Company of Heroes 2: The Germans
In this part of the Company of Heroes 2 “Guides” we will talk about the Germans. This is one of the more favorite factions, and I played it more often myself. However, it is very easy to fail with the Germans, especially if you fail to understand their “system”, or rather, do not take advantage of their strengths and limit their weaknesses. First I will introduce you to the different units for the Germans (mentioning a few of the Special ones) then moving onto some Tips and Strategies, with the Germans.
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Company of Heroes 2: The Germans
The Germans in Company of Heroes 2 are mainly composed of higher quality and more expensive troops. However, the higher quality does not necessarily translate into versatility, nor does it guarantee automatic “wins”. Playing as the Germans calls for carefully using your troops, and not sacrificing them needlessly, especially any Armor that you might had produced. It is very easy to get carried away with your first Panzer IV and send it straight into a cross-fire of one or two ZiS-3s. The key to being a competent German commander is to play it safe. That is not to safe that you should not take risks, but all German units are expensive, and losing your equipment to Soviet troops, who might then use it themselves, will pose a great threat to your own troops.
The Germans have some substantial strengths and weaknesses, in the different unit types, and later on I will discuss them. First, I would like to speak of the Core German units that every commander will have access to. I will mention some of the Special Units, but at the end of the day you can win a game using only your core units.
Pioneers – The German Pioneer is very similar in stats and combat effectiveness to the Combat Engineer from the Soviets. This four man squad is equipped with MP-40s, and as such is more effective at close range, if you want to use them for combat. Do not assume the the Pioneers are a sensible combat unit choice. The Pioneers cost almost as much as the Grenadiers, and the Grenadiers, unlike the Pioneers, can deal with most early Soviet Infantry units. Pioneers may be equipped with a flamethrower or “De-Wiring” equipment, which allows them to either act together with the main attack force, to clear out enemy HMG, Anti-Tank Guns and Mortar Emplacements, as well as fortified buildings, or to clear out enemy minefields and defenses.
The Pioneer’s main task, however, is to build and repair. Pioneers can construct all the necessary base buildings and upgrade neutral resource points to produce additional fuel or ammo. At the same time, Pioneers can lay down solid anti-tank and anti-infantry mines, as well as construct bunkers, that can be upgraded to host an HMG, Medical Bunker or Command Outpost. In other words, the Pioneers are an essential support unit to maintain your base, front and most importantly tanks and vehicles. No other unit is capable of vehicle repairs so you will need a few crews of Pioneers, later on in the game.
Grenadiers – The Core of the German Infantry, Grenadiers are armed with rifles and may be upgraded to use an LMG. The Grenadiers are long-distance fighters, which makes them excellent on the defense. They can be put into buildings, bunkers or trenches, thus allowing them to fire volleys into the unprepared Soviet Infantry. In a 1 vs 1 fight Grenadiers can normally beat Conscripts, without either side using their special abilities. Against more elite troops the Grenadiers can still perform adequately making them the basic infantry type for your army.
Grenadiers have the Panzerfaust and Rifle Grenade Special Abilities. The Panzerfaust is a mildly expensive method of protecting yourself from enemy vehicles and tanks. A single Panzerfaust cannot destroy any vehicle or tank, so you might be forced to spend a lot of Ammo on a single target. The Panzerfaust is better used as a support ability, if Paks or Panzer Grenadiers are occupied with bigger targets, and there are lighter vehicles circling among your troops.
The Rifle Grenade is a rather mediocre Anti-Infantry weapon. It can be fired over obstacles and it is surprisingly effective against targets in buildings. However, a 0 Rank Grenadier squad using a Rifle Grenade will usually not cause much damage on an enemy squad. You can still choose to use it on important enemy targets, such as HMGs or Mortars, or troops hiding in buildings.
Lastly, the Grenadiers can also build bunkers, like the Pioneers. This allows Grenadiers to move the Front line forward, and reinforce it. They can also light Fires on Winter Maps, so Grenadiers become essential when creating, maintaining or reinforcing your front. However, Grenadiers cannot repair structures they build, so Pioneers will still be needed. However, Grenadiers can help Pioneers in building Bunkers, and vice versa, speeding up construction greatly.