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Veterancy Kettenkrad 0
SdKfz 2 Kettenkrad
Unit Kettenkrad
A Kettenkrad hiding from the enemy
Role Fast Reconnaissance Vehicle
Unit Cost 165Icon Manpower Small.png 165
1Icon PopCap Small.png 1
Upkeep per Minute -2.68Icon Manpower Small.png -2.68
Prereq. None
Produced By Panzer Elite Headquarters
Primary armament None
Health 90Icon Health Small.png 90
Armor None
Max. Speed 7.5 m/s

The SdKfz 2 Kettenkrad, simply called the Kettenkrad in-game, is a light reconnaissance vehicle fielded by the Panzer Elite in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. While unarmed, it is a fast-moving unit that is allowed to capture sectors. Each of the three Command Trees available to the Panzer Elites will add a single unique ability to the Kettenkrad, making it significantly more useful for different support roles.

Overview Edit

The first unit available to the Panzer Elite in a Skirmish or Multiplayer game is the Kettenkrad: a half-track motorcycle, with a front wheel and a set of treads at the rear. With a single rider and completely unarmed, this vehicle nonetheless is one of the more unique vehicles available in the game.

Kettenkrads are produced from the Panzer Elite Headquarters, for the price of 165Icon Manpower Small.png 165, 1Icon PopCap Small.png 1. As mentioned above, one is given freely at the start of a Skirmish/Multiplayer game. The low Population Cap requirement also means that they tend to be produced in large quantities, especially due to their surprising usefulness.

A Kettenkrad is completely unarmed. Instead, its greatest contribution is in its being one of the only vehicles in the game allowed to capture sector points without requiring any additional upgrades. Kettenkrads can run all over the map to seize a lot of territory early-on, and subsequently to grab undefended territory from the enemy.

In addition, the Kettenkrad has a highly extended range of sight for detecting camouflaged enemy units and mines. It can detect camouflaged units within 20 meters, and mines within 10 meters.

Kettenkrads rely primarily on the non-combat abilities they receive automatically once the Panzer Elite player has selected his preferred Tactical Doctrine. Once a doctrine is selected, all existing and future Kettenkrads receive a single ability related to that doctrine, which increases their usefulness considerably.

Weapons Edit

The Kettenkrad is one of the few units in the game that is entirely unarmed. It has no offensive capabilities whatsoever. Instead, it relies on special abilities to perform special tasks (below).

Abilities Edit

By default, a Kettenkrad has no abilities whatsoever, other than the innate ability to capture sector points.

Each of the three Tactical Doctrines available to the Panzer Elite will bestow a single ability to the Kettenkrad: It can either repair other units and structures, camouflage itself to move undetected, or booby trap sector points against enemy capture teams. The appropriate ability is acquired as soon as a Doctrine is selected - you do not need to purchase any of the Command Upgrades.

Ability Booby Traps Booby Traps (Basic) Edit

  • Requires the Scorched Earth Tactics Doctrine.
  • Costs nothing.
  • Activation: Select Sector Point (friendly or neutral)
  • Takes 15 seconds to complete.
  • Cooldown: 120 seconds.

Selecting the Scorched Earth Tactics Doctrine will immediately grant this ability to all existing and future Kettenkrads.

When the Booby Trap ability is activated, select any Sector Point that is not currently Booby-Trapped and is not currently owned by an enemy (neutral points are allowed). The Kettenkrad will drive up to that sector point, and install an incendiary explosive device inside it. This process takes 15 seconds to complete.

Once the explosive is installed, the sector point will be marked with a Booby Trap icon, which all Axis players can see. The sector point will remain Booby Trapped until the explosive is triggered - it cannot be blown up or detected by enemy engineers.

The sector point can be freely approached and captured by friendly units without triggering the explosive. Enemy units can pass near the sector point as well, unharmed. However, if an enemy unit (and only enemy units) attempts to capture the sector, they will immediately trigger a time-delay fuse on the bomb.

When this occurs, all players will receive a notification message that a booby trap has been triggered, and can click the message box to zoom to that location. This also sets off the fuse on the bomb, which will take between 4 and 8 seconds to detonate. This gives some time for the enemy to retreat his men, though this would require him to react very quickly to the notification.

The bomb explodes with a force of 60 damage points over a radius of 6 meters. However, only soldiers within 1.5 meters of the sector point will receive the full force of the explosion, with other further away receiving between 15 and 30 points of damage. The explosion will usually take out at least one or two infantrymen if they didn't get away quickly enough.

The Booby Trap explosion also sprays the explosion area with incendiary material, which will continue to burn for a period of about 6–8 seconds, inflicting about 0.75 point of damage per "tick" (about 7 damage per second). This will quickly kill any infantrymen that linger within the sector point's vicinity.

