U.S. Army Ranger Squad
A Ranger Squad equipped with various weapons
|Role||Elite Heavy Infantry|
|Men per Squad||6|
|Upkeep per Minute||
-2.88 (per man)|
-17,28 (full squad)
|Prereq.||Infantry Company: Rangers|
|Produced By||None; Called-in from the field.|
|Cost to Reinforce||
|Health per Man||65|
2x M9 Bazooka Anti-Tank Launcher|
3x M1 Garand Rifle
1x M1 Carbine Rifle
|Open Weapon Slots||4|
|Max. Speed||3 m/s|
The Ranger Squad is a 6-man elite heavy-infantry unit fielded by the American Infantry Company in Company of Heroes. The strength of the unit comes primarily from its equipment: It carries two M9 Bazooka anti-tank launchers on creation, and can then be further upgraded with M1 Thompson SMGs to add powerful close-combat anti-infantry capabilities; it is the only squad in the game which carries both dedicated anti-tank and anti-infantry weapons by default. The unit also has two useful combat abilities, and is significantly more survivable than other infantry units.
The American Infantry Company augments infantry-based warfare in several ways, but perhaps the most significant one is the introduction of the Ranger Squad. This elite squad is initially a powerful anti-tank infantry unit, but can be transformed into one of the best infantry squads in the entire game - owing mostly to its superior equipment and terrific defensive bonuses.
The Ranger Squad is called in to the field using the Call in Rangers ability, which is unlocked when the Rangers Command Upgrade is purchased from the Infantry Company Command Tree. Each use of this ability costs 400, 6, making this a very expensive unit in American terms (compare it to the 6-man Riflemen Squad, costing only 270). You must select a destination rally point for the unit; it will automatically travel there upon entering the battlefield.
The most obvious strength of the Ranger Squad when it first enters the field is its equipment. Two of the men are equipped by default with M9 Bazooka Anti-Tank Launchers. These powerful weapons are very dangerous to enemy tanks and other vehicles, especially when firing at a target's rear armor from close range. The remaining 4 squad members are armed with 3 M1 Garand rifles and 1 M1 Carbine Rifle, all useful for long-range combat against enemy infantry units.
Although the Ranger Squad can pick up a wide array of other weapons, it can alternatively be upgraded with a set of 4 M1 Thompson SMGs - powerful close-range weapons which can be used to wipe an entire enemy infantry squad within seconds. This gives the Ranger Squad the unique combination of anti-infantry and anti-tank capabilities, making it one of the most versatile, and most dangerous infantry units on the field.
The squad's combat abilities are equally useful. With the Mk2 Grenades Global Upgrade purchased at the Barracks, the unit can throw a single fragmentation grenade to kill massed enemy infantry - especially enemy Weapon Teams - with little effort. The Fire-Up ability, available by default, allows this unit to completely ignore all Suppression effects for a short duration, enabling it to run straight into enemy enfilading fire to grenade the source of that fire or just wipe it out with the Thompson SMGs if those are available.
In addition to all this, the unit is classified as "Riflemen Elite Infantry", which in game terms translates into being harder to hit with almost any weapon. Couple this with 65 per man ( 10 more than Riflemen), and you get a unit that just won't die even under heavy fire.
Finally, like most other infantry units, the Ranger Squad can capture Strategic Points. They do so 25% faster than the normal capture rate - not as fast as Riflemen, but faster than most other capture units.
The only real drawback is the unit's reinforcement cost. Each fallen Ranger costs 45 to replace, a hefty sum compared to other American infantry units. Nonetheless, when this unit is used properly, casualties are usually minimal at worst.
Thanks to their versatility, survivability and self-sufficiency, Ranger Squads are quite capable of holding their own in most one-on-one combat situations. In large groups, however, these units are nigh unstoppable by anything except high explosive munitions or specialized anti-infantry weapons. Ranger Squads also work well with pretty much any American vehicle, preferring to flank the enemy target while another unit keeps it busy, and then going in for a rapid kill.
