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How To Become a Pro US Player

By Decs. - 15th July 2008 - 10:28 AM

Zero’s Foreword

This guide is all about using the Rifle squad to its maximum effect as well as the jeep to support the Rifles; this is my first guide so any feedback would be appreciated.


First off, let me talk a bit about The U.S.

The US faction is different to the other factions like The Wehrmacht and The British. When you play as The U.S., a very aggressive approach is required, constant pressure and never leaving enough room for your opponent to breathe is essential. Riflemen are the key to play U.S. at it finest, well, at least in this strategy they are. Remember, Rifles have fast capping speed and have large numbers, so use that to your advantage. Read the section on Rifle usage to gain a more specific understanding of how to use Riflemen.

Riflemen

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Riflemen are a six man squad recruited from a Barracks for 270 MP. They are highly mobile with a very high capping speed. The various upgrades available for purchase make the Riflemen highly versatile units, which maintain use even into the late game when heavy armour dominates the field.

Uses for Riflemen:

Harassment:
Rifles have the fastest capping speed in the game. When you're in a game, you need to remember this; use your Rifles spread out and harass the enemy's points. Harassment is particularly important against The Panzer Elite.

Flanking:
A Rifleman squad costs 270 MP and are cheap to reinforce at only 27 Manpower per member. In the early stages of the game against a Wehrmacht player, you will usually be facing 1 or maybe 2 MG-42s to support his Volksgrenadiers. You will always have the advantage of numbers over a Wehrmacht player if you spam Rifles. Make use of this advantage by having your Rifles attack from multiple directions, allowing you to flank a Wehrmacht player’s defensive position. Details on how to go about this are given below.

Ability to use grenade:
Many high rank players feel grenades are not very useful, as most competent players can dodge a grenade with ease, however, with some practice and a little technique, grenades can be devastating. Details on how to use grenades effectively are also provided below.

The Jeep

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The Jeep, built from the Barracks for 220 MP is a high speed, high sight range recon unit. It has a top mounted Machine Gun which, despite it’s general inefficiency can be used to devastating effect in the right circumstances. If you do decide to build a Jeep, I would always recommend building 2 Engineers as they will be very useful to help repair your Jeep and keep it in the game.

The Jeep Push:

To Stop a Point Capture:
Jeeps are able to push enemy soldiers away from a point that they are in the process of capping, forcing them to move away from the point and the cap being halted. This is particularly effective against enemy Pioneers as the Jeep is more than powerful enough to kill the Pioneers whilst stopping them from capping as well. The below video shows the required micro to perform this:



To Move Out of Cover:
Jeeps are also able to push the enemy soldiers out of heavy or light cover towards the Riflemen, making them more vulnerable. Particularly against Volksgrenadiers in the early game, the Jeep can be used, not only to move them out of their protective cover, but also to keep them mobile; greatly reducing their accuracy and subsequently the amount of damage they deal. It is significantly less risky to charge a Rifle Squad into their optimum range at an uncovered, mobile Volks Squad, than charging at a squad in heavy cover. Again the below video shows the micro required to perform this.



Reconnaissance Uses:

Line of Sight:
The Jeep is also very useful as a spotter unit, providing line of sight for those units with a greater firing range than sight range. It’s very large sight range can also be very helpful in spotting large flanks and attacks before they can fully develop.

Sniper Hunter:
The Jeep also has a very large camouflage detection radius and deals damage very quickly to even a retreating sniper. Use the Jeep to uncloak the Sniper, allowing either a counter-snipe, or, if you have no Sniper of your own, chasing the sniper even to its base to finish it off. A 220 MP Jeep will always be a reasonable trade for a 340 MP Sniper.

Grenades

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Grenades, an upgrade purchased from the Barracks for 100 MP and 40 Fuel, give Riflemen, Rangers and Airborne Squads access to the Mk. II A1 “Pineapple” Grenade, which can be thrown for 25 munitions causing large damage over a small area.

