A 6-man Commando squad
|Men per Squad||6|
|Upkeep per Minute||-1.5 (per man)|
|Prereq.||Royal Commandos Support: Glider-borne Commandos|
|Produced By||Commando Glider|
|Cost to Reinforce||
|Health per Man||65|
|Basic Weapon||Mk.II Sten SMG|
|Open Weapon Slots||6|
|Max. Speed||3 m/s|
- "See that light cover there gents? Get behind it."
Commandos, or the Commando Squad, are a 6-man Elite Infantry unit fielded by the British army in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. This unit can be created behind enemy lines, and is one of the strongest close-combat infantry units in the game. It is used for disrupting enemy tactics and assaulting enemy positions, and has a significant number of special abilities to aid it with this task.
After the withdrawal of the British Army from the European mainland in 1940, and the beginning of the Battle of Britain, British military command began looking for a way to attack the Axis on their own territory. The result was the creation of independent Commando units, which were inserted in various ways into German-Occupied Europe to carry out raids and sabotage missions on enemy assets. Army Commandos were highly-trained, and wore a red beret to distinguish them from the rank and file.
The British Commandos in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts are 6-man Infantry squads with superior fighting capabilities and a plethora of useful abilities. They are available only to the Royal Commandos Support company, and require the Glider-Borne Commandos upgrade.
Commandos are not produced by any of the British Command Trucks. Instead, the player must first land a Commando Glider on the map for the price of 560 (more than twice as expensive as an american riflemen squad). This glider will produce one unit of Commandos automatically, and can produce more of these for 510, 6 if the sector it's in is ever connected directly to your HQ Territory.
Commandos are Elite Infantry, armed initially with Silenced Mk.II Sten Sub-Machine Guns (though they can pick up abandoned weapons). This gives them superiority in almost all one-on-one infantry combat situations, especially if the Commandos can get in close and personal. Often landed behind enemy lines, Commandos have several powerful abilities that allow them to cause significant damage to enemy assets, then disappear into the fog of war to avoid enemy counter-attacks. They can work entirely on their own, disrupting enemy movement and harassing their rear positions. In larger groups (or coupled with other airborne assets) they can be used to assault weak points in the enemy's defenses, or as a surprise flanking force to assist a British main-armored advance.
Foremost of their special abilities is the use of smoke grenades to cover the Commandos' retreat: it allows them to disappear almost instantaneously (with the bonus of temporary camouflage), giving the unit time to freely flank an enemy or to disengage from combat entirely. Commandos can also throw grenades, and can plant powerful manually-triggered demolition charges.
Like other British Infantry units, Commandos can also construct Slit Trenches to defend themselves. Given the right Command Upgrade, they can also set up Detectors for Radio Triangulation deep inside enemy territory, in order to monitor enemy unit movement. This also allows the Commandos to know which areas to avoid, and easily slip between enemy patrols.
Given all this, a Commando unit can easily survive prolonged periods of time behind enemy territory. If the situation permits, several units of Commandos and other similar units can band together to perform very powerful strikes at the enemy's rear, disappear into the shadows, regroup, and repeat as necessary.
A squad of Commandos is initially armed with 6 Silenced Mk.II Sten Sub-Machine-Guns. These are good close-combat weapons, and the squad's numeric superiority often allows it to wipe out enemy infantry if it can get close enough.
Silenced Mk.II Sten Sub-Machine-Gun Edit
This is a relatively poor SMG in terms of speed, with the Commandos taking longer breaks between their bursts than most other SMG-equipped infantry. It can fire 5-7 bursts of 10 bullets before reloading, which requires 3-4 seconds. In addition, each burst lasts 1.25-1.75 seconds. It is average in all other respects.
This weapon has a maximum range of 35 meters. However, it suffers a severe loss in accuracy at longer ranges; it has a 75% chance of hitting enemies that are less than 8 meters away, dropping to a 20% percent chance of hitting targets 8+ meters away, and further dropping to a 10% chance of hitting targets 17+ meters away. In addition, each bullet that hits the target inflicts 5 points of damage per hit.
Naturally, in close-combat these weapons are still quite fearsome, and a team of 6 men firing long bursts with these weapons at point-blank range will easily take out any infantry squad. The trick, therefore, is to get close enough to the enemy infantry often by using the environment around them or by using special abilities like the commandos concealing smoke ability.
Commandos have a set of very useful abilities at their disposal. Most important is the ability to pop a smoke grenade, which causes the Commandos to suddenly disappear, allowing them to change their position or disengage. Commandos can also throw hand grenades, and can install powerful explosives to be used either defensively or offensively as required.
