A Lieutenant and his fresh kills
|Men per Squad||1|
|Upkeep per Minute||-1.5|
|Produced By||Headquarters Command Truck|
|Health per Man||65|
|Basic Weapon||Mk. II Sten SMG|
|Open Weapon Slots||1|
|Max. Speed||3 m/s|
The Lieutenant is a gas-guzzling British infantry officer, available in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. Very expensive for a single man, instead of providing his own combat capabilities, he instead enhances those of any British infantry units near his position. He is one of the few units that accumulates Veterancy, and is required in order to advance the British Army's tech-level.
The Lieutenant is one of three British units available for construction at the start of the game. For the price of 250, 15, you get a single man armed with a Mk. II Sten SMG. While very expensive for just one man, the importance of the Lieutenant for British operations is paramount.
Although he is a capable fighter in his own right, the Lieutenant is not used as a regular Infantry unit. Instead, he is charged with following other British Infantry units (Infantry Sections, Sappers and Commandos) around, increasing their combat performance. Any infantry unit within 30 meters of the Lieutenant receives bonuses to their combat abilities.
The Lieutenant is one of only three units in the entire British Army that can accumulate Veterancy. In fact, the Lieutenant receives a share of Veterancy from any kill made by an Infantry unit up to 40 meters from his position, as well as from his own kills. As his Veterancy level grows, the bonuses he bestows on nearby infantry units increase. At his final Veterancy level, the Lieutenant increases your Population Cap by 4 points, which is a great boon for the British Army, whose units tend to require a large number of Population Cap points.
Furthermore, the Lieutenant is an indispensable cog in the British Tech Tree: without at least one Lieutenant on the field, the British cannot construct anything more than Infantry Sections (barring Company Commander abilities). The presence of a Lieutenant allows construction of a Field Support Truck.
You may have no more than 3 Lieutenants on the field at any given time. Once the limit is reached, no more Lieutenants can be produced. If one dies, however, you may produce another to replace him. Each Lieutenant can be assigned to command a different infantry unit, although several Lieutenants commanding the same infantry group help to further increase its combat potential, as their Command Bonuses are somewhat cumulative. That is, certain bonuses will stack with multiple Lieutenants while other bonuses won't. And certain bonuses, like the increased rate of fire, is split into 2 separate "micro-bonuses", with one able to stack while the other one does not. The table below shows the overall accumulation of these bonuses.
The Lieutenant is initially armed with a Mk.II Sten SMG, and has no other offensive weapon beside his special abilities.
The Lieutenant can pick up a Bren Light Machine Gun if one is found lying about (after the death of a Bren-equipped Infantry Section there). This is quite desirable, as it increases the effective range of the Lieutenant's fire considerably, allowing him to actually assist his troops from the rear.
Mk.II Sten SMGEdit
This is a relatively great SMG in terms of speed, even with the Lieutenant taking longer breaks between his bursts than most other SMG-equipped infantry. It is great in all other respects... except its range.
The range of the Lieutenant's SMG is 55 meters. This is 20 meters beyond his sight-range, and essentially greater than the range of most tank cannons. Of course, he is unlikely to actually hit anything at this range—the idea is that the Lieutenant will fire at enemies engaging his infantry, even if he is left slightly behind them. Its use is that when attack-moving, the Lieutenant will stay out of range of enemy infantry while still being in command range of British infantry.
Veterancy and Command Bonuses Edit
Most British units do not "level up", neither through combat (like the Americans or Panzer Elite) nor through purchased upgrades (like the Wehrmacht). The Lieutenant is one of only three units in the British army that can accumulate experience at all.
Veterancy increases the Lieutenant's survivability by a small degree, but its most important purpose is to increase the Command Bonuses that this Lieutenant applies to all Infantry units in his vicinity. This effectively mimics the Veterancy effect of other armies, but only to units within 30 meters of the Lieutenant's position.