Use of Grenades:

General Use:
Grenades are incredibly useful, especially in the early game when a significant Manpower advantage can be gained by the elimination of several squad members at once. This, along with clearing buildings, is the primary function of the grenade.
Using grenades to drain enemy Manpower can give you a significant edge during a battle, as for only 25 munitions several squad members can be killed for the loss of very few of your men in return.
However, grenades are easy to spot and straightforward to dodge, so below you will find my guide to my grenade technique. I don’t mean to brag but you will see in many of my replays that my Grenades always own shit up. It’s not luck, but skill.

ZeroCrack’s Grenade Technique:

To throw a grenade is a simple matter of pressing the “n” key on the keyboard, or clicking the icon in the Riflemen’s control panel. Well, my technique goes beyond that. Below are some basic tips on how to carry it out.

The basic concept established in vCoH, is that Riflemen will defeat Volksgrenadiers at close range, this idea is central in the effectiveness of this technique.
The order is issued to the Rifles to charge into the same cover that the Volks are occupying, once the Rifles are close the AI will kick in and automatically move into the cover, it is at this point that the order to throw the grenade is issued. The Grenade thrower will stop to throw the grenade whilst the remainder of the squad will continue into the cover masking the throwing animation. This can act as a great diversion giving the impression that the Rifle squad is charge the cover as usual. If the opponent doesn’t pay close attention the whole squad can be eliminated in the blink of an eye. This works particularly well in a micro intensive situation, where and opponent doesn’t have the time to babysit every unit on the field.
Below is a Frapsed demonstration of the micro required to perform this:



This can take a lot of practice to perfect, but trust me, it’s worth it. When used in conjunction with a big flank, with 3 or 4 squads all throwing grenades, it can be devastating, resulting in a complete retreat or the loss of entire squads for the enemy.

House Clearing:

Grenades can be very useful when facing an enemy holed up in a building; the close confines of the building amplify the damage and can lead to whole squads being eliminated.
There have been several questions regarding the method of throwing grenades into building so I will go into more detail on that here.
When the grenade icon is clicked or the hotkey pressed, the normal movement reticule changes to the grenade reticule. When targeting a house the location that the reticule is left clicked on is irrelevant, the whole house is a “target”. The grenade will land according to the location, and subsequently the direction, of the Rifleman Squad throwing it.
The majority of buildings featured in CoH are rectangular, with two long sides and two short sides. If the Rifle Squad is standing facing the long side, the grenade will enter the building via one of the windows on that side of the house. Similarly, if the Rifle squad is throwing the grenade from opposite the short side, it will enter one of the windows on the short side.
But what does this mean for the player? Well, the short side of the house normally has fewer windows than the long side of the house. If, when performing a flank, the MG is firing from the short side, the MG team will be firing from fewer windows closer together, and accordingly, a grenade thrown into that side will affect a group of units closer together and will do more damage, killing at least two men, and often a whole squad. Conversely if the MG team is firing out of the long side of the house, there could be up to 6 windows that they could be firing out of, and equally, 6 windows into which a grenade could be thrown. This means that the grenade will affect a more spread out group of units and will inflict less damage as a result.
This concept holds equally true for Wehrmacht Grenadiers.

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This image gives a visual indication of what was written above, as you can see a grenade thrown into the building closest to the camera, from that side, will kill the two men in the windows with the Xs, However, in the building to the north, a grenade thrown into the long side will only kill one man as the windows are more spread out and the explosion will not carry.


Knock, Knock.
Who’s there?
KABLOOOOOOEY!

Another useful - but risky - trick is to throw a grenade at the entrance to the building being assaulted, in the assumption that your opponent will see the grenade being thrown and pre-empt it by evacuating his troops from the building. The grenade will land at the exiting squads feet, just as they are all clumped together to leave and will cause massive damage, potentially taking out the whole squad. This is especially risky because you must be certain your opponent will not only spot the grenade throw, but also move the squad out of the building to avoid it, otherwise it’s a waste of 25 munitions. It’s risky, but when it works it really pays off.
The X in the image below indicates where the grenade should be thrown.

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