Bergetiger Repair and Recovery Vehicle
|Role||Front-Line Repair Vehicle|
|Unit Cost||400, 50, 8|
|Upkeep per Minute||-10.75|
|Produced By||Panzer-Support Kommand|
|Secondary armament||1x 7.92mm MG42 Light Machine Gun|
|Max. Speed||5 m/s|
The Bergetiger Repair and Recovery Vehicle, or Bergetiger, is a heavy vehicle fielded by the Panzer Elite in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. Although built on a Tiger tank chassis, this vehicle is almost entirely unarmed, and its primary purpose is to repair other vehicles and structures. Its well-trained engineering crew can even restore destroyed vehicles to full functionality. It benefits from the Tiger chassis' high resilience, being one of the toughest vehicles in the game, and is considered a lynch-pin unit in the Panzer Elite arsenal.
The Panzer Elite are known for fielding a wide variety of vehicles, some having such unique properties that they are unmatched by any other vehicle in the game. The Bergetiger, an expensive but extremely valuable unit, is the epitome of all "strange" vehicles fielded by any faction.
This curious vehicle is a Tiger tank that has been stripped of its primary cannon. Instead, it has a mounted large crane and winch. Though armed with an MG42 Light Machine Gun on its front hull, it is not a combat vehicle (or at least, is not used for conventional combat with the enemy). Instead, it has two extremely useful abilities.
The first ability is a boosted form of Advanced Repair, similar to the one acquirable by Panzer Grenadiers, but available as soon as the vehicle is created. With this ability the Bergetiger can repair any damaged vehicle or structure to 100% of its Maximum Health, at a rate of +10 per second. This makes it twice as fast as most other engineering units in the game.
Furthermore, the engineers on board a Bergetiger are so adept and well-trained that they can actually restore vehicles that have been destroyed in combat to full functionality. This recovery ability allows "resurrecting" an entire fleet of destroyed Panzer Elite or friendly Wehrmacht vehicles without having to pay more than a few Manpower points a minute.
The Bergetiger is used as a front-line repair unit, keeping the Panzer Elite vehicle force continuously coming back to attack the enemy over and over again. One or two of these units can make the entire Panzer Elite army seem invincible, with its units constantly coming back for more death and destruction.
Furthermore, the more cunning players can learn to use the Bergetiger's appearance and heavy armor to perform all sorts of spectacular battle strategies, with the Bergetiger leading an assault, serving as a decoy, or physically shielding other units from damage.
Although essentially a Tiger tank, the Bergetiger is actually stripped of almost all weapons. Its main cannon is gone, to make room for the crane. It is left with only a hull-mounted 7.92mm MG42 Light Machine Gun, which (in this configuration) is nearly useless.
7.92mm MG42 Light Machine Gun Edit
The 7.92mm MG42 Light Machine Gun is a belt-fed automatic weapon commonly regarded as a standard issue Light Machine Gun, available to many Axis troops and vehicles. There are many variations of the weapon used in-game, and unfortunately the one mounted in a Bergetiger's front hull is one of the worst.
The uncomfortable position of the MG42 at the front of the tank's hull makes it almost impossible to aim. It is almost 75% less accurate than most other MG42s, and only have a token range of 25 meters (the normal engagement range of Infantry). It fires in sporadic bursts of between 12 and 24 bullets each, and takes many seconds between bursts. The crewman reloading this weapon is also untrained, and will take 6 whole seconds to reload it when the belt runs out. To make matters worse, the weapon only delivers 3 points of damage per hit (if it hits at all), a very small amount for a Machine Gun.
Overall, this weapon is not really going to kill anything. It may suppress infantry, if they're out in the open, but can do little else. Still, it's better to have something than nothing.
The real reason why the Bergetiger is so important is its two abilities. It gets them thanks to the amazingly-well-trained engineers crewing this behemoth. Those two abilities are some of the most useful abilities in the Panzer Elite army; Entirely non-offensive, but instead meant to provide the most crucial logistical work: fast and thorough repair.
Advanced Repair Edit
- Costs nothing.
- Activation: Select Friendly Vehicle or Structure (Damaged)
- Drains -5 off your income while active.
- Lasts until target vehicle is at 100% Health or is destroyed.
- Cooldown: none.
When Advanced Repair is activated, select a target friendly vehicle or structure which has at least slight damage. The Bergetiger will drive close to the target and initiate repairs on it.