The Ranger Squad has a widely varied and interesting weapon loadout. It is initially armed with no less than three different types of weapons:
- 2x M9 Bazooka Anti-Tank Launchers, inaccurate but deadly weapons used against enemy vehicles.
- 3x M1 Garand Semi-Automatic Rifles, for long- and medium-range fire against enemy infantry.
- 1x M1 Carbine Semi-Automatic Rifle, slightly faster than the M1 Garand and better at medium-range encounters.
Like most infantry units, the Ranger Squad can pick up abandoned weapons from the battlefield to fill up its 4 Open Weapon Slots, or man an abandoned Team Weapon.
Alternatively, it is possible to equip the unit with up to 4 M1 Thompson Sub-Machine Guns (depending on how many Open Weapon Slots it has at the time). These are powerful close-range weapons that can kill infantry very rapidly. They replace the M1 Garands and/or M1 Carbine, trading in mediocre long-range capabilities for excellent close-range capabilities.
M9 Bazooka Edit
The M9 Bazooka is a shoulder-fired anti-tank launcher, and the trademark of the Ranger Squad. Firing a medium-caliber high-explosive warhead, this inaccurate weapon is nonetheless quite dangerous to enemy armor when fired from a proper flanking position.
The M9 Bazooka warhead delivers a punch of 75 damage points to enemy targets. The damage is delivered primarily to whatever target is directly hit by the warhead. This damage output is increased when hitting most Axis vehicles, especially tanks. A Panzer IV, for instance, will suffer 120 damage points per hit.
Penetration values against front armor are sadly lacking (45% to pierce a Panzer IV's front armor), which means that this weapon should always be used against a target's rear armor if possible. If a flanking position is achieved, penetration is practically guaranteed against any Axis vehicle. The warhead only delivers 15% of its final damage potential if it is deflected.
Accuracy is another problem for this weapon. At a range of 17 meters, the weapon only has a 60% basic chance of hitting its target. This dramatically increases as you get closer, giving 100% base hit chance at 8 meters. As a result, the Ranger Squad often has to get very close to its target to make every shot count. As with all anti-tank weapons, accuracy against infantry units is abysmal, and it is unlikely to hit enemy infantry even at very close range.
Finally, this weapon takes about 8 seconds to reload after every shot. With two weapons in the squad, this still means one shot per every 4 seconds, a generally good firing rate. Again, you'll want to get close and behind the target to make every shot count.
The maximum range of this weapon is 35 meters - the unit's own sight-range. Do not attempt to attack a target at this range though - the M9 Bazooka is terribly inaccurate at this distance, even against large targets.
Note: When an infantryman holding an M9 Bazooka is killed, and there is no other squad-member available to pick the weapon up, there is a 25% chance of the weapon being dropped and becoming abandoned. Other infantry squads (friendly or enemy) can pick this weapon up if they have at least 1 Open Weapon Slot.
.30 Cal M1 Garand Edit
The .30 Cal M1 Garand is a fairly standard semi-automatic weapon. A basic Ranger Squad carries 3 of these rifles.
This slow-firing weapon is designed to kill infantry at relatively close ranges: about 10–20 meters, where accuracy is still somewhat lacking. Each shot hitting the target delivers 10 points of damage, so it would take about 6-7 hits to kill an enemy infantryman. The firing rate of this weapon leaves something to be desired, with ~2.5 seconds between each bullet.
When compared to the standard Axis combat rifle, the Kar 98k, the M1 Garand is almost identical - except for the significantly lower rate of fire, odd because the Kar 98k is a bolt-action rifle and should've been the slower of the two. As a result, Ranger Squads are not expected to win firefights without sufficiently outnumbering their enemy.
.30 Cal M1 Carbine Edit
The .30 Cal M1 Carbine (no actual relation to the M1 Garand, above), is a "short" magazine-fed semi-automatic rifle. One member of the Ranger Squad, the team sergeant, carries one of these by default.
