The American Barracks Structure
|Role||Early unit production structure|
|Produced By||Engineer Squad|
|Production XP||+15 xp|
The Barracks is a core unit production center built by the American army in Company of Heroes. This structure produces the primary American Infantry unit - the Riflemen Squad - as well as the Jeep light scouting vehicle. In addition, this structure offers three Global Upgrades that unlock important new abilities for American infantry. This is usually the first building constructed during a battle.
Game Info Edit
The American army has several buildings that can be constructed as soon as the battle begins. Of these, the Barracks is often constructed first, as it produces the extremely essential Riflemen Squad which forms the core of the American military force.
The Barracks is built by Engineer Squads for 160, 15, making it one of the cheapest production structures in the game. As a base structure, it can only be placed inside the American HQ Territory. The Barracks is little more than a large tent, and as such is easily destroyed. However, the low cost means it is also cheap to replace.
The Barracks' primary function is to produce Riflemen Squads. These 6-man infantry units are cheap and useful, especially in anti-infantry combat. In addition, the Barracks can upgrade these units with additional abilities, such as Mk2 Grenades and Sticky Bombs, making them even more useful (especially against vehicles and buildings). It can also equip these units with B.A.R. assault rifles, which augment their anti-infantry firepower significantly.
If a Barracks is not produced immediately on game-start, it will often be built soon afterwards. It will probably keep producing and replacing Riflemen Squads until the very end of the battle, unless other infantry units are fielded to replace them. This makes it one of the most important American structures.
The Barracks produces two units: The Riflemen Squad and the Jeep. While Jeeps are specialty units created for specific purposes, the Riflemen Squad is one of the most important units in the American Army, and their production is the main reason why this structure must be kept at fully operational status.
Riflemen Squad Edit
The Riflemen Squad is the core infantry unit for the American army. It is a 6-man unit, initially armed with M1 Garand rifles. This unit is good at long-range combat, especially since it outnumbers any Axis infantry unit at least 6:5 if not more. It is cheap to produce, and even cheaper to reinforce.
The Riflemen Squad can receive several upgrades from the Barracks to make it even more useful. Mk2 Grenades allow it to destroy enemy Weapon Teams and garrisoned infantry, while the Sticky Bombs give it some capability against enemy vehicles.
Nonetheless, this is still an anti-infantry unit, meant to engage enemies at a range of 15-20 meters, and win through attrition. The Browning Automatic Rifle Global Upgrade, also purchased at the Barracks, will make it even better in this regard, giving it to ability to quickly suppress an enemy squad, or even close the distance to eliminate them personally.
Riflemen Squads are required for screening enemy tanks, augmenting defense of sectors, and making hit-and-run attacks against enemy assets.
The Jeep is a light, fast vehicle. Armed only with a single Light Machine Gun, its primary purpose is reconnaissance, in which it excels thanks to inreased sight-range.
The Jeep can see to a distance of 55 meters, which is 20 meters beyond the sight-range of most units in the game. Coupled with the high speed of 7.2 m/s, it can easily scout ahead of advancing forces, chart enemy positions and defenses, or provide a mobile defensive capability against small enemy infantry units attempting to infiltrate your territory.
Furthermore, the Jeep has the ability to spot camouflaged units within 18 meters of itself. This allows it to seek out enemy Snipers and other camouflaged units such as Kettenkrads and Fallschirmjäger Squads. Again, this is useful both during an offensive (to spot an ambush) or in defense (to spot infiltrators).
The only manually-activated ability of the Barracks is the ability to reinforce infantry units in its vicinity.
Reinforce Squad Edit
- Costs vary based on reinforced unit
- Activation: Through the target unit's menu
- Duration varies based on reinforced unit
Any infantry squad within 25 meters of the Barracks can replenish lost men for a specific cost and duration determined by the type of unit being reinforced.
Note that this building does not heal wounded infantry. For this you'd need to construct a Triage Center nearby.
Global Upgrades Edit
The Barracks offers three infantry-oriented Global Upgrades, which are all applied to the Riflemen Squad. Mk2 Grenades provide general-purpose firepower, Sticky Bombs give infantry a good anti-vehicle option, and the extremely important Browning Automatic Rifle significantly increases the combat strength of these squads.
Mk2 Grenades Edit
These are Mk.2 "Pineapple" Grenades, which are essentially small hand-held fragmentation charges. Each use of this ability will throw a single grenade, which explodes with a force of 60 points of damage, distributed within an area 4.5 meters in radius. This damage is usually sufficient to injure, if not kill enemy infantrymen.
Because of the small detonation radius, and a short fuse on the grenade, it is mostly useful against infantry who are stationary behind cover, bunched up, or garrisoned inside structures. It is very effective against Team Weapons, often knocking them out with a single grenade attack. While the grenade can be thrown at vehicles, it will cause negligible damage to most of them (especially tanks).