This ability is akin to similar repair abilities available to many other units in the game, such as the American Engineer Squad or Wehrmacht Pioneer Squad. The Bergetiger will simply "heal" the target until it is at 100% of its total health (i.e. no damage). However, there is one very important difference: the speed at which it does so.
Most repair-capable units in the game will repair +5 per second. Your own Panzer Grenadiers repair at +2.25 per second. If you purchase the Kampfgruppe Kompanie: Advanced Repair upgrade they speed up to +6.8 per second. The Bergetiger, however, requires no upgrades in order to repair at no less than a terrific +10 per second. That is twice the "common" repair rate. It is equaled by very few other units, including the amazing British Sappers - who are nonetheless slow to move and very vulnerable to begin with.
The Bergetiger combines this quick repair ability with both its speed and its armor. It can perform repairs in the middle of battle, and though taking 3 times as much damage as it does so, will be able to survive a lot of firepower. As to speed, it starts off quite slow; but as the vehicle gains Veterancy, it improves dramatically. It can drive around, repairing other units at various hotspots along a few sectors.
As with all other repair abilities, there are some points to remember:
- If the target is destroyed, repairs are canceled. You are not notified of this.
- While active, this ability drains -5 per minute from your income. Not a substantial sum, but over time it can be a nuisance.
- This ability is not upgraded by any Unit Upgrades, Global Upgrades, or Command Upgrades. It will stay the same for all Bergetigers throughout the battle.
Recover Wreck Edit
- Costs nothing.
- Activation: Select Friendly Wreck
- Drains -5 off your income while active.
- Lasts until target wreck is at 100% Health or is destroyed.
- Cooldown: none.
The Recover Wreck is quite similar to Advanced Repair (described above), with one extremely important difference: Instead of selecting a damaged vehicle/structure as your target for this ability, you must select the wreck of a Panzer Elite or Wehrmacht vehicle.
When the ability is activated, the Bergetiger will drive over to the wrecked vehicle, extend its crane winch, and lift the wreck into the air. The experienced engineers on board the Bergetiger will begin working on the wreck, restoring it to full operational status.
To restore a wreck, the Bergetiger must repair the target wreck until it is at 100% of Maximum Health for whatever vehicle type it used to be. All wrecks are considered to have 50% of their Maximum Health when they are created, though they may suffer more damage from stray shots. Therefore, you need only to repair 50%-99% of the vehicle's health to get it operational again, depending on how much health the wreck had left.
Once the wreck reaches 100% Health, it will immediately turn back into an operational vehicle, belonging to its original owner. If you fix a wrecked vehicle that used to belong to an ally, it will return to the service of that ally. In early versions of the game it was possible to fix enemy vehicles, which would then return to the enemy's control - this was removed in later patches.
The new vehicle will have only 50% (or less) of its Maximum Health, and will often be suffering from some critical damage (like a damaged engine). You may retreat this vehicle for further repairs, or have the Bergetiger crew just initiate Advanced Repair on it immediately, since it is now a regular damaged vehicle for all intents and purposes.
The cost of this procedure is relatively miniscule, reducing income by -5 per minute while the recovery ability is active. This is rather negligible, especially compared to the cost of creating a whole new vehicle. Note that in essence, the recovered vehicle is practically a new vehicle, and will not retain any Veterancy or upgrades it had before being destroyed. Also, it will still be damaged (as explained above) to 50% of its maximum health.
A few points to note regarding wrecks:
- Remember that the Bergetiger is a heavy tank, and therefore can crush wrecks unintentionally. While it will rarely crush the wreck it's ordered to recover, it may drive over nearby wrecks by mistake. A crushed wreck cannot be recovered.
- A wreck being recovered can still be crushed by other passing units, if they are heavy enough. If such a unit drives through the wreck as it is hoisted in the air and being repaired by the Bergetiger crew, the wreck will be destroyed and the Recover Wreck ability will abort automatically. The same happens if a stray shot destroys the wreck.
- It is possible to repair a wreck in "piece-meal" portions, repairing a little bit at a time. If you halt the recovery process before the wreck is at 100% health, it will retain whatever repairs you've managed to do to it so far.
Like all other Panzer Elite units, the Bergetiger Repair and Recovery Vehicle can attain 3 levels of Veterancy, by accumulating experience points from the killing of enemy units. As it gains levels, its performance will increase proportionally.
Due to having no offensive weaponry, the Bergetiger's Veterancy Accumulation and Veternacy Bonuses work a little differently from other units.
Like all other Panzer Elite units, the Bergetiger uses the Panzer Elite Shared Veterancy system to accumulate Veterancy points. In this system, units share experience from their kills with each other, within a certain radius.
Since the Bergetiger only has a pitifully-weak MG42 Light Machine Gun with which to kill enemies, it is unlikely to get any of its own experience points. Therefore, it must rely almost entirely on Veterancy shared by other units.
This system will award 50% of the experience value of any enemy unit killed by a Panzer Elite unit within 35 meters of the Bergetiger. This gives the Bergetiger a slow progression of Veterancy, and requires it to stay close to attacking units to get the experience off their kills.
For each level of Veterancy it acquires, the Bergetiger Repair and Recovery Vehicle will automatically receive the appropriate Vehicle Defensive Bonus corresponding with that level. You do not get to choose whether you want to apply an Offensive bonus (since the vehicle's only weapon is too weak to benefit from any upgrades), and do not need to upgrade the vehicle manually at each level.
The bonuses described below are specific to each level. Due to the way they are applied on top of each other, when computed together (see below) they may or may not add up as you may expect.
When these bonuses are computed together with each other as well as the unit's basic statistics, the results at each level are as follows:
|Veterancy Level||Selected Upgrades||Harder to hit by||Damage Reduction||Maximum Health||Maximum Speed|
Despite having no real weapons to speak of, the Bergetiger is by far one of the most valuable units in the Panzer Elite arsenal. Its ability to provide a fast, mobile repair and recovery service allows it to keep the entire Panzer Elite vehicle fleet operational despite heavy losses, at a negligible cost. Instead of churning out units over and over, the Panzer Elite can simply rely on the Bergetiger to restore the same units back to life, repeatedly hitting the enemy with units that were, for all intents and purposes, already dead.
Once the Bergetiger shows up in combat, it often represents a paradigm shift in the Panzer Elite's entire strategy. In fact, some players base their whole strategy around fielding a few of these and using them to maintain the same strength of offensive force regardless of how many losses are incurred. This can potentially overwhelm an enemy, who needs to actually buy new units to replace losses.
Additionally, a wise Panzer Elite player will always remember one important fact about the Bergetiger: it is essentially a Tiger heavy tank. While it has no main cannon, it is still one of the toughest units in the entire game, a property that allows it to be used in all sorts of ways as a "passive" combat unit.
Repairing the Fleet Edit
First and foremost, the Bergetiger is a repair and recovery vehicle. Once you have Bergetigers on the field, their primary task is to repair damaged vehicles and restore destroyed ones. Most often, this is your best alternative to Panzer Grenadiers on repair duty, though the Bergetiger should concentrate on repairing units close to the front lines, while the vulnerable Panzer Grenadiers should always try to do repairs outside of the combat zone to avoid being killed off.
Try to reach wrecks as quickly as possible, to avoid the chance of them being crushed by enemy (or friendly) vehicles and thus lost forever. It may sometimes be a good idea to use your combat units to protect a particularly-valuable wreck (such as a Panzer IV, Panther, or other heavy vehicle) to prevent the enemy from crushing it.
By conducting constant repair and recovery with the Bergetiger, your resource expenditure can be reduced dramatically, since you have little or no need to produce any new vehicles.
There is one very useful exploit you can try: create enough vehicles to reach your Population Cap, then start restoring all the wrecks you can find. As a result, you can push the Population Cap envelope considerably, reaching (potentially) twice the normal Population Cap limit, or more!
Some players make the Bergetiger their primary lynch-pin unit, creating several of these vehicles despite their high Population Cap points. There are three main reasons for this:
- With more Bergetigers, it is easier to repair a larger vehicle fleet, especially along an entire front line. Each Bergetiger is then responsible for a section of the map or a single group of vehicles, and will concentrate on repairing these units.
- With more Bergetigers, you can quickly restore an entire battlegroup to full operation before the enemy can regroup and attack it or try to crush the wrecks.
- Two Bergetigers can repair each other, which is exceptionally valuable if one is ever lost - the other can recover it like any other wreck.
