Introductory advice for the new Partisans 1941 player.
Guide for Newbies
About This Guide
Partisans 1941 is a tactical stealth game where you, the leader of a small Partisan band, will fight against German forces in Eastern Europe. This guide is focused on game strategy more so than the actual levels of the game- I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun of exploring each level.
Basic Tips for Playing the Levels
While there is considerable variation in level design, new players should remember a few things:
- As a general rule, avoid detection as long as possible. You will always start at a pronounced numerical disadvantage. Coming in guns blazing is almost always doomed to failure.
- The most direct approach is usually the wrong one. Look to side exits and flanking ways around your enemies.
- By right clicking over an enemy soldier, you can see his line of sight. Use this to observe where they can see as they move. For the most part, enemy soldiers keep to set routines. They often take part in a “chain” of connected surveillance. So Solider A might look towards Solider B, who sometimes looks at Soldier A and sometimes paces in the direction of Soldier C, who is staring off into space. If you figure out the full “chain”, then a well-timed stealth strike with proper use of cover can often knock out the weak link in the chain. You can then roll up the remainder of the chain until you’ve killed them all with your knife.
- Avoid dogs like the plague. They can smell you even if they can’t see you. If you see the little exclamation point forming over their head, run in the opposite direction because they will smell you and attack if you stand still.
- Explosions (like land mines and grenades) are very, very loud. In some cases everyone on your side of the map will run towards the source, which can lead into massive 30 v. 3 battles if you haven’t been careful to stealth kill a bunch of enemies and even the odds somewhat. Explosions- be it a land mine for an unwary patrol or a grenade to take out a cluster of soldiers- is best used to start the decisive shootout at the end of a level. And remember, sometimes you can finish a level without any shooting at all.
In the game, there are six main weapon classes:
- Knives. There is only one kind of knife, and each partisan only needs one each. So don’t waste valuable storage space by picking up a bunch of them.
- Pistols. A versatile short range weapon with low damage and medium rate of fire. Good in the early game when facing a lot of enemies up close.
- Shotguns. A high damage, low rate of fire (typically single shot) weapon. Great for killing a solitary enemy up close, not so much for fighting a crowd.
- Submachine gun. A low damage, high rate of fire weapon. Best weapon for killing lots of enemies at short range- so long as you have the ammo, which you will go through in a hurry.
- Rifles. A high damage, medium range of fire weapon. I think that rifles are the best for shootouts- enemies tend to lack competent riflemen and rifles can keep engagements at range. Their rate of fire is also a good tradeoff between killing lots of enemies and not wasting ammo.
- Machine guns. A high damage, high rate of fire weapon. They are found in two forms- fixed weapons with unlimited ammo attached to specific map points, and (very, very rarely) lootable weapons. Fixed machine guns are handy in that they have unlimited ammo and can suppress a lot of enemies in a hurry (I mean drive them into cover). On the downside they rarely have their own cover and are therefore vulnerable in an extended engagement. Mobile machine guns are rarely used- they use too much ammo.
Also be on the lookout for grenades, land mines, and tripwires. The enemy will (usually) not have mines and they never lay down tripwires, but you can loot both and set up some nasty surprises for an ambush. Higher level enemies will often throw a grenade at you during extended engagements. If they do, run away even if you have to break cover.
There are also medkits and larger medical bags. Medkits restore a small amount of health, while larger medical bags can get you to 100% health right away (but they are a lot bulkier). Painkillers can be used to negate the debuff of serious injuries, which can occur (and hamper) your characters if they take too much damage.
My preferred loadout per partisan, when possible is:
- 1 knife.
- 1 short-in weapon (pistol, shotgun, or submachine gun, depending on character strength).
- 1 rifle.
- 3 grenades.
- 1 larger medical bag (use an equippable slot to save space).
- 3 painkillers.
- 3 smaller medkits.
About 5 clips of ammo for the close in weapon, or 20 rounds, whichever is more.
At least 30 rifle rounds per character, and at least 50 for characters with a skill in rifles.
Between missions, you will go to the Partisan HQ. Here, you can send your characters on assignments when they aren’t involved in story missions. There are two main currencies to track: food, and build points.
To enable some of these assignments, you need to build the corresponding building. You can spend build points to do so in a “construction assignment.” The list of building impacts are below:
- Medical tent: you can spend 10 build points per injury to heal a serious injury. If your Hitpoints are depleted during a mission and you don’t have a serious injury, your hitpoints will return to normal automatically. I recommend the medical tent as the first building you construct.
- Fishing hole: Fishing, as well as food you loot on missions and occasional gathering missions that show up, is one of the first ways you make sure your partisans don’t starve.
- Hunting tower: Like fishing, but you need to spend a few build points for a bigger food return.
- Smokehouse/ kitchens: Spend some food now, get more food next turn. It is that simple.
- Henhouse: Like the fishing hole.
- Workshop: Allows you to spend build points on an assignment to construct a medical bag, painkillers, grenade, or land mine. Very useful, especially for medical bags.
- Weapons workshop: This enables the weapons workshop view. When you click on it, you can drag a weapon to the left and spend build points (typically 50-75) on unlocking one or more upgrades. These can make a weapon shoot faster, hit more often, do more critical damage, reload faster, carry more rounds, etc. This is useful late game. Higher quality weapons (goldish) have more upgrade slots.
- Logging camp: Allows assignment to generate building points, which can be spent on any building point-related task (include workshop and weapons upgrade tasks, not just actual building construction).
In addition to the above, you will sometimes have the opportunity to send partisans on side missions. These are not played through- they roll a percent chance of success based on the experience of the assigned partisans. They can generate experience points for your partisan’s skills and sometimes give you weapons, ammo, grenades, medkits, or other valuable items. Some (those with the green fist) will also raise your morale. High morale means better combat performance.
Tips for Looting
A few basics:
- Items in grey are worth food or construction points at partisan HQ after the mission.
- Your partisans can only carry so much.
- I usually advise prioritizing grenades, medkits, painkillers, mines, tripwires, and ammo as a first looting priority. Looting weapons can be useful even if you already have a copy, because after the mission, you can go to the “storage” tab in Partisan HQ, right click the weapon, and then select “break down.” This will lead to building points based on a certain value for each weapon, so scooping up and breaking down excess weapons can be lucrative.
- When looting storage chests, don’t steal items in red- those belong to the locals and your partisans will be unhappy if you steal from locals. Stealing from Germans is a whole different matter, of course!