Sticky Bombs Edit
The Sticky Bombs Global Upgrade unlocks the Sticky Bomb ability for Riflemen Squads. It costs 35 to throw a single Sticky Bomb.
Sticky Bombs are thrown directly at an enemy vehicle. Once they hit, they stick to the vehicle and will explode a few moments later. The explosion delivers between 100 and 150 points of damage to the target, and only to the target. Additionally, it has a 100% chance to damage or destroy the vehicle's engine, or render the vehicle immobile.
This ability gives Riflemen Squads a good anti-vehicle capability. Though the damage itself is unlikely to destroy anything but an already severely-damaged vehicle, damage to a vehicle's engine renders it vulnerable to other units, since it cannot easily get away. A particularly heavy target can then be hit with an artillery strike. Small targets can be surrounded and destroyed by American anti-tank units.
M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) Edit
When purchased, this Global Upgrade will equip each existing and future Riflemen Squad with two Browning Automatic Rifles (or "BAR"s). This is essentially a heavy assault rifle.
With a couple of BARs, a Riflemen Squad becomes quite a dangerous anti-infantry unit, especially at regular engagement range (20 meters) and below. Its rather accurate bursts can quickly kill enemy infantry. This is even more potent at close range, where this weapon retains its accuracy and high firing rate.
Additionally, this Global Upgrade unlocks a combat ability called Suppression Fire, which effectively suppresses and enemy unit instantly. Two Riflemen Squads can then perform a fire-and-maneuver tactic, where one unit suppresses the enemy while the other unit moves close to finish them off - both using their BARs to full effect.
Each BAR takes up 1 Open Weapon Slot in the Riflemen Squad's inventory. If a Riflemen Squad has fewer than 2 Open Weapon Slots when this Global Upgrade is purchased, it will only receive 1 or no BARs as appropriate. New squads are always created with 2 BARs, taking up two slots (leaving 3 open for abandoned weapon pickup). Note however that it is possible for a BAR-equipped infantryman to drop his weapon when killed (a 20% chance).
As mentioned several times above, the Barracks is often the first structure built by the American army. This is because it produces the Riflemen Squad, which is easily the most important unit in the early game - capable of securing and holding new territory. At the very least, Riflemen should be created before contact with the enemy is made, because Engineer Squads are too incompetent for combat.
Additionally, the Global Upgrade available here will be necessary before long. Riflemen Squads are going to need these upgrades to stay competitive with the powerful Wehrmacht infantry or the elite Panzer Grenadiers. Unless you plan to base your battle on vehicles alone (something the Armor Company sometimes attempts), these upgrades should all be purchased quite early - especially the Browning Automatic Rifle.
Early Production Edit
Relying on Engineer Squads to perform all your early land grabs can save you a lot of resources, but these units cannot effectively hold down newly-acquired territory, and will often lead to simply losing all that early progress sectors. Unless you've got a good grasp of how to effectively use support infantry like the Heavy Machine Gun Team or Sniper to make first-contact with the enemy, your best bet is to construct a Barracks early on in the game, and begin producing Riflemen Squads as soon as possible.
If you have some experience with combat, you can try throwing in a Jeep or two into your early production as well. Though they are not particularly good combat units either, Jeeps have a long sight-range and can effectively harass the enemy during the early stage by quickly driving around his territory and seizing sectors he's already acquired. This forces the enemy into the defensive, as he mobilizes units to try to intercept the Jeeps or undo their land seizures. During the very early period, he can do nothing to actually stop you from driving those Jeeps all other his territory. Thanks to the Jeep's extended sight-range, you can keep shuffling Jeeps from one sector to the next every time the enemy comes too close to them. If the enemy attempts to enter your land, use a Jeep or Riflemen Squad to intercept him.
Don't worry about spamming too many Riflemen Squads at this stage. They are cheap, and are quite potent against most units the enemy will field for the first 10 minutes or so, especially if you can get a few Global Upgrades for your riflemen as well (see below). Remember that Riflemen Squads are cheap, so losing a few squads is not the end of the world.
Early Global Upgrade Purchase Edit
- Unless you make a lot of Fuel early on, do not purchase any Global Upgrades from the Barracks until later - when they are actually needed. Your first Global Upgrade will usually be a reactive purchase: If the enemy fields early vehicles, you may want the Sticky Bomb. If he's banking on infantry, get the Browning Automatic Rifle first. If enemy Heavy Machine Gun teams appear, the Mk2 Grenades may be the best pick.
- Always consider whether or not you'd be better off actually purchasing a unit that can directly counter these enemy assets instead of purchasing a Global upgrade. Global Upgrades are worth more if you've already got a large force of Riflemen, and less if you're already producing new support infantry units or vehicles.
The Barracks, like all other American structures, is quite flimsy. It can quickly be destroyed by any enemy tank or flamethrower unit reaching your base, and a single accurate artillery shelling may take it out. Although the building is cheap, you should do your best to avoid losing it.
Keep an Engineer Squad near your base at all times if possible, to perform repairs.