Withdraw to Captain's Position Edit
- Costs nothing
- Activation: Immediate
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
Like all other British infantry, once a Captain is recruited, the Commandos can retreat to his current position at any time.
As with the normal "Retreat" ability common to all Infantry, once this ability is activated the Commandos will leave the player's control and set a direct course for the Captain. The retreat will break any Suppression effects the Commandos may be suffering at the time.
Retreating to the Captain's position can save the Commandos from death in battle. The advantage in retreating to the Captain's position is that the Captain is usually closer to the front lines than the Headquarters Command Truck. Once the Commandos reaches the Captain, they'll be on safer ground thanks to the Captain's command bonus as well.
Note that since Commandos are usually placed behind enemy lines, using this option may get them killed as they try to run through those lines back towards the Captain. Commandos usually prefer to disengage from combat by using the Concealing Smoke ability instead, which basically removes all suppression effects and turns them invisible for a short duration - allowing an organized retreat rather than a mad run for friendly territory.
Build Defensive Structures Edit
Commandos can initially construct a Slit Trench, which will provide them with cover for defending themselves or their Commando Glider from enemy attacks. Once the proper Command Upgrade is unlocked, they can also set up a Detector for Radio Triangulation, in order to monitor enemy movement.
Slit Trench Edit
- Costs nothing.
- Takes 20 seconds to build
- The Slit Trench is a defensive emplacement that can be garrisoned by any infantry unit. It does not have any offensive capability on its own.
- Units inside the Slit Trench are considered to be in heavy cover, and are almost impervious to any direct-fire weapons, including small-arms and even tank cannons. They are also impossible to suppress. Nonetheless, they are vulnerable to high explosives and artillery fire.
- Infantry in a Slit Trench can fire in any direction. However, they receive less protection when an enemy attacks the trench from the side, meaning that orientation when placing the Slit Trench is very important.
- When ungarrisoned, the Slit Trench can be occupied by enemy troops just as easily, so make sure to place it in a position where, if captured, it cannot be used effectively against you. Or just make sure that enemy infantry cannot get anywhere near it.
- Commandos don't usually rely on Slit Trenches, since they are often on the move and cannot risk allowing the enemy to capture one and use it against them. Still, this can be used as a fallback point, in case the Commandos are being chased by an enemy unit. A good use for these is to protect the glider that landed the Commandos, though again if the enemy takes this Slit Trench it can destroy the glider and fend off any Commandos coming to rescue it.
Detector for Radio Triangulation Edit
- Costs nothing.
- Requires Royal Commandos Support: Radio Triangulation Detectors
- Takes 4 seconds to build.
- This structure is unique, as it has no defensive or offensive capabilities, but is instead used only to detect enemy movement. Each detector on its own is meaningless - until 3 of them have been constructed.
- Once 3 detectors are placed anywhere on the map, they form a triangular area with each detector constituting one corner. Any enemy unit inside the triangle at any time will be shown on your Mini-Map and Tactical Map. Units leaving the triangle will disappear into the Fog of War as normal.
- Once constructed, the Detector becomes camouflaged and can only be detected by enemy units passing very close to it. This allows Detectors to be placed behind enemy lines, even close to enemy positions, without risking their destruction.
- By creating a large-enough triangle, it may be possible to remain privy to the location of most, if not all enemy units. This allows the Commandos to navigate safely between enemy patrols, not to mention react to enemy movement with surgical precision. As an added bonus, your main-line defenses can more properly react to incoming enemy attacks, and your artillery can be used to barrage enemy units discovered this way.
- With your Commandos already behind enemy lines, they are often the best troops for building either one or two of these detectors (the third should probably be placed far back in your own territory). Construct detectors in places where the enemy is unlikely to go - far away from patrol routes and main roads, preferably behind some obstacle or otherwise in a location that would not be visited by enemy troops that weren't actively looking for it. Close to the map's edge would be a good guideline.
Throw Grenade Edit
When the Throw Grenade ability is activated, select a point on the ground. The Commandos will advance to within 20 meters of that point, and then throw a Mk.2 Pineapple Grenade at it. After a delay of about 1 second from the moment it hits the ground, the grenade will explode with sufficient force to kill most infantry within its blast radius, or cause some damage to very-light vehicles.
