A Tetrarch Tank firing its main cannon
|Upkeep per Minute||-5.5|
|Prereq.||Royal Commandos Support: Tetrarch Tank|
|Produced By||Tetrarch Glider|
|Primary armament||OQF 2-Pounder Gun|
|Secondary armament||M1919A4 Coaxial Machine-gun|
|Max. Speed||8 m/s|
The Light Tank Mk VII Tetrarch, or Tetrarch Tank, is a fast light tank fielded by the British in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. Available through the Royal Commandos Support tech tree, this lightly-armored tracked vehicle is the fastest ground unit in the entire game, and sports a small 2-pounder cannon for killing infantry and destroying enemy vehicles. With a powerful upgrade, it can even use its speed to outflank and destroy significantly heavier tanks.
The British Royal Commandos Support utilizes an array of units that can penetrate enemy lines and strike targets deep behind them. It uses superior intelligence to locate enemy targets and enable units to evade enemy positions and patrols on the way to destroy them. The Tetrarch Tank is the primary anti-vehicle (and indeed anti-tank) component of the Commando assault forces.
Tetrarch Tanks become available once the Royal Commandos Support: Tetrarch Tank Command Upgrade is purchased. Commandos are not produced by any of the British Command Trucks. Instead, the player must first land a Tetrarch Glider on the map for the price of 450. This glider will produce one Tetrarch Tank automatically, and can produce more of these for 300, 25, 6 if the sector it's in is ever connected directly to your HQ Territory.
The Tetrarch Tank is a lightly armored tank with superior mobility. It is the fastest ground-unit in the entire game, holding a maximum speed of 8 - about 10% more than the Motorcycle or Jeep. Its armor is equivalent to that of an M8 Greyhound, offering protection primarily from small-arms fire. The tank's primary weapon is an OQF 2-Pounder gun, which initially has sufficient firepower to destroy other light vehicles and the accuracy to kill infantry (one at a time). With its fantastic Littlejohn Adapter upgrade, the Tetrarch Tank gains the ability to reliably penetrate the armor (or at least, rear armor) of any vehicle in the game.
The Tetrarch Tank is used in one of two primary ways: either as an armored support for Commando units, or in raiding armored packs. When supporting infantry, it can protect them from enemy vehicles and Weapon Teams, and can even discharge some smoke to obscure movement from the enemy. In hunting packs, a pair (or more) of Tetrarch Tanks can quickly speed into enemy territory to encircle and destroy enemy vehicles, then quickly retreat to safety thanks to their speed and smoke bombs.
The Tetrarch Tank is equipped with an OQF 2-Pounder gun as its primary armament, mounted on the turret. A 7.92mm Besa Medium Machine Gun is mounted coaxially on the turret, and will fire at any enemy the main gun is pointing towards.
OQF 2-Pounder Edit
This is a small tank-mounted cannon with multiple applications. Counter-intuitively, the statistics for this weapon are remarkably similar to those of a 6-Pounder cannon as installed on a Churchill Tank, in terms of Penetration, though causing about 15% less damage per hit (75).
The OQF 2-Pounder can penetrate the armor of all wheeled vehicles, halftracks and light tanks. It will also reliably penetrate the rear armor of medium tanks, such as the Panzer IV. It also has the required accuracy to snipe enemy soldiers, though the explosive radius of the shells is too small to kill more than one infantryman at a time. The reload times of the OQF 2-Pounder are similar to those of other British tanks, taking about 5 seconds between each shot.
This weapon can be further upgraded with the Littlejohn Adapter. This upgrade leaves the gun as it is, but increases the Penetration value of the shells by a whopping 300% percent. Read more on this below.
The range of the gun is 40 meters, just slightly beyond the tank's sight-range.
7.92mm Besa Machine-gunEdit
The Tetrarch Tank is outfitted with a 7.92mm Besa Machine-guns, mounted coaxially on the turret. This weapon provides the tank with some extra ability to kill enemy infantry directly in front of it.
The range of the LMG is 25 meters, around 10 meters less than the tank's line-of-sight.
The Tetrarch Tank normally has only one ability: it can fire two smoke shells at any ground target within its sight-range, obscuring it with smoke. This is used to protect the tank, or other units, from enemy fire.
Fire Smoke Shell Edit
When this ability is activated, select a point on the ground. The Tetrarch Tank will drive to within 30 meters of the target point, and launch two smoke canisters at it. This creates two adjacent clouds of smoke.
The smoke acts as a visual barrier, obscuring vision through it. Units on one side of the smoke cannot effectively target units on the other side, essentially offering protection for both. Therefore, the smoke can be used to protect a friendly unit, by placing it between that unit and the enemy. The friendly unit can then back away or relocate without fear of being destroyed.
