Company of Heroes is a Real Time Strategy game set in World War 2 during the American invasion of Normandy. The game features many alterations to the tried and true RTS formula, making the game feel more like how WW2 combat was conducted. Company of Heroes allows the player to assume command of either the Axis or Allied forces which more specifically depict the German Wehrmacht and the US troops. The two factions fight against each other in the game's multiplayer aspect--all Americans versus all Germans--but only the Allies are treated with a full single player campaign. Relic Online, the game's proprietary online service, is often updated with new patches that continue to balance the game, and occasionally releases new maps. Relic and THQ released a stand-alone expansion pack entitled "Opposing Fronts" that features the British and Panzer Elites as playable factions. The expansion released simultaneously with a large patch that allowed owners of the original Company of Heroes to play against owners of the expansion "Opposing Fronts." However, players who only own the original game cannot play as the British or Panzer Elite and vice versa for Opposing Fronts.
Company of Heroes departs from the traditional RTS style of gameplay, implementing a more realistic and tactical combat system. It makes several key departures from other RTS games, and many other popular mechanics found in the genre are taken to a greater level of depth and complexity.
Strategic PointsCompany of Heroes does not have any "resource gathering." Instead of assigning units to collect resources, there are various points on the map that provide resources in a steady flow. The resources are Munitions, required for special abilities and upgrades; Fuel, which is needed to build vehicles and do basic upgrades; and Manpower, which is a staple resource used for the construction and training of any unit or structure. Each strategic point rewards its owner with one of these three resources. These sectors also serve as population control; the more sectors a player has, the higher their population cap, allowing for more troops to be deployed. A territory must be directly connected to its owner's HQ for the territory give the owner the resource bonus. This allows players to actually "cut off supply lines" if an enemy is not effectively guarding their flanks. One or two rogue infantry squadrons can spell disaster for an inattentive player economically by capturing chokepoints behind their front lines. Connected strategic points also give their owner the surrounding territory on which they can build emplacements and equip their troops with special weapons such as Bazookas.
SquadsInstead of making individual foot soldiers, players create "squads" of units (with the exception of Snipers). Each squad moves as a single unit, but can contain anywhere from two to six soldiers. If members of a squad die, they can be reinforced and replaced for a small manpower cost back at their HQ or an in-the-field halftrack. Squads have a built-in AI that is more nuanced than simply shooting back at opponents. If you give the order to move into an area, the individual soldiers in the group not only move and fire independently, but will also use any nearby cover they can find along the way. Once they arrive at their destination, the troops will spread out and use as much cover as is available in their vicinity.
Company Commander and Other AbilitiesAs the battle rages on and units are built and destroyed, the Allies and the Axis gain Command Points. These points can be spent getting access to special units and powers through one of three doctrines for each side. Each doctrine specializes in a form of combat and grants the player more options for pursuing these means. For example, an American player can choose the Infantry Doctrine to supplement his mainly infantry strategy with units exclusive to that doctrine such as the Ranger Squad (elite bazooka infantry), or abilities that would help an infantry centric strategy like Artillery Support. Each player can gain experience (and subsequently Command Points) by killing units, creating buildings, or upgrading units. See Doctrines below for details.
Vehicle DamageVehicles have a lot more weight in Company of Heroes than in most RTS games. Rather than completing a rock-paper-scissor triangle, vehicles are simply more robust than infantry, capable of wading through small arms fire without significant injury. Tank are even more drastic, as infantry with rifles and flamethrowers cannot damage tanks at all, forcing players to use specialized anti-armor weapons or other tanks to combat them. Vehicles are generally better armored in the front, weaker on the sides, and weakest in the rear, more accurately reflecting real life armor design. A well placed rocket at the rear of a vehicle could possibly take it out in one shot, but it may take several rockets to accomplish the same task at the front or that particular weapon may not even be capable of damaging it from the front, if the target is a tank. In addition to normal damage, special debilitations can occur to powered vehicles if they are hit in certain locations. These effects range from a damaged engine to broken treads to killed gunners. The Rifleman squad's sticky bomb actually revolves around these hindrances as it does little damage to heavy armor but will almost always leave its target with a hampering condition.
Structural DamageBuildings are very effective for keeping infantry alive. They are better than heavy cover against direct and indirect fire and give those garrisoned inside a range bonus thanks to elevation. However, they are not indestructible. If something bigger than a rifle round hits a building it takes damage to the total structure as it would in any RTS but because of the smaller scale of Company of Heroes, the buildings can also take regional damage from direct hits. If a tank pounds on one side of a building, only that side of the building will have chunks taken out of it. This can be a twisted terraforming advantage if you want to use infantry to guard from a side from a building that has no windows at the moment. One or two well-placed bombs will suddenly make it a perfect, if ruffled, bunker.
Add-onsMost units in the game can be upgraded individually with new weapons or advancements. Infantry can be given AT weapons like Panzerschrecks, armored cars can add reinforced armor to keep lighter vehicles from puncturing its sides, engineers can be equipped with trench-thwarting flamethrowers, the list goes on. Every on-unit upgrade costs Munitions and this is the primary use of Munitions in the game. These add-ons all also possess special preservative qualities depending on their nature. Upgrades to vehicles can be destroyed just like their engines can be damaged. A machine gunner can be killed, or armor plates eliminated, forcing players to reinvest resources to get the perk again. If an infantry equips a special weapon and then dies, he leaves the weapon behind on the battlefield, allowing his friends (or foes) to pick it back up and put it into service again.