The explosion radius of a Pineapple Grenade is 4.5 meters. It will cause maximum damage (60 points) within 1.5 meters, and then the damage tapers off towards the edges of the blast area. 60 damage is enough to kill most infantrymen. Unfortunately, the explosion is virtually useless against anything larger than a Motorcycle.
The best use for this ability is to quickly take out or severely damage an opposing infantry unit, or to remove a Weapon Team threat (especially an HMG squad) with a single blow. Since the Commandos are adept at close-combat, they will usually be sufficiently close to their target to lob a grenade at it anyway, and can then finish the job with their SMGs.
Note: While this ability is cooling down, you cannot use Concealing Smoke.
Commando Demolition Charges Edit
When this ability is activated, select a point on the ground. The Commandos will move to that point, and take about 7 seconds installing a large demolition charge there. During this time, they are slightly more vulnerable to enemy fire.
Once the process is complete, an icon will appear above the demolition charge with the words "Detonate me!" emblazoned over it. The Commandos squad will quickly retreat to within 10 meters of the charge. You may click the icon at any time, causing the charge to detonate in a huge explosion.
This explosion causes 200 points of damage to anything within an 8-meter radius, then tapering off to about 30 points of damage to objects up to 12 meters away. The large explosion will easily take out infantry, and can damage both vehicles and tanks. It is most potent against buildings, to which it will cause double or even triple damage.
Commando Demolition Charges can be used during a raid to quickly destroy an enemy structure or emplacement. They are also excellent for defensive use, as player-activated mines. If you set up several of these within about 10 meters of each other, blowing up one of them will trigger a chain-reaction that will blow them all up. This leads to destruction in a massive area, and can be used very effectively to ambush large tank convoys.
A particularly nasty (but effective) strategy would be to plant Demolition Charges on almost every Strategic Point you can reach, denying your opponent the chance to capture your territory and killing any units that attempt to do so. Though the charges can be detected by certain units, most enemies would already be within the blast radius when they spot the charge, and would be as good as dead if you detonate it immediately.
Remember to pull your commandos back before detonating the charge. Although they automatically retreat some distance after planting the explosives, you may need to manually ensure that they are sufficiently distant.
Note: A Commando Demolition Charge has its own sight-range of about 10 meters, revealing a small area of the Fog of War. This means that a charge left behind in enemy territory can actually provide some scouting for you!
Unfortunately for the Britishers, an applied CDC is clearly visible for the enemy to spot and to avoid. There are even no mine detectors needed.
Concealing Smoke Edit
- Costs nothing.
- Activation: Immediate
- Duration: ~15 seconds
- Cooldown: 30 seconds
When Concealing Smoke is activated, a smoke grenade will immediately pop over the units' current position.
This smoke immediately clears all Suppression effects from the unit, and renders it invisible (camouflaged) for a period of 5 seconds. During this time, the unit can disengage freely from combat, either to execute an organized withdrawal or to relocate to a better position.
For those first 5 seconds, the unit can move away freely without the enemy knowing which direction it was headed in. Of course, if it moves forward it may be detected by the enemy anyway (camouflage disabled), so it is often best to back up instead. Then, once camouflage is over, the unit should be well behind the smoke, allowing it to move without fear of being shot thanks to the smoke cover. The smoke itself will last for a total of 15 seconds - easily enough time to retreat back into the Fog of War.
Concealing Smoke is a very powerful alternative to a full Retreat. It breaks suppression, puts the unit out of harm's way for a few moments, and leaves it completely under your control while it does so, achieving all the benefits of the retreat without any of the downsides.
Use Concealing Smoke whenever disengaging from the enemy, for instance after completing a Commando raid, or in case enemy units have counter-attacked with superior firepower and/or vehicles.
Another very good use for Concealing Smoke is to buy time for the unit to relocate in the middle of a battle. For example, the soldiers can rush to cover, enter a building, or even move around to flank the enemy from another angle.
Finally, it is always a good idea to pop some smoke when planting a Commando Demolition Charge during battle. It will protect the unit from harm, and conceal their activity from enemy eyes.
The tactical use of this ability is explained in more detail further down this article.
Note: While this ability is cooling down, you cannot use Throw Grenade.
Commandos are your primary infiltration unit. They become available first (amongst all other Commando units, at least), and often make up the bulk of the Commando force.
While on raids, Commandos will usually take up one of two roles: either flanking enemy infantry and weapon crews to destroy them, or planting demolition charges.
