During World War II, the British army was often greatly outnumbered and outgunned by the massive German war machine. Realising this, British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, inspired by the Boers fought by the British in Africa, proposed the creation of small, elite groups of infantry operating behind enemy lines, not just as a means of causing as much damage with as few men as possible, but also to raise morale at home. He stated; "they must be prepared with specially trained troops of the hunter class who can develop a reign of terror down the enemy coast. A butcher and bolt approach". These "Commandos" (from the Dutch-Boer word Kommando) could strike the enemy's rear with surgical precision, collect much-needed intelligence, and sow chaos into the enemy's plans. A typical commando unit would be about battalion sized and known as a "Commando".
In reality, there was never any organisation, regiment or even commando known as the Royal Commandos, although with the sheer number and dizzying variety of Commando units in the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, coupled with artistic license (and a need to keep continuity with her sister support companies) so born are the "Royal Commandos".
With the Royal Commandos Support Tech Tree, the British player is given access to Commando Gliders which can be landed anywhere on the battle map, spawning both elite infantry and light tanks. These units have good speed and sufficiently heavy firepower to locate and make surprise attacks on the enemy's weakest spots. They also possess unique abilities that allow them to control the flow of battle, engaging and disengaging at will to keep the enemy guessing and to avoid capture or destruction.
In coordination with battalion-level intelligence officers, the Royal Commandos Support company can utilize detection and code-breaking techniques to maintain a superiority in information: knowing which units the enemy has on the field, where they are, and thus where best to strike and which areas to avoid.
Because of its high reliance on micro-management and skillful tactics, the Royal Commandos Support tech tree is considered to be the most interesting (if not the most enjoyable) tech tree available to the British. It is by far the most offensively-oriented tech tree for this faction.
Command Tree StructureEdit
Royal Commandos Support
|Coup de Main||Intelligence|
|Glider-Borne Commandos||Radio Triangulation Detectors|
|Allows calling in Gliders to land anywhere on the map. A landed Glider automatically spawns a single unit of Commandos. If its sector is linked to your HQ territory, the Glider can produce more Commandos and can reinforce nearby infantry.||Allows Infantry Sections, Sappers, Commandos and PIAT Commandos to construct Detectors for Radio Triangulation. When three have been placed, any enemy unit passing through the area between the three detectors will appear on the Mini-Map and Tactical Map.|
|Tetrarch Tank||Ultra Decryption|
|Allows calling in Tetrarch Gliders to land anywhere on the map. A landed Tetrarch Glider automatically spawns a single Tetrarch Tank. If its sector is linked to your HQ territory, the Tetrarch Glider can produce more Tetrarch Tanks and can reinforce nearby infantry.||On-screen messages will automatically alert the British player about enemy actions, including upgrades the enemy has purchased, certain units and buildings he has created, etcetera.|
|Glider Headquarters||Decoy Artillery|
|Allows calling in HQ Gliders to land anywhere on the map. A landed HQ Glider can produce HMG Commandos, PIAT Commandos and Mortar Commandos, even when it is still in enemy territory! It can also reinforce infantry.||Grants a Command Ability to drop smoke signals at a target location, imitating an imminent artillery strike but without any shelling. Will generally cause confusion for the enemy, as he scrambles to withdraw or bunker-up his units to avoid what he thinks will be an artillery strike. Also grants a second Command Ability to call in a real off-map artillery strike!|
Command Upgrades Edit
- Total price: 11 Command Points
The Royal Commandos Support command tree is split into two branches: Coup de Main and Intellignece. Each has three Command Upgrades to purchase, which must be bought in a specific order.
Coup de Main BranchEdit
"Coup de Main" can be translated literally as "strike of the hand", but in military terms it refers to offensive tactics relying on an extremely powerful and pin-point punch meant to hurt the enemy's weakest spot with maximum force for maximum effectiveness. That is a perfect description of this Glider-related Command Upgrade branch.
The Coup de Main branch allows calling in three different types of Commando Gliders, which can be landed in any open stretch of land regardless of where on the battle map it is or who controls it at the time. These gliders are used to spawn Commando units that can operate within enemy territory, possibly using the Glider itself as a base of operations.