The M1 Carbine is less accurate at long range than the M1 Garand, but makes up for this with a slightly higher firing rate and the fact that it doesn't need to be reloaded as often. This weapon also suffers a much smaller accuracy penalty while the squad is moving (the smallest penalty of all infantry weapons, actually). This gives it a slight advantage at close and medium range, where it can unload more bullets into the enemy. Unfortunately, the damage output of this weapon is also somewhat lower.
.45 ACP M1 Thompson Sub-Machine Gun Edit
The famous M1 Thompson, or "Tommy Gun" as it was known in the 1930s, is a powerful short-range automatic weapon firing rapidly from a box magazine. Though inaccurate at long range, its fast firing rate can utterly destroy an enemy infantry unit close-up, especially when several are used simultaneously.
Up to four of these weapons are given to the Ranger Squad upon purchase of the Thompson SMG upgrade package, depending on how many Open Weapon Slots the squad had when it was purchased.
The Tommy Gun is meant to be used at a range of about 10 meters or less. At this range, each bullet has about a 75% chance of hitting its target. This may not sound like much, until you consider that this weapon fires 15-bullet bursts. With each hit inflicting 5 points of damage, the weapon can be said to dish out 55 points of damage per burst; enough to kill an infantryman outright. Note that the burst lasts only 1.5 seconds - very fast indeed.
At long range, of course, this weapon is very weak. Each bullet has only about 20% chance to hit its target at the "normal" infantry engagement range of 20 meters. This increases the number of bursts required to kill an enemy infantryman to 4 or 5. The maximum range of the Tommy Gun is 35 meters. At this range the weapon is all but useless.
The weapon also has to be reloaded frequently due to its small magazine and high rate of fire. After every two or three bursts, the Ranger will take about 3.3 seconds to reload his weapon. This is not terribly important when charging in for a kill, with all Tommy Guns blazing at once, but does discourage protracted firefights at medium or long range.
Nonetheless, the bottom line is that when the Ranger Squad closes in on its target, that target will be destroyed very rapidly. Very few infantry units (panzer grenadiers with MP44 and Knight's cross holders will however defeat rangers) will survive this onslaught, especially since the Rangers themselves are considerably hardier than most enemy infantry to begin with.
The Ranger Squad possesses two combat abilities, both closely related to the close-combat nature of this unit. The Fire-Up ability allows the unit to ignore Suppression effects in order to close the distance with a rapid-firing enemy group. The Throw Grenade ability, unlocked through a Global Upgrade at the Barracks, allows the unit to kill a nearby Weapon Team crew or bunched-up infantry with haste.
Throw Grenade Edit
- Requires the Mk2 Grenades Global Upgrade from the Barracks
- Costs 25
- Activation: Select Ground
- Cooldown: 15 seconds
When the Throw Grenade ability is activated, select any point on the ground. The Ranger Squad will move to within 15 meters of that point, whereby one of the squad members will pull out a Mk.2 "Pineapple" Hand Grenade and lob it at the target spot.
1.2 seconds after the grenade hits the target, it will explode with a damage output of 60 - enough to kill an infantryman. The radius of the explosion is 4.5 meters, though the 60-point maximum damage is inflicted only on targets on top of the grenade itself. Other targets receive diminishing damage, down to only 20 points at the outer radius. Still, there is good likelihood to instantly kill any already-injured infantryman caught within the blast radius regardless of how far away he is.
Due to the time it takes to throw the grenade, and the time it takes for it to detonate, this weapon is primarily useful against stationary targets, including infantry behind cover and inside buildings. Weapon Teams are especially susceptible to this attack, since they cannot quickly get away. In fact, this is one of the best ways to get rid of an enemy MG42 Heavy Machine Gun Team.