The Bergetiger Fleet player therefore has what can only be called a "zombie army", with units dying and being brought back to life constantly. This allows the Panzer Elite army to stockpile a massive amount of manpower and fuel (otherwise consumed by creating new vehicles), and can eventually surprise the enemy with a large Panther force or other high-cost units.
Decoy Bergetiger Edit
One interesting tactic involving the Bergetiger is using it as a decoy. Most novice players (and many experienced ones) will initially mistake the Bergetiger for a Tiger tank, and this can be used to your advantage.
Prepare an offensive force near the front lines. Do not expose it to the enemy. On the other side of the map, drive a Bergetiger into enemy territory - preferably a well-defended spot - and use its MG42 to attack some target. The enemy, thinking it is coming under attack from a Tiger, will dispatch a large force to try and deal with this threat. This will expose their other flank to your assault force.
This tactic may only be remain useful once or twice, until the enemy figures out that you don't actually have any Tigers. Other players are savvy enough to see through it immediately. Nonetheless, many players will be confused by the initial attack, and may react faster than recommended, thereby exposing themselves. If your assault is strong enough, one successful use of this ruse may be all you need.
Remember that the Bergetiger is not invincible - you will want to withdraw it at some point to avoid its destruction, and have units ready to defend it if the enemy gives chase.
Meat Shield Edit
This is a simple micro-tactic that you can use in combat. While the Bergetiger has no offensive weapons, it does have heavy armor, and can protect other units with it. In this tactic, the Bergetiger simply drives in front of a friendly unit to shield it from enemy fire, allowing that unit to escape.
This is especially useful when trying to take out enemy emplacements: your strong offensive unit (a Panzer IV or Marder III) attacks the emplacement, doing as much damage as it can. When it is low on health, the Bergetiger drives in front of it, protecting the unit as it withdraws. Thanks to the Bergetiger's immense armor and health values, it may be able to survive repeated uses of this tactic before needing to withdraw for its own repairs.
You can also use the Bergetiger as a sort of "fire team". It drives first into the enemy's line-of-sight, causing all enemy weapons to be aimed at it - while your other units move to flank the enemy and destroy them. This is particularly useful when trying to take on an enemy M26 Pershing.
As a Spotter Edit
Once again, because the Bergetiger is so heavily armored, it can easily be used as a forward spotter for long-range Panzer Elite cannons like the Marder III Tank Hunter or Light AT Halftrack. While the Bergetiger drives into sight-range with the enemy, the long-range cannons stay back and simply bombard any enemy unit they see. This leaves them less vulnerable to enemy fire (except artillery), while the Bergetiger soaks up any damage from the enemy.
This is a useful alternative to Camouflaged spotters, which are only available to the Luftwaffe Tactics company.
Naturally, being so heavily armored, the Bergetiger is not really vulnerable to any weapons. With its slow speed it can be considered a little more vulnerable to artillery or airstrikes, but then again its armor will stop much of the damage from such attacks anyway.
As always, anti-tank guns with sufficient Penetration (like the British 17 Pounder AT Gun) can punch through its front armor. Still, they would need about 10 shots to take out the tank, often giving enough time for other units to flank and destroy those guns. In general however, if you're not performing some sort of explicit maneuver requiring the Bergetiger to sustain enemy fire, keep it away from the combat. It is too valuable to be lost in a foolish confrontation with an enemy unit.
Always remember that the tank is 3 times more vulnerable to damage when it is repairing. If a wreck you want to recover is inside enemy territory, consider sending an entire force to defend the Bergetiger during the repairs. If enemy opposition near the wreck is light, you can usually waive this and simply send the Bergetiger in, since light weapons will do little to it, damage bonus or not.
Historical Data Edit
On May 25th, 1944 a converted Tiger was found abandoned with its engine damaged near Anzio in Italy. The converted Tiger had its main 88 mm cannon removed and replaced with a 10-ton lifting crane and other auxiliary equipment. Its true purpose remains unknown, yet many suspect that instead of being an armored recovery vehicle, it was used for mine/obstacle clearing or heavy lifting. Still others believe that the vehicle was a recycled special purpose vehicle, due to the damage received to the Tiger's hull, while still maintaining a functional superstructure. It was given the name Bergetiger. THQ Relic, during the development of Opposing Fronts, decided that the Bergetiger would become an, and the only to this point, armored recovery vehicle in the game.
- "Bergetiger here, send orders."
- "We're in it now boys!"
- "Poor thing, you wouldn´t even know it was a panzer."