The primary application for this is to protect the Tetrarch Tank itself from enemy tanks or AT guns, which can easily destroy it. Tanks are particularly rubbish at firing accurately through smoke, meaning that the Tetrarch Tank can quickly retreat without suffering further (fatal) damage. Alternately, when providing support for other units, the tank can apply smoke to allow them to move unharmed through or across from enemy positions. The smoke can even be fired directly at a stationary enemy unit or emplacement in order to prevent that unit from attacking anything around it effectively.
Creeping Smoke Barrage Edit
- Costs: 50
- Prerequisite: Royal Artillery Support: Forward Observation Officers
- Activation: Select Ground and Direction (visible territory, no more than 75 meters from the Command Tank)
- Duration: ~30 seconds
- Cooldown: 75 seconds
Note: This ability is only available through the Royal Artillery Support tree. The Tetrarch Tank is acquired through the Royal Commandos Support tree. During a normal (unmodified) game, it's impossible to get two trees at the same time, so it should be impossible to acquire a Tetrarch Tank with a Creeping Smoke Barrage. However, since it is theoretically possible, the details are presented here.
When this ability is activated, select a point on the ground as the middle of the intended smoke barrage. Then select a direction in which this barrage will stretch. Once confirmed, an off-map artillery will fire 11 smoke shells along the narrow corridor defined by the selected area.
This effectively creates a long stretch of land full of smoke. Neither enemy nor friendly units can see well through this smoke, and thus cannot detect units traveling through or behind this smoke.
This ability is excellent for masking an advance. You can use it in one of two ways:
- Cover an enemy's entire position with smoke, so that they cannot see an advance moving right in front of them. You can go past the enemy position entirely, or use this to bring your offensive units to within a few feet of that position to destroy it close-up.
- Cover a narrow corridor of advance with smoke, then drive your assault force down that corridor. This allows you to travel through a narrow ambush area without being attacked by the ambushing units. You can even make a corridor leading up to an enemy position so that it cannot fire until you're close enough to assault it.
In both situations, make sure to move your spearhead carefully so that the smoke conceals it at all times - either inside or behind the smoke. You have about 30 seconds before the smoke clears.
The Tetrarch Tank can take only one upgrade, but it is a very powerful one: the Littlejohn Adapter upgrade. This turns the tank into an effective anti-tank weapon, without sacrificing any of its existing statistics.
Unfortunately, the Tetrarch Tank is the only British tank that cannot be upgraded with a Tank Crew Commander.
Littlejohn Adapter Edit
Although the Tetrarch Tank is primarily an anti-vehicle unit, its 2-Pounder gun lacks the Penetration power to get through the armor of most heavier tanks. Thankfully, the Littlejohn Adapter upgrade solves this problem quite well indeed.
The Littlejohn is a short tube that is screwed onto the tanks gun (though this doesn't appear in the game). It is narrower at the front end than it is at the back end. When a shell is fired, it passes through the adapter, being compressed to about 75% of its original caliber, giving it a massive increase of speed and kinetic force. As a result, the shell gains terrific Penetration abilities.
With this upgrade, the 2-Pounder gun on a Tetrarch Tank can reliably penetrate the front armor of all medium tanks, and is almost guaranteed to penetrate their rear armor with every shot. In fact, the Penetration increase is so great that the little Tetrarch Tank has a reasonable chance of penetrating the rear armor of heavy and very heavy Axis tanks like the Panther and Tiger.
Coupled with its fast speed, the Tetrarch can now flank enemy tanks and destroy them quite easily. Though it still takes about 6 shots to kill a Panzer IV, its speed enables it to circle the enemy tank, avoiding its main turret while showering its rear and sides with shells. A pack of Tetrarchs might be able to take out a Panther on their own in this manner (though plenty of micro-management is still required to avoid losing any of them).
The ability to land an incredibly-fast tank behind enemy lines opens up plenty of interesting opportunities for the British, and can serve several different purposes when used in combination with other troops. The Tetrarch Tank can be utilized in a similar manner to Commandos, operating in quick raids of enemy posts, whether alone or with Commando support.
The use of Detectors for Radio Triangulation allows the player to spot individual enemy units moving about within their own territory, or weak positions along the German lines. The speed of a Tetrarch Tank allows it to capitalize on this by racing in and quickly destroying the target. This is exceptionally useful for hunting down enemy artillery pieces, and a group of Tetrarchs can even hunt down enemy tanks.
Tetrarchs can be used for supporting Commando raids as well. Entering enemy territory with a Commando group, they can quickly flank targets, protect the infantry against vehicles, and then use their own smoke canisters to retreat unharmed while covering the infantry from enemy fire. In a pinch, the Tetrarch can even place itself between the infantry and the enemy to soak incoming MG fire.
