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Codename Panzers, a series of Real Time Strategy games by Hungarian developer Stormregion, was a trilogy that primarily covered World War Two and the early Cold War. The games were:

  • Codename: Panzers: Phase One: The first game in the series, it focused mainly on the war in Europe. The game is told from the points of view of Hans von Groebel, Alexander Vladimirov and Jeffery Wilson.
  • Codename: Panzers: Phase Two: The sequel focused mainly on the Mediterranean war, including North Africa and Italy, and had a campaign set in Yugoslavia. The game is told from the point of view of Dario DeAngelis, Hans von Groebel, James Barnes, Jeffery Wilson, the Wolf and Sergio DeAngelis.
  • Codename: Panzers: Cold War: The third and probably final game to bear the CNP title, Cold War is... well, set in an alternate Cold War where the Berlin Airlift goes horribly wrong. The game is told from the point of view of Douglas Kirkland. It was panned for its simplicity compared to both prior titles and modern games.

Codename Panzers provides examples of:

  • Armor Is Useless: Averted for vehicles, as their armor prevents a certain amount of damage from being done to their hitpoints, and strong enough armor will completely soak up damage from other weapons. This doesn't mean that a 37mm cannon can't kill an King Tiger heavy tank, it'll just take about half an hour.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Tanks with machine guns mounted on the back of their turret. They will never use them unless their main gun is pointed at something else - and if it's pointed at something else, it's firing. The end result? The crew will burn up all its main gun ammunition shooting at infantry squads, instead of just turning the turret the other way around, so all they do after they burn up their ammo shooting at infantry squads is look threatening. The only time they don't turn their turret to shoot at things automatically is when they're set to passive - which means they outright don't use their machine gun.
  • Anachronism Stew: In Cold War. The game story takes place from 1947-1953, but vehicles first produced in the 60's show up, such as the T-62 tank (produced in 1961) and most of the helicopters, which are late 50's/early 60's vintage. Also, one mission takes place in 1947 but Green Berets are seen in use, despite them being formed in 1953.
  • Anyone Can Die: Granted, you'll fail if a hero dies, but you might have a Valkyria Chronicles-esque breakdown if you lose your more experienced units. Even on Easy mode, where you get them back at the end of the mission. However, from a storytelling standpoint the game only has four characters (the Heroes), all of which are mission-critical. This means that any importance placed on the units is entirely up to the player, though you WILL regret loosing that four-star crew that you had with you since your best tank was a Panzer II.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Rocket Artillery. They saturate the area and do a fair amount of damage - at the expense of blowing through their ammo insanely fast, and having shorter range than regular artillery.
  • Blind Idiot Translation: While the games generally have good English barring some typos, during Phase One, characters tended to refer to ALL tanks as Panzers. Germans calling the BT-7M a "Damned Russian Panzer", British soldiers calling the Tiger tank the "Tiger Panzer", etc. Justified for the Germans though, since it's their word for tank.
  • Brits With Battleships
  • Cain and Abel: A rather indirect example, but Dario and Sergio DeAngelis from Phase Two: the former a fanatical but naive worshiper of Mussolini and Fascism, and the latter anything but, to the point where he defects to the Allies, though he takes great pains to hide that from Dario.
  • Cosmetically Different Sides: For infantry, at least. A German rifle squad does the same damage as its Russian and Western Allied counterparts [1]. Not in play for tanks, though. While there are many vehicles that fill a similar role (Both versions of the Panzer IV, Sherman, and T-34), they often have different attributes. Incidentally, the Western Allies (a three for one faction with the United States, Britain and France, though the latter is unplayable) can have one of two versions of the Sherman Firefly in multiplayer, which are identical aside from their colors. You can pay a single prestige point to have an American accent and a green paint job (as opposed to a British one with a tan paint job).
    • The Italians definitively get the short end of the stick here, as even their INFANTRY is below par, though their best tanks do remain competitive with their counterparts until you get access to Panzer IVs.