CoverCover is one of the most basic aspects of Company of Heroes, and a player that uses cover to their advantage will often win a battle. There are three types of cover in the game, heavy, light, and negative. Light cover provides minor benefits, and decreases the damage taken from enemy fire. Units in negative cover, such as streets or low water, actually take slightly more damage than if they had no cover at all (this tends to crop up on choke points such as bridges). In heavy cover, troops take almost no damage from direct enemy fire, while charging enemies get full damage penalties for not being in cover. This makes charging a heavily defended position dangerous and difficult. There are many things to counter the benefits of cover, such as flamethrowers, grenades, and flanking. Flanking counters cover because cover is based on direction, meaning the cover has to be between your unit and the enemy unit to realistically block some of the shots. To make sure that you don't get stiffed on the directional cover mechanic, holding down the right mouse button and dragging in a direction tells your troops which way to face so they can protect themselves intelligently.
AccuracyLittle to nothing is a guaranteed kill in Company of Heroes for the simple fact that almost nothing guarantees a hit in the first place. Most of the weapons in Company of Heroes do more damage than in similarly scaled games. It does not appear, however, because every weapon can miss and many of them do so frequently. The primary difficulty of attacking units in cover is, in fact, the reduced frequency with which your men will hit their targets. The exact mechanics of COH's accuracy system are questionable, but the errant shots make infantry battles appear much more chaotic than they normally would creating a more engaging and less by-the-numbers experience. It also makes everyone hold their breath during tank battles where, with tank cannon reload times commonly reaching 8 to 10 seconds, a misplaced shot can spell disaster.
VeterancyIn Company of Heroes, units can gain veterancy, which is a bonus to the fighting ability of a unit in some way, such as a damage increase or a speed multiplier. Each army earns veterancy in a different way. The Americans gain veterancy by kills from the individual units, so a rifleman squad that has gotten enough kills will receive veterancy. The Wehrmacht gain veterancy through purchased upgrades, and the buff is universally applied to all units once it is bought. While the American forces are much more of a hassle to improve because of this field experience style the veterancy reward is much greater, the Wehrmacht upgrades are segmented into four separate categories and become very fuel-intensive after the first upgrade. This fuel cost reduces their ability to produce tanks and is therefore not always worth the expenditure. However, the Wehrmacht vehicles receive special bonuses when they are upgraded in this fashion, such as side armor and extra gunners, add-ons that American vehicles can also get but must individually purchase.
SuppressionSuppression in Company of Heroes goes hand-in-hand with cover. Suppression is a tool that can be used to stop an enemy advance or supplement an attack force. In layman’s terms, suppression is when a machine gun makes a squad of infantry hide for cover. Suppressed squads lose a considerable amount of mobility and they do not fire as frequently. If a squad is suppressed long enough to be pinned, they no longer take orders, and the only way to use them again is if the suppressor is taken out or if they are retreated. A heavy machine gun can suppress as many infantry squads as walk into its field of fire, so properly deployed teams of MG42's or Browning .30 cals will neutralize an attacking infantry force very quickly. Vehicles cannot be suppressed the way infantry can and as such make excellent emplacement breakers.
RetreatingUnlike other strategy games where units are thrown away without a second thought, Company of Heroes emphasizes personal attachment to specific squads with veterancy (they level up as you use them more) and retreating (keeping them alive). If a squad has lost many of its members and is on the verge of being lost (or if you just want the troops back at base for some reason), it can be retreated back to the headquarters, where it can be reinforced back to a full squad or potentially thwart an unforeseen invasion force. Retreating is also beneficial to the survival of a squad because, while cannot fire as they run, they move much faster and take less damage on the way back to the headquarters. It is always cheaper to reinforce an old squad than to build a new one, encouraging the philosophy to live to fight another day.
Basic squad of three equipped with M3 Grease Guns. Engineers are useless combatants at range and are okay at best in close quarters. However, what these gun-wielding builders lack in firepower they more than make up for in provisional tactical advantages. They can build a number of items anywhere on the battlefield from barbed wire fences to tank traps to sandbag walls to minefields, they also carry the tools to remove any wire or sandbags blocking your progress. Engineers are also the primary base builders for the Americans, constructing the unit production facilities back at HQ. If you keep them properly shielded on the frontlines, they can vastly improve any terrain deficiency in your strategy. The American Engineer squad can also be upgraded with a demo charge ability, great for early game base sabotage by bridge destruction, or later raids on bunkers and buildings. To supplement them on the front lines you can equip them with either a flamethrower, which can clear out most any unit from any position if you can get them within range, or a mine detector to safeguard your troops and remove the explosives.
The backbone of the American forces, the Rifleman Squad is a squad of 6 soldiers equipped with semi-automatic M1 Garand Rifles, effective at most ranges. The numbers game works well in the favor of the six-man Rifleman squad, the largest squad available for either side. This allows teams of Rifleman Squads to outflank and overwhelm any Axis infantry regiment of similar power. Unfortunately, the individuals of Rifleman Squads are not as well trained as the individuals of a Grenadier squad, so precautions must be taken to prevent the Rifleman squad from being pincer struck as they will falter quickly. Rifleman squads can be upgraded to have pineapple grenades (a two-second fused anti-infantry explosive), sticky bombs (anti-vehicle grenades), and Browning Automatic Rifles (a substantial mid -range anti-infantry boost).
|Browning .30 cal Heavy Machine Gun Team|
The machine gun team of the Americans is a powerful area denial weapon, capable of suppressing and pinning infantry squads that come under its enfilade. Though it is not normally as strong as its German counterpart, the MG42, Allied HMG Teams have the ability to load ball ammunition that does significant damage to non-tank armor, extending the team's usefulness further into the game, additionally the .30 cal does more damage than its Wehrmacht counterpart. A bit of planning is involved for this troop as it takes three crucial seconds for the team to deploy the gun and even then it can only fire within a 135 degree angle of its setup direction, making it easily to flank and destroy if not properly placed.
|Allied Mortar Team|
The groundbreaker of the US troops. Before you have the resources to roll out the big guns, the mortar team can still wreak havoc on fixed positions provided you have a good setup and decent reconnaissance. The Allied Mortar Team can fire either an explosive barrage or a smoke barrage--one for killing and one for sneaking. The biggest difficulty in the effective use of the Mortar Team is the method of delivery: the arc necessary for the mortar to overcome cover means a long time from gun to target and a very inconsistent hit pattern. Area effects will yield far better results than firing on single squads.
