A pair of M3 Halftracks (Quad .50 Cal Halftrack in the back)
|Role||Medium Infantry Transport Vehicle|
|Upkeep per Minute||-6.91|
|Produced By||Motor Pool|
|Primary armament||M2 Browning Heavy Machine Gun|
|Can Be Loaded With||Up to 3 squads of Infantry, 12 men maximum|
|Max. Speed||7 m/s|
The Carrier, Personnel Half-Track M3, or M3 Halftrack, is a medium infantry-transport Vehicle fielded by the American army in Company of Heroes. It is capable of ferrying infantry across the battlefield with haste, and can stick around to provide mobile reinforcement to infantry squads. With its Quadmount upgrade, the M3 Halftrack turns into a completely different vehicle, trading in its infantry-transport ability for a set of powerful anti-aircraft guns capable of shredding apart infantry and light vehicles.
Note: The M3 Halftrack's Quadmount .50 Cal upgrade transforms this vehicle so radically that it is almost entirely a new unit. This article discusses these two units almost separately whenever appropriate.
With the creation of the Motor Pool, the Americans finally have access to vehicles able to support their infantry units. By the time this occurs, American infantry are probably numerous, and conducting battles all across the map. The M3 Halftrack is brought in to assist existing infantry units, enabling them to keep a strong defensive line, and supporting them on attacks as well. This can help the Americans boost the capabilities of their existing force, until such a time that tanks can be produced.
An M3 Halftrack is constructed at the Motor Pool for the relatively low cost of 220, 25, 4. The M3 Halftrack is an elongated truck with two front wheels, a set of treads in the rear, and a large box with medium-armored side panels. The carry-box is initially covered by a thick canvas sheet.
The M3 Halftrack is not a combat vehicle, but rather a support vehicle for infantry. It is capable of carrying up to 12 men (in up to 3 squads), giving those men protection from enemy fire and transporting them at over twice their natural walking speed. While an infantry unit is carried by this vehicle, one infantryman will pop out through the top of the halftrack to man an M2 Browning Heavy Machine Gun, which can provide some firepower against enemy infantry, but is not an effective combat weapon.
In addition to carrying infantry, the M3 Halftrack can reinforce infantry in the field; it is essentially a mobile reinforcement point, which can replace lost men in any Allied infantry squad. This allows infantry units to remain in combat for a long time, reinforcing each time one man falls, and thus allowing a fluid, non-stop attack against enemy positions.
M16 Machine Gun Motor Carriage (MGMC) Halftrack Edit
The only upgrade available to the M3 Halftrack is the Quad .50 Cal Maxson Mount. This upgrade will radically transform the unit by installing a large turret armed with 4 Browning .50 Cal Heavy Machine Guns.
This weapon is essentially an anti-aircraft gun, but like all other anti-aircraft weapons in the game it is extremely powerful against ground units as well. In particular, the Quadmount .50 Cal is exceptionally deadly to enemy infantry, and can also rip apart light vehicles with ease.
For this extra ability however, the M3 Halftrack trades in its infantry-transport ability, essentially transforming it from a support vehicle into an actual combat weapon. Note that it retains the ability to reinforce allied infantry units in its vicinity regardless of this upgrade.
The M16 MGMC is an infantry hunter, charged with patrolling friendly territory against enemy infiltration, and can be used effectively to protect the flanks of an armored advance against enemy maneuvers.
Initially, the M3 Halftrack is armed with a single M2 Browning Heavy Machine gun, mounted on a pintle above the driver's cabin. This weapon is unmanned, and will not normally fire at enemy units. It will only become manned and operable when any infantry unit is carried inside the vehicle.
With the Quad .50 Cal upgrade, the M3 Halftrack is outfitted with an anti-aircraft turret at the rear, armed with the Maxson Quad .50 Cal Anti-Aircraft Cannon, essentially four M2 Browning Heavy Machine Guns firing in unison. It is a powerful anti-infantry and anti-vehicle weapon. The single M2 Browning at the front of the vehicle is removed entirely with this upgrade.
