The Panzer Elite Panzer-Support Kommand Structure
|Role||Heavy Support Vehicle Production Structure|
|Unit Cost||220, 30|
|Prereq.||Either Logistik Kompanie or Kampfgruppe Kompanie already constructed|
Assault Grenadier Heavy Infantry,
Tank Buster Heavy Infantry
|Production XP||+21 xp|
The Panzer-Support Kommand is a Panzer Elite base structure featured in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. It produces three of the Panzer Elite core vehicles that can only be described as surprising: A Light AT Halftrack that provides extremely-accurate cannon-fire, a Panzer IV Infantry Support Tank that fires high-explosive (rather than armor-penetrating) shells, and a Bergetiger Repair and Recovery Vehicle that is basically a Tiger tank stripped of weapons and turned into a support vehicle.
The Panzer-Support Kommand is a production center built by the Panzer Elite. It can field three different combat units. All three units are unconventional designs, using a basic familiar vehicle chasis to mount an unexpected weapon or special equipment otherwise found on completely different vehicles. These three units serve as heavy support for all Panzer Elite operations, filling in gaps in the abilities of other units.
The option to build a Panzer-Support Kommand only becomes available once you've built at least one Logistik Kompanie or Kampfgruppe Kompanie. The structure is constructed by basic Panzer Elite Infantry, including the Panzer Grenadiers, Tank Buster Heavy Infantry and Assault Grenadier Heavy Infantry, for the price of 220, 30. It must be placed within your HQ Territory. More than one Panzer-Support Kommand can exist at the same time, provided you have the resources and available space required to do so.
The units produced by the Panzer-Support Kommand are all unusual for their respective classes. First is a Light AT Halftrack, a light vehicle that is equipped with an extremely-accurate cannon that can spine down both enemy vehicles and infantry with ease. Next is the Bergetiger Repair and Recovery Vehicle, a Tiger tank that has lost its main cannon in favour of equipment that enables it to repair over vehicles and even restore destroyed ones into active service. Finally, this structure can produce the Panzer IV Infantry Support Tank, a Panzer IV with a short cannon firing high-explosive shells for anti-infantry operations.
Two Global Upgrades are also available through this structure, including the Support Kommand Upgrade which allows construction of the Panzer IV Infantry Support Tank, and the Veteran Sergeant upgrade which passively improves all basic Panzer Elite Infantry squads.
Finally, the Panzer-Support Kommand can reinforce any nearby Axis infantry units within a 25-meter radius of itself.
Although the units it produces are "funny" in that they don't conform to the normal designs of Axis vehicles, all three are nonetheless exceptionally useful in support of other units. They are designed to augment the overall strength of the Panzer Elite army by providing abilities largely lacking in other units, especially anti-infantry and logistical work.
The Panzer-Support Kommand produces three very unique units carrying atypical weaponry. The Light AT Halftrack and Panzer IV Infantry Support Tank are general-purpose units, capable of tackling a wide variety of threats - with the surprise element that the halftrack is useful primarily against tanks, while the tank is useful primarily against infantry. The third unit may be the most bizarre: the Bergetiger Repair and Recovery Vehicle is a fearsome Tiger Tank... with no primary cannon! Instead, it repairs damaged vehicles and structures, and can even bring a vehicle "back to life" after it has been destroyed.
This is an SdKfz 250 open-top halftrack that has been fitted with a small-but-powerful 37mm PAK-35 cannon. While lacking the Penetration to go through a tank's front armor, this weapon is quite powerful against all light and medium vehicles. However, this weapon's most surprising quality is its accuracy, which has lead it to be named the "Sniper Halftrack".
The vehicle can use an ability called Focused Firing, which slows down its reloads and movement speed, but makes it so accurate that it can reliably snipe off enemy infantry at significant ranges (up to 45 meters) with each shot. The accuracy bonus of course applies against moving vehicles as well, meaning that nothing can escape the AT Halftrack's fire when this ability is active.
It is also possible to use the Tread Breaker ability to deliver one precise shot into an enemy vehicle's engine block, destroying the engine or taking out its wheels or tracks. It may even destroy a damaged vehicle outright, regardless of how heavy it is.