Surgical Interception Edit
The Royal Commandos Support tech tree focuses as much on intelligence as it does on Commando units. As a result, a good Commando player will eventually set up his Detectors for Radio Triangulation in a way that exposes virtually all enemy movement on the map. This allows spotting holes in the enemy's defense, and identifying lone enemy units as they patrol and/or protect various parts of his territory.
Once an enemy unit has been spotted, it can then be targeted for Tetrarch interception. The Tetrarchs can quite easily maneuver their way into enemy territory, capitalizing both on their incredible speed and the fact that all enemy units are plotted on the mini-map, so they can avoid patrols and enemy fortifications on the way to the target. They can then destroy that target, and retreat back to safety.
For best results, it's possible to send an entire pack of Tetrarch Tanks on these interception missions. In a pack, Tetrarchs may even surround and destroy an enemy medium tank (see more on this below). Again, use speed and precision to your advantage, making sure only to make contact with the weakest enemy units, staying away from enemy resource points to avoid premature detection, and escape as soon as the target is destroyed to avoid being counter-attacked.
Commando Support Edit
Tetrarch Tanks are also terrific for supporting Commandos and Commando groups on raids. In this capacity, the Tetrarch Tank offers a good counter for enemy vehicles, which often pose a problem for the predominantly anti-infantry Commandos.
Keep the tanks away from the main objective of the raid, preferably in positions all around it. This way they can intercept and destroy enemy vehicles coming in to assist. If an enemy tank shows up, you may fire smoke to obscure your retreat, or even engage it with the Tetrarchs.
A Tetrarch Tank can even form a physical barrier between an enemy and a Commando squad, protecting them from fire. If done correctly, the tank can soak up MG fire or other small-arms fire while the Commandos move behind it or around it. This way the Commandos can close in with the enemy without being suppressed - and the tank keeps firing at the enemy the whole time too.
All Commando Missions can benefit from Tetrarch support.
Tank Kills Edit
In a pack, Tetrarch Tanks can surround and destroy virtually any enemy armor. Although they are fragile, and would take many shots against the rear armor to destroy anything larger than a Panzer IV, their speed gives them an amazing advantage against German tanks. This is because of the disparity between the turning speed of the Panzer's turret and the Tetrarch's top speed.
A Tetrarch can, potentially, run circles around an enemy tank, firing at it repeatedly until it is destroyed. The enemy will struggle to rotate its gun to face the Tetrarch, but if the Tetrarch keeps driving this will never happen. Even without a Littlejohn Adapter, the Tetrarch will eventually put enough shots through the opponent's rear armor to destroy him and/or his main cannon. This requires a lot of micro-management, but in a pinch can be used to demolish a tank far more expensive and dangerous than the Tetrarch.
A pack of Tetrarchs can also use a different method similar to how M4 Sherman tanks destroy their opponents: with the use of smoke. One of the Tetrarchs takes up a position in front of the enemy tank, and deploys smoke between itself and its opponent (or right on top of its opponent!) to blind him and make his shots highly unlikely to hit. The other Tetrarchs then move to their flanking positions and pummel away at the enemy's rear armor until he is destroyed. When the smoke is about to clear, one of the other Tetrarchs can fire its smoke canisters to keep the enemy tank blind.
Tetrarchs vs. Stuarts Edit
Many parallels can be drawn between the two available British light tanks, the Tetrarch Tank and Stuart Light Tank.
In many ways, these tanks are two sides of the same coin: both are light, quick vehicles with some mild firepower and limited survivability. While there are several differences, they can be generalized by saying that the Tetrarch Tank is a light "anti-tank vehicle", while the Stuart Light Tank is a light "anti-infantry vehicle".
As a result, these two tanks actually complement each other, and some players find it useful to have the two fight side-by-side in groups, alternating their tactics depending on the type of target encountered. In fact, by having a Tetrarch and Stuart operating together, you can capitalize on the strengths of both tanks quite well - especially the Stuart's longer sight-range and the Tetrarch's smoke barriers. Together they form a powerful hunting group that can simply drive around enemy territory, dispatching targets as they are located. Remember however that the Stuart cannot keep up with a Tetrarch on a straight drive.
The Tetrarch Tank's armor is identical in game-terms to that of an M8 Greyhound. This offers it protection from small-arms fire, but is not powerful enough to stop incoming fire from Anti-Tank weapons. It can take twice as much damage as a Greyhound, but will eventually be destroyed by such weapons nonetheless.
As a result, the tank must be kept out of the sight of anti-tank guns - which shouldn't be too hard since it is very quick. If an anti-tank weapon is encountered, quickly put either distance, smoke or both between your tank and the enemy, because two or three shots will usually destroy the Tetrarch outright.
Anti-tank infantry seems to be the best counter against a Tetrarch tank. Though they cannot keep up with it (well, no unit can), they are much less vulnerable to its main cannon than other units.
An article about this unit in real life can be found here