M2 Browning Heavy Machine Gun Edit
The M2 Browning HMG is a .50 Cal belt-fed automatic weapon, mounted on a pintle at the top-front of the vehicle.
This machine gun can be compared to several other types of Heavy Machine Guns used by the Americans, on their vehicles or other units. It has a fairly rapid firing rate, discharging bursts of 12-18 bullets (2–3 seconds long) with intervals of between 2–4 seconds between each burst. Accuracy leaves something to be desired, but is sufficiently good given the high firing rate.
Each bullet striking its target delivers a basic 7 points of damage, like most other American Heavy Machine Guns. However, this weapon has a damage bonus against some types of infantry, making them a little easier to kill. Unfortunately, the gun has very weak Suppression effects.
Damage against enemy vehicles is significantly reduced, and this weapon is unable to do any significant damage to enemy tanks whatsoever.
Note that when the M3 Halftrack is empty, this weapon is not manned and will not fire. When at least one infantryman is loaded into the vehicle, the weapon will be manned and operable. If the halftrack is then emptied, the gun is abandoned again. There is no loss to the units inside if the gunner is killed while operating the machine gun, in which case he would simply go limp and drop back into the vehicle, with a computer generated notice in red rising.
Finally, note that this weapon can only turn in a 180° forward arc. In other words, it can at most engage targets directly left or right of the vehicle, but not any further behind it.
Do not count on this weapon to deliver any sort of serious firepower. It is only meant to discourage enemy units from approaching the M3 Halftrack. If you need firepower, unload the infantry units from the halftrack and let them engage the enemy themselves.
Maxson Quad .50 Cal Anti-Aircraft Gun Edit
The M45 Maxson Mount or Quadmount .50 Cal AA Gun is a powered turret installed at the back of the vehicle when the appropriate upgrade is purchased. The vehicle becomes the fearsome M16 MGMC, a powerful anti-infantry and anti-vehicle weapon. The M16 MGMC cannot carry infantry but can still reinforce infantry squads.
The Maxson Mount turret carries four synchronized M2 Browning Heavy Machine Guns, similar but not exactly equal to the single M2 Browning normally mounted on this vehicle (see above). Each of these machine guns is slightly weaker and less accurate, causing 5 points of damage per hit and lacking the damage bonus against infantry that the single HMG possesses.
On the other hand, four machine guns firing at the same time deliver 4 times as many bullets. The Maxson Mount discharges 24 bullets per second, in bursts 2.5-3.5 seconds long (totalling 60 to 84 bullets per burst). Given optimal conditions at normal infantry engagement range (20 meters), this weapon will kill about two infantrymen per burst!
Unfortunately, four .50 Cal machine guns have as much trouble getting through armor as a single one, and cannot damage tanks. However again, the high firing rate compensates for this, as the weapon is quite easily capable of destroying enemy light vehicles, including Motorcycles and Infantry Halftracks with ease.
Finally, one of the best features of this weapon is an amazing range of 45 meters - quite further beyond the firing range of most small arms, and 10 meters beyond the sight-range of the vehicle itself. When used in conjunction with a good spotter, like a Jeep or Sniper, the M16 MGMC can destroy enemy infantry from well beyond their own retaliation range!
As a final note, remember that this weapon is an anti-aircraft gun. The weapon will automatically fire at any enemy airplanes in its range of fire. The only air force avaible to the Axis players is the Henschel Hs 129, called with the Luftwaffe Tactics doctrine, avaible to the Panzer Elite. This gives the american player a chance to neutralize the effects of such air strike, altrough the effectiveness of this weapon agains the Henschel Hs 129 leaves a lot to be desired, to say the least.
Troop Transportation Edit
By default, the M3 Halftrack is essentially a transportation vehicle. You may load up to 12 infantrymen into this halftrack.
The Halftrack will take no more than 3 different squads of infantry, even if they total less than 12 men. For example, you may only fit three Snipers into the M3 Halftrack, because each one is considered a separate squad.