Note that grenades do cause damage to vehicles, and have some (small) chance of destroying a vehicle's secondary weapon (if it has one) or damage its mobility. However, actual damage is negligible to vehicles, and significantly reduced against enemy armor. It's usually better to restrict the use of grenades to infantry targets only.
- Costs nothing
- Activation: Immediate
- Duration: 15 seconds
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
When this ability is activated, all Suppression effects are removed from the Ranger Squad immediately, returning it to normal combat state. For the next 15 seconds, the squad is completely immune to suppression fire, regardless of how heavy it is. The squad continues to receive damage, but won't become suppressed or pinned down.
In addition, the squad-members will move at running speed regardless of the terrain, nearby explosions, etcetera, for the duration of this effect.
Use this ability primarily to break suppression on the unit, allowing it to fire back at its enemies. More importantly, use it to give you a short window in which you can charge at an enemy position and take it out. This is especially useful when the unit is armed with M1 Thompson SMGs, as closing the distance is imperative to the successful use of these weapons.
This ability is invaluable in taking out MG42 Heavy Machine Gun Teams and other similar anti-infantry units. Of course, since this provides no actual protection from damage, expect one or more rangers to die during such a frontal assault - but it's better than retreating to base or losing the entire team due to heavy suppression fire.
The unit will be marked with overhead icons while this effect is in progress, as well as white lights strobing underneath the team-members. This allows you to spot your "Fired-Up" team easily, and tell at a glance when this effect is over.
However, this ability has its drawbacks. After 15 seconds, squad suffers from several negative penalties. For next 10 seconds, Ranger squad will move much slower. Weapon reload will be longer by 50%. Fire rate of whole unit will also suffer, because each weapon will fire slower by 50%. This fact should be taken under consideration, while using this ability. Ranger squad should have time for safe retreat from enemy sight, after executed action.
Upgrade to Barracks Edit
- Costs 260
- Requires the Ranger Squad to garrison a neutral structure.
- Requires the garrisoned structure to be inside captured and connected territory.
- Activation: Through the Garrisoned Structure's menu.
- Takes 30 seconds to complete
When an Ranger Squad enters a neutral structure that's inside captured and connected territory, this ability appears in that structure's menu.
Activating this ability begins a 30-second upgrade period, at the end of which the building will be converted into a Forward Barracks.
A Forward Barracks has two functions: reinforcing infantry, and constructing new units.
Reinforcement here works the same as it does at the American Headquarters: any infantry units which have lost one or more men can move to within 25 meters of the Forward Barracks, and will be able to replace any lost men for a nominal cost.
Unit production is possible here as well. Initially, the Forward Barracks can only produce new Engineer Squads. As more American base structures are constructed back at the HQ Territory, new production options will become enabled at the Forward Barracks:
|Existing Base Structure||Unit Production Unlocked|
|American Headquarters||Engineer Squad|
|Weapons Support Center||Mortar Team|
|Heavy Machine Gun Team|
|Motor Pool||M1 57mm Anti Tank Gun|
These units cost the same amount of resources as they do when produced from their appropriate base structures. They will appear next to the Forward Barracks when production is completed.
Note that all unit production at a Forward Barracks is suspended if the sector it's in ever falls into enemy hands. You must recapture the sector to re-enable unit production.
Also note that converting a structure into a Forward Barracks changes its ownership to American. The enemy cannot Garrison this structure with infantry. In fact, enemy infantry will be able to "un-convert" the structure back to a neutral structure, given time and opportunity, so you will need to protect your Forward Barracks from this possibility.
The Ranger Squad is initially an anti-tank unit, but has the option to enhance its abilities at anti-infantry combat with the Thompson SMG upgrade. This very-expensive upgrade is almost essential to maximize the unit's potential - assuming you can afford it.
