Company of Heroes 2: The Basics Guide

Combat: Distance, Weapon Types, Flanks

In many ways I find Company of Heroes 2 to be a game about “hard counters”. For example, if the enemy is spamming infantry like mad a single KV-8 could take them all out. If the enemy relies on tanks you will use Anti-Tank Guns or Tank Destroyers. If the enemy calls in some type of special troops you analyze them and use what you think will be the best counter against them. For example, when faced with the a fore mentioned KV-8 you might be tempted to use Anti-Tank guns or Panzer Grenadiers. Unfortunately, the KV-8 is so efficient and tough that you would need overwhelming firepower to take it out before it kills your units. In this case you would prefer to use Stugs or P4s, because even though the KV-8 is powerful against Infantry it is much less impressive against tanks.

Some counters are more obvious than others. An Infantry Spam could be stopped by an HMG. Vehicle spams could be stopped with Anti Tank Guns. Artillery Spams could be stopped with fast moving vehicles or elite recon troops.  Mortars are useful when taking out HMG but also Anti Tank Guns. You get the idea, if there is a problem there is also a solution.

Company of Heroes 2

Remember that “Fortress” from earlier? It just got snuffed by a single Flame Halftrack, because we had no Anti-Tank Gun.

However, sometimes you have to take into account other elements in order to win an encounter, not just “hard counters”, these do not always work.

Another thing you must realise is the correlation between distance and weapon types. Most weapons perform far better if the enemy is closer. This does not only increase their accuracy but also their penetration. Some weapons are more restricted by range than others. SMG and Assault Rifles, for example, need to be closer than rifles, in order to be effective. So you might want to push up Panzer Grenadiers, or drive them into enemy positions with a half-track, allowing them to use their guns far more efficiently.

Tanks are very moody when it comes to penetration and flank. Every single Armored Vehicles and Tank will have the most armor on the front. So, for example, a T-70 will have no chance in penetrating a PIV or a Panther from the front. It might, however, achieve penetration by firing at the engine of any of these tanks. Distance and which side faces your guns influences penetration. Certain guns are far better than others. For example, I found the SU-76 to be an overall decent Tank Destroyer, but it will have a problem with Veteran PIVs and Panthers. The T-70 will have a hard time damaging any German tank. Even the T-34 might find it problematic to punch through a Panzer IV or a Panther, at times. In turn, the Panzer IV could have a problem penetrating the front of a SU-85, or that of the IS-2.

The key is flanking. Anti-Tank Guns and Panzerschrecks perform far better when fired at the flank of a tank than the front. Remember that.

Artillery, except for Mortars, can penetrate and damage tanks. Rocket Artillery is available to all Commanders, and even two such vehicles can turn the tide of any battle with a well placed barrage. However, they are expensive, so protect them well.

More information on the different Core units will be available in the soon-to-come Guide on the Germans and Soviets.

The Winter

It will be hard for you not to face the Russian Winter, at some point during your games. All the Rivers will be frozen over. In some areas of the map Deep Snow will form. Some of your units will be able to construct Fires. Also, all your infantry units will be able to suffer from frostbite… and die.

Right, let’s start at the beginning. Usually during your initial game the map will be “flat”. No deep snow. There might be Fires spread all over the map, especially near locations you can capture. After your first Blizzard Deep Snow will form in some areas around the map.

Blizzards are periodical events during a battle on a Winter Map. Any Infantry Units out in the Blizzard will begin losing “heat”. Once their Heat is depleted there is a chance that slowly one by one your squad members will drop dead. Heat is replenished in a number of ways. The most basic one is constructing or walking up to a fire. Any side can use Fires, and they will always be “neutral”. You may choose to put a squad inside any civilian structure, this will warm them up and protect them from the blizzard. Half-tracks also keep your troops warm. I observed that, it would seem, some explosions and flame attacks can actually keep your troops (and the enemy) warm.

Company of Heroes 2

Blizzards can offer you a short respite from combat. In this case a squad of Pioneers were fixing up a Stug III, while staying warm next to a fire.

Vehicles are not as badly affected by the Blizzard. Their main problem will be shorter visibility, but since all sides suffer from that you could use the Blizzard to perform a sneak attack, and drop in Assault Troops up close and personal on the enemy front.

Furthermore, some abilities will not work during the Blizzard.

When recruiting new units, and you plan on sending them to the front, take into account distance. Make short “Fire Stops” to let your units regain some heat, otherwise they will freeze to death.

Deep Snow also causes a heat drop, even when there is no Blizzard. Furthermore, Deep Snow will slow down both Infantry and Vehicles. Artillery fire (and combat in general) can get rid of Deep Snow.

Frozen Rivers can be destroyed with artillery fire and other explosions. What this means is that any unit standing on top of a destroyed section of ice will sink to an icy death. Water will freeze over, after the ice was shattered, but this will always take some time.

The Summer

Summer Maps are far more neutral to Winter Maps. There are no special weather conditions but shallow rivers (or bogs) can slow down both vehicles and tanks, making them crawl in them. On top of that any infantry in a “bog” will have negative cover, thus turning them into delicious targets for enemy units.

Other than that, enjoy the sun and warm weather… Until the winter comes…

Conclusion

These basics should let you pull through the absolute basics of the game. If you read this and are still interested in more I recommend checking up my Guide on the Germans and Soviets. This will also provide a lot of useful tips and hints, to perform better, or protect yourself, from one of the sides. If you are looking for more info we have a general list of Company of Heroes 2 Guides.

Alex “WriterX” Bielski

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About The Author

Aleksander "WriterX" Bielski
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Student of Psychology, he was identified as a Nut-Job even before he started the course. Having done some small work as a Modder for a number of titles, and worked as a Game Designer part-time, Alex now writes in third person. As Co-Owner and Editor of AlterGamer.com he aims high, while being armed only with a sling. In the future, he hopes to become a fully qualified Newspaper Editor, and purchase Google.

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