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An empty Bren Carrier
|Role||Light Infantry Transport / Support Vehicle|
|Upkeep per Minute||-2|
|Produced By||Headquarters Command Truck|
|Primary armament||Mk.II Bren LMG|
|Can Be Loaded With||
Up to 1 squad of Infantry,|
6 men maximum
|Max. Speed||7 m/s|
The Bren Carrier is a lightly-armored infantry transport vehicle, fielded by the British faction in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. Cheap and available early on, it is mainly used for ferrying infantry units and officers quickly around the battlefield. It can repair itself, and can be upgraded to mount a heavier machine gun at the cost of its troop-carrying ability.
As soon as the battle begins, a Bren Carrier can be constructed at the Headquarters Command Truck for 280, 10, 4. This light vehicle consists of two treads, a platform, four armor-plated sides and no roof. As the name implies, it has a Mk.II Bren Light-Machine-Gun mounted at the front of the hull.
Initially, this vehicle is used mainly for fighting off small infantry units with its machine-gun, and quickly ferrying infantry units across the battlefield to wherever they're needed. When resources become available, it can be upgraded to carry a Vickers Medium Machine Gun, which increases its anti-infantry and anti-vehicle abilities, but it is then no longer able to carry infantry units.
The Bren Carrier is classified as a light vehicle: despite its armor it does receive damage from small arms fire, and certainly from larger guns as well. Therefore, the Bren Carrier is not expected to engage anything but the smallest enemy units. If not used for ferrying, however, it can always be employed for flanking enemy infantry thanks to its superior speed.
Bren Carriers can be employed to carry your officers (especially the Captain) across the battlefield rapidly. This allows a single officer to apply his command bonus at different points on the map, reacting to enemy attacks rather than sitting stationary at one point. This even offers the officer a little defense, though if the Bren Carrier is destroyed the officer will also die.
When Infantry are loaded on board, they receive some damage protection (though again, the Bren Carrier itself is still quite easy to destroy), and can add their own firepower to the vehicle's. This increases the Bren Carrier's potential against enemy infantry.
Finally, upgrading the Bren Carrier to a Vickers MMG Carrier gives it significantly more anti-infantry firepower, turning it into a kind of mobile MG emplacement. Its flanking moves on enemy troops can be very useful, suppressing the enemy quickly just as your infantry overruns their position. As noted above, the upgrade to MMG carrier means that the vehicle loses its troop-carrying ability, and it is still just as easy to destroy as without this upgrade.
Initially, the Bren Carrier carries a Bren LMG (no surprises there). This is the same weapon carried by upgraded Infantry Sections, and is useful for both suppressing and killing infantry.
If upgraded, the Bren Carrier will now be fitted with both a Bren and a Vicker MMG. The Vickers is the same weapon used by British Vickers Machine Gun Emplacements, and is quite deadly. With its special ability, the Vickers can even hurt armored vehicles.
Finally, note that whatever Infantry unit is loaded into the Bren Carrier will in fact fire at enemy units within its range. Loading a Bren Carrier with a Bren-armed Infantry Section more than triples its firepower!
Mk.II Bren Light Machine Gun Edit
This magazine-fed automatic weapon gives the vehicle its name. It is mounted at the front of the hull, pointing forward, which means the vehicle must turn towards its target in order to attack it.
This Bren gun is the same kind of weapon that can be given to (and/or picked up by) British Infantry Sections. Overall, it is not unique in any respect, and is pretty much the most average LMG available, being neither best nor worst at any of its properties amongst other similar weapons.
As with all other LMGs, the Bren is good for suppressing enemy infantry, and can even kill infantry and destroy small vehicles. It is inferior to SMGs at close-range, but will do good work at both medium and long range.