Thompson SMG Edit
- Costs 100
- Requires at least 1 Open Weapon Slot
- Takes up between 1 and 4 Weapon Slots as available
- Takes 30 seconds to install
When this upgrade is purchased, the team is equipped with up to 4 M1 Thompson Sub-Machine Guns ("Tommy Guns"). They will replace the basic M1 Garand and M1 Carbine rifles this unit carries by default, as appropriate.
The Tommy Gun is a great close-range weapon, capable of killing an infantryman with a single burst at a range of about 8 meters. A unit with four of these weapons can utterly wipe out another Infantry squad or Weapon Team in a few seconds, provided it can get close enough to utilize this weapon properly. The Tommy Gun is almost useless at normal infantry engagement range (20 meters) or beyond.
Note that the number of Tommy Guns given to the unit corresponds to the number of Open Weapon Slots available at the time the upgrade is purchased. If the unit has fewer than 4 slots available, it will receive fewer than 4 Thompson SMGs as appropriate - one SMG per available Weapon Slot.
Like all other American units, the Ranger Squad 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 Ranger Squad 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:
American infantry is often the focal point of all strategies during the early and middle portions of the battle. Supported by heavy weapons and medium vehicles, they throw themselves at the enemy to cause as much destruction as they can before having to be withdrawn for reinforcement.
Most companies will then switch over to reliance on tanks or other heavy weapons for the remainder of the game. Tanks are harder to destroy and carry heavier firepower than infantry, so this choice is usually easy to make.
The Infantry Company, however, has an entirely different option in its disposal: the use of Ranger Squads as heavy assault units, with tanks acting in support.
There are several advantages to the use of infantry as forward troops, but the Ranger Squad is perhaps the single most suitable unit for this role. They make excellent flanking troops that can knock out an enemy vehicle quite easily, and are inherently difficult to kill thanks to their large squad size and innate defensive bonuses. Enemy tanks will usually have difficulty killing infantry on a large scale, so a concentrated attack on an enemy armor force with Rangers can wipe it out much easier than a tank assault would.
With their Thompson SMG upgrade, the Rangers will also have little to fear from enemy infantry units and Weapon Teams. As long as it can get close enough, the Ranger Squad can wipe these enemies out very rapidly. For this reason, Rangers often operate in large platoons, surrounding the enemy and destroying any asset he may have. Other units meanwhile draw fire away from the Rangers.
Anti-Tank Maneuvers Edit
The primary purpose of the Ranger Squad is to destroy enemy vehicles and tanks, using its M9 Bazooka launchers. These launchers are very inaccurate at long range, and have rather poor Penetration against frontal tank armor. Therefore, the unit needs to get close behind the target in order to destroy it.
The best way to do so is to occupy the enemy from the front while the Ranger Squad makes its way to the flanking position behind the target. M4 Sherman tanks and/or M4 Crocodile Shermans are best suited for this task, as they can take a lot of fire and often seem like the most important threat to the enemy.
As soon as the Ranger Squad is in position, it begins unleashing rockets into the target's rear quarters. It should take only a few shots to destroy a Panzer IV if it doesn't drive away immediately. Smaller vehicles may be destroyed much faster than this.
Again, Ranger Squads often operate in groups of 2 or 3 simultaneously, speeding up the destruction of enemy units significantly. Three groups flanking a Tiger tank will destroy it very quickly, and most tanks have little they can do against this sort of attack except retreat as quickly as possible.
To facilitate flanking maneuvers, consider using an M3 Halftrack or two to transport your Ranger Squads into their position. Remember to withdraw the halftrack as soon as it has deposited the troops behind the target, to avoid being destroyed by it.
Anti-Infantry Maneuvers Edit
The Ranger Squad is initially not a very good anti-infantry unit, equipped only with 4 mid-range rifles that would take a while to kill the enemy. However, when the Thompson SMG upgrade is purchased, this unit becomes one of the best infantry killers in the game.