The use of Booby Traps will force the enemy to be very careful whenever trying to capture sectors, stealing his attention from more important matters. It will also occasionally kill the enemy's infantry when he's not careful enough. Since this costs nothing, it's usually a good idea to booby-trap all sector points you can reach, and re-trap all points that have been triggered.

Ability Booby Traps Booby Traps (Advanced) Edit

  • Requires the Scorched Earth Tactics: Booby Trap Strategic Point Command Upgrade.
  • Replaces the Booby Traps (Basic) ability.
  • Costs nothing.
  • Activation: Select Sector Point (friendly or neutral)
  • Takes 15 seconds to complete.
  • Cooldown: 25 seconds.

The Advanced Booby Traps ability is granted once the Booby Trap Strategic Point Command Upgrade has been acquired. It is essentially identical to the Basic Booby Traps ability, and you won't notice any actual change - except for the cooldown timer, which is almost 80% shorter.

This allows you to quickly booby trap as many Strategic Points as you want, without having to run your Kettenkrad back to base or to a Munitions Halftrack to cut down the cooldown times.

Ability Camouflage Kettenkrad off Camouflage Edit

  • Requires the Luftwaffe Tactics doctrine.
  • Costs nothing.
  • Activation: Immediate.
  • Duration: Permanent until deactivated.
  • Cooldown: None.

When activated, the Camouflage ability will render the Kettenkrad invisible to all enemy units.

Camouflage persists as long as the Kettenkrad remains at least 6 meters away from enemy units. Some units may have a larger detection radius, enabling them to spot the Camouflaged Kettenkrad at a greater distance, though such units are rare.

If it is detected, the Kettenkrad can still attempt to escape, and if it can manage to do so, will regain invisibility within a few seconds automatically.

While the Camouflage ability is active, the Kettenkrad's top speed is reduced to 4.8 meters per second - about as fast as an Allied medium tank. In addition, it cannot capture sector points unless it drops its camouflage.

This ability may be toggled on and off freely, though toggling it on while within 6 meters of an enemy unit will do nothing until the Kettenkrad can put some distance between itself and the enemy. Note that since the Kettenkrad has no weapons, it does not get the "Hold Fire" option that other Camouflaged units get by default, since that would be meaningless.

This is the only Camouflage unit available to the Panzer Elite. It effectively turns the Kettenkrad into a very fast reconnaissance unit that can easily slip through enemy lines to scout out their defenses, spot their units, find targets for artillery, and so forth. Coupled with its ability to capture sectors, the Kettenkrad can sometimes go far back behind enemy lines and begin taking sectors from the enemy to reduce his income flow. This required the Kettenkrad to drop its camouflage while capturing sectors however.

Ability Repair Rudimentary Repair Edit

  • Requires the Tank Destroyer Tactics Doctrine.
  • Costs nothing.
  • Activation: Select Vehicle or Structure (friendly, damaged)
  • Reduces manpower income by about -5Icon Manpower Small.png -5 while active.

The Tank Destroyer Tactics doctrine allows all Kettenkrads to perform basic repair of damaged vehicles and structures. It can repair these to 100% maximum health, at a rate of 2.25 damage points per second.

While repairing, the Kettenkrad reduces your Manpower income by about -5Icon Manpower Small.png -5 per minute. This is often quite negligible.

Once the target unit reaches 100% of its maximum health, the repair will automatically stop. You will usually be notified about this with an audio message.

This ability turns all your Kettenkrads into fast-moving engineer units, capable of rendering assistance to your mobile forces quickly wherever they may be at the time. A fleet of Kettenkrads, costing only a basic amount of resources and Population Cap points can thus keep your forces in good shape even during battles.

Note however that while it is repairing other units, the Kettenkrad itself is 3 times more vulnerable to damage from all sources!

Ability Over Repair Advanced Repair Edit

  • Requires the Tank Destroyer Tactics Doctrine.
  • Requires the Advanced Repair upgrade at the Kampfgruppe Kompanie.
  • Replaces the Kettenkrad's Rudimentary Repair ability (above).
  • Costs nothing
  • Activation: Select Vehicle or Structure (friendly, damaged)
  • Reduces manpower income by about -5Icon Manpower Small.png -5 while active.

This ability is acquired by selecting the Tank Destroyer Tactics Doctrine, and also requires purchasing the Advanced Repair upgrade at the Kampfgruppe Kompanie building. Once acquired, it completely replaces the Rudimentary Repair ability explained above.

The Advanced Repair ability works in the same way as the Rudimentary Repair ability, with one important difference: the repair rate is almost 3 times higher, at 6.5 points of damage per second. This is enough to fully repair a Panzer IV Infantry Support Tank in less than a minute, starting from a nearly-destroyed state.