This vehicle is used primarily for flanking maneuvers against enemy tanks, though it is too fragile to actually go toe-to-toe with such vehicles. In large numbers they can overwhelm and destroy a tank, but more often are used in support of other vehicles like the Marder III Tank Hunter, infantry, or other Panzer Elite direct weapons.
This unique vehicle is a true oddity: a Tiger tank whose main cannon has been stripped off in favor of a large crane winch. As a result, this vehicle is used to repair other vehicles, but possesses the utterly unique ability of being able to fully restore wrecked vehicles to operational status.
The Bergetiger can drive up to any wrecked Axis vehicle found on the map, and begin restoring it. Restoration heals 10 points of damage per second, and is completed only when the wrecked vehicle is fully repaired, at which point it will turn into a regular vehicle. Only Panzer Elite and Wehrmacht vehicles can be recovered, but note that Wehrmacht vehicles may return to their original owner's control instead of your own...
Furthermore, the Bergetiger may perform Advanced Repair on any vehicle or structure. This ability is actually not the same as the one available to Panzer Grenadiers and Kettenkrads - it is significantly faster. The Bergetiger can repair 10 points of damage per second, making it the best repair unit in the game.
Naturally, thanks to the Tiger chasis it is installed up, the Bergetiger is quite resistant to all forms of damage - except when repairing, when it receives triple damage from all sources. Nonetheless for a repair unit it is quite survivable, allowing it to perform repairs or recovery in the middle of combat!
As the name suggests, the Panzer IV Infantry Support Tank is in essence a Panzer IV tank. However, its main cannon is the original Panzer IV KwK 37 cannon, which fires high-explosive shells instead of armor-piercing rounds. As a result, this tank is much more suitable for attacking infantry units and other soft targets than it is at attacking other tanks.
To enhance its anti-infantry capabilities further, this tank can be upgraded with an extra MG42 machine gun on the turret, and outfitted with Armor Skirts to protect it against flank attacks by anti-tank infantry.
The tank can also be "sited", trading its mobility for a highly-increased firing rate. It has to remain stationary, but can rapidly bombard enemy infantry or vehicles with its explosive shells, leaving little alive in the aftermath.
Unfortunately, all this means that the tank is not very useful against enemy tanks. In a face-to-face confrontation with enemy armor, the Panzer IV Infantry Support Tank will lose every time, due to its inability to penetrate front armor. It does stand some chance of penetrating rear armor, but not reliably. Of course, since it is a tank, the Panzer IV Infantry Support Tank can be used to draw enemy tank-fire while other less-armored Panzer Elite units, like the Marder III Tank Hunter, move around the enemy and attack his weaker side or rear armor.
The only manually-activated ability of the Panzer-Support Kommand building is the ability to reinforce infantry units in its vicinity.
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 Panzer-Support Kommand can replenish lost men for a specific cost and duration determined by the type of unit being reinforced.
Note that the Panzer-Support Kommand does not heal wounded infantry.
The Panzer-Support Kommand allows purchase of two Global Upgrades: Support Kommand Upgrade and Veteran Sergeant. The first is little more than a requirement for unlocking Panzer IV Infantry Support Tank production (though it does have one other benefit not discussed here). The second is a flat, passive bonus applied to all basic Panzer Elite Infantry squads.
Support Kommand Upgrade Edit
This Global Upgrade is really just a way for the game to delay construction of Panzer IV Infantry Support Tanks, since unlocking their production is all it really does. You won't be able to produce this anti-infantry tank without it.
Also note that the Support Kommand Upgrade is one of three required components to unlock the Activate Panther Battlegroup Global Upgrade at the Panzer Elite Headquarters.
Veteran Sergeant Edit
Once the Veteran Sergeant Global Upgrade is installed, all existing and future Panzer Grenadier squads and their variants receive the following bonuses:
- A 25% decrease in received Suppression from all sources.
- A 25% increase in the rate at which the squad attains Veterancy.
These bonuses are exceptionally important for an infantry-heavy Panzer Elite force, as they make infantry both more survivable and more easily replaceable at the same time. Coupled with other infantry-based upgrades, this is one more step towards turning the Panzer Grenadiers from small, weak units into a force to be reckoned with.
The following squads receive the benefit of a Veteran Sergeant:
After constructing a Logistik Kompanie or Kampfgruppe Kompanie, the Panzer Elite player gets the option to build either a Panzer-Jäger Kommand or Panzer-Support Kommand to produce his mid-level forces. The decision which structure to build is based mainly on the player's style, as well as the requirements posed by the current strategic situation at the time.