Like the M9 Bazooka, the Thompson SMG is highly inaccurate at long-range, which means the squad has to close in with the enemy unit in order to make the kill. Flanking maneuvers are best for this, with another unit (preferably expendable Riflemen) drawing enemy fire and attention while the Ranger Squad makes its way along the flanks. Remember that Riflemen armed with Browning Automatic Rifles can suppress the enemy squad using their combat abilities, allowing the Ranger Squad to make an easy charge.
Alternately, the Ranger Squad can utilize the Fire-Up ability to charge straight into the enemy position, completely ignoring all Suppression effects on the way there. This allows a single Ranger Squad to eliminate an enemy infantry team easily in a one-on-one encounter.
You only need to get within about 8 meters of the target to reach full effectiveness, at which point it will take no more than 2 seconds or so to wipe out an entire enemy team. If you can cover the distance quickly enough, you can probably erase an MG42 Heavy Machine Gun Team before it can kill any of your Rangers.
If you can't get close enough, always remember the Mk2 Grenades. These are especially useful against enemy heavy weapon squads. Of course, if you're close enough to throw a grenade, it's best to keep charging in afterwards to kill anyone else left standing.
Ranger Platoons Edit
Ranger Squads work very well in large groups, thanks to their versatility. Each squad in the group can engage a single target, be it an enemy vehicle or infantry unit. Two or more squads can band together to take out a tank - even a heavy tank like a Tiger or King Tiger.
Always keep your platoon flexible and spread out. Each squad needs to hit a different target if possible, but remain close enough to support the other squads. Few enemy groups will be able to fend off such an assault.
Do not bunch the squads up if you can possibly avoid it. A single mortar shell, mine or artillery strike could kill all your elite infantrymen and knock you way back financially.
The Ranger Squad possesses the "Elite" Infantry Type, and as a result gains a small amount of resistance to most weapons. Nonetheless, it is still an Infantry Squad, and therefore susceptible to damage and death by virtually all kinds of weapons available in the game. Tank cannons and Anti-Tank guns are really the only weapons that are not accurate enough to kill Rangers at any reasonable rate.
Artillery, mortars, Mines and flamethrowers present the gravest threat to the unit, and of course Sniper-fire is always a danger. Unfortunately, the same "Elite" Infantry Type (that otherwise increases the unit's survivability) also acts to increase its vulnerability to flamethrower-damage. It also allows enemy Snipers to kill Rangers with ease, even when the Rangers are in full retreat!
Fortunately, the Ranger Squad is less susceptible to Suppression fire than most other infantry units thanks to its ability to Fire-Up. Nonetheless, the game files reveal that this unit otherwise receives more suppression effects than other units, so judicial use of Fire-Up may be required often.
Do not expose this unit to prolonged fire-fights with enemy infantry. They are too expensive to wage a battle of attrition, and may easily lose that battle if the enemy is equipped with any serious small-arms. This is especially true when Thompson SMGs are installed, as they are very weak at medium and long range. Always close in for the kill - or retreat altogether.
Also, remember that even through the squad has the M9 Bazookas equiped, a Ranger Squad should never be considered an anti-tank infantry. The terrible penetration values and accuarcy, mean that this weapon wont be capable of destroying an enemy tank even at close range, if fired from the front. If the squad is not gonna be used to flank the enemy tanks, then using them to fire at enemy armor is a waste of time altogheter. Even worst, it will expose them to suffer casualties, and the huge cost of reinforcements means that they should never be used in combat unless they are gonna be effective.
Finally, note again that the weakest aspect of the Ranger Squad is its reinforcement cost. Each soldier you lose would cost 45 to replace, making these soldiers some of the most expensive infantry in the game (on par with Panzer Grenadiers). Make every effort to keep them safe.
On unit selection :
On halt order :
On SMG upgrade order :
On throw grenade order :
On fire-up order :
On move order :
On attack order :
On field gun capture order :
On exit order :
On under-attack report :
On troop reinforcement complete report :
- In the game the bazooka appears under the name of M9 Bazooka but the model used is the M1 Bazooka.