SdKfz 138 Ausf. M Marder III Tank Hunter
The Marder III Tank Hunter
|Upkeep per Minute||-10.94|
|Prereq.||Panzer-Jäger Kommand: Jager Kommand Upgrade|
|Produced By||Panzer-Jager Kommand|
|Primary armament||7.5 cm PaK 40 Anti-Tank Cannon|
|Max. Speed||6 m/s|
The SdKfz 138 Ausf. M Marder III Tank Hunter, or Marder III, is an anti-tank vehicle fielded by the Panzer Elite in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. Based on Panzer Elite principles of brutal offense at the cost of defense, the vehicle is lightly-armored, but fitted with a huge 7.5cm Pak 40 Anti-Tank Cannon that delivers a heavy punch. It can also trade its mobility for extra bonuses, allowing it to be used defensively or simply augment its offensive capabilities.
The Marder III Tank Hunter is the epitome of the Panzer Elite's entire tactical doctrine. A very powerful gun mounted on a light chassis, it can move around the field to supply very heavy firepower against almost any manner of enemy unit. Though fragile, this mobile cannon is often used to attack the enemy from beyond even their own sight-range.
The Marder III can be produced at the Panzer-Jäger Kommand structure, for the cost of 300, 40, 5, making it one of the few "expensive" Panzer Elite units (though still cheap compared to how much a similar unit would cost the Allies). Before production can commence, you must first purchase the Jäger Kommand Upgrade.
The Marder III is built on the chassis of a Panzer 38(t) tank, an older light-tank that was rendered obsolete by the heavier Panzer IV. On top of this chassis is an armour-enclosed box that serves as a mounting for a massive 7.5 cm PaK 40 Anti-Tank Cannon. This Anti-Tank Cannon is the Marder III's primary and only weapon, but it is one of the most powerful anti-tank guns in the game. Although it lacks the Penetration required to reliably pierce the front armor of an M26 Pershing, the damage it delivers if it does manage to get through is considerably higher than that of any other anti-tank gun.
Thanks to reduced armor and weight, the Marder III is a reasonably fast vehicle, coming close in speed to an Infantry Halftrack and other mid-light vehicles. It is somewhat faster than most medium tanks. However, it can trade this speed away by Siting the Main Gun, rendering itself immobile but gaining rapid-fire abilities and other offensive bonuses. Unfortunately, reduced armor also means that the Marder III is relatively fragile, and cannot last long in a face-to-face confrontation with heavy targets.
During combat, the Marder III is often used to flank enemy tanks and destroy them from the side or rear. In open-terrain combat, the Marder III can even be "sited" in its flanking position, raining fire on the enemy. In some situations, it can even attack the enemy from the front and come out victorious. It is also possible to use the Marder III as a sniper tank, siting it close to enemy lines and using the extended vision range to scout out enemy positions and blow them away with the main gun. The same method can also be used defensively, to stave off enemy attacks. While sited, the Marder III needs protection from anti-infantry units, since it can do little against anti-tank infantry coming to destroy it.
The Marder III is outfitted with a single weapon - the 7.5 cm PaK 40 Anti-Tank Gun.
7.5 cm PaK 40 Anti-Tank Gun Edit
This is one of the most powerful cannons available in the entire game. Although it lacks the accuracy and Penetration of larger guns like the British 17 Pounder AT Gun or Sherman Firefly, the PaK 40 can deliver significantly more damage if it does manage to get through armor.
Each 7.5 cm (75mm) shell that hits its target inflicts 150 points of damage. This is increased to 187 points of damage to enemy tanks, and 225 to some enemy light vehicles. For some reason, damage to Stuart Light Tanks and M8 Greyhounds is reduced to only 112 points.
The Penetration value of the shells is sufficient to go through front armor on most light and medium tanks, though only about 1 in every 2 shells will penetrate the front armor on an M4 Sherman or Churchill Tank. However, the PaK 40 will reliably penetrate rear armor on any vehicle, including the M26 Pershing. Also note that when a PaK 40 shell fails to penetrate its target, it will still deliver 35% of its damage potential - usually 65 points of damage!
These shells are armor-piercing, and so do not have any real explosive radius - they'll only damage what they actually hit. While a single shot can kill an infantryman, the gun will only hit infantry 20% of the time.
The range of the PaK 40 is one of its greatest attributes. It can hit targets up to 60 meters away, almost twice beyond sight-range. With a spotter unit forward of the Marder III, it can snipe enemy targets at such great ranges that they cannot fire back without closing the distance first.
The Marder III has a single manually-activated ability: Site Main Gun. It is used to trade the vehicle's mobility for increased firepower and sight-range.
Site Main Gun Edit
- Costs nothing.
- Activation: Immediate.
- Duration: Permanent until deactivated.
- Cooldown: 10 seconds (activation) / 3 seconds (deactivation)
When the Site Main Gun ability is activated, the Marder III will stop cold where it is, and a white outline will appear around the tank. The vehicle's crew will abandon their original assignments, and assist with the targeting and firing of the vehicle's main weapon.
As a result, the Marder III Tank Hunter receives the following bonuses:
- +10% to the main gun's damage
- +35% to the main gun's Penetration values
- A 25% reduction in reload times for the main gun.
- +20 meters to sight-range.
Thanks to the sight-range bonus, the Marder III can now engage targets at 55 meters: almost the maximum range of its cannon. This is usually far beyond the ability of enemy targets to retaliate, since most units only have a sight range of 35 meters.
However, while it is in this mode, the Marder III cannot move from its current position. It can turn around (very important since it has no rotating turret) but cannot move forwards or backwards at all. Therefore it is an easy target for artillery strikes and flanking maneuvers, which is why it should always be protected by another unit while in Site Main Gun mode.
To disable this mode and regain the vehicle's mobility, simply click the ability button again. The Marder III will lose the bonuses and be able to move within 3 seconds.
Like all other Panzer Elite units, the Marder III 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 Marder III Tank Hunter 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 Marder III 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 Marder III receives 50% of the experience value of kills made by other Panzer Elite units within 35 meters.
Every time the Marder III 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.
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.
Selecting Veterancy bonuses for the Marder III is tricky, because while the vehicle is fragile and could use Defensive bonuses, increasing its firepower can easily ensure that its enemies don't get the chance to destroy it.
In either case, like most other Panzer Elite vehicles, it's usually best to at least take the first level in Defensive Bonuses, because it has the most effect, and increases the vehicle's chance to reach higher veterancy levels alive. Beyond that, it is a matter of personal preference, depending on what kinds of uses this Marder III unit should expect to serve.
As with many Panzer Elite vehicle tactics, the combat use of the Marder III requires cunning and finesse. It won't survive long in a face-to-face confrontation with its primary prey (enemy medium vehicles and tanks), so it must instead rely on long-range fire, ambush, and flanking maneuvers.
The PaK 40 cannon lends a great deal of help in this matter, because it has a massive range of 60 meters; 25 meters beyond the vehicle's own sight-range. With proper forward spotting, the Marder III can snipe enemy tanks and defensive fortifications from a safe distance, making it one of the few "defensive" weapons available to the Panzer Elite. When "Sited", the gun also gains its own sight-range bonus and a significant increase in firing rate and power, making it almost akin to an anti-tank emplacement.
Like other Tank Destroyers, the Marder III can be used for flanking maneuvers during an attack - charging up the flanks to take a position behind enemy vehicles and destroy them. This is slightly more dangerous to do with a Marder than with an M10 Tank Destroyer or Sherman Firefly, because the Marder's armor is significantly weaker, and it will be knocked out if the enemy reacts quickly to your flanking move.
For the same reason, pitting the Marder III against a tank in face-to-face combat can be very dangerous. The Marder would need to be properly "Sited" and by lucky enough to get through the enemy's front armor often enough to kill it first. Even then, expect the Marder to be seriously damaged when the exchange of shells is done.
Overall, it is usually best to just keep the Marder III further back from the battle-zone, so it can use its massive range to snipe at enemy units from safety. Several Marders following behind an attacking force can quickly destroy any vehicles that force encounters.
Defensive Group Edit
As mentioned above, the Marder III Tank Hunter's weapon range allows it to behave like an anti-tank emplacement, destroying any enemy vehicle coming even remotely close to its position.
When paired with a Panzer IV Infantry Support Tank, the two vehicles can "Site" themselves in close proximity, thus providing both anti-tank and anti-infantry fire around a given area. This effectively creates a defensive position using two vehicles. Although this combination is expensive ( 18 to maintain both vehicles), the two vehicles can fend off attacks on your territory while you are preparing your next offensive operation.
Just remember that these two tanks will present a very lucrative target for enemy artillery, and neither vehicle would survive that for very long. Do not rely on Marder III/Panzer IV defensive groups - your army is not built for defensive operations to begin with.
Like most tank destroyers, the Marder III trades armor for speed and firepower, making it a lightly armored panzer. Unfortunately, so much armor has been traded away that the Marder can be damaged by just about every weapon, even standard infantry rifles or machine-guns. It is especially susceptible to Machine Gun teams using Armored Piercing Rounds.
Worse still, the Marder has no secondary weapon to defend itself against infantry, and its cannon cannot traverse to engage units on its flanks. Therefore it is always important to keep a Marder protected by a second unit – preferably a squad of Panzer Grenadiers, which can engage attacking enemy infantry and repair the Marder when necessary.
Artillery is another significant danger, especially when the gun is sited and cannot easily get away. The enemy will eventually learn to use artillery on your Marders if you do a lot of long-range sniping at his units and defenses, so learn to move the Marder around every now and then to avoid such situations.
Finally, if an enemy tank-hunter appears, the Marder should flee. It is likely to lose a one-on-one match due to its inferior armor and health values.
- "Marder III ready for service."
- "Stop here and start stacking shells."