the roof behind me, missing me by about a foot. Oh how we all laughed as again I was credited with a kill on a divebomber.
The German attack, which had been minutes from victory just half an hour ago, was starting to wither away. We pushed out, taking first the near depots and finally pushing any remaining Germans out of town as they ran out of equipment in the face of our pretty dogged resistance. It was an amazing victory for an outnumbered force of about 40 and I remarked to some of the others that if you'd have told me we would hold Stenay when they were running through pur armybase, I'd have laughed in your face and spat on your back. It was an amzing turnaround and summed up why I love this game.