Notably however, the Bren LMG has the same ability to Button Enemy Vehicles as the infantry Bren does. It costs 25 to use, and will effectively "suppress" a single enemy vehicle by forcing it to stop firing and moving at more than a crawl for a period of about 15–20 seconds. This is most often used to keep enemy light vehicles (like a Kettenkrad) from escaping, or for keeping a heavier enemy vehicle in place while the Bren Carrier retreats or receives assistance from other units.
Vickers Medium Machine Gun Edit
The Vickers is a Medium Machine Gun, much more useful for attacking both enemy infantry and other vehicles than the Bren. Its bullets cause more suppression and damage, and can penetrate (to some extent) vehicles like the armored car.
This is the same weapon that is installed in a Vickers Machine Gun Emplacement, or carried by Heavy Machine Gun Commandos. The Carrier's Vickers gun is mounted on the front of the hull (replacing the Bren), so it can only fire forward.
With the Vickers, you also get the ability to use the Armor Piercing Burst. This ability allows Vickers bullets to penetrate very thick armor, allowing the vehicle to do (some) damage to armored vehicles, possibly even tanks.
The Vickers has a range of 40 meters, so it can fire slightly beyond the vehicle's line-of-sight.
Loading and Unloading Troops EditThe Bren Carrier's most defining trait is its ability to carry troops. It can transport a single infantry unit of up to 6 men (which therefore includes the 6-man Commandos squad). Unfortunately, it is not possible to load more than one unit even if there still is room in the vehicle.
Unlike other transport vehicles like the M3 Halftrack or SdKfz 251 Half-track, the Bren Carrier's loaded infantry are exposed at the back of the vehicle. While this makes them more vulnerable to enemy fire, it allows them to add their firepower to the vehicle's. 4 members of the squad (if there are that many) will be visible at the back of the truck, and will open fire at any target that comes within range.
Troops within the truck are resistant to damage, and impossible to suppress. Still, they can take damage independently of the vehicle, but it's more likely that the vehicle will be destroyed first under enemy fire.
Troops can be unloaded at any time, whether to get out of a soon-to-be-destroyed Bren Carrier, or to engage enemies on foot, etc..
Note that troops loaded into a Bren Carrier cannot use any of their special abilities, like Deploy Marksman (for Recon Element Infantry Sections) or Heroic Charge (for Lieutenants), etcetera. They must first disembark to do so. Nonetheless, Lieutenants and Captains do continue to radiate their Command Bonuses when on board.
Bug Note: The Button Enemy Vehicle ability does appear when a Bren-equipped Infantry Section is loaded in the Bren Carrier, but it cannot actually be used (at least in most version, if not all). The vehicle itself does, however, retain its own innate Button Enemy Vehicle ability.
Also note that if the vehicle is destroyed, roughly 75% of the men inside should be able to escape the wreck alive. Naturally, if there is only one man in the vehicle (i.e. an officer or a depleted infantry unit), expect them to die with the Bren Carrier.
The Bren Carrier loses the ability to transport troops if it is ever upgraded with the Convert to MMG Carrier upgrade. It cannot "downgrade" back to troop-carrying once this is done.
Besides its ability to carry troops, the Bren Carrier has several important abilities that require manual activation. Bren Carrier Self Repair is the most basic one, and allows the Bren Carrier to regain about 75% of its health for a small cost of Munitions.
The Bren Carrier also has one of two different weapon-based abilities, depending on which weapon it has installed on it at the time.
Bren Carrier Self Repair Edit
- Costs 35
- Activation: Immediate
- Requirements: The vehicle must be at least slightly damaged.
- Duration: 20 seconds
- No Cooldown
When this ability is activated, the Bren Carrier goes immediately into a state of self-repair. It will repair 8 points of damage every second for a period of 20 seconds, which totals 160 points (assuming the vehicle is that heavily damaged, otherwise some points are wasted of course). Note that the Bren Carrier's full health is 215, so the repair ability can fix about 75% of the vehicle's total health.