One shot, one kill. The sniper can sneak behind enemy lines and into buildings, taking down unknowing infantry along the way. The sniper has the ability to hide himself at the expense of speed and capturing capabilities, but is totally invisible during this time. He comes out of hiding when an enemy unit comes too close (3 meters as of patch 2.301) or he fires his gun. As soon as both these events subside, however, he immediately returns to hiding. It is important to remember that a Sniper has practically no effect on vehicles of any kind and must therefore avoid them at all costs, lest he be run over or simply gunned down.
|57mm Antitank Gun|
The 57mm AT gun is the American's first and last line of defense against the legion of tanks at the Axis's disposal. The gun has strong armor in the front but is exposed in the back, leaving untended guns open to compromise. Exposed rear armor will spell doom for most any tank in 3 or 4 hits or, if you can't wait that long, the same number to the front with the Super AP rounds available only to the American version of the AT. AT Guns do not simply lose their usefulness when the team dies either; any squad of at least 2 infantry can take up this tank buster if one happens to be lying around. Just be careful the Nazis don't get to them first.
The jeep is a scout predominantly, boasting light vehicle armor and a very high acceleration. It has a machine gun on top, but it can't suppress infantry and does little real damage to any foot soldiers . The Jeep is only effective at harassing pioneers, fishing out snipers, and hitting observation posts in combat because its light armor can be taken down by stronger infantry, but as a spotter for artillery or just general reconnaissance it can't be beat. Combine it with the Raid ability from the Vehicle Doctrine to let it capture points and the jeep can become a very aggravating pet peeve to Axis supply lines.
The Halftrack acts like a mini-forward HQ: units can reinforce from it and units can be transported in it. When units are inside they can man the .50 cal on the top. For a hefty munitions charge, the Halftrack can replace its infantry transport capabilities to house an extremely powerful Maxson Quad .50 cal AA platform. It can shoot down hostile aircraft flying overhead (currently all axis aircraft is bugged and as such can't actually be shot down) and is one of the fastest infantry sweepers in the game. Unfortunately, the Quad does not do appreciable damage to tanks and even heavier infantry rounds can damage a halftrack, so it cannot be used carelessly.
The basic armored car of the Americans. The M8 Greyhound is possibly the most middle-grounded unit on either side due at least in part to its slew of on-vehicle enhancements. The main gun does minor damage to tanks, good damage to other vehicles, and is accurate enough to hit infantry. The Greyhound can be outfitted with a .50 cal turret gunner for rapid infantry disposal, armor skirts for better anti-vehicular protection, and can deploy mines on the battlefield just like the Engineer making it good for chokepoint stalls.
The embodiment of the American anti-tank philosophy, the M10 is cheap to build and quick on its treads. Brute force is not the key here; this tank hunter uses superior numbers and the ability to outmaneuver other tanks to crush statistically superior Axis armor. These mobile AT guns must be heavily managed as they have only enough armor to keep infantry rifles from taking them down; they will not survive more than a few rounds from a Panzer no matter where they are hit, making constant motion of the highest priority. Their rounds are also armor-piercing rather than explosive, making the M10 unsuitable for infantry suppression or building destruction, though if worse comes to worst they can perform these tasks as well.
The ubiquitous M4 Sherman is the Iconic American tank of the war. Though statistically weak to the stronger Axis armor, the Sherman boasts a large array of upgrades that can give it an edge over the more simple steamroller strategy of the German tanks. On the tank itself, the Sherman can be fitted with both a .50 cal turret gunner and a crab mine flail (a line of rapidly spinning chains that take out both mines and infantry in rather gory fashion). Back at base, the Sherman can gain even more potency from smoke canisters that obscure everything around the tank for 15 seconds as well as a boost to the AP 76mm main gun--beware that upgrading the main gun of the Sherman makes it far better against tanks but actually decreases its effectiveness against infantry and buildings.
M4 "Crocodile" Sherman
The M4 Sherman with a pretty cool perk - a flamethrower. This heavily modified Sherman does not have an active main gun but works perfectly in tandem with the regular Sherman, pulverizing both infantry and enemy emplacements with a long jets of blazing fuel. It can be upgraded with a Bulldozer that can let the Croc make a path through the strongest of obstacles made by man or nature. Its armor is identical to the original Sherman so it can take a lot punishment from other tanks while your anti-armor deals with these threats.
|Reinforcement Branch||Defensive Branch|
|Rapid Response -|
Significantly reduces the deployment time of infantry and heavy weapons teams. Eliminates the potential need to build more than one barracks or heavy weapon center.
After Engineers outlive their combat usefulness, you might still need their in-combat terraforming capabilities. Defensive Operations alleviates this problem by giving Rifleman Squads a select number of the Engineer's construction options including sandbag walls, tank traps, barbed wire, and land mines. The Riflemen will take much more damage while constructing these items so don't use it in mid-battle. Defensive Operations also increases the base speed of Engineer defense construction so if you still have Engineers around for the purpose they are not left in the cold.