Men loaded inside the vehicle are protected from damage. They cannot be killed independently of the M3 Halftrack itself. However, the halftrack itself can still be destroyed, in which case it will automatically offload 90% of the infantry inside, alive (that is, each man has a 90% chance of surviving the explosion).
The M3 Halftrack can accommodate all basic infantry squads, including the Engineer Squads, Riflemen Squads, Airborne Squads and Ranger Squads. In addition it can also load a Heavy Machine Gun Team, but prior to patch 2.400 it is not possible to load a Mortar Team.
Note that when at least one man is loaded into the M3 Halftrack, the M2 Browning Machine Gun at the top of the vehicle will automatically be manned, and will remain manned until the vehicle is completely unloaded of infantry. Critical damage to the vehicle can result in the loss of the M2 Browning's gunner, but this does not actually kill any of the infantrymen loaded into it - it only stops the HMG from firing. The gunner can be "restored" simply by unloading the vehicle and loading it up again.
Finally, note that the vehicle completely loses its ability to carry infantry units when the Maxson Quadmount upgrade is installed. It cannot regain transport capabilities, since the upgrade cannot be voluntarily removed. On the other hand, the Halftrack can still reinforce infantry squads even with the Quad upgrade installed.
The only ability possessed by the M3 Halftrack is the ability to reinforce nearby infantry units. This essentially makes the halftrack a mobile reinforcement point, capable of keeping infantry squads fully manned even inside enemy territory.
Reinforce Squad Edit
- Costs vary based on reinforced unit
- Activation: Through the target unit's menu
- Duration varies based on reinforced unit
Any infantry squad within 20 meters of the M3 Halftrack can replenish lost men for a specific cost and duration determined by the type of unit being reinforced.
Note that infantry garrisoned inside the vehicle need to exit it in order to be reinforced.
You may reinforce even inside enemy territory when the M3 Halftrack is nearby. Also, this ability is not lost when the Halftrack gets the Quad .50 Cal Maxson Mount upgrade. You can still reinforce infantry nearby a Halftrack with a Quad.
The M3 Halftrack can be equipped with one upgrade: the Quad .50 Cal Maxson Mount. This essentially transforms the vehicle into the M45 Quadmount anti-infantry halftrack.
Quad .50 Cal Maxson Mount Edit
The Quad .50 Cal Maxson Mount upgrade installs a turret at the back of the vehicle, armed with 4 M2 Browning Heavy Machine Guns which are synchronized to fire in unison.
This weapon has significantly-rapid firepower, and can easily destroy enemy infantry units, suppressing any that survive. It can also do significant damage to enemy light vehicles.
However, by installing this upgrade, you are giving up the halftrack's ability to transport infantry squads. There is no way to reacquire the ability, since the upgrade cannot be "un-installed" in any way. Therefore, installing this upgrade is a conscious choice to turn a useful support vehicle into a useful anti-infantry vehicle.
Note that the M3 Halftrack does not lose its ability to reinforce nearby infantry units when this upgrade is installed. Therefore, the vehicle is still very useful in support of infantry.
When this upgrade is installed on a halftrack, it is often referred to as an M45 Quadmount (instead of M3 Halftrack). This allows clarity regarding the type of vehicle discussed, since the upgrade makes such a radical change to the vehicle's abilities. Another shorter nickname used (and the vehicle refers to itself this way in-game voices) is simply "The Quad".
Like all other American units, the M3 Halftrack obtains Veterancy points by killing enemy units. It receives 100% of the experience value of each unit it kills. Once it has accumulated a sufficient number of Veterancy points, it will automatically advance to the next level, gaining the related bonuses immediately.
American units do not share Veterancy points with one another. To receive points, the unit must personally kill an enemy unit.