In the first capacity, Commandos use their close-combat skills to annihilate enemy infantry units. Due to numerical superiority (6-man team) combined with good short-range SMGs, the Commandos will almost always take out another infantry unit in one-on-one combat, as long as they can close the distance quickly. The best way to get this done is to move around obstacles, garrison a building overlooking the enemy unit, or use Concealing Smoke to disappear and move closer (preferably from another angle, to avoid breaking camouflage too soon). Grenades can also be thrown against enemy HMG crews or other Weapon Teams to take them out quickly, and will work against regular infantry in most situations as well.
In the second capacity, the Commandos' Demolition Charges are quite powerful both as anti-building weaponry (capable of obliterating a building, or at least the infantry inside, with one explosion) or as a mine to be detonated when an enemy unit foolishly moves close to the bomb. They can therefore be used to quickly destroy a garrisoned position, or to destroy enemy reinforcements as they rush in to attack the commando group.
Commandos can pick up various weapons abandoned by enemies to augment their abilities. The best choice seems to be PIAT launchers, Bazookas or Panzershrecks (whatever is available), as they are the only true weapon it has against vehicles. Brens and other LMGs will augment the Commandos' ability to suppress enemy soldiers or perform long-range fighting.
For a more thorough explanation about the use of Commando forces behind enemy lines, refer to the Commando Tactics article.
Although highly trained and heavily armed, Commandos are still classified as light Infantry. They can be suppressed by enfilade fire from heavy machine guns, are vulnerable to artillery strikes and small arms fire, and will not stand up to medium or heavy vehicles. It's best to avoid direct combat with the Commandos, using only flank attacks and subterfuge whenever possible, or otherwise attack only in large groups with varied weaponry.
Long-range firefights with enemy infantry should also be avoided. Your Commandos are best close-up and personal, so make sure to run straight at the source of fire in order to take it out - assuming there's no possible flanking move you can try. Use either cover or Concealing Smoke if you want to cross the distance without casualties.
Also remember that you are unlikely to reinforce any dead Commandos unless they can reach one of your Command Trucks, which isn't likely to happen early on, especially since Commandos are usually behind enemy lines and cannot easily make it back to your territory. This is less of a problem later, once an HQ Glider has been landed behind enemy lines. Still, a wounded unit of Commandos is very vulnerable, so consider keeping it out of the fight or finding a weak spot in the enemy lines and "retreating" right through it.
Other Commando TeamsEdit
Commandos are a basic unit of 6 infantrymen with Sten SMGs, produced from a Commando Glider. Specializing in anti-infantry tactics and demolitions, they can only perform basic attacks against enemy infantry or emplacements, and would require support units to perform more complex attacks. These support units come in the form of Support Commando Teams, which are spawned from the HQ Glider. To call in this glider, you need the Royal Commandos Support: Glider Headquarters Command Upgrade.
A Support Commando Team is a three-man infantry unit equipped with one of three different support weapons:
- Heavy Machine Gun Commandos: Armed with a Vickers Heavy Machine Gun. This is the same weapon mounted in a Vickers Machine Gun Emplacement. This unit is similar to an HMG team fielded by the Americans or Wehrmacht.
- Mortar Commandos: Armed with a 3" Mortar. This is the same weapon which found in a 3" Mortar Emplacement, and the unit performs similarly to US and Wehrmacht Mortar Teams.
- PIAT Commandos: Armed with 2x Projector Infantry Anti-Tank weapons. This is a small anti-tank squad.
Each of these teams retains the distinctive Commando ability of Concealing Smoke, which allows them to maneuver or retreat into the Fog of War like a "regular" Commando team, though they give up the other commando abilities. PIAT Commandos also retain the ability to plant Commando Demolition Charges. None of these teams may throw grenades. The squad members not tasked with carrying the team's unique weapons will carry Sten SMGs as normal for Commandos.
Note that there is a big difference between these glider-bought teams and the ones that result when a team of regular Commandos captures the respective weapons:
- When a Commando Team captures a Heavy Machine Gun or Mortar, the resulting three-man support squad will lose all its unique commando abilities (while glider-built HMG and Mortar squads have Concealing Smoke).
- A normal squad of Commandos can capture PIATs or Panzershrecks - which usually makes them much better than a glider-bought PIAT Commandos squad. This is because a team of Commandos with captured anti-tank launchers is still a 6-man team, and therefore considerably stronger. It also keeps the Throw Grenade ability, which the glider-bought squad does not have. Of course, this requires you to find two PIATs/Shrecks, which usually aren't just lying around the map.
In a joking tone:
When selected, under fire:
Moving under fire:
After clicking on them numerous times: