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Company of Heroes 2

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Tip of The Week #9: Merging and Reinforcement

By Dullahan - 25th September 2013 - 00:13 AM

Knowing all the available options when recrewing support weapons and vehicles or merging squads can give you a real edge in combat breaks by maximizing the power of your forces while keeping reinforcement costs and time manageable.

One of the basics of managing this is based on the cost of reinforcing a squad from a building or halftrack. The costs often vary by 5 to 10 Manpower (MP) per soldier, depending on the squad you are reinforcing. The reinforcement cost per soldier in a normal infantry squad is always half of the initial purchase cost of the squad divided by the number of men in a new squad. For support weapon squads the cost of the initial weapon is also factored in, often making them a little bit cheaper to reinforce than the formula would suggest.
For example, this means German Pioneers will reinforce for 25 Manpower per soldier because the cost per soldier is 50 MP (200/4=50). Soviet Conscripts on the other hand cost 20 Manpower to reinforce, half of their soldier's price of 40 (=240/6).

So how can this knowledge be used to recrew, reinforce and merge more efficiently?

Let's start with recrewing a support weapon. Once you assign a new crew to a dropped support weapon like a Maxim machine gun, the reinforcement cost and population upkeep of the deceased squad is overwritten. This means that your recrewed Maxim machine gun will no longer reinforce for the low cost of 15 MP per soldier but will instead require 20 Manpower if you used Conscripts to pick up the support weapon or even 30 if you used Combat Engineers.
Therefore, it is most of the time better to use Conscripts rather than Combat Engineers for the job because they have the same armor after all.

However, when considering body armor, it can also be feasible to use higher armored squads to recrew weapons.
For example, a Ostheer player may opt to use Grenadiers rather than cheaper Pioneers because the soldiers will keep their body armor and all fresh reinforced soldiers will also be outfitted with body armor. This means that a support weapon crew composed of Grenadiers can survive small arms fire a lot longer than one formed from Pioneers.
Of course this also applies to the Soviets. Guards Rifle Infantry can be viable for recrewing despite their higher reinforcement cost (30 MP instead of 20 for Conscripts) because their body armor lets them ignore some hits from small arms.

Depending on which faction you are playing, there are different options to consider.

Ostheer reinforcement options
  • Standard MG42, Mortar and Pak 40 crew - 22 MP - Cheap crews that do their job
  • Pioneers - 25 MP - Basic and cheap
  • Grenadiers - 30 MP - Slightly more expensive but also more durable
  • Panzergrenadiere - 45 MP - Same armor as Grenadiers and high price make using these unattractive
  • Osttruppen - 10 MP - Their extremely low cost make them a good choice for recrewing mortars and artillery pieces but their very low health can cause problems when crewing HMG and AT guns. However, their very fast reinforcement time can make them very effective when near a halftrack or command bunker
  • Assault Grenadiers - 28 MP - Their cheaper cost and larger squad size make them slightly better for recrewing than Grenadiers if you have them around
Soviet reinforcement options
  • Standard Maxim, Mortar and AT gun crews - 15 MP - Very cheap, do their job well
  • Conscripts - 20 MP - Cheap price and often the first at hand
  • Combat engineers - 30 MP - High price makes them less desirable
  • Penal Battalion - 30 MP - High price and have no armor advantage over Conscripts
  • Guards Rifle Infantry - 30 MP - More durable than Soviet infantry mentioned before
  • Shock Troops - 36 MP - Even more durable but also expensive
Soldiers used for recrewing are also outfitted with new small arms, so the damage dealt by the crew is not increased and their prior weaponry no longer matters. If you want to crew an abandoned vehicle on the other hand, the body armor or even the remaining hitpoints of the soldiers do not matter and you only pay the reinforcement cost once on the squad dispatching the new tank crew.

Recrewing expensive field guns like the Pak 43 and howitzers frees up a lot of population capacity and therefore also a lot of Manpower from cheaper unit upkeep.

The same rules apply when using the Merge ability of the Soviet Conscripts. They keep their body armor but get a new weapon. This ability allows you to either merge two damaged conscript squads so only one needs to retreat for reinforcements and the other one can continue fighting or capturing territory.
Furthermore, it is also possible to save Manpower by patching up Combat Engineer and Penal Battalion squads with conscripts by utilizing Merge and also keep those important units on the front lines for a longer period of time. Combat Engineers may then want to use their spare time for repairing, laying mines and wire or scorching enemies. Merging Conscripts with Penal Battalions is very powerful because Penal soldiers deal a lot of damage but are rather fragile.

You can also merge with support weapon crews. This is especially handy with anti tank guns because it both saves you Manpower and a lot of time because the anti tank guns cannot run back to base, making normal reinforcement very time consuming.
Even Guards Rifle Infantry and Shock Troops can be patched up to conserve their firing power but remember that the conscript soldiers among them are more fragile!

So now that you know about the possibilities open to you when bringing your force back into fighting condition, use this knowledge against your enemy and win in the long run because you bled him dry!

Did we miss other cost efficient reinforcement options or do you know a useful trick? Tell us in the comments!

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