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The USF (United States Forces) is the American army added in The Western Front Armies expansion of Company of Heroes 2, together with the Oberkommando West faction.

The US faction emphasizes versatility and flexibility, designed to bend but not break under enemy pressure. The USA played an essential role in the Second World War, in providing invaluable resources and equipment as well as pitting their troops against the Wehrmacht. With the combined effort of the Allies, they eventually managed to defeat the Axis.

OverviewEdit

The expansion features the American army in late 1944, during their charge through France following the Normandy landings and especially the period around the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 to January 1945. It faced the, by then, resource-starved and manpower-starved Wehrmacht armies, represented by the Oberkommando West.

The Germans launched their final, desperate offensive through the Ardennes hoping to stop the Allied advance, destroy the Allied divisions and cut off their reinforcements by capturing vital Belgian ports. This plan, devised by Hitler (most generals had preferred devoting their forces against the Russians), was not really all that realistic, but regardless, the attack was pressed on. In this stage, the Wehrmacht had access to highly advanced units like the Königstiger (King Tiger), the Panther, and the Sturmtiger as depicted in the game. The attack eventually failed due to the courageous defense put up by the Allied forces and overwhelming Allied air supremacy, which when finally allowed to fly towards the end of the offensive, helped to decisively route and destroy it (There was a lot of bad weather throughout most of the German offensive).

Flexibility: To bend but not break under pressure. This is the philosophy of the US Army. Units like the Riflemen and the Sherman are iconic examples of this military philosophy - being good enough to fight, but not any more than that. Jacks of all trades, masters of none.

Force CompositionEdit

Units
Barracks
Platoon Command Post
  • Lieutenant
  • M20 utility car
  • M2HB .50 Cal machine gun team
  • M15A1 AA half-track
Company Command Post
  • Captain
  • M1 57mm anti-tank gun
  • M1 75mm pack howitzer
  • M5A1 stuart
Battalion Command Post
  • Major
  • M4A3 Sherman medium tank
  • M36 'Jackson' tank destroyer
  • M8A1 howitzer motor carriage

The American army differs from all others in the fact that all buildings are already built when a game starts.

Riflemen, Rear Echelon Troops, Mortar Team, and WC 54 Ambulance can be produced immediately from the Barracks. The Barracks can also unlock the Bazooka and BAR weapon racks as well as Mk. 2 Pineapple grenades. The units in the other buildings must be unlocked by purchasing the following units:

The Lieutenant (200 Icon Manpower Small.png 50 Icon Fuel Small.png) for the Platoon command post, unlocking the replacement Lieutenant (if the US player loses his Lieutenant, same for other officers), the M20 Utility Car, the M2HB.50 cal machine gun team and the M15A1 AA Half-track. The Lieutenant's squad itself is a valuable asset, as he comes equipped with BARs, ideal for the early infantry game.

The Captain (200 Icon Manpower Small.png 60 Icon Fuel Small.png) for the company command post, unlocking the replacement Captain, the M1 57mm Anti-tank gun, the M1 75mm Pack Howitzer and the M5A1 Stuart light tank. The Captain's squad comes equipped with two Bazookas, countering the vehicles that will inevitably arrive in the middle game.

The Major (240 Icon Manpower Small.png 120 Icon Fuel Small.png) for the Battalion Command Post, unlocking the replacement Major, the M4A3 Sherman Medium Tank, the M36 'Jackson' Tank Destroyer and the M8A1 howitzer motor carriage. The Major has three useful abilities, similar to a Wehrmacht officer in Company of Heroes: he can order a recon flight in his vicinity, an artillery barrage, and can act as a retreat point for American units, effectively providing a forward retreat point and reinforcement point with an ambulance parked nearby. It is however a very fragile three man squad, so do not place them in danger.

Teching is quite straightforward and syncs well with the progressing of the battle, given the Lieutenant's BARs for early infantry skirmishes, the Captain's Bazooka for vehicles, and the Major's recon and artillery to stop late game combined-arms pushes.