  • Continuity Nod: The Allied campaign has at least one to the German one in Phase One: The player character, Jeffery Wilson, happens across a prior PC, Hans von Groebel, twice.
    • The games tend to do this quite a bit by referencing each other, with Phase Two including several Shout Outs and Continuity Nods to Phase One. Cold War also references several. For instance, Hans von Groebel fighting alongside you in his modified Tiger tank (and in the final mission, a Maus) against the Soviets and Jeffery Wilson leading the unit your group is a part of.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Often inherited from the real-life vehicles. Self-propelled anti-tank guns (and anything else without a machine gun) will struggle against infantry.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: Defeated troops will simply continue to either relentlessly attack you or flee until they reach the border of the map - if only because they can't surrender or leave the map, meaning you have no choice but to kill them to remove them from the field.
  • Cherry Tapping: After a certain point, Anti-Tank Riflemen and light tanks become almost totally useless in combating enemy tanks, only able to wear away at an enemy tank's armor rating slowly before even being able to get damaging hits. Needless to say, losing the likes of a King Tiger to a Matilda II is very humiliating.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Played so straight it hurts. You'll see tanks shrugging off damage that would have killed them in-game. On the other end of the scale, we have the 88mm Flak guns one-shotting Matilda IIs, which is capable of shrugging off several 88mm rounds in-game.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Wolf from Phase Two is referenced in a German mission involving dealing with partisans in Phase One.
  • Enemy Exchange Program: Tanks and most vehicles, as well as field guns, can be captured after their crew is killed. In the former, they need to be burned out first, while the latter only requires liberal application of bullets. Also, unit construction buildings can be captured in Cold War, which can have vehicles from the opposing side available for production.
  • Fascist Italy
  • Fan Service: The only reason Michelle exists.
  • For Massive Damage: The rear armor of most armored vehicles is weaker than in the front; in that way, it's possible to take out a King Tiger by popping it to death with a Boys Anti-tank rifle. Also, attacks hitting from above, be they via artillery fire or a well-timed airstrike, bypass a tank's armor rating, going straight to the tank's Hit Point count.
  • Franchise Killer: Cold War was panned and wasn't very good commercially. Combined with Stormregion being defunct, it's likely the last game that will bear the title.
  • Game Mod: There are a couple of them, most notably Phase 3 for Phase Two. The mod adds, among others, graphical updates, new units, and missions.
  • Interquel: Phase Two's coverage of the war in the Mediterranean takes place almost entirely right smack dab in the middle of Phase One, nestled after Phase One's German campaign, before its Western Allied campaign, and concurrent with its Soviet campaign. Not surprising, because it frees up the established characters to come back in.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: Most British units speak with incredibly thick accents that make them sound cheesy.
  • Lethal Joke Unit: Rocket Soldiers. They become available after most other infantry have fallen by the wayside. Like other infantry, they don't have much durability, and they only come in squads of two... and have a hard-hitting attack that ignores a unit's armor rating, be it a run of the mill Panzer IV or a King Tiger's frontal armor.
  • Killed Off for Real: Dario DeAngelis in the Allied campaign, by a random artillery shell.
  • Kill It with Fire: Flamethrowers and Molotov Cocktails abound. Effective at taking out infantry, and for burning out tank crews so you can capture their vehicle.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The three Rocket Artillery units [2]. While they are shorter ranged than regular artillery and don't deal much damage per rocket, they make up for it by firing one-third of their ammo stocks per salvo.
  • Mighty Glacier: Heavy Tanks are the slowest machines in the game, but have the armor and firepower to make up for it.
  • More Dakka: Most tanks have some flavor of machine gun - most have two (one in the hull, one on the front of the turret. A few vehicles - like the Panzer I and M3 Halftrack AA - are armed only with a pair (for the M3, a quartet) of machine guns, making them the only units that fire a stream of bullets. They will eat infantry alive.