At each Veterancy level, the M3 Halftrack gains a specific set of bonuses as listed below. These bonuses are cumulative with each other.
|Level 1 Veterancy:
|Level 2 Veterancy:
|Level 3 Veterancy:
The M3 Halftrack usually becomes available during the mid-game, or at best the early mid-game. Unless they've been spending all their resources and efforts on trying to reach the construction of a Motor Pool, it's likely that the Americans are already in command of a large number of infantry units, working to stabilize a front line and fend off enemy infiltrations into their territory. Soon enough, enemy vehicles are going to appear on the battlefield, and the Americans need reliable means to stop them.
The M3 Halftrack is one of several possible means to that end, but specifically it is one that capitalizes on the existence of infantry on the field. This is an infantry-support vehicle, and as such works best when there are plenty of infantry units to support. With two or three M3 Halftracks on the field, the existing American infantry force can stand much more firmly against enemy incursions, reinforcing during battle and quickly relocating to plug gaps in the line.
As American reliance shifts towards armored assaults, the M3 Halftrack can start carrying infantry units into battle alongside the tanks, depositing them in flanking positions or even facilitating large-scale infantry assaults by allowing reinforcement inside enemy territory.
Finally, when resources become available, the option to convert one or more M3 Halftracks into M45 Quadmounts becomes important to consider. Depending on your level of reliance on Infantry, you may wish to produce additional Halftracks just to convert the new ones to M45 Quadmounts, convert your entire fleet into Quadmounts, or make no conversions at all. This decision will influence the entire late portion of your game - or possibly the mid portion if you get the resources early enough.
Transport Halftracks - Defense Edit
The default American strategy calls for the Motor Pool to be constructed during the mid-game period, after the Barracks, Weapons Support Center and Supply Yard have been built and have produced several units. If following this strategy, you'll have a good number of infantry units already on the field by the time the M3 Halftrack becomes available. It is then very important to create at least one truck, to provide support for these units.
There are several good uses for the Transport Halftrack in this situation:
Naturally, you'll want to use it to ferry troops back and forth from your base, for purposes of healing at the Triage Center, cutting down movement times considerably.
Additionally, consider loading a "fast-response" infantry group into a Halftrack and using it to patrol your territory. Whenever enemies are detected, this Halftrack can quickly drive to the attacked area and deploy its troops around it so that they can encircle and destroy the enemy. Don't deploy everyone in a single spot - try going for a wider pattern.
Never forget that your Halftrack can also provide reinforcement for squads who've lost men in battle. This ensures that your front-line units never have to travel back to base (except for Triage Center healing, when the unit's health becomes very low despite reinforcements). Still, consider keeping at least one Forward Barracks near your front-line hotspots as backup, in case you lose your M3 Halftracks or can't bring them to the battle in time.
Transport Halftracks - Offense Edit
M3 Halftracks are also great tools to use in an offensive, when infantry are abundant, and especially when Ranger Squads are available.
Instead of using infantry for a frontal assault on the enemy, as the Americans often do, load them up into the Halftrack and drive the vehicle around the enemy position to flank it from behind. Deploy your infantry behind the enemy to create a surprise pincer attack.
For this to work, you'll need a second team engaging the enemy from the front - be they infantry or tanks - to keep the enemy from engaging the Halftrack as it makes its flanking maneuver. Remember, it's not a pincer strike unless you have two prongs!
Another useful tactic is a surprise raid-and-capture. Load your units into one or more Halftracks, and drive them straight into an enemy sector you wish to possess. Unload, begin capturing the sector, and use all units to quickly fortify the sector. You can seize land this way very rapidly, especially if you choose the right sector, and may be ready for an enemy counter-attack before it even arrives. Minefields are excellent in this type of tactic, if you know which way the enemy will come from. Keep the M3 Halftrack around to provide reinforcements to your units.
Quadmount Halftracks - Defense Edit
Your first M45 Quadmount will probably be relegated to defensive duty. As a fast vehicle with a powerful anti-infantry attack, it can easily patrol against enemy incursions into your territory.
The M45 Quadmount can easily fend off large groups of infantry all by itself, and is largely immune to small-arms fire. Even an enemy MG42 Heavy Machine Gun Team will die before it can do significant damage to the Halftrack (remember to keep your front armor directed towards them though).