The Panzer-Jäger Kommand produces three units that specialize in destroying particular types of enemies. Contrast this with the Panzer-Support Kommand, which produces the Light AT Halftrack and Panzer IV Infantry Support Tank, both of which are generally useful against multiple types of enemies, and are often best used in support of other units rather than as an offensive force of their own. For this reason, many players put off the creation of a Panzer-Support Kommand until the Panzer Elite army has taken a more solid shape and actually requires those units' support capabilities.
Early on, the Light AT Halftrack can provide serious firepower against both enemy vehicles and infantry, filling in any gap that other available units cannot cover. It can join other units in assaults, or can drive around and seek targets on its own - though it will quickly be wiped out by enemy anti-tank units or heavy vehicles if you are not careful.
Later, both the Panzer IV Infantry Support Tank and Bergetiger Repair and Recovery Vehicle can become essential to Panzer Elite operations. The Panzer IV can soak damage from enemy weapons while other units flank to destroy them. The Bergetiger is exceptionally useful for vehicle-heavy Panzer Elite armies, where it can quickly and easily restore damaged vehicles for virtually no cost, and repair damaged vehicles very rapidly.
Early Production Edit
With the Panzer-Support Kommand built up and ready, you can start producing Light AT Halftracks for a relatively low cost to provide a good defensive measure against enemy light vehicles and infantry. This can serve as an alternative to the SdKfz 222 Armored Car, since both units are excellent against infantry and vehicles alike. Nonetheless, the Light AT Halftrack's main weapon is significantly more useful against vehicles, though the flimsy halftrack it is installed on means that you need to constantly perform flanking maneuvers and avoid face-to-face confrontations.
Early production of the Bergetiger Repair and Recovery Vehicle may be difficult due to its high cost (especially the large Population Cap requirement), but can be very profitable in the long run. Instead of producing more and more vehicles as they get destroyed by the enemy, the judicial use of the Bergetiger can allow you to keep restoring the destroyed vehicles back to full service with minimal resource consumption. Furthermore, it offers a unit that can repair damaged vehicles very quickly, returning them to the fight with minimal down-time. Remember that the Bergetiger is very tough, and a single one can last you an entire mission if you protect it properly. If possible, get two - so they can repair each other.
Late Production Edit
Once the Panzer IV Infantry Support Tank becomes available, you may want to produce several of these. By this time, the enemy should be fielding medium tanks, meaning that you'll need something that can soak up the damage these tanks can put out. Most Panzer Elite units are light and cannot withstand an enemy tank in face-to-face combat, so a Panzer IV is a good choice as a meat-shield. Place it at the head of your advancing assault forces, and use other units like Marder III Tank Hunters or Tank Buster Heavy Infantry to flank enemy tanks and destroy them from the rear.
If your forces rely primarily on vehicle warfare, you may want to field at least two Bergetiger Repair and Recovery Vehicles by the mid-late game. With two of these vehicles you can provide logistical support over a larger territory, and can restore damaged or destroyed vehicles at a greater speed. Additionally, whenever either of the two Bergetigers becomes sufficiently damaged, the other Bergetiger can quickly repair it! Remember of course that these tanks have a very high cost in Population Cap points.
Global Upgrades Edit
As mentioned above, the first available upgrade (Support Kommand Upgrade) is little more than a way to delay the production of the Panzer IV Infantry Support Tank, and so can be skipped until such time that you actually need these units to tackle enemy tanks or large infantry groups.
The second Global Upgrade, Veteran Sergeant, is important primarily for a Panzer Elite army focusing on infantry tactics. It gives a much-needed upgrade of efficiency to Panzer Grenadier squads, reducing the danger of suppression from enemy weapons and allowing those squads to charge in at machine guns and emplacements. Furthermore, it eases the need to keep infantry units alive (which is difficult due to their small size), because new replacement units can achieve Veterancy levels much faster.
As with all base structures, the primary vulnerability of the Panzer-Support Kommand is that it is stationary, and thus a good target for enemy artillery bombardments. Make sure to keep your base structures as spread out as possible, to avoid losing several of them to a single artillery strike.
Keep an engineering unit nearby (but not too close) to repair the structure as necessary when such attacks occur.