This ability further enhances the Kettenkrad's role as an extremely useful engineering unit, especially since several can be fielded for the same Population Cap price as a unit of American Engineers or Wehrmacht Pioneer Squad.

Veterancy Edit

Like all other Panzer Elite units, the Kettenkrad 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 Kettenkrad's Veterancy Accumulation and Veternacy Bonuses work a little differently from other units.

Accumulation Edit

Like all other Panzer Elite units, the Kettenkrad 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 Kettenkrad does not have any offensive weaponry of its own, it cannot actually kill any enemy units to get Veterancy. Therefore, it must rely solely 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 Kettenkrad. This gives the Kettenkrad a slow progression of Veterancy, and requires it to stay close to attacking units to get the experience off their kills.

Bonuses Edit

For each level of Veterancy it acquires, the Kettenkrad 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 has no offensive weapons), 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.

Veterancy Kettenkrad 0
No Veterancy:

Unit is at normal combat effectiveness.


Veterancy Kettenkrad 1
Level 1 Veterancy:
Upgrade Defensive Bonus 1 Defensive Bonus 1
  • 10% harder to hit by all weapons
  • 10% damage reduction from all sources
  • +15% increase to Maximum Health
  • +15% increase to Maximum Speed


Veterancy Kettenkrad 2
Level 2 Veterancy:
Upgrade Defensive Bonus 2 Defensive Bonus 2
  • 5% harder to hit by all weapons
  • 5% damage reduction from all sources
  • +5% increase to Maximum Health
  • +15% increase to Maximum Speed


Veterancy Kettenkrad 3
Level 3 Veterancy:
Upgrade Defensive Bonus 3 Defensive Bonus 3
  • 5% harder to hit by all weapons
  • 5% damage reduction from all sources
  • +5% increase to Maximum Health
  • +15% increase to Maximum Speed

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
0 -- -- 90Icon Health Small.png 90 7.5 m/s
1 Defensive Bonus 10% 10% 103Icon Health Small.png 103 8.6 m/s
2 Defensive BonusDefensive Bonus 15% 15% 108Icon Health Small.png 108 9.9 m/s
3 Defensive BonusDefensive BonusDefensive Bonus 19% 19% 114Icon Health Small.png 114 11.3 m/s

Tactics Edit

The Kettenkrad, though cheap and seemingly useless, is one of the most important units available to the Panzer Elite, and ties in very well with their strategy for using a very mobile force to constantly harass the enemy and disrupt his plans.

In its basic form, the Kettenkrad can be used to quickly grab forward sectors which can then be linked up by the slower-moving infantry. This allows the Panzer Elite to secure a large territory very early in the game, to begin accumulating resources for the massive force it would need to produce. Being cheap, Kettenkrads can be constructed in large numbers to assist in this strategy.

Even after all sectors have been captured by one side or another, the Kettenkrad can still use its speed and agility to drive into enemy sectors - whether on the front line or behind it - and capture them or at least remove them from enemy control. With several Kettenkrads, doing this simultaneously, it is possible to disrupt enemy supply lines entirely by cutting off several sectors at the same time. This can put a damper on enemy resource collection, and force the enemy to waste time and relocate units to recapture those lost sectors.

Once a Tactical Doctrine has been selected (which can be done straight away if the Panzer Elite player already knows what tactics he'll want to use for the current map), all Kettenkrads receive enhanced abilities that allow them to perform more varied functions. They can become very important units, either for maintenance purposes or for more effective harassment of enemy forces.

Harassment Edit

The Kettenkrad is one of the fastest units in the game, and by far the fastest once it begins acquiring Veterancy upgrades. Coupled with its small profile and its ability to capture sectors, the Kettenkrad can be used to constantly seize sectors from enemy control.

This is done by driving the Kettenkrad straight into enemy territory, attempting to avoid enemy units, and going for their least defended sectors. Once there, capture the sector or at least remove it from enemy control. This works best with strategic points ("manpower sectors"), because they take the least time to capture. Once the enemy shows up, the Kettenkrad needs to bug out quickly to avoid being destroyed - but it may be able to just drive to the next sector and try to take that one. As long as enemy units are chasing it around the map, its mission is accomplished - even if it didn't manage to actually take any sectors in the process, it has disoriented the enemy.

With several Kettenkrads operating in unison, it's possible to do this all over the enemy territory simultaneously, causing the enemy much more confusion and perhaps allowing one or more of the 'krads to actually capture a sector or two. If the correct sectors are removed from enemy control, this may actually end up cutting the enemy's supply routes, thereby disabling resource collection in more forward sectors.

Booby-Trapping Edit

With the Scorched Earth Tactics doctrine, the Kettenkrads may begin booby-trapping resource points. This serves to protect these points from enemy capture.