While this is going on, the vehicle slows to about 1/3 of its original speed potential, and ceases firing at enemies. You cannot activate the ability while the Carrier is occupied and no Infantry can board it while the ability is active, so it strips the vehicle of all offensive abilities.
This is a good way to get the Bren Carrier back up to speed, as it will often become damaged during its encounters with enemy troops, artillery barrages, and so forth. Of course, if you are short on Munitions and have ample Sappers about, it's always better to get a team of Sappers to do this - for free.
Remember that once the ability has been activated, it cannot be cancelled until the duration runs out. This leaves the vehicle vulnerable for the entire 20 seconds, so make sure to put it in a safe location first.
Bug Note: In some versions of the game, if an infantry unit is loaded and then unloaded from a Bren Carrier, the Bren Carrier Self Repair ability will become available for use regardless of whether the vehicle is actually damaged or not. This can lead to wasting Munitions by accident.
Button Enemy Vehicle Edit
- Costs 25
- Activation: Select Target (enemy vehicle)
- Not available once the Convert to Vickers MMG upgrade has been installed
- Duration: 20 seconds
- Cooldown: 40 seconds
When Button Enemy Vehicle is activated, select any enemy vehicle. The Bren Carrier's Mk.II Bren LMG will open up with a volley at the target vehicle, causing its crew to button the hatches. This is similar to suppressing a vehicle, as one normally does to infantry.
As a result, the vehicle will be unable to move at more than a crawling speed, and will cease all fire. The effect lasts for 20 seconds, buying time for the Bren Carrier to retreat and/or attempt to destroy the vehicle - or for another unit to move in and destroy it.
Armor Piercing Burst Edit
- Costs 40
- Activation: Immediate
- Requirements: The Convert to MMG Carrier upgrade
- Duration: 20 seconds
- No Cooldown
When this ability is activated, for a period of 20 seconds the Vickers Medium Machine Gun installed on the Bren Carrier will fire armor-piercing ammo instead of its normal ammo.
While the ability is active, it increases the Vickers' armor penetration value by a massive amount, allowing it to do damage to armored vehicles of all kinds. The weapon's damage potential is still pretty poor, meaning it will have little effect against larger vehicles, but it will certainly be able to take out trucks and armored cars, and will even be able to do some damage to light tanks before the effect expires.
Note that since the ability is activated immediately, it does not matter whether the Bren Carrier actually fires any rounds - you still pay the 40. Only activate this ability if you know you've got a chance to do some damage with it.
The Bren Carrier can be upgraded with a Vickers MMG. This installs a second weapon in the vehicle, but unfortunately disables its troop-transporting abilities. It turns the Bren Carrier into a somewhat more formidable anti-infantry vehicle.
Convert to MMG Carrier Edit
When this upgrade is completed, several things occur:
- The Bren Carrier's Mk.II Bren Gun is removed from the front hull, and mounted on a pintle at the top of the vehicle.
- A Vickers Medium Machine Gun is installed in the front-hull position where the Bren was.
- The vehicle receives a +30 maximum health bonus, which is about 15% extra health.
- The vehicle's Button Enemy Vehicle ability is replaced with the Armor Piercing Burst ability.
- The vehicle can no longer load troops for transport.
This turns the Bren Carrier into a more effective fighting vehicle, capable of quickly suppressing and/or eliminating enemy infantry, and makes it more suitable for chasing and destroying enemy light vehicles, trucks, Weapon Teams etc.
On the other hand, the vehicle is no longer suitable for troop transport. It has effectively become a very-mobile HMG team instead of a personnel-carrier. Though more susceptible to anti-vehicle weapons than an HMG team, it is much faster and less vulnerable to infantry (its primary prey).
Although it is a very basic vehicle, the Bren Carrier is a unique vehicle that fits in well with the unique British approach to combat in this game.
