Company of Heroes 2: The Soviets

Company of Heroes 2

While it might lack a top gunner, the SU-85’s gun does all the talking.

SU-85 – The SU-85 is the most powerful Armored Vehicle that the Soviets have (not counting special units). It is deadly to both Panthers and Panzer IVs, but it is not tough enough to go head to head with them. A Veteran Panzer IV with Side skirts will be a bigger threat to the SU-85 than the other way around. The Panther can easily destroy an SU-85 in a fair fight. That is why the SU-85 should be used as an ambusher.

On the defensive (and even the attack) you can use the SU-85 ability that makes it focus on the area in front of it. This will increase its view range, allowing it to spot for targets not only for itself but also other tanks and guns. However, when this ability is active the SU-85 will be “blind” all around it, save for the front, so you must ensure somebody else is keeping an eye on the SU-85’s surroundings, or remember to turn off the ability when the SU-85 does not need it.

The SU-85 cannot compare to the Elefant. the Elefant is far superior to the SU-85, in terms of armor and firepower, but the basic Stug III is completely helpless against the SU-85. While the T-34 might be inadequate, overall, against Panzer IVs and Panthers, the SU-85 can turn any battle around. This comes at a price however, and the SU-85 is the most expensive core unit for the Soviets. Guard it well, because losing it will mean you just wasted a lot of valuable fuel.

Company of Heroes 2

While a lost battle in this case, Guards can normally hold their own against enemy tanks and vehicles, given the right circumstances.

Special Units

The Soviet Special Units offer many ways of countering numerous threats to your company. I would debate the usefulness of some of them, but most of them will be a welcoming aid for your army, especially when you need a REALLY big punch.

Shock Troops – The Shock Troops are Close Combat specialists. Their PPSH sub machine guns have to be used up close for the best effect. Their grenades do a lot of damage to Infantry, and you may use Smoke Grenades to cover your attack or retreat. Unfortunately they cannot ride your T-34s into battle but you can at least give them M5s to get them to the front rapidly.

The problem with Shock troops is that there are other units that are equally good in combat. The Penal Battalion can come with a Flamethrower making them very good in storming enemy positions. In turn Shock Troops are very good against enemies in the open, or when overrunning enemy positions, as long as the enemy is not in buildings (the grenades could help, but they always have an Ammo cost to use and a recharge time, unlike a flamethrower). All in all, Shock Troops cost as much as Penal Battalion, which means you could deploy them when you need an additional squad, without the needed wait.

Guards – Now, the Guards are one of my favorite Soviet Squads. They can be equipped with an LMG making them decent in long distance fights and they also come equipped by default with Anti-Tank rifles. Guard units are well qualified to take on enemy Vehicles, such as an Armored Car or Half-Track, even if it takes them a while to knock them out. Against Medium tanks Guard units are in a much deeper pickle but if deployed in larger concentrations (like two or three guard units) they can cope mildly well against German Medium tanks, especially if they manage to flank said tanks.

Guard units also work very well with SU-85s and Zis-3 guns, since they can use their LMG to “Button” enemy vehicles, forcing their guns to fall silent and the driver will almost entirely stop driving his vehicle forward. While the effect is short lived you should have enough time to at least damage the tank. If you had more than one Guard squad you could make a “Spiral” of buttoning, forcing the enemy to stay in place while your guns fire continuously at it. It might not be as good as a T-34 ramming into said vehicle or tank but it is still a good way of taking out enemy tanks. I managed to take out Panthers with the simple combination of a Guard unit and a Zis-3 gun. If you know what you are doing you shall prevail!

KV-8 – I call this the “OMGWTFBBQ” tank. The KV-8 is the deadliest anti-infantry weapon you can get your hands on. Just drive into a group of German Infantry and watch them burn. For some reason the KV-8 flamethrower is so deadly entire squads could die in an instant. Anti-Tank guns can also be burnt out in mere moments, not giving them a chance to return fire. Because of this the KV-8 is one of the most powerful tanks in the field. However, its main weakness are German tanks. While it does have a main gun it is not powerful enough to take on even a Panzer IV. Although its armor is tough it is not the quickest. You must be especially wary of Panther tanks and Elefants.

T-34/85 – Remember how I sighed over the Panzerwerfer? The same applies to the T-34/85. Calling in a pair of these tanks costs an awful lot of fuel. So high in fact that the T-34/85 ends up costing more than the Panzer IV. That should mean it is better or equal to the Panzer IV, right? My experience is completely different. What I see in the T-34/85 is the similar “weak body” of a T-34/76, with a bigger gun. That is not my idea of a good tank, and this somewhat translated into my in-game experiences.

The T-34/85 has the same abilities as the T-34/76. It can capture points and ram into enemies. Other than the bigger gun I cannot honestly justify purchasing these tanks, unless you feel you need a bigger punch. In truth, if you had such an expensive tank you would not use it for ramming. If you put it among other T-34s it would be hard to tell them apart, and what would you do with them, in the end? In fact, the T-34/85 is better in combat, if it is used properly. It can be used to flank enemy tanks to delivery a far more dangerous hit. The problem is its armor. If you charge with these tanks into Pak 40s you will lose it before you can say “Pak OP”. The same goes for Panthers, or even Panzer IVs, since they will still have an equally easy time taking out your brand new T-34s. You might be better off, in the end, with purchasing more T-34/76s, since they are more expandable. Even if they are weaker, overall, you will not feel as bad about using them to ram into enemy tanks.

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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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