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Meet the Sniper

By daeyeth - 30th October 2008 - 20:18 PM

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In recent times, Snipers have become a key part of any match, thanks to their ability to kill a squad member with every shot. Given the prevalence of infantry-heavy strategies in the current metagame, Snipers can play a vital role in a match by stopping those infantry rushes.

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The US Sniper

American Sniper veterancy bonuses
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The US Sniper should be used to take out weapon crews (like MGs and Mortars) and othe rhigh-value infantry targets (i.e Grenadiers, Stormtroopers, and Panzer Grenadiers.) Snipers should also be used to kill Medics - if the opponent has any Medic Bunkers set up and you are fighting in their vicinity, prioritize the Medics over and above the infantry nearby. Medics have a long respawn time, and killing them first (before they can pick up any bodies) mean that other casualties inflicted on the opponent will cost him more dearly.

There are two styles of sniper micro - the normal (and more conservative) method and the run-and-gun method. Using the normal method, you keep your sniper camouflaged at all times and use attack-move to keep him occupied. If you get rushed, you immediately retreat. The second method is a more risky (yet potentially more rewarding) style of micro known as the run-and-gun style. In the run-and-gun style, you are constantly moving your sniper around without camouflage. After each shot, you immediately move your Sniper back. Once your opponent stops chasing you, you shoot again; rinse, wash, repeat. While this can maximize the amount of damage your sniper does, it also makes him an incredibly easy counter-snipe target. You will have to decide for yourself which side of the risk-reward trade-off better suits your playstyle.

While snipers can deal a large amount of damage to your opponent's Manpower reserves, it is extremely important to be aware of potential counter-snipers and the other counters to Snipers. A US Sniper needs to look out for the following.

Vs Wehrmacht

  • Motorbike - A Bike can be countered by having sufficient forces supporting your Sniper or by having mines placed around where your sniper will be operating (so that you may lure the bike over it.) This is especially effective when you place mines along your most likely retreat paths, as the Bike will probably try to chase you as you retreat.
  • Counter-Snipe - The counter-sniper is a bigger problem than a Bike, as the Wehrmacht is highly likely to have one in relatively short order once your Sniper begins to fire. It is therefore extremely important to be aware of the units your opponent has fielded and how he has spent his Manpower. If the opponent has not deployed any additional units for a period of time, then activate "Hold Fire" on your sniper, or relocate him - don't always use your Sniper in the major battles of the match, but rather try to get kills wherever it is possible to avoid being counter-sniped easily. It is also wise to only allow your sniper to fire once before relocating him, as it is nearly impossible to counter-snipe a Sniper after his first shot (due to his camoflauge re-activation speed and the time it takes to position the counter-sniper to fire.) Ideally, your tactics should follow a plan such as snipe - move to different cover in the area - snipe again - move again - snipe again - stop sniping for 45 seconds. Of course, if the Wehrmacht sniper reveals himself, then you can have at him with your own, but don't get overly aggressive - your Sniper shots inflict far greater Manpower costs on the Wehrmacht player than his will to you. Additionally, look out for squads taking what appear to be needless losses to sniper fire, as this is most likely your opponent attempting to get your Sniper to reveal himself for a counter-snipe.

Vs Panzer Elite

  • Kettenkrad - These guys will decloak you from quite a large distance, and if the player has chosen Luftwaffe Tactics, they can do so without being visible themselves. Keep an eye on your sniper constantly, and if he is revealed, rush infantry or a Jeep to the area to find and destroy the cloaked Kettenkrad.
  • Infantry Halftrack - These guys will chase down and murder your Snipers in next to no time. The best way to prevent this from happening is to keep your Sniper grouped with your main forces at all times so that he is not easily targetted or hunted down.
  • Armoured Car - If an Armoured Car is around, then you need AT weaponry, and if you don't have an AT Gun, Rangers, or Airborne with Recoilless Rifles in the area, then do not fire with your Sniper, because he will die horribly.
  • G43 Suppressive Volley - Never snipe while around G43 squads unless you have a great deal of support, and try to avoid sniping G43 squads at all (unless your opponent is spamming them, of course.)
American Healing
Don't hesitate at building a triage center solely to heal your sniper, most especially if he has any veterancy. 200MP/20fuel is completely worth it considering your sniper costs nearly double that amount and you'll have that triage center for the entire game.