What the vehicle lacks in protection and weaponry, it makes up for with speed. Like the Kettenkrad and Motorcycle, it can chase enemy units around the map with ease, attack unexpectedly, and harass enemy forces. More importantly, it can ferry troops and officers around your defensive line to plug the holes where needed, and on the offensive it can bring your infantry units where they need to be - especially into flanking positions around the enemy.
When required, the vehicle can even support defensive and offensive operations by supplying some extra firepower where needed. Again, by flanking enemy units it can suppress or even destroy the enemy from the rear, chase escaping troops, or even intercept enemy vehicles attempting to flank you. It won't survive long in a fight, but it can usually retreat quickly enough to a safe distance and quickly repair itself to return to active duty.
On the Defensive Edit
As a troop transport, the Bren Carrier can quickly put a squad of infantry wherever it's needed on your line, to reinforce a weak position or intercept enemy units breaking through. Once there, it can assist in the defense by employing its own machine gun(s) to suppress and kill the enemy.
Transporting officers tends to be the Bren Carrier's highest priority. It can put an officer where he's needed, or can even permanently carry an officer around to give him much-needed mobility along the lines. An officer in a Bren Carrier can apply his command bonuses in one sector, then quickly rush to another, and so on. This "detaches" an officer from one specific unit, allowing him to assist several distant units almost simultaneously. This is especially useful for the Captain, who can move with the Bren Carrier from sector to sector to strengthen units and emplacements where the enemy is attacking.
Finally, a Vickers MMG carrier can even act as a sort of mobile HMG unit, placing itself to protect a sector against enemy infantry incursions until a proper Vickers Machine Gun Emplacement can be built there to replace it. Once again, it can use its speed to protect several sectors almost simultaneously, by shifting from one to the other as needed.
On the Offensive Edit
Bren Carriers can carry infantry units into battle to give them some extra survivability. Remember that the loaded unit will continue firing at enemies, so a Bren Carrier can sometimes zoom around enemy units while the infantry inside shower the enemy with bullets.
More often, however, the Bren Carrier is used for either helping the infantry keep up with the advancing tanks, or better yet for flanking the enemy entirely and placing the infantry behind its lines. This can be done with lightning speed, giving you a total element of surprise. Once the infantry is off-loaded, the Bren Carrier can stick around to assist them with its machine gun, or go back to pick up more infantry and repeat the process.
The Vickers MMG carrier, with its increased firepower and Penetration abilities, can even be used to flank enemy positions on its own. It can circle the enemy and attack weaker support vehicles or Weapon Teams while the rest of the enemy force is busy engaging your advancing columns.
Sometimes it is better to just leave the Vickers Carrier to guard the flanks against incoming light vehicles or infantry. Although these rarely pose a threat, taking out a nasty Weapon Team trying to flank your tanks can save an entire advance. This also puts the Vickers at less risk than when trying to go completely around the enemy position, and at the very least makes sure that the enemy can't surprise you with heavier weapons.
Bren Carrier Rush Edit
One type of strategy that has been used successfully is a "rush" using Bren Carriers and infantry to go directly into the enemy base early in the game. To perform this, you will need to create at least one Bren Carrier as quickly as possible, then load your starting Infantry Section into it and drive off. If done right, you can destroy the enemy's infantry with the combined force of the two units, and proceed to level their structures.
This is even better with two or even three loaded Bren Carriers, though the more time you spend on creating these units, the more time your opponent has to create units that can oppose you.
Always remember that the Bren Carrier is a light vehicle, and as such can be damaged by pretty much any weapon. While it can repair itself, coming face-to-face with an anti-vehicle team or emplacement can spell instant death for the Bren Carrier.
Also remember that the troops inside the Bren Carrier (if any) are immune to suppression, but are only partially resistant to damage. They can still be killed, especially if the Bren Carrier is destroyed - in which case only about 75% of them will manage to escape alive. When ferrying troops, move quickly and try to stay away from the enemy. Only engage when you've unloaded the infantry unit.