Glider-Borne Commandos Edit
- When purchased, this Command Upgrade enables a Command Ability called "Glider", which costs 560 to use. This calls in a Commando Glider to land at the target location. You must have 6 available in order to use this ability (though the requirement doesn't show up in the ability's pop-up text unless you fail to meet it).
- The Commando Glider will automatically spawn a single 6-man unit of Commandos - a heavy elite infantry - as soon as it lands. The Commandos can proceed to wreak havoc behind enemy lines, using their many unique abilities and superior combat skills.
- The Commando Glider is also a stationary Base Structure that can produce additional Commandos for 510, 6, and can reinforce any infantry unit. However for these abilities to be enabled, the territory where it landed must be connected directly to your HQ Territory. You can do this before or after the Glider has landed. If the sector is disconnected from your lines, the production ability is temporarily halted again.
- Calling in a Commando Glider may be expensive, but it puts one of your best units right behind the enemy. If you remain vigilant and keep moving, you can keep the Commandos from being spotted by the enemy, and use them to assault and/or sabotage sensitive enemy positions. They can even be used to support an attack by your main troops, surprising the enemy from an exposed direction. Commandos are also excellent for directing artillery fire behind enemy lines.
Tetrarch Tank Edit
- When purchased, this Command Upgrade enables a Command Ability called "Tetrarch Glider", which costs 450 to use. This calls in a Tetrarch Glider to land at the target location. You must have 6 available in order to use this ability (though the requirement doesn't show up in the ability's pop-up text unless you fail to meet it).
- The Tetrarch Glider will automatically spawn a single Tetrarch Tank - a light tank - as soon as it lands. The tank can be used to provide firepower support for Commando operations behind enemy lines, using its superior speed to outflank enemies and then disappear in a puff of smoke as soon as heavier vehicles show up to assist. It is, essentially, a Commando Tank.
- The Tetrarch Glider is also a stationary Base Structure that can produce additional Tetrarch Tanks for 300, 25, 6, and can reinforce any infantry unit. However for these abilities to be enabled, the territory where it landed must be connected directly to your HQ Territory. You can do this before or after the Glider has landed. If the sector is disconnected from your lines, the production ability is temporarily halted again.
- Calling in a Tetrarch Glider puts an excellent, fast vehicle right behind the enemy. If you remain vigilant and keep moving, you can keep the tank from being spotted by the enemy, and use it to ambush and destroy enemy vehicles patrolling the enemy's territory, or support other commando units in attacks against enemy positions. The Tetrarch can even be used to support an attack by your main troops, surprising the enemy from an exposed direction. Tetrarchs are also excellent for directing artillery fire behind enemy lines. Always remember to disappear if you encounter any unit that can be of danger to the tank.
Glider Headquarters Edit
- When purchased, this Command Upgrade enables a Command Ability called "Glider HQ", which costs 100 to use. This calls in an HQ Glider to land at the target location.
- The HQ Glider is a fully-autonomous base structure, that can produce and reinforce units even when stationed in an enemy-controlled sector away from your territory. It can produce three types of specialty-weapon 3-man commando units, including the HMG Commandos, PIAT Commandos and Mortar Commandos. Each unit costs 255, 3.
- This structure enables you to create support infantry for commando assaults. All of these units can utilize smoke to disppear, and the PIAT Commandos can construct Slit Trenches and deploy demolition charges like a normal Commando squad.
- The HQ Glider can serve as a secondary base of operations behind enemy lines. If you can keep its location a secret, you can bring your damaged commandos back here to reinforce them. The commando support units it can produce are quite unique in the British army, especially Mortar Commandos and HMG Commandos who do not have any normally-produced infantry equivalents without the Royal Commandos Support tech tree. In fact, some defensively-minded players prefer to land the glider in their own territory just so they can produce these units to add to their main army.