The Lieutenant accumulates Veterancy thanks both to his own kills and to the kills of other infantry units in his vicinity. Therefore, the Lieutenant himself does not need to go around killing enemies to level-up, he can simply stay close to other units that do the killing. Of course, doing so himself can speed up the veterancy process - if it doesn't get him killed.
Command Bonuses Edit
The Lieutenant radiates a Command Bonus that automatically affects each British infantry unit within a 30-meter radius around him.
A basic command bonus is applied as soon as the Lieutenant is created. Once the Lieutenant reaches Veterancy Level 2 (two chevrons), the Command Bonus is significantly enhanced.
Basic Command Bonus:
- Accuracy of all weapons increased by 15%.
- Damage of all weapons increased by nearly 15%.
- Removes the speed penalty for Infantry Sections and Sappers moving through neutral and enemy territory. (Note: Recon Element Infantry Sections do not suffer from the penalty to begin with).
Enhanced Command Bonus:
- Accuracy of all weapons increased by nearly 32%.
- Damage of all weapons increased by nearly 18%.
- Firing rate of all weapons increased by nearly 48%.
- Reload times of all weapons decreased by 10%.
Cumulative Command Bonuses EditIt is possible to have up to 3 Lieutenants on the field at any given time. While you can create several infantry groups with a single Lieutenant commanding each of them, it is also possible to mass your Lieutenants together to "pile up" their Command Bonuses, leading a large group of super-enhanced infantry into combat. While this is tantamount to "putting all your eggs in one basket", the infantry become so powerful that this may be worth the risk.
The following table illustrates the bonuses gained by each infantry unit based on the number of Lieutenants within 30 meters of it.
|# Lieutenants||Command Level(s)||Accuracy||Damage||Firing Rate||Reload Speed||Overall DPS increase|
* B= Basic Command Level, E= Enhanced Command Level
You can clearly see how, when accompanied by a team of three experienced Lieutenants, a large group of infantry can be absolutely devastating: outputting nearly 4 times the damage! Commandos do not receive any bonuses, but it works great for almost any infantry unit.
Also note that the officers even give these bonuses to each other's combat performance as well.
The Lieutenant only has a few unique abilities, as most of his value is in the bonuses he automatically bestows on nearby infantry units anyway. Most importantly, the Lieutenant can be told to Maintain Command Range from a specific infantry unit, making sure that he remains no more than 30 meters away from it at all times (thus ensuring that infantry receives the proper command bonuses). Once he acquires at least one Veterancy level, the Lieutenant can order nearby units to make a Heroic Charge, a great help for infantry on the attack. He also benefits from the Royal Artillery Support ability to act as a Forward Observation Officer and call in off-map artillery barrages. Like other Infantry, he can Withdraw To Captain's Position, assuming a Captain exists on the field.
Withdraw to Captain's Position Edit
- Costs nothing
- Activation: Immediate
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
Like all other British infantry, once a Captain is recruited, the Lieutenant 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 Lieutenant will leave the player's control and set a direct course for the Captain. The retreat will break any Suppression effects the Lieutenant may be suffering at the time.
Retreating to the Captain's position can save the Lieutenant 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 Lieutenant reaches the Captain, he'll be on safer ground thanks to the Captain's command bonus as well.
It's also possible to use this ability defensively, by first moving the Captain to a sector in need of a quick defense, and then "retreating" several infantry units and Lieutenants to him. The extra speed means the infantry will arrive at the sector much faster, and then will benefit from the Captain's defensive bonuses as they engage the attacking enemy units.
Maintain Command Range Edit
- Costs nothing
- Activation: Select Target (friendly infantry)
- Cooldown: none
When this ability is activated, select a friendly infantry unit. The Lieutenant will move to about a 10-meter distance of that unit, and will do his best to remain within no more than 30 meters away from that unit at any time. He will nonetheless continue firing at targets that enter his line-of-sight, and will also try to keep the infantry between himself and enemy units automatically.
