SdKfz 165 Hummel Self-Propelled Artillery
A Hummel, firing a shell
|Role||Mobile Heavy Artillery|
|Unit Cost||600, 10|
|Upkeep per Minute||-10.94|
|Prereq.||Scorched Earth Tactics: Hummel Self-Propelled Artillery|
|Produced By||None; called-in from the field.|
|Primary armament||15 cm sFH 18 Howitzer|
|Max. Speed||3 m/s|
The SdKfz 165 Hummel 150mm Self-Propelled Artillery, or Hummel for short, is a mobile heavy artillery vehicle fielded by Scorched Earth Tactics Panzer Elite commanders in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. One of the strongest artillery units in the game, each of its shots does massive damage in a large radius, allowing it to eradicate an entire group of units or a defensive position. It can also trade its mobility for a significantly-increased rate of fire.
The later stages of the Scorched Earth Tactics Command Tree open up two powerful artillery-related abilities for the Panzer Elite. One Command Upgrade allows calling in off-map artillery, while the other allows the recruiting of the Hummel - one of the most powerful artillery units in the game.
The creation of a Hummel requires the Scorched Earth Tactics: Hummel Self-Propelled Artillery Command Upgrade, which unlocks a Command Ability called "Hummel 150mm Self-Propelled Howitzer". The use of this ability costs 600, 10, and will call a single Hummel to the field. You must specify a destination for the Hummel when it is called, and it will drive to that position upon entering the map.
The Hummel carries only one weapon: A 15 cm (150mm) howitzer. This artillery piece delivers a lot of damage over a large area, and is capable of pounding an enemy position to dust very rapidly. It does not fire automatically at enemy targets, and must be instructed to perform a 4-round salvo by using the Hummel 150mm Howitzer Barrage ability.
Like several other Panzer Elite units, the Hummel can be ordered to lock itself down, removing the driver from his seat and using him to help reload the gun faster. This allows the Hummel to fire twice as quickly when a salvo is ordered, thus allowing enemy units less time to escape the bombarded zone. The Hummel also receives a protective bonus while this is active, but remains immobile. In other words, this ability essentially turns it into an artillery emplacement until it is deactivated.
The Hummel is particularly useful against enemies that prefer a defensive strategy, fortifying their terrain (especially the British). It can punch a hole through those fortifications rather easily, allowing other Panzer Elite forces to rush through and demolish the enemy base. It's also useful for destroying enemy artillery emplacements. Unfortunately, the Hummel is not very-well armored, and has no weapons with which to defend itself. It must always be escorted by other units when moving to a dangerous firing position (such as close to the enemy's front lines).
Only 3 Hummels can exist on the battlefield at any time. Once three are created, the Hummel 150mm Self-Propelled Howitzer Command Ability will become greyed-out, and will only be re-enabled if any of the existing Hummels are lost.
The Hummel has only a single weapon: a 15 cm sFH 18 Immergrün (150mm schwere Feldhaubitze 18) Howitzer Gun, mounted in the center of the vehicle. It is a devastating medium-range artillery piece - one of the strongest in the game.
15 cm sFH 18 Howitzer Edit
The 15 cm sFH 18 Howitzer, nicknamed Immergrün (Evergreen), is an extremely powerful artillery gun. It is one of the most powerful weapons available to any unit, and the introduction of this cannon to the battlefield can change the entire course of a battle.
This cannon does not acquire targets automatically. Instead, the player must activate the Hummel 150mm Howitzer Barrage ability in order to fire it. When this ability is used, the howitzer will fire 4 shots at the targeted location.
Each shell explodes with a force of 200 damage points, distributed in an 8 meter radius around the impact. Units within the first 2 meters will suffer a whopping 300 points of damage. Beyond that, the damage values decrease proportionally, with units 8 meters away suffering only 60 damage. This is still enough to kill any exposed infantrymen within the entire blast area.
This damage output is a serious danger to all units. Even heavy tanks will receive the full 300 points of damage if hit dead-on. Again, infantry in the blast area will almost certainly be killed outright - even when garrisoned in a protective structure.
The 15 cm Howitzer takes 5 seconds to reload between each shot. The vehicle can sacrifice its mobility to reduce the reload times to only 2.5 seconds, doubling the firing speed of the gun.
The range of this weapon is 250 meters, though it will normally only fire at targets up to 115 meters away. If the vehicle is locked down for Rapid Fire Artillery, the firing range is increased to 200 meters. There is no way to fully exploit the range potential of the gun. Also, there is a minimum distance of 35 meters for using this gun, so it is not useful for defending the Hummel from attacking enemies.
The Hummel has two manually-activated abilities. The first allows the vehicle's cannon to fire - it will not fire otherwise, even when attacked. The second ability renders the vehicle immobile in order to increase its firing speed.
Hummel 150mm Howitzer Barrage Edit
- Costs nothing
- Activation: Select Ground (at least 35 meters away)
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
When the Hummel 150mm Howitzer Barrage ability is activated, select any ground target. The Hummel will move to within 200 meters of that target, and then fire 4 shells at it. You may select targets inside the fog-of-war.
The accuracy of the shells depends on the distance from the target. The closer the target, the more accurate the shelling.
You cannot select targets less than 35 meters away from the vehicle. To fire at such targets, the Hummel must first retreat far enough to be 35 meters or more away.
Note that the maximum range of this ability is significantly increased when the Rapid Fire Artillery ability is activated (see below). In such a case, this ability can be used to fire at any target between 35 and 200 meters away.
Rapid Fire Artillery Edit
- Costs nothing
- Activation: Immediate.
- Duration: Permanent until deactivated.
- Cooldown: 5 seconds (activation) / 15 seconds (deactivation)
When Rapid Fire Artillery is activated, the Hummel's driver will abandon his post and instead help with the reloading of the 15 cm Howitzer cannon.
Once activated, the Hummel receives a 50% reduction in reload times, meaning that it only takes 2.5 seconds (instead of 5) between each shell it fires. The primary benefit of this is that enemy units within a targeted area have less time to withdraw once the first shell hits, increasing the chance to hit some or all of them before they get away (if they move away at all).
Additionally, while this mode is activated, the Hummel can fire at targets up to 200 meters away - almost half a normal map's length. If placed far enough forward, the Hummel can reach the enemy's base!
Furthermore, the Hummel becomes 25% harder to hit when in this mode. In other words, any enemy unit firing at the Hummel has a 25% reduction in accuracy. This increases the Hummel's survivability while firing.
For these great bonuses, the Hummel pays with mobility. While this ability is activated, a white circular pattern appears around the vehicle, signifying that it is incapable of moving. It can only turn, to allow it to fire in different directions, but cannot move from its current location.
You may deactivate Rapid Fire Artillery at any time. The vehicle can move immediately upon the deactivation order, allowing it to escape an enemy counter-barrage. Note however that when the ability is activated, there's a mandatory waiting period of 5 seconds before it can be deactivated.
Like all other Panzer Elite units, the Hummel Self Propelled Artillery 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.
Like all other Panzer Elite units, the Hummel 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.
Each kill the Hummel makes will grant it 100% of the experience value of the killed unit.
In addition, it will pass 50% of that value to any Panzer Elite units within 35 meters of itself.
Vicariously, the Hummel receives 50% of the experience value of kills made by other Panzer Elite units within 35 meters.
As a result of experience-sharing, it's usually a good idea to send all your idle units to huddle within 35 meters of the Hummel whenever it is firing. This will pass a good deal of experience to those units if the Hummel manages to kill anything (which it probably will). Just make sure to keep the units far enough away to avoid collateral damage if the enemy decides to counter-fire on the Hummel using his own artillery.
Every time the Hummel gains a level, you'll be asked to choose which Veterancy Upgrade you wish to apply to it - either a Defensive bonus or an Offensive bonus, but not both. You can choose a different bonus at each Veterancy level, if you want. Also for every Veterancy level you select, the Hummel gets a 10 second shortening when using the Hummel 150mm Howitzer Barrage, up to a 30 second shortening with 3 Veterancy levels.
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:
* Click the button at the top-right corner to view the entire table.
Oddly enough, though it is one hell of an offensive weapon, the Hummel does not benefit from Offensive bonuses as much as you might think. Neither Accuracy nor Firing Speed are actually affected by the bonuses listed above, and the gun already has 100% Penetration against all enemy vehicles. The only thing affected are reloading times, which can make this vehicle fire very quickly, but then that's what the Rapid Fire Artillery ability is for.
Therefore, the Defensive bonuses may be your best bet. Firstly, they'll help protect the vehicle from counter-battery fire and/or any enemies attacking it directly. Furthermore they'll increase its speed, allowing it to more easily run away when enemies are encountered, make incursions into enemy territory, and escape counter-battery barrages.
Despite its highly-offensive style, the Panzer Elite army is relatively short on artillery, both off-map and local. The Hummel not only provides this ability, but also gives you one of the best artillery units in the game.
The Hummel really has only one primary application: destroying enemy fortifications. This is especially true when fighting against the British, who base their entire strategy around constructing powerful impenetrable defenses. With the Hummel, you can reduce these defenses to rubble, allowing your powerful units to drive straight into enemy territory and wipe it out.
Of course, given the firepower of the Hummel, you can use it for pretty many any other artillery application, whether offensive or defensive. If you park it within enemy territory, you might be able to shell the enemy base, causing massive destruction and requiring the enemy to concentrate on its repair. Defensively, the Hummel can be used to shell enemies coming into your land, especially as they try to take resource points away from you. A single Hummel parked close to your HQ can usually bombard any piece of land you control within a few moments' notice.
Always remember that this is essentially a light vehicle, and can be damaged by almost any enemy unit.
Shelling Fortifications Edit
With the Hummel under your control, no enemy sector is safe, regardless of how well it is defended.
Before an attack on an enemy sector, send units to perform reconnaissance to determine the position and density of all defensive structures and units. This will allow you to figure out the best place to bombard.
Put the Hummel as close to the enemy position as you can allow (i.e. without exposing it to enemy fire). Preferably, you'll want the vehicle behind some structure or tall obstacle, so that enemy AT guns cannot target it once it starts firing (as it will become visible to them as soon as the shells land).
Start the bombardment before sending your units in. It's usually best to wait until the last shell has been fired, to ensure that the shelling has done all the damage it can, reducing the chance of any surviving emplacements opening fire on your approaching units.
If done properly, you can punch a hole through enemy defensive lines. If your enemy is particularly obsessed with defensive fortifications, this may open a way straight into his territory through which you can move your entire army and go for a quick win. If these fortifications are simply meant to protect a valuable sector (or a Victory Point), you should be able to take it from the enemy.
Note that the Hummel's attack is one of the best methods to remove an enemy Slit Trench. The soldiers inside are quite well-protected from damage, but a shell hitting the trench directly can easily destroy it along with all infantry inside.
Strategic Shelling Edit
If you are aware of the location of the enemy base, you can proceed to shell it into submission. To do this, you'll usually need to make a forceful excursion into enemy territory.
Prepare a combat group that can defend your Hummel. Infantry and tank-destroyers are quite recommended. Drive this force into enemy territory with the Hummel safely in the rear.
Once you've reached 200 meters from the enemy base, quickly activate the Rapid Fire Artillery ability and fire at the enemy base. This shelling will likely destroy one or more structures, and will kill all infantry (and most vehicles) lingering nearby.
After the shelling is completed, remember to retreat quickly, as the enemy is sure to respond with force. You can set up a trap if you want, because it's unlikely that the enemy will let this go "unpunished". However, always be wary for counter-battery strikes. Keep your other units away from the Hummel as it fires, lest they be caught in the counter bombardment.
This sort of action can set your enemy back considerably. He'll need to send units to repair his base, replace any buildings or units lost, and will generally be confused about the entire affair. You can use this to launch a surprise offensive against an enemy position to capitalize on the sudden confusion.
Reactive Shelling Edit
You can also use the Hummel to perform counter-battery attacks. For this, place the Hummel close to the enemy's lines, well-protected, and hold your fire. Wait until the enemy launches an artillery bombardment on one of your structures or units, and then attack the launcher.
Naturally, this is only useful against on-field artillery units, especially British and American artillery emplacements. A Priest Self-Propelled Artillery can also be attacked in this way, though there's a chance it might be able to escape if you don't start firing immediately.
This attack can shut down an enemy artillery position entirely, if your shots land accurately enough. Also, waiting for enemy artillery to fire first reduces the chance that the enemy will have any assets with which to return fire at the Hummel.
Defensive Shelling Edit
A single Hummel with the Rapid Fire Artillery mode activated can conduct rapid bombardment of pretty much any sector you control, from a relatively safe distance.
Use this sort of activity to dissuade enemies from taking your sector points. If an enemy unit is trying to take a sector, simply bombard it. Infantry will surely be killed in the salvo, and any vehicles accompanying them will be damaged. Your mobile defense forces can then engage the remaining units and destroy them.
Though very powerful on the offensive, the Hummel is relatively lightly armored for its size, and does not have any weapons with which to defend itself. It can be hurt by most weapons, excluding the lightest infantry small-arms. Machine guns can do damage to it, but mostly only from the rear. Always keep the Hummel escorted by other units (dedicated anti-infantry and anti-tank units are usually best) when it goes anywhere near the enemy's front lines.
The greatest threat to a Hummel is an enemy counter-bombardment. When its shells land near an enemy unit, it becomes visible, and hence a valuable target for the enemy to attack with his own artillery. Therefore, if you know your enemy has artillery that can strike into the fog-of-war, remember to keep your Hummel mobile after every attack you make. In other words, once your shelling is completed, quickly move the Hummel elsewhere. Fortunately, the vehicle can begin moving as soon as Rapid Fire Artillery is canceled, so there's no real reason not to use that ability.
On unit selection :
On halt order :
On move order :
On lock down order :