  • Multinational Team: Everybody as in history, but particularly in Phase Two. The Western Allies have the US, the British Commonwealth, Poland, and France (albeit largely in a few cameo roles like manning your fast attack aircraft), the Axis have the Germans, Italians, and Hungarians, and the Communists have the Soviets and Tito's Yugoslav partisans. In Cold War, many volunteers and ex-Axis personnel join the Western Allies in the fight against the USSR.
  • Nazis With Gnarly Weapons
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Averted. The Germans not only have a campaign in Phase One, but it's CANON as well. However, it only covers the Invasion of Poland to Stalingrad (about 1939 to 1941-42).
    • Also averted in Phase Two, as the Italians and Germans have a campaign which covers the early years of the war in North Africa.
    • Played straight in Cold War, as the Western Allies are the only playable faction in the campaign.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: In Phase Two, British medics speak in American accents because they pretty much reuse the American medic voices.
  • Poirot Speak: Averted in combat, units will only speak in their native language. In cutscenes and for faction heroes, however, Translation Convention is applied (give or take some phrases that don't have an English counterpart, such as "Herr...").
  • Quintessential British Gentleman: James Barnes. Enough said.
  • Reds With Rockets
  • RPG Elements: Managing your core forces and gaining XP a la Steel Panthers or People's General.
  • Shout-Out: Plenty of the cheat codes for Phase One contain references to Monty Python's Flying Circus.
  • Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb: In Cold War. And by the "The Bomb", we mean THE Bomb, as the final mission consists of fighting like hell to try and prevent Lavrenty Beria from turning Berlin and everybody and everything in it into radioactive ash.
  • Spiritual Successor: To S.W.I.N.E., an equally-obscure RTS game.
  • Tank Goodness: Tons of it in all the games.
  • The Von Trope Family: Invoked by Hans von Groebel, the German player character.
  • Un Cancelled: Phase Two was supposed to be the last game, though there were rumors at one point of there being a Phase Three, which likely became Cold War.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Played with. Tanks and most other vehicles (aside from trucks), along with field artillery and antitank guns can be readily turned on their former owners (tanks by using fire-based weapons to burn the crew out, field guns by killing the crew with bullets). Infantry weapons, however, cannot be captured.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: As the campaign goes on, the player's units level up the more use they get, increasing their various stats. It's hard not to care for a crew that's been with you from the beginning of the campaign to the very end.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Wilson and Barnes.
  • Yanks With Tanks
  • You All Look Familiar: An important character who isn't Barnes, Wilson, Vladimirov, von Groebel or Michelle? He probably uses a regular unit's model. Particularly grating with some of the German "heroes", such as Walther and Karl, who Hans can easily pick out of a crowd but appear as a bog standard paratrooper and tank crewman to the player, respectively.
    • The same applies to Phase Two.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Certain tanks lack co-axial machine guns, and some vehicles don't have any at all. This makes them very vulnerable to infantry bearing Molotov Cocktails, flamethrowers and explosives.
  • World War Two: The setting of the first two games, natch.
  • World War Three: The setting of the third, in which the Berlin Airlift goes terribly wrong and Stalin launches an all-out assault on the West.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Wilson in Phase Two looks NOTHING like he does in Phase One. The same happens to both Barnes and von Groebel, though not as bad.
  • Zerg Rush: While not possible in the campaign, it is possible in multiplayer Domination games to amass a large horde of rifle infantry, who can use grenades and Molotov Cocktails to attack enemy vehicles, and their rifles (duh) to attack everything else. Because they only take 20 seconds to train (compared to upwards of a minute for even the most quickly built tank), large numbers can be built up quickly. Managing to continually recapture Radar Stations allows you to supplement them with paratroopers.

Notes

  1. US rifle squads do slightly more damage, otherwise all their infantry follow this trope
  2. the Nebelwerfer, Katyusha, and Sherman Calliope
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