Since the Lieutenant bestows his command bonuses to any infantry unit within 30 meters, this will keep those bonuses enabled on the target unit. Again, this is not required to activate the command bonus, it just makes sure that the Lieutenant is always near enough to give those bonuses.
As an added bonus, if the target unit ever garrisons a structure or Slit Trench, the Lieutenant will enter the structure with them automatically, and leave when they leave. Again, this saves the player some micro-management.
Note that when an infantry unit retreats or withdraws to the Captain's position, the Lieutenant does not automatically retreat as well - he just moves at normal pace towards wherever the unit has gone. This may expose him to attacks, since he is neither running away nor receiving the defensive bonuses associated with the retreat action.
Any order given to the Lieutenant will immediately break the Maintain Command Range order. That includes moving orders, shooting orders, or an order to retreat or use any ability. You would need to issue the Maintain Command Range order again after the fact. Fortunately, to avoid this problem at least some of the time, selecting a box of units with a Lieutenant in Maintain Command Range mode within it will only select the other units, leaving the Lieutenant unselected. Issuing an order to those units will therefore keep the Lieutenant in following mode.
Heroic Charge Edit
- Requires the Lieutenant to have at least 1 level of Veterancy
- Costs nothing
- Activation: Immediate
- Effect lasts 15 seconds
- Cooldown: 90 seconds
When this ability is activated, all British infantry units within 15 meters of the Lieutenant's position receive massive bonuses to their combat abilities for a period of 15 seconds.
The bonuses are:
- 25% damage reduction from all sources
- Doubled firing rate for all of the unit's weapons
- All current Suppression is cleared from the unit
- 80% reduction of all Suppression received by the unit
- +1 movement speed
These bonuses are on top of the bonuses already bestowed by the presence of the Lieutenant himself.
Use this ability when attacking enemy strongholds and/or machine gun nests. Your infantry will be able to quickly charge through enemy fire, while raining their own fire on the enemy. This is especially useful when several groups of infantry are close to the Lieutenant, as they will all receive these bonuses simultaneously.
The bonuses this ability provides to infantry in combat are also very powerfull. This ability can be used to tip the balance of an infantry battle in your favour. The important detail to consider is that after the first 15 seconds, sever penalties will be applied on the infantry affected by this ability (as listed below). As such, use this ability when you feel that this first 15 seconds of bonuses will give you enough firepower to destroy the enemy forces, so the enemy cant take advantages of the penalties aplied on the next 15 seconds.
After the original 15-second effect ends, all infantry units affected by the charge order will suffer another 15 seconds of "penalty time", where their abilities are reduced significantly:
- 50% reduction in firing rate for all the unit's weapons
- 2x Reloading time for all the unit's weapons
- -1 movement speed
- 50% reduction in burst-fire efficiency for all the unit's burst-capable weapons
This is very important to remember, since the units that made the heroic charge will have trouble defending whatever ground they took during the charge. Always make sure to keep some units in reserve to come up and assist.
25 Pounder Artillery Barrage Edit
- Requires the Forward Observation Officer ability from the Royal Artillery Support command tree
- Costs 150
- Activation: Select Ground (Visible)
- Duration: ~15 seconds
- Cooldown: 30 seconds
When this ability is activated, select a point on the ground within visible territory. This location will be hit by 8 artillery shells fired by an off-map 25-Pounder artillery.
The distribution of the shells around the target area is as follows:
- The first shell strikes up to 6 meters from the target position.
- The next three shells strike up to 15 meters from the target position.
- The last four shells strike up to 22.5 meters from the target position.
The shells used in this attack are 25-Pounder shells, making them identical to the shells fired by the 25 Pounder Gun Howitzer emplacement.
Note that the shells are preceded by signal smoke, so the enemy may be able to react to the shelling if he's quick enough.
The entire bombardment effect is accompanied by a clearing of the Fog of War in a radius of 22 meters around the target position. The Fog of War will remain cleared for 35 seconds, which is about 20 seconds after the bombardment has ended.