Allows the creation of Rangers, an anti-infantry infantry squad of six automatically armed 2 Bazookas and 4 M1 carbines. The Ranger squad can get "fired up," a free ability that makes them immune to suppression as well as run faster for a short period of time. They also have access to a Thompson SMG weapon upgrade, an excellent short range anti-infantry solution. When these are combined, the Rangers become the perfect all-purpose linebreaker; they can rush in past enfilade fire, mow down any heavy weapon teams, and flank to destroy armor. Rangers get Pineapple grenades from the Rifleman upgrade.
Sometimes a base setup is too hard to crack and casualties will get start stacking if you don't find another way through. Cue Howitzer Shoot. An arsenal of off-map howitzers will lay down a disruptive bombardment in the field you choose. The Howitzer Shoot knocks things around much more than most artillery pieces, making it great against walls of infantry, and it still has enough penetration to puncture tanks on a direct hit. The price is steep, but even modest timing and placement will make this salvo worthwhile.
|Off-Map Combat Group|
If you can't quite decide what you want or just don't have the time to build individual units, the Off-Map Combat Group will hook you up with a small party mix force. These troops can be infantry or vehicles and are usually a mix of both. There is no obvious pattern or consistency to the choices; sometimes you will get a well-balanced strike force and sometimes you will get 3 Tank Destroyers. Rely upon this ability sparingly for explicit assistance but do not hesitate to use it in last ditch attempts as the total cost of the units this power produces well exceeds the cost of the power.
The do-it-yourself Howitzer Shoot. If you are concentrating solely on infantry, you will soon be sitting on a giant pile of fuel with no real purpose. The 105mm Howitzer are expensive, but their cost in fuel should line up nicely with your supplies. Engineers can build these bad boys anywhere in allied territory and once they're set up they cannot be moved--only rotated, but in most maps the 105 won't need to move anywhere to hit it's target. With each Howitzer every 60 seconds you can rain fire from the skies on any enemies in range. The 105mm, it should be noted, is not as strong as the Howitzer Shoot company power, but it will end up being far less expensive in the long run particularly in the munitions department. As with any on map artillery piece in the game, they have the distinct benefits of being able to shoot into the fog of war, and never having the tell tale signal flares that would herald off map artillery abilities.
|Air Drop Branch||Air Support Branch|
The bulk of Able Company during the campaign rides down on parachutes to lurk behind enemy lines and you use the same strategy with the Airborne Infantry power. All you need is line of sight and a chunk of firepower to get a group of versatile paratroopers wherever you want it. The initial airborne squad is not worth its price pound for pound against other infantry so they must be used tactically to prevent wasting the investment. This can be done by sending them behind heavy weapons teams who are too distracted attacking your forces elsewhere; all members of the airborne squad are armed with carbines so they can swiftly deal with these kinds of threats. When needed they be equipped with Recoilless Rifles, a less powerful but more accurate version of the Bazooka that is great against light vehicles that traditionally prove to be a pain to hit. Airborne get the Fired Up ability Rangers do with the same effects. Their last, and possibly most important, asset is the Satchel Charge, a large hunk of explosive that can be thrown about the distance of a grenade. Use it to take down almost anything that's stationary or too slow to get out of way. A nice distinction is the ability to reinforce anywhere on the battlefield.
The bread-and-butter of the Airborne powers, Air Recon sends a P47 Thunderbolt over the map in a line of your choosing. During the few seconds it takes to pass overhead, the fog of war will be lifted along its flight path, allowing a quick-working player to para-drop troops far behind the front lines and potentially wreak havoc on enemy positions with subsequent air-strikes.
|Airdrop AT Gun|
Airdrops an AT Gun anywhere in your line of sight. Simple and effective power; just watch out for enemy troops that can gun down the emplacement's crew before they set up or even before they hit the ground. This threat is also relevant to the Airborne infantry. One Ostwind Flakpanzer will shoot any number of airdropped soldiers out of the sky, so avoid them particularly. As with normal paras they can reinforce at any time from the sky.
If you need infantry gone now, the Strafing Run offers a solution of unparalleled speed. Click on the line of fire desired and a P47 will rip through any unarmored troops in the region within seconds. The emphasis here is on infantry as the machine gunning strafe does absolutely nothing to tanks or buildings. It does some damage to light vehicles, but not enough to warrant spending the Munitions. In fact, infantry inside buildings will be barely affected by the uproar. Unshielded infantry, however, should be instantly killed or suppressed enough to mop up.
Drops two large boxes full of supplies anywhere in Allied territory. It will generally consist of a bundle of 100 munitions, 100 fuel, an HMG and a mortar. At a much less valuable 100 manpower it is quite the bargain, especially for keeping up with air support costs. The only downsides are it's long cooldown and if careless, the potential for enemies to take the drop's contents. As anyone can grab them you could give them to a teammate.
The next logical step in the P47 progression is the Bombing run which finally loads it with respectable ordnance for the purpose of leveling buildings and humbling Axis armor...with the notable exception of the Ostwind Flakpanzer which will simply blast the P47 out of the air. You should note that the Ostwind will rarely shoot down a p47 before it releases its load, it essentially requires the p47 to come in from the axis side of the map and to fly for a good length of time before reaching its target. Barring that one hitch, this will hit hard on any line of unsuspecting forces you choose, knocking out or crippling all in the target area (as it had better for being the single largest Munitions expenditure in the game). This power comes down somewhat slower than the fantastic speed as the Strafing Run but not so slow that you will have to worry much about timing the placements, just make sure to gauge what you could be doing with all those extra resources before you send out the plane.
|Armored Support Branch||Logistics Branch|
Significantly reduces the build time of all vehicles and tanks. Eliminates the potential need to build a second Tank Depot or Motor Pool.