Unit SummaryEdit

Rear Echelon Troops are most similar to the other factions' engineer. They are weaker than both Axis factions engineer troops at mid to close quarters combat but stronger at long range. Unlike other factions engineers they do not have demolition capabilities or weapon upgrades. They are effective in heavy cover (where they can use their Volley Fire ability) and in fighting positions (where they will be equipped with rifle grenades), but not anywhere else.

Riflemen are the quintessential infantry of the US Army. They aren't very powerful by themselves, but they can receive a variety of upgrades form the various command posts including the BAR and Bazooka which can be acquired at a weapon rack for 60 munitions. Alternately, if Infantry Company is taken the Riflemen squad can equip an M1919A6 light machine gun for 70 munitions from the weapon rack at base effectively turning it into an excellent defensive infantry counter. They have many other support abilities and can become the center of any strategy the US Forces can employ.

The WC 54 3/4 ton Ambulance will heal nearby infantry and allow reinforcement, but only in a friendly sector that is not in combat. It can be ordered to disembark its medics, who can automatically heal nearby infantry. It is an ideal complement to the Major's 'retreat point' ability.

The M20 Utility Car is an M8 Greyhound Armored car with the turret removed and replaced with a ring-mounted .50 cal. machine gun. It isn't the most effective unit on the battlefield, but most enemy infantry will be helpless until they start rolling out AT assets. It's crew can disembark the vehicle and deploy a Bazooka, giving it flexibility when dealing with different enemies. Be cautious about when and where to consider disembarking the crew, as the vacant vehicle can be easily taken by enemy infantry.

The M2HB .50 cal Machine Gun Team is less mobile than its Soviet counterparts, but it makes up for it in its vastly superior firepower: capable of suppressing then rapidly killing enemy infantry. It also has a wide firing arc. The M2HB can also effectively damage light vehicles making it an effective counter to enemy light vehicle rushes.

The M15A1 AA Half-Track provides the USF with anti-air capabilities. Armed with two .50 cal machine guns and a 37mm autocannon, the M15A1 can suppress infantry and challenge light vehicles in addition to defeating enemy aircraft. A unique detail of the M15A1 is that the AA casemate is built to face out from the rear of the vehicle, and the halftrack will often need to turn in order to bring its armaments to bear - be wary, as shells striking the back end of the vehicle will still inflict additional rear armor damage.

The M1 57mm Anti-Tank Gun isn't the most powerful one out there, but it's light weight, and it has comfortable traversal speed and rate of fire. It can deal considerable damage to light and medium vehicles. When faced with heavy tanks, the 57mm can temporarily activate an 'APDS Rounds' ability, in which the crew will begin to use rarer tungsten-shell sabot rounds at the cost of some munitions. These higher-velocity can reliably penetrate medium tanks, inflicting higher damage, and will be able to offer a threat to heavy tanks.

The M1 75mm Pack Howitzer has dubious accuracy, but has excellent firepower, making it an excellent alternative to the mortars that the Soviets or Ostheer may access. As of the April 1st update, the Pack Howitzer's shells inflict light suppression on enemy infantry.

The M5A1 Stuart Light Tank is suitable for mid-game light armor combat, and is arguably the best light tank in the game. Able to take on light targets and either blind or shock heavy vehicles, it is effective against multiple types of enemy units. However, its thin armor makes it very vulnerable to any form of AT firepower.

The M4A3 Sherman is less expensive than its Axis counterparts and can be produced in larger numbers. The Sherman's 75mm M3 Gun is capable of engaging light vehicles but begins to struggle against medium armor--for this the more capable M36 'Jackson' is required. It's highly capable against enemy Infantry - especially tight clusters of enemy squads - when switched over to HE Ammunition. The Sherman also has a lower penalty for firing on the move, making it suitable for skirmishing and harassment tactics.