The Wehrmacht Sniper

Wehrmacht Sniper veterancy bonuses
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Unlike the US, the Wehrmacht does not need to construct an additional building to obtain access to the Sniper, so training one requires less of a trade-off (tech-wise) than the US Sniper. However, the US also has fewer high-value targets, as the bulk of the US player's forces will be inexpensive (and large squad-size) Riflemen. The Wehrmacht Sniper really comes into his own when used as support against US doctrine-specific infantry (with their substantially higher health and reinforcement costs) and against British Infantry Sections. The British infantry's slow out-of-territory movement speed (as well as the generally smaller number of infantry squads fielded) makes it more difficult for the British to chase down your Sniper. Snipers are also effective deterrents to British officers, and denying your opponent their use will greatly hinder his mobility and combat effectiveness. The Wehrmacht sniper has to be beware of these units.

Vs Americans

  • Jeep - The Jeep is a problem in the early-game, but you shouldn't have a Sniper at this stage unless you're playing against a Weapon Support Center start, in which case he won't have a Jeep anyway. The Wehrmacht's basic counter to the Jeep is to keep at least one squad of infantry with your Sniper, preferably Volksgrenadiers or a Grenadier squad equipped with a Panzerschreck. If the Jeep attempts to get at your Sniper, then you will be able to use the Panzerschreck against it and take it out nearly instantly; if you have Volksgrenadiers present, you can focus-fire and Panzerfaust it before it can kill your Sniper. Remember that a Jeep is 220 Manpower and extremely fragile to any anti-tank weaponry, so you can drain your opponent's Manpower very easily if he gets a Jeep.
  • Counter-Snipe - If you have a Sniper out before your opponent, then you are in a strong position, as he is forced to build an extra building in order to get a counter-sniper. You should be determine when your US opponent is getting the WSC and Sniper based on the number of units he has on the field. If he only has a few (four or five) Riflemen on the field by the mid-game, expect a Motor Pool unit or a WSC unit. A Tank Depot unit is possible, but only if you've allowed him to accrue a lot of Fuel. You will need to use your judgment to decide when your opponent probably has a counter-sniper and thus attempt to avoid getting counter-sniped. However, don't worry too much about your sniper being counter-sniped, as you can simply produce another and counter-snipe your opponent back. The US Sniper is almost a requirement against the Wehrmacht's durable, high-value infantry (e.g. veteran Stormtroopers and Grenadiers,) and it is also needed to deal with weapons crews, such as MGs and Mortars. Therefore, the US sniper is likely to be extremely active all over the field as soon as the US player believes your Sniper is dead (or otherwise removed from the field); thus, a counter-snipe opportunity will present itself relatively quickly.
  • BARs - The very moment BARs are upgraded, you have to stay at maximum range at all times against riflemen because they will literally destroy your sniper in only a couple seconds. Even if firing when cloaked, if your sniper is within range, he can easily die from the couple seconds he's out of cloak after a shot. A good player will immediately focus fire on a visible sniper, especially if he has BARs. Not only do you need to make sure you're at max range against BAR'ed riflemen, but you also need to see that your retreat path is perfectly clear of any rifles. I would recommend be very cautious with that retreat button because retreating is actually making your sniper an easier target because he's visible. The retreat defense bonus will hardly protect the frail sniper against BARs.

Vs British

  • Recon Squad - The Recon squad has a 35 Munitions counter-snipe ability. However, this ability has a smaller range than a Wehrmacht Sniper's maximum firing range, and the Recon squad needs to stay within the abilities' range during the start-up and activation of that ability. The best way to avoid the counter-snipe from the Recon squad, therefore, is to stay de-camouflaged at all times, and simply move away every time the British infantry moves towards you. So long as you have an MG deployed somewhere nearby for the Sniper to walk behind (and some infantry to screen him,) your Sniper will rack up large numbers of kills against British.
  • Bren Carrier - This thing is a beast in the early-game, so you will need to keep your forces close together to support each other when you see the Bren Carrier hit the field. It will take a large amount of damage from an MG if you can lure it into an MGs range for a reasonable period of time. It will only take minor damage from Volksgrenadiers, but as the British have no free repairs until their Sappers hit the field at Tier 2, a little damage here and there adds up. Basically, keep the de-camouflaged Sniper close to your other forces, and run him around your forces while the Bren Carrier attempts to chase him. Fast teching to Tier 2 to gain access to Panzerfausts is also a good idea, as two Panzerfausts will usually finish off a slightly damaged Bren Carrier.
  • Commandos - RUN!
Wehrmacht Healing
Tech to Tier 2 relatively quickly, and use the medical packs on your Sniper whenever he drops below 50% life. This will grealy reduce the chance of an unlucky mortar hit or critical taking him out. Getting vet1 on your sniper isn't a bad idea either, since it's pretty cheap, but know that it only heals your Sniper 1/7 of its total health per minute.

by 12azor
Statistic images from CoH-Stats.com