- You may land as many HQ Gliders as you can afford. They do not take up Population Cap points on their own. Essentially, landing several of these in enemy territory reduces the chance for the enemy to destroy all of them, and gives your commandos more locations to retreat towards when things get messy.
Intelligence Branch Edit
The Intelligence Branch offers three interesting Command Upgrades that are geared towards the collection of information about enemy movements as well as the ability to call in off-map artillery. All three upgrades are quite unique, having no real equivalent to be compared to in any other army in the game.
Selecting this branch first may have its advantages, to stay informed about what your enemy is doing at any given time. This can give you a very potent edge over your enemy, as you can anticipate his next move and respond accordingly. Naturally, this branch works best when coordinated with your commando units from the Coup de Main branch.
Radio Triangulation Detectors Edit
- As soon as this Command Upgrade is purchased, several British infantry units will receive the ability to construct Detectors for Radio Triangulation. These structures are free and fast to construct, and become camouflaged as soon as they are completed (detectable only when the enemy moves very close).
- Each detector has absolutely no function - until three of them have been constructed. Once three are on the battlefield at the same time, a triangular area will appear on your minimap showing the area between these radios. Any enemy unit moving through this area will appear on the Mini-Map and Tactical Map, allowing you to monitor enemy movement closely any easily. Only three detectors may exist simultaneously.
- The best locations to place these are usually far behind enemy lines, in nooks and areas that are unlikely to be visited by enemy troops - for example right by the map edges, within small enclosed courtyards, or even right behind well-secured enemy positions where the enemy might not think to scan for them.
- Remember to spread your detectors out as far as possible, to maximize the detection area's size and shape. Three detectors in a straight line will detect virtually nothing - try to get as large a triangle between them as you can.
- With detectors, your work becomes considerably easier, as you can tell where the enemy moves his troops, when he's coming to attack, and which areas are weaker. This helps coordinate assaults - whether conventional or commando-lead - to hit the enemy where it hurts. Consider using artillery to bombard enemy troop concentrations, and use the detection to help your commandos avoid enemy contact as they move.
Ultra Decryption Edit
- The Ultra Decryption Command Upgrade is a very unique ability that allows you to "listen in" on enemy field reports. Once this Command Upgrade is purchased, you will begin receiving on-screen messages that let you know what the enemy is up to.
- The amount of data you'll receive depends greatly on the version of the game you've got. In earlier patches of Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts, only several enemy activities were reported by this upgrade, including mostly upgrades and command upgrades purchased by the enemy, as well as base structures he has constructed. With later patches, the list of reported activities was increased to include the construction of powerful units, and many other reports that should be of great interest to you.
- With this ability you can tell how well-advanced your enemy is, and may be able to guess the composition of his forces - thereby enabling you to build your own defenses to match the enemy's capabilities. This is especially important in determining which Command Tree the enemy has selected, and how far along that tree they've advanced. As a result, this Command Upgrade is a valuable early purchase.
Decoy Artillery Edit
- The purchase of the Decoy Artillery Command Upgrade enables two Command Abilities: "Decoy Artillery Barrage" and "25 Pounder Artillery Barrage".
- The 25 Pounder Artillery Barrage is very similar to the one used by British Royal Artillery Support: Forward Observation Officers, except it can be used anywhere in visible territory without having to get an officer there, and cost only 125.
- More interesting though is the Decoy Artillery Barrage ability. This is a free ability that, when used, will cause several smoke signals to drop at a target location. These are the same signals normally appearing at the start of a real 25 Pounder barrage, and will cause the enemy to think he's about to be bombarded - except in truth it's nothing more than smoke. Enemy units will usually scramble out of the designated area, become disorganized, and thus easier to attack with ground troops.
- You can mess with your enemy's head by combining these two abilities together. Use Decoy Barrages to confuse the enemy, and then once they've learned the "trick" and no longer retreat from your smoke signals, hit them with a real barrage! Using these in alternating fashion will lead to the enemy being entirely unsure about your artillery capabilities, and will eventually learn to avoid all smoke signals, in which case you can use these signals whenever you want the enemy to abandon a specific point, or disorganize them prior to a full-fledged assault.