Finally, note that the Lieutenant must be no more than 45 meters away from the target position to activate this effect. If you choose a target that is too far away, the Lieutenant will first close the distance before calling in the barrage.
The British army places a great emphasis on its company-grade officers. It relies on them for Veterancy, and requires them as part of its Tech Tree. The Lieutenant forms the "lowest" part of the command chain, and is therefore an invaluable addition to the British arsenal.
The Lieutenant is one of the first units you will produce, unless you wish to rely entirely on Infantry Sections or Company Commander abilities, as he allows the creation of a Field Support Truck (and therefore, vicariously, the Armor Command Truck).
Straight away, the Lieutenant can be used to augment the combat strength of any infantry unit you may have. And as the mission goes on, surviving Lieutenants who gain experience become even more invaluable. It is important to try to keep the Lieutenant alive by any means, because if lost, you will have to train a whole new one for a large amount of resources - and will have to start gaining Veterancy points all over again.
Remember that you can train up to 3 Lieutenants at any time. Don't do this straight away - save resources for more units first, and train more Lieutenants as you get more infantry units. You can spread the Lieutenants out between several infantry units, to make sure all your infantry get a moderate command bonus. Alternately, you can pool all three Lieutenants and all infantry into a single command group, where the command bonuses from the three Lieutenants together will make the infantry far more powerful - but at a risk of losing a lot of them every time artillery shells fall.
Also remember that Lieutenants can pick up Bren LMGs that have fallen from dead squads. A Lieutenant with a Bren can provide much better covering fire than one with the default SMG.
On the Offensive Edit
A Lieutenant is a pretty good fighter, but risking him in battle is foolish. If he dies, he dies; and acquiring a new one is costly. However, keeping him close to any attacking infantry unit will increase that unit's potency. This is the risk and the payoff involved with using Lieutenants.
Additionally, a level 1 Lieutenant can activate Heroic Charge to help an infantry unit withstand suppression and charge an enemy position. This ability can save the unit from destruction, especially in the face of machine gun fire.
The British prefer to advance in force, so oftentimes it's a good idea to pool together all (or at least most) of your infantry and Lieutenants when going on a charge. The cumulative effect of the Lieutenants' command bonuses will render the entire unit extremely powerful, to the point where they can take on large numbers of enemy infantry with ease. Of course, remember to keep your Lieutenants out of harm's way, as when bunched together they are vulnerable to mortars and artillery.
Remember to use the Forward Observation Officer ability, if you have it, to soften up enemy positions - or to take out armor blocking your infantry's advance.
On the Defensive Edit
Whenever an infantry unit is protecting a sector, there should always be a Lieutenant nearby to provide them bonuses. Keep the Lieutenant a bit behind, unless the infantry is in a Slit Trench, in which case the Lieutenant can simply join them.
On the defense, it is less reasonable to pool your Lieutenants together into a single group with all your infantry. This is both because they'd make a great target for artillery, and because you'll often need to spread your infantry out to defend several sectors, in which case you'll want one Lieutenant at each hot-spot.
While defending, it may be a good idea to put your Lieutenants inside Bren Carriers, if you have the Population Cap for that. This gives them the ability to move around faster, and thus come to the aid of any infantry unit that comes under attack. In this way, a single Lieutenant can provide command bonus support at several positions along your defensive line, saving you the resources required to train several of them - at least early on in the mission.
Gaining Veterancy Edit
Always remember that your Lieutenants are inexpendable, because they are among the few units that accumulate Veterancy. Keep the Lieutenant close enough to your troops to gain experience off their kills, but far enough to avoid risking the loss of this precious unit.
If you possibly can, try to get all of your Lieutenants to level 3 Veterancy - even if it means sacrificing men in pointless assaults on enemy positions. This is because each Lieutenant that reaches level 3 will increase your Population Cap by 4 points, which is at least enough to construct an extra emplacement or Sappers squad.
- "Your lieutenant... is ready and willing to kill some huns."
- "Charge! Die you huns bastards"