The M36 'Jackson' uses a 90mm gun to challenge any and all Axis vehicles that the US Forces may encounter, including the heaviest enemy tanks. Although it has impressive range and even more impressive anti-tank abilities, it has extremely fragile armor - receiving notable damage from even lighter weapons such as 37mm flak cannons. Keep it a long distance away from enemy units to avoid return fire.

The M8A1 Gun Motor Carriage is basically a howitzer that does not require men to pick it up to move it around. It is highly effective against infantry, able to target and fire on targets behind hedgerows and even buildings. It is also effective against enemy light vehicles. Keep it out of direct fire.

StrategyEdit

While doctrines have less impact than their Company of Heroes counterpart did, they still determine for a good part the strategy of the American player. As of June - November 2014, six commanders are available to play, with three (Infantry company, Airborne company and Armor company) being instantly accessible and the other three unlocked by the war spoils dropping system. This strategy assumes that you have no company chosen.

Early gameEdit

The most general build is Riflemen > Riflemen > Ambulance > Grenades > Riflemen > Lieutenant for the early game. This build is suited most Ostheer or OKW if you can not see their first building choice. Riflemen provide the hammer and anvil of this strategy so ensure they trade well.

As soon as the game starts get a rifleman training and send the Rear Echelon troops to the closest capture point. Ideally they shouldn't see combat throughout the game as they are weak and any manpower used to reinforce them is manpower wasted. Depending on map size they should be able to take one or two points before you should pull them back or garrison them in a building just behind the front lines. Only use them in combat if absolutely necessary.

The first two Riflemen should be grouped together acting as a squad. One should work as the fire element who pops smoke and holds in cover and the the other the manoeuvre force that aims to close in with the enemy if the Rifleman squad has the close range advantage. (Don't close with Strumpioneers or Assault Grenadiers). After you have this basic combat force an ambulance is a good idea as it allows you to sustain a combat force on the front lines. If you kept your Riflemen together they should come out on top of any lone squad thrown their way. After this grab a third Rifleman squad and start upgrading to grenades. Grenades are necessary for the late early game as the enemies will start to attack in blobs or get machine guns, either one Grenades allow the use of fragmentation grenades to smash blobs and smoke grenades to ruin the machine gun. Once you've got grenades you should have enough for another Riflemen squad and then a Lieutenant treat this as another squad of 2, don't blob them with the other riflemen as it wastes the US Forces greatest advantage, flanking. With the training of the Lieutenant you cycle into the next phase.

Middle gameEdit

Once you've unlocked the Lieutenant you gain the ability to bring in utility cars, heavy machine guns and Anti-Air Halftracks. The none of these are particularly necessary in this but act as a guard. Should you find that you were outplayed in the early game these can act as a save. Generally grenades should give you such an advantage early game you shouldn't need to use any of these and should focus on getting a Captain for the vital reason of Anti Tank. If you have a large territory advantage consider also getting the BAR unlocked as it allows your Riflemen to fight almost any Infantry unit one on one with the exception of Obersoldaten.

Once you get the captain start training an Anti-Tank gun, you're definitely going to need it once medium tanks start rolling out. If you've been pushed back and are starved for fuel consider getting a Pack Howitzer and another Anti-Tank gun to halt the enemy armour; otherwise go for a major. It's a good idea to move the major into a position just behind the ambulance and to set up a forward reinforcement base.

Late Game Edit

Late game is very specific on what has happened up to this this point. If the enemy has dominated the early and mid games you should definitely expect them to attempt to over run you with armour and thus you should get the M36 'Jackson' then 2 Shermans. If the game had been competitive it's generally a good idea to open with 2 Shermans then get a Jackson. All you need to know is that the M4A3 Shermans take damage and provide vision for the M36 'Jackson' and are required for any offensive push in the late game. By this point your Infantry should have BAR's and or Bazooka's to frighten off enemy Armour. Furthermore, a USF player would be wise to deploy anti-tank rifle grenades to cripple enemy tanks before committing their own armor, so that damaged enemy tanks will not be able to escape. Jacksons are the linchpin of any USF anti-armor composition, so their deployment is crucial.

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