I find it best to try and set up ambushes, placing units with crossing fire lines. Check the line of fire by right clicking on the unit and selecting fire. The green line indicates a clear line of sight, the measurements indicate distances to obstructions and the red indicates 'no' line of sight.

It is also important to make sure the unit has the correct facing, selecting the 'defend' or 'ambush' options does this. The arc around the unit shows it's facing.

But it doesn't matter how good you are those Panthers are deadly and this is a common result of taking one on.

If you are lucky, this is the result:


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