The scourge of any player interested in upfront tactical warfare, Raid gives Allied players the chance to sabotage any hope of progress for their enemies. Raid allows any non-tank vehicle to capture strategic points, including Victory Points. This means Jeeps, Halftracks, and Greyhounds all now threaten the Nazi's economic future. Rifleman become more or less obsolete without serious upgrading, so heavy weapons can get more funding. This in turn lets players with Raid better guard their own points, preventing the Axis from returning the favor. One of the most practical company powers.
Engineers die frequently in live fire even when they can defend themselves, let alone while they are intentionally forgoing protection by repairing vehicles. Unfortunately, those vehicles need some attention and so you turn to Field Repairs. This makes all American armor and vehicles repair themselves for a short period of time. The repair rate is approximately that of two engineers per vehicle. Field Repairs can be the difference between having and losing a front line from attrition and gives American players more chances to rebound and take back lost territory. The Munitions cost may be high but when you need to either keep up the fight with worn down armor, or fix a damaged engine on the fly, Field Repairs is there to make it happen.
|Allied War Machine|
When your battalion is FUBAR and there are more Huns coming over the hill, Allied War Machine allows you to cut your losses tremendously. This company power has a history of being modified through patches so the details are always in flux but it essentially replaces the next few vehicles the player loses with brand new ones back at base if said vehicles are destroyed during the time the ability is active. Timing is completely everything for this power; your opponent is even capable of seeing when you have it active as all your tanks will have the power's icon floating over them. Activation must be done intelligently avoiding wasting huge number of Munitions.
If the Pershing can't take it, nothing can (at least for the Allies). The Pershing is far and away the best tank available to the American military. Unlike the Sherman, it sports a gun that can penetrate heavy Axis armor without running around to the back and unlike the M10 Tank Destroyer, it can survive being shot. It has an 8 out of 9 for damage against all unit types and the number do not lie; the Pershing's main cannon is high explosive and armor-piercing making it good against both vehicles and structures. It also sports dual machine gun emplacements to keep infantry away. Far from invincible, the Pershing is still a foe upon which attention must be concentrated to successfully dispatch it, giving the Americans a taste of what it is like to be their enemy.
|T34 Sherman Calliope|
In the same vein as the "Crocodile," another ingenious jury rigging of the Sherman by car mechanics of the 30's nets the Allies the Calliope, a tank-mounted rocket platform. Just like the Croc, the main gun of the Calliope is disabled so it only finds use as a robust artillery piece but the yield of its bombardment is quite possibly one of the most devastating in the conflict. The rockets can shred through anything but the thickest plating while leaving behind ashy fiery death where they land. The reload time can be grating, but thankfully the tank armor protecting the launcher keep accidents between attacks to a minimum.
The Wehrmacht (Axis)
The Engineers of Germany is just a lowly squad of two but has most of the construction capabilities of its American counterpart. The only real difference between the two builders is in the special abilities. Where the American Engineer was capable of planting explosives on buildings and bridges with the right upgrades, the pioneer has the ability to salvage munitions from the destroyed hulls of tanks and vehicles. These munitions will prove useful in the early game for the Germans as the Grenadier squad can use the extra resource boost to vastly improve their fighting capabilities. Not to be outdone the Pioneers can also wield either a flamethrower or mine detector.
These are the basic German infantry, the "Grenadiers of the People," a squad of 5 armed with Kar98's and one MP44. The lone gunner with the MP44 is precious little comfort in close quarters (mostly because the MP44 is merely for looks and acts as a Kar98) as these inexperienced troops are at the mercy of any squad with more than one machine gun, sometimes even Engineers, but they can outgun a U.S. rifleman squad at range. Though seemly meek, even when facing enemy armor they can still respond with a single shot Panzerfaust warhead. After advancing up the tech tree a bit, Volksgrenadiers can have all of their weapons replaced with MP40's, completely reversing their mode of operation. These SMG-wielding Volks can decimate an enemy infantry squad in seconds at close range but is much less effective at range. If worked properly, this reversal of roles can throw off an inattentive Allied player. They can also build light defenses without the aid of a pioneer in the form of sandbags and barbed wire.
Grenadiers provide heavier infantry support than Volksgrenadiers. They are better trained soldiers with the inherent ability to throw grenades as their namesake would suggest. In addition, the Grenadiers can be upgraded with up to two Light MG42's and/or Panzerschrecks in any combination. This mix and match of powerful anti-infantry and anti-tank arms make the Grenadier squad useful against any opponent so long as the squad is properly equipped for the job. The only drawback with their improved weapons is their high price and, unfortunately, the Grenadier squad is simply not worth the manpower they cost without them.
|Knight's Cross Holders|
Decorated, veteran soldiers wielding MP44s, Knight's Cross Holders are true can-do commandos. Though you get only get three to a squad, the individual strength of a Knight's Cross Holder makes up for this in spades. They can shoot effectively on the run, something very few other units are capable of and if they actually come into close quarters with another squad (the range their guns are designed to be used) the enemy will be almost instantly eradicated. They also possess both Panzerfausts and the Assault ability so no target is too big for them to handle. They are, hands-down, the strongest non doctrine specific infantry regiment available .
While only armed with a Luger, officers have a wide range of abilities at their disposal to cause more havoc than any one gun ever would. He can call down artillery strikes on any area in his line-of-sight, an ability made all the more useful by his solo sneaky nature. He can also accelerate progress on buildings, both in their construction and subsequently in recruiting units from them. If the area around him gets too hot, either for him or his allies, the Officer can initiate the equivalent of the Propaganda War Terror Doctrine power which causes all enemy infantry in the radius to immediately retreat to their HQ.
The differences between the German and American sniper are mostly cosmetic. They kill in one shot, they can hide while not firing, and are easily eliminated by vehicles. Late game snipers with high veterancy prove somewhat unique.
|Gr. 34 8cm Mortar Team|
The Granatewerfer 34 mortar has a definitive edge over it's American counterpart in range and damage.
|MG42 Heavy Machine Gun|
The MG42 heavy machine gun suppresses infantry faster than the American Browning .30 cal. However, it does not possess the ability to load anti-vehicular rounds and is therefore less effective in the later game. It is still more effective in the early game than the American version as well as more easily accessible, often a staple of most strategies.
|PAK 38 50mm Antitank Gun|
A well-positioned PaK 38 can quickly turn Allied vehicles and tanks into scrap. Even without the Allies' ability to load super armor-piercing shells into it, the German AT Gun is a large threat because the American military does not have any tanks with strong enough armor to resist its rounds; hits to the rear are still more effective but are that much less necessary as a result. The Pak 38 also has its own perks such as the ability to hide while not firing, making it the perfect ambush setup against an overconfident Allied commander. Combine this sneaky tank destroyer with stealthy Stormtroopers and the result will be a silent death knell to enemies who come too close.
|150mm Nebelwerfer Rocket Battery|
The "Screaming Mimi" is the ancestor to the missile platform. Three men wheel around six large welded tubes loaded with rockets, firing them on unsuspecting foes with lightning speed thanks to a nearly instant deployment time. These flash artillery pieces are man-powered and heavy, so when deploying or repositioning they can take a a while. If attacked the crew will most likely be killed without help, and your equipment possibly carted off to the enemy's side. They must be hidden and guarded while they reload because of the time this takes but if left to unleash havoc, they will do certainly that to any infantry caught in their wake.
Lighter and faster than the Jeep, the Motorcycle fulfills its role as a Scout more successfully than the Jeep in many areas. The machine gun attached to the sidecar, while not very effective, is still as good as the Jeep's. The motorcycle also has a tight turning radius which it needs as the bike cannot back up. The Motorcycle does suffer from two major drawbacks. The first is its physical inferiority to the Jeep. A Jeep will always trump a Motorcycle in combat, forcing the Motorcycle out of Jeep-controlled territory. The second is the Motorcycle's inability to capture points by any means, even through doctrines. This means the Motorcycle can only operate as a scout or a weak irritation rather than a potential supply line stopper.
|SdKfz 251 Halftrack|
The German Halftrack acts as an armored transport for infantry. Just like the American one, this Half-track lets passengers man the machine gun, but this has an additional rear facing MG as well. Doubling up the Americans again, the SdKfz 251 can be fitted with one of two powerful weapons platforms. The first is a double Flammenwerfer flamethrower system; this weapon is the only one in the game with an anti-infantry score of 12 (max otherwise is 9 for the Sniper). The second is the Walking Stuka rocket artillery platform. Similar to the Nebelwerfer Rocket Battery, the half-track gains the ability fire six rockets deep into enemy territory. They recharge slowly but the half-track is very mobile and can easily retreat to safety during this time, also with veterancy the reload timer becomes the lowest of any late game artillery. As with most transport half-tracks you can reinforce your squads when nearby it.
|SdKfz 234 Armored Car|
A lightly armored car, parallel to the M8 Greyhound for the Axis, the SdKfz 234 roams the battlefield hunting for anything smaller than a tank and provides ample firepower and protection to deal with such targets. Unlike the Greyhound, the main gun on the German's armored car fires smaller munitions in a burst. This drastically improves its effectiveness against infantry as a good salvo could decimate an entire squad if not sufficiently covered. If more firepower is needed, the SdKfz 234 can get the 75mm Puma Cannon upgrade. This upgrade changes the fire rate back to one per salvo but gives the main gun enough kick to damage tanks and perforate armored vehicles. Just be careful not to overexert the power of this gun as the car itself will still only take one or two tank rounds before being crippled.
The Stug is the blitz tank. It is the earliest accessible tank on either side and can become a most formidable steamroller if the Allies are not ready to repulse it. The armor of the Stug is very front heavy; no damage in front, lots of damage in the back. The main gun is fixed forcing the Stug to rotate its entire hull in order to aim at target. This makes it extremely vulnerable to the overwhelming tactics of the M10 Tank Destroyer. However, while the M10 is not on the battlefield, the Stug is a force to reckoned with as will tear down any and all unarmored targets in its path.
The Panzer IV is the first heavy tank for the Germans. The gun is free to move independently of the hull and a few of these powerful weapons platforms can make a very solid frontline. The Panzer IV comes preloaded with two machine guns, one of which activates with veterancy, and a large 70mm main cannon capable penetrating Sherman front armor enough to do worthwhile damage. This tank is one of the few units in the game that can be used on any target with approximately equal effectiveness, having a strength rating of 5 in all categories. This makes it a mainstay for the German military and great lineholder.
Aiming its 37mm Flak 43 gun downwards, the Flakpanzer makes short work of light targets. It possess near heavy tank armor so it is indestructible as far as infantry goes. It is very mobile and, it can run over infantry to kill them. Combine the speed and armor with a rapid-firing flak gun and this tank becomes the most powerful single anti-infantry unit on either side; certain units match it in firepower, none do in all three areas. The only thing that can reasonably stop it is a tank and even then the tank must a have a strong gun to take it down quickly. A formidable hit-and-run machine.
Heavier than the Panzer, the 75mm KwK 42 cannon equipped on the Panther will destroy allied armor without flinching. The Panther is a lumbering hulk of tank-killing machinery and not even the Pershing can reliably deal with it. Luckily for the Allies, the Panther's total devotion to anti-tank weaponry makes it an easy target for infantry if they can get around it with strong enough AT guns. This flaw in the Panther's design is exacerbated by its slow turning speed and acceleration. If a Panther gets stuck, Allied forces would be wise to take as many potshots as possible before it can turn its steel era death ray back towards them.
The coolest remote control car ever. This fusion of Nazi industry and radio communication is a bomb with treads. Its whirs around the battlefield in search of something of value to blow to smithereens (and valuable the target must be to compensate for the Goliath exorbitant Munitions cost). The Goliath has no weapons and isn't especially fast, but if left in a piece of cover it can camouflage itself. Even if you have to take the direct approach the in-game HUD doesn't mention when a Goliath is spotted; this makes the Goliath one of very few units where its cosmetic profile is a real advantage. Even if one is seen moving in it's target(s) may have trouble doing enough damage quick enough to matter what sets it off. If you can guide this bundle into direct contact it will cripple or destroy anything except base structures. Use them infrequently to keep from wasting Munitions as well as increase the chance that an Allied foe is unpleasantly surprised by a spontaneously combusting Sherman.
|Base Defense Branch||Artillery Support Branch|
|For the Fatherland!|
Any Nationalist movement that doesn't motivate its own troops is not working very well. The Nazi campaign has no problem on that end, particularly when you get "For the Fatherland!" which boosts the Defensive power of all Axis troops in friendly territory, it also immediately unsupresses all of your troops in your territory and makes them harder to suppress again. This works to the axis advantage with veterancy since most late games are won by axis they can afford to sit back and just hang on to one high fuel point.
A simple improvement, Advanced Warning expands your sight radius around strategic points you control. If you do not take the time to cap points with observation posts this is even more useful but the sight extends beyond that of the post so the benefit is not lost on those who do. Use this power to make sure the Allies aren't getting the jump on you in unprotected sectors. The demand for an always-ready interception force to profitably act upon the intelligence you gain from Advanced Warning is problematic, but it is normally a good idea to have such things anyway, so if being ready to benefit from this means devoting a few more resource ticks to defensive forces rest assured they will not be wasted should you stop a plot against your base in time because you did.
|Fortify the Perimeter|
The more easily applicable version of "For the Fatherland!," Fortify the Perimeter is a one-two punch of turtling advantages. First one simply gives all base structures such as Krieg Barracks a machine gun turret; this has the obvious application of nullifying stabs at home by mowing down airborne and lowlier hostiles without the intercession of withdrawn troops. The second power (and the more useful of two) allows bunkers to reinforce your infantry squads along with making them more difficult to demolish. If you had any reservations about building Bunkers before, purge them with this; Bunkers are cheap emplacements that can be upgraded with whatever you need and now they can even recuperate your army without the need of a forward barracks.
A must-have to get the most out of Advanced Warning, Registered Artillery bring a hail of fire down around a strategic point or building you own. Don't worry, the shells won't hit your own structures but they may hit your troops. It doesn't have much in the way of flexibility, but when you do use it, it comes down fast, it comes down hard, and it doesn't let up.
|88mm Flak 36 AA/AT|
This rugged showstopper will hold its ground come what may. The Flak 36 has no rival in the defense department; it fires very quickly for a large gun, it can reliably hit infantry, it guns down aircraft, it puts holes in tank armor, has unparraleled range, and the machine itself is surprisingly resilient to hostile cannon fire. It is a solid package at a hefty but totally reasonable price. Pioneers can set these up anywhere within the borders their company has secured and once it is in place, the Allies will a hard time dislodging it. Note that the Flak 36 is manned like any other heavy weapon and can be re-manned by friend or foe should the gun survive a blast that the crew does not.
A power only to be used by the most well stocked CO, Rocket Artillery can mince an enemy army caught under its reticule if the rockets' owner has funding to keep up the fire. Rocket Artillery costs a huge number of Munitions but can be fired every 30 seconds for a continuous dust storm; keeping this up in reasonable circumstances is nearly impossible as any sensible player should be using their Munitions to properly equip their infantry. This salvo also seems to occasionally miss just about everything in the selected radius, a far too expensive mishap at the end of the game.
|Stormtrooper Support Branch||Assault Branch|
|Infantry Assault Team|
The forerunner in a string of invasion forces available to Blitzing German player, Infantry Assault Team recruits a group of guerrilla Grenadiers called Stormtroopers. They can similarly pack a pair of panzershrecks and/or automatics of your choosing, trading the LMG for the close ranged MP44. Continue to up the ante with bundled grenades (basically a bigger grenade), and the ability to hide in fashion similar to Snipers. This makes them a perfect ambush complement to the Pak 38 and their usefulness does not end there. They are able soldiers even without sneaking around, taking down unassisted Rifleman squads with ease.
Assault Grenadiers gives all your main infantry squads the ability to throw a mess of grenades onto a target, doing slightly less damaging per grenade than the standard but stunning all infantry within the multiple blast radii. Additionally this will unsupress the squad that uses them and prevents them from suppressing while the ability is in effect.
|Urban Assault Support|
A camp breaker if ever there was one, the Urban Assault Support power deploys a StuH 42 to the battlefield. This tweaked Stug sports an explicitly high explosive shell that does little damage to armor. The tradeoff in piercing makes it fantastic against buildings, offing machine gun emplacements and base structures with only a few shells. The explosion is also great against infantry even if they are protected by cover. Their worst foe, like any tank, is the AT gun.
Pushes the pedal to the floor for a short time on all German troops, increasing both the attack and movement speed of all infantry and vehicles. Use to rapidly crush either Poland or a susceptible Allied force.
|Armored Assault Force|
Armored Assault Force translates to deploying a Tiger Tank to the battlefield for a small fortune in Manpower. Even heavier than the mighty Panther, the Tiger sacrifices mobility for armor and a bigger gun. Once it is at the front, you'll stop caring about how slow it is. The Tiger tank is one of the most powerful all around tank, taking out infantry and tanks with equal ease. Flanking with a Tiger is not an easy option with low maneuverability and slow turret traverse, although you won't likely need to as it can goes toe-to-toe with even the mighty Pershing and should win every time in equal head-on combat.. Conversely, being flanked is a common occurrence for the Tiger. It will take much more damage from the back; that is it takes damage in the back. This tank is a large part of what made Nazi armor as revered an entity as it was and the Tiger in Company of Heroes will not disappoint on this count.
Resource Blitz is one of the tougher gambles you have to make playing Company of Heroes. On the one hand ,it gives you a massive amount of manpower and even though the player's income is reduced for a little while after the Blitz is used. The power costs a lot of Munitions, essentially making the power an exchange of Munitions for Manpower. If you don't tend to use special abilities then this is not a problem but if you have a more balanced play style this power should not be used lightly.
|Hero Support Branch||Propaganda|
An odd capability that doesn't seem to work too well with the rest of the Terror philosophy, Zeal makes infantry in squads with casualties fight harder. This is a good thing, to be sure, but losing soldiers is not on the agenda of a Terror doctrine player most days so it can be tough to get any leverage out of it. This will only truly help on the frontline if it is not predominantly tanks. At least this power does not have to be monitored as it simply turns itself on when someone dies in a squad.
A risky power if used with bad timing. Inspired Assault is an activated ability that makes all your infantry do substantially more damage for a time while simultaneously taking more damage in a sort of crazy barbarian rage where they shoot wildly and don't care for their own safety. Using this at the wrong time or against the wrong foe can lose you a worrying chunk of your ground troops.
Propaganda War might well be the most amusing power available to either side. When triggered on top of enemy infantry, a swirl of Nazi posters and violent ranting through a megaphone apparently causes every enemy soldier in the region to flee for their lives back to HQ. Aside from the laugh that ensues every time this happens, Propaganda War can save you from impending doom if used properly. Rangers will turn around instead of putting dents in your tanks, or an HMG team will decide to get up and run away , allowing harm free passage across a just recently guarded bridge. The coolest thing to do is combine this with a bombardment if you can see the enemy's HQ. Make their infantry run away and then, with a little bit of timing, they will arrive back at base just in time to be mercilessly hammered from the sky.
Firestorm is the Terror Doctrine parallel of Rocket Barrage. It is very hit-or-miss on the damage with the exception of the burning ground aftermath which slowly kills infantry in the radius. It also has the same high-cost low-recharge time combo of Rocket Barrage though if you are playing the Terror Doctrine, you should have a comfortable resource stockpile anyway making this less of an issue. Firestorm is a noticeable notch weaker than Rocket Barrage but far from useless. To assist in the scorched earth follow-up infantry that are hit by any of the artillery shells become suppressed, keeping their heads down until its too late. Just don't place it on an area you plan to invade once the enemies are cleared out.
There is no quick way to eliminate a King Tiger. None. American cannons have to hit it in the back just to have a chance of damaging it. Bazookas have no hope. Even a friendly-fired V1 rocket won't take it out in one go. This thing is the real deal and nothing is quite as unstoppably lumbering with the most powerful cannon of all and three machine guns. The King Tiger is the best unit in the game hands down based on unit type advantages (9 out of 9 in all four categories) and could take its sweet time turning American tanks into scrap if it didn't do that in two or three shots anyway. That said, the King Tiger does have a few problems. The most relevant of these is its availability both on the doctrine tree as well as deployment. A Terror player who makes a beeline for this leviathan has to invest 9 points just to get it. A lot of fighting has to take place to get to that point and other strategies must be put in place beforehand or the player will simply be taken down before he reaches the power. This is compounded by the number of King Tigers that can be deployed during a game: 1. Just one. If you lose your King Tiger, its gone forever unless resurrected from the grave and the points officially go to no more use. Thankfully, the only physical weakness in the Tiger is its speed which combined with sticky bombs and potential engine damages often means you'll be repairing this battering ram as much as you are using it.
Click on enemy army. Pulse jet whirring sounds. Death. The picture on the right does a good job elaborating on the operation of the V1. It isn't even very expensive as far Company of Heroes WMD's go. The catch is its excruciatingly long cooldown time. Make sure that the area you decide to make hell on earth at contains a good number of expensive items that aren't going anywhere soon after pressing the button.
- Operating System: Windows XP or Vista
- Processor: 2.0 Ghz Intel Pentium IV or equivalent or AMD Athlon XP or equivalent
- RAM Memory: 512 MB RAM
- Video Card: DirectX9.0c compatible 64MB video card with Pixel Shader 1.1 support or equivalent and latest manufacturer drivers
- Sound Card: DirectX9.0c compatible 16-bit sound card
- 8x or faster CD-ROM drive or DVD-ROM drive
- Keyboard, Mouse
- Hard Drive Space: 6.5GB of uncompressed free hard drive space (Recommend having 1GB of free space after installation)
Recommended Systen Requirements
- Operating System: Windows XP or Vista
- Processor: 3.0 Ghz Intel Pentium IV or equivalent
- RAM Memory: 1GB RAM
- Video Card: 256 MB Nvidia GeForce 6800 series or better
- Hard Drive Space: 6.5GB hard drive space
Required for multiplayer
1 set of discs per computer. Recommended System Requreiments to support 6-8 player multiplayer and skirmish
Internet (TCP/IP) and LAN (TCP/IP) play supported. Internet play requires broadband internet connection and latest drivers. LAN play requires network interface card and latest drivers
Vista Experience Score
- Game Recommended Rating - 4.0
- Game Required Rating - 3.0