Make sure not to attack anti-tank troops with a single M45 Quadmount, as it may not be able to take them out before they can destroy it. Panzer Elite Tank Buster Heavy Infantry squads are usually too small to kill a M45 Quadmount before they die, but these rarely travel on their own. To tackle these troops, use two M45 Quadmounts working in unison to surround and destroy the enemy. A pair of these Halftracks can hold up against most infantry-based attacks.
Quadmount Halftracks - Offense Edit
The M16 MGMC is a great support vehicle that can assist in any attack you make on enemy territory. It can work well with both tanks and infantry.
To assist an infantry group in such an attack, keep the M16 just behind your advancing infantry units. It can provide long-range firepower to eradicate any enemy infantry group you encounter, while your own infantry act as a meat shield. The presence of the MGMC allows these infantry units to reinforce as they fight, just like a regular M3 Halftrack does, so keep reinforcing during the battle to maintain high infantry presence. Sheer firepower will subdue your enemy in no-time. This tactic works best with anti-tank infantry, since they will do the work that the M16 cannot, killing enemy tanks.
If your primary attack force is made up of tanks, the M45 Quadmount's job is to protect the flanks of these armored units from enemy anti-tank infantry and Weapon Teams. Instead of driving together with the main assault, the M45 Quadmount skirts it to one side (or two halftracks, one to each side). If enemy flankers attempt to make a move, they will need to contend with the Quadmount and may be destroyed in the process. If the main force runs into powerful enemy infantry, the Quadmount can quickly fall into the battle, flanking the enemy infantry and rapidly destroying them to allow the tanks to advance.
Quadmount Halftracks - Early Production Edit
The Armor Company has great incentive to try and reach M3 Halftrack production earlier than normal, by creating a Motor Pool earlier in the game (either skipping the Barracks or the Weapons Support Center in the process). It will also want to upgrade the M3 Halftracks to M16 MGMCs as soon as they are produced, given the resources.
This gives the Armor Company a great anti-infantry weapon which benefits from the various vehicle bonuses this company receives, such as the ability to replace them quickly - but most importantly, the ability to capture enemy territory using M16s, as allowed by the Raid Command Upgrade.
With M16s performing land grabs this early in the game, there is little the enemy can do to stop you except accelerate his own vehicle production. Enemy infantry units will rarely be able to stand up to these Halftracks so early, and in large numbers they can keep pushing the enemy back very quickly. Of course, expect the enemy to begin fielding anti-tank weapons as soon as he can, but by the time this happens you'll already have a large share of the land thanks to your fast-moving Halftracks capturing all the territory.
As an added bonus, a few early-produced M45 Quadmounts can easily patrol and protect your territory from enemy infiltration.
If this is done correctly, you can reach a major advantage very early on. Coupled with M8 Greyhounds to defend against the enemy's mid-game vehicles, you'll be nigh unstoppable and can reach tank production surprisingly early as well.
The M3 Halftrack is a light/medium vehicle. While carrying some armor for damage reduction against small-arms and machine guns, the vehicle is not truly immune to either. The M16 MGMC can take out infantry units quickly, but often not quickly enough to completely avoid damage.
Furthermore, the M3 Halftrack is quite flimsy against enemy tank cannons and anti-tank weaponry. When these show up, take extra care to avoid getting your Halftracks destroyed.
It's recommended that you use Engineer Squads to constantly keep these vehicles in good shape. They don't have much health, so any damage they take could mean death on the next hit from a powerful gun or artillery strike.
Keep your M16 MGMCs moving as often as possible - they are much harder to hit while moving thanks to their speed, and the rapid-fire properties of the M16's turret means that it does not suffer much of a movement penalty itself.
M3 Halftrack Edit
M45 Quadmount EditWhen destroying enemy weapons, such as nebelwerfer 41. When issued with attack-move order:
When issued with Attack move order in battle: