SdKfz 251 Munitions Half-track
A Munitions Halftrack
|Role||Unarmed Logistics vehicle|
|Upkeep per Minute||-5.37|
|Produced By||Logistik Kompanie|
|Max. Speed||6.5 m/s|
The SdKfz 251 Munitions Halftrack, or Munitions Halftrack, is a medium supply vehicle fielded by the Panzer Elite in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. Although unarmed, the halftrack provides a crucial service to the Panzer Elite: making sure forward troops are supplied with the Munitions they require to use their special abilities. As a result, the Cooldown period on all Munitions-consuming ability drops dramatically, allowing those abilities to be used much more often. The Munitions Halftrack also has a secondary function, as a Mine layer.
Several Panzer Elite units rely on the use of special combat abilities. Unfortunately, many of these abilities cannot be used frequently - even if you have the Munitions to pay for them - due to long, mandated Cooldown periods. For example, Panzer Grenadiers' grenades are a relatively cheap way to tackle enemy infantry and vehicles, but there's a waiting period of 240 seconds (!) between each use. As a result, many units have to endure long periods where they just aren't as useful, since all of their special abilities are recharging.
In comes the SdkFz 251 Munitions Halftrack. The primary purpose of this vehicle is to follow other units around the map, causing the Cooldown timers on their abilities to run significantly faster. The affected abilities recharge almost instantaneously, allowing those units to use them over and over - as often as you can pay for them.
The Munitions Halftrack is produced at a Logistik Kompanie base structure. It costs 200, 2 - which makes it the second cheapest vehicle in the game after the Kettenkrad. The Halftrack is a long armored truck, with two wheels at the front and a set of tracks at the back. Its rear open-top flatbed is covered with a large cloth sheet, concealing crates upon crates of ammunition, shells and grenades.
Although it has an MG42 Light Machine Gun hanging forlorn at the rear of the vehicle, the Munitions Halftrack has no room for a gunner, and hence lacks any offensive or defensive capabilities. Its armor, however, is sufficiently thick to withstand most small-arms fire. This protection is necessary, because the Munitions Halftrack must often go along with the Panzer Elite assault units right into the middle of battle.
The primary ability of the Munitions Halftrack, the shortening of Ability Cooldown Periods, is constantly in effect within a radius of 20 meters around the vehicle. It only affects those abilities that require Munitions to activate - other abilities are not affected. The timer shortening is quite extreme: the final cooldown period is only 2% as long as normal! This cuts down the waiting period between uses of an infantry-thrown Incendiary Grenade from 240 seconds to just 4.8 seconds.
To make sure it stays close to the units it is supplying, the Munitions Halftrack can be told to Maintain Support Range of a unit. The halftrack will attempt to stay about 10 meters from the target unit at any given time.
Additionally, the Munitions Halftrack can also lay mines. This seemingly-unrelated ability nonetheless gives the halftrack something active to do during battles, and can also be used during downtime periods to protect your precious Strategic Points.
The Munitions Halftrack is an unarmed vehicle. Although there is an MG42 LMG mounted at the back of the vehicle, there is not enough room for a gunner. No upgrade or ability will add a weapon to this vehicle.
The only pseudo-defensive weaponry this vehicle can employ is to plant Mines. These can be used in a pinch to prevent the vehicle from being pursued - though if it needs to run away it is probably too late to stop and lay mines.
Munitions Supply Area Edit
The primary function of the Munitions Halftrack is to radiate an effect called the "Supply Bonus". This bonus is applied to any unit within a 20-meter radius of the Munitions Halftrack, presuming that unit has a special ability that is activated with payment in Munitions.
While a unit is within the radius of the effect, its Munition-powered ability (or abilities) will "Cool Down" (recharge) at an extremely fast rate, allowing that ability to be used over and over in rapid succession - provided the player has enough Munitions to pay for each subsequent use. The repeated use of an ability is called "spamming the ability".
Typically, the abilities affected by the Supply Bonus have a very long Cooldown period, taking as much as 4 minutes(!) before they can be used again. The Supply Bonus then reduces the recharge time to 2% (!) of its original length, turning a 4-minute cooldown period into a 5-second cooldown period.
The unit receiving this bonus doesn't need to be inside the aura when first activating its combat abilities, nor does it have to stay inside the aura until the ability is fully recharged. The unit simply has to be inside the aura for a short moment to "trigger" this effect, at which point it can move away and still enjoy the shorter cooldown. However, once it has left the aura radius, any further use of the same ability will require the normal (long) recharge period. Only units remaining inside the aura can "spam" continuously. Others would have to return each time they use their combat ability to apply the shortening effect again.
It is important to remember that not every combat ability is affected by the Supply Bonus: for example, the Munitions Halftrack will not increase the fire rate of a tank cannon or anti-tank gun. Only combat abilities that require activation paid for with Munitions are eligible for the Supply Bonus effect. There are 10 of these abilities available to the various Panzer Elite units:
|Unit Type||Ability||Original Cooldown||Shortened Cooldown|
|Panzer Grenadiers and derivative units||Throw Incendiary Grenade||240 seconds||4.8 seconds|
|Throw Anti Tank Grenade||240 seconds||4.8 seconds|
|Throw Two Anti Tank Grenades||240 seconds||4.8 seconds|
|Suppressive Volley Fire||240 seconds||4.8 seconds|
|Fallschirmjäger Squad||Anti-Building Incendiary Device||240 seconds||4.8 seconds|
|Fire Panzerfaust||20 seconds||0.4 seconds|
|Mortar Halftrack||Incendiary Mortar Round||120 seconds||2.4 seconds|
|Light AT Halftrack||Tread Breaker||240 seconds||4.8 seconds|
|Focused Firing||240 seconds||4.8 seconds|
|Funkwagen Vampire Halftrack||Goliath Drop||90 seconds||9 seconds*|
- The Goliath Drop only shortens to 10% of its original cooldown. This is still pretty quick, considering the potential strength of a Goliath Tracked Mine...
With most of the above abilities, the cooldown period takes longer than the time it takes for the ability to run its course, hence the player actually experiences no cooldown at all.
Note that the Munitions Halftrack's own Munition-cost ability, Munitions Halftrack Mine Drop, is not affected by this aura. Fortunately, this ability already has a very short cooldown period which is only slightly longer than the time it takes to deploy the mine.
The Munitions Halftrack has only two manually-activated abilities to use: The ability to follow another unit closely (called Maintain Supply Range), and the ability to deploy Mines.
Maintain Supply Range Edit
- Costs nothing
- Activation: Select any Panzer-Elite Unit (except Munitions Halftracks)
- Duration: Until another order is received or the target unit is destroyed
- Cooldown: None
When Maintain Supply Range is activated, select any other Panzer Elite unit that is not a Munitions Halftrack. Your halftrack will move to within 10-15 meters of that unit, and from there on in will attempt to stay no more than 10-15 meters away from it at all times.
This ensures that the target unit constantly receives the Supply Bonus to shorten the cooldown on its Munitions-powered abilities (assuming it has any). This is particularly useful if the target unit is a member of a group of units with munitions-powered abilities, in which case they will all receive the bonus as long as the Halftrack is close enough.
This order is permanent as long as the target unit remains alive. However, any order given to the Halftrack, whether to move somewhere or deploy a mine, will break the Maintain Supply Range order. Also, you can issue a new Maintain Supply Range order at any time to override the old one.
Munitions Halftrack Mine Drop Edit
When this ability is activated, select a point on the ground anywhere on the map. The Munitions Halftrack will drive to that point, then bury a single set of Mines underneath the ground there. The process takes 8 seconds to complete.
The mines deployed by this ability are the same mines planted by the various engineering units in the game. They detonate whenever any enemy unit comes within 4 meters of them. The explosion causes 100 points of damage to anything within 8 meters, and has an increased chance to damage or destroy enemy vehicle engines.
Plant these mines along roads you expect the enemy to take, especially roads leading up to your own sector points. You can plant mines around sector points themselves to kill any infantry coming to grab the territory.
Like all other Panzer Elite units, the Munitions Halftrack 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 Munitions Halftrack's Veterancy Accumulation and Veternacy Bonuses work a little differently from other units.
Like all other Panzer Elite units, the Munitions Halftrack 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 Munitions Halftrack 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 Munitions Halftrack. This gives the Munitions Halftrack a slow progression of Veterancy, and requires it to stay close to attacking units to get the experience off their kills.
For each level of Veterancy it acquires, the Munitions Halftrack 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.
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|
As a whole, the Panzer Elite army is much lighter compared to other armies. Its vehicles and infantry are often outmatched by opposing units, and therefore must punch above their weight to win any engagement. Most of the extra strength comes from the use of powerful abilities that increase damage output in various ways, but unfortunately many of these abilities take ages to recharge after every use. This results in units having to either go into battle without their special abilities, or wait for very long periods of time before attempting another attack.
The SdKfz 251 Munitions Halftrack is used to alleviate that problem, by accompanying the troops and making sure their abilities recharge much more often. Therefore, any attacking Panzer Elite force should be escorted by one of these - especially large infantry groups. Alternately, Munitions Halftracks can be placed at key points close to the front lines, where forces that have just completed a major offensive can briefly retreat to, in order to replenish their abilities for a second attack.
There really is little need to produce a Munitions Halftrack early in the game, because there would be very few abilities available at this stage that could benefit from the halftrack's Supply Bonus. The need to field a Munitions Halftrack will slowly become apparent as the Panzer Grenadiers acquire more Munitions-activated abilities, and units like the Light AT Halftrack are fielded. With a Munitions Halftrack to escort these units, their combat potential increases considerably.
Again, remember that units don't have to be inside the bonus radius all the time - they can retreat to the Halftrack after using their abilities, come just close enough to trigger the recharge bonus, then rush right back into combat. This lends itself to the "attack waves" tactics often exercised by Panzer Elites, where units "rotate" during battle, with some holding the enemy off while others retreat a short distance to recharge and replenish losses, before rushing right back into the battle.
The Munitions Halftrack carries enough armor to protect itself from small-arms fire. Most bullets cannot penetrate this armor reliably, though some bullets will definitely go through. However, every other weapon in the game is a serious threat to the Munitions Halftrack - anything from artillery or mortar fire to tank guns and anti-tank weaponry.
Therefore, it's always important to keep the Munitions Halftrack as far behind an attacking force as possible, to avoid it being targeted and destroyed by the enemy. If a Munitions Halftrack is directly assaulted by an enemy unit, retreat at once toward a friendly position, or you might lose the halftrack very quickly.
Sd.Kfz.251 Half-track on Wikipedia