If the doctrine is selected early on, you can actually drive one or more 'Krads straight towards the enemy's base, and Booby Trap the sectors he's likely to try and capture in the next few minutes. As his infantry arrive, they're in for a nasty surprise. Taking out enemy infantry this early in the game can give you a massive advantage, as the enemy lacks the resources to replace them quickly (especially now that your efforts have denied him a sector or two already). Try booby-trapping the most valuable sectors first, as the enemy is likely to go for these early on. It may be worthwhile to create several Kettenkrads quickly just to exploit this wonderful tactic with haste. And remember, Booby-Traps cost you nothing!

Even after all sectors have been captured, have your Kettenkrads Booby-Trap every sector you control, starting from the ones closer to the front lines. This will prevent the enemy from taking these sectors by surprise, giving you a few crucial seconds to send a response force to protect the attacked sector. Again, remember that Booby-Traps are free, so keep re-trapping each sector point when its trap gets triggered.

Also remember this during harassment operations. If a 'Krad manages to steal a sector from enemy control, Booby-Trap it immediately so that even if your Kettenkrad has to withdraw, enemy units coming to reclaim the sector may pay for it with their lives.

Reconnaissance Edit

By default, Kettenkrads have a significantly extended ability to detect enemy camouflaged units and mines. Any camouflaged unit within 20 meters (!) of the Kettenkrad will be automatically revealed, while any mines within 10 meters of the 'Krad will be automatically detected. This allows the Kettenkrad to survey for mine-fields, especially when driving ahead of an advancing assault force, or scout for enemy snipers. Their normal sight range is significantly extended as well; at 55 meters it is almost 80% longer than that of most other units.

With the Luftwaffe Tactics Doctrine, Kettenkrads receive the ability to camouflage themselves. Although this renders them much slower than normal, it allows them to easily infiltrate enemy territory to continue harassment operations.

Additionally, a camouflaged Kettenkrad can perform reconnaissance on enemy lines, to figure out the best places to attack. This is exceptionally useful against the British, who tend to construct solid fortifications that need to be surveyed very well before attempting any frontal assault.

Finally, since they cost next to nothing in Population Cap points, you can use Kettenkrads as invisible patrol units, to detect enemy forces trying to enter your territory. This way you can respond with just the right amount of force to every attack. Try placing such 'Krads at vulnerable approach routes, but keep them off the main roads so that passing enemy units cannot detect them via proximity.

Engineering Edit

This is often considered the Kettenkrads' best feature. With the Tank Destroyer Tactics doctrine, all Kettenkrads receive the ability to repair damaged vehicles and structures.

With this ability, your Kettenkrads are turned into an entire fleet of fast-moving engineers, who can either drive along with your main attack forces to repair them as necessary, or provide a mobile repair service that can fix units anywhere on the map with minimal response time.

If you choose this doctrine, one of your top priorities is to construct a Kampfgruppe Kompanie (if you don't already have one) and purchase the Advanced Repair bonus. This will increase the speed at which Kettenkrads repair units dramatically, allowing an almost total repair of a Panzer IV Infantry Support Tank within less than 60 seconds. This is especially important when relying on a mobile vehicle fleet, as the Panzer Elite often do.

Weaknesses Edit

The unarmed, unarmored Kettenkrad is vulnerable to just about everything. Even enemy small-arms fire can damage it, and it does not have much more health than the common infantryman. Fortunately, due to its high speed, while moving the Kettenkrad receives a great bonus for dodging enemy fire. However it will still be taken out by a single shot from an anti-tank weapon or tank gun, so the best defense is to stay out of the enemy's line of fire at all times. If you must, keep maneuvering around the enemy while making your escape. There is never a good reason to stay put.

Trivia Edit

In Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor, the Kettenkrad was replaced by the Schwimmwagen, an unarmed, amphibious, light jeep that serves the same purpose of the Kettenkrad except with different Company Commander upgrades and no movement penalty while crossing shallow water.

Historical Data Edit

The SdKfz 2 or known by many as Kleines Kettenkraftrad HK 101 or simply Kettenkrad (ketten=tracks, krad=military term for motorcycle). It was initially a light tractor for airborne troops as it was small and light enough to be carried by Ju 52 transport aircraft. It was deployed widely throughout the war, from the Eastern Front, North Africa and in Europe. Performing all kinds of roles, from reconnaissance, laying communication wire, carrying military equipment, to towing the Messerschmidt 262 jet fighter. Its reliability, durability, and mobility made it a favored vehicle among mobile panzer division. Its speed and nimble size also meant that it was a very effective spotter for artillery and reconnaissance unit compared to the heavily armed but larger armored cars and halftracks.

GalleryEdit

QuotesEdit

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