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The Wehrmacht is the original Axis faction featured in Company of Heroes 2. It is sometimes called the Ostheer to avoid confusion with the original Company of Heroes Wehrmacht. It is the counterpart against the Soviet Union. Unlike the Soviets, the German army relies on a well-trained versatile army. Their tanks are generally considered superior to the Soviet tanks, but they are fewer in numbers. This applies for most German units. Fewer in squad size/more expensive, but superior compared to their Soviet counterpart, they are truly a threat to behold.
Nazi-Germany was the main Axis faction in the Second World War. Germany defeated France in the early days of the war, after conquering Poland. Hitler decided against an invasion on England after the Luftwaffe was unable to establish air superiority (The Battle of Britain). He then shifted focus to Russia. In 1941, the plan to invade Russia, codenamed operation Barbarossa, was realized.
Basic force composition Edit
Like the Wehrmacht faction in Company of Heroes 1, The Ostheer have a well-trained and more organized troop composition when compared to the allies. Their units also lack versatility. Instead, each unit has a specific role on the battlefield. The Ostheer army can field a total (non-doctrine) of 15 units: 3 infantry squads, 4 support squads, 2 light vehicles, 4 medium tanks and one heavy tank.
The Germans can field a total of three infantry squads:
- Pioneers : Pioneers are a four man unit, responsible for building every German building. They are armed with MP-40s reasonably effective at close range and can be upgraded with the Flammenwerfer 35 to improve anti-infantry capabilities or the Hazard Removal Tools for mine detection and the ability to cut wires. They also have a first aid ability .
- Grenadiers : The basic Ostheer infantry unit, armed with Kar98 Rifles, designed for long range attack and defense. They can be upgraded with a MG42 Light Machinegun to drastically improve their DPS output. They also have the option to build bunkers and fire Pits on friendly territory. A first aid ability is also at their disposal. They can attack vehicles and structures with a Panzerfaust and lob Rifle Grenades at infantry.
- Panzergrenadiers : The Panzergrenadier squad is a four man unit, equipped with MP44s. Panzergrenadiers excel in close-medium range combat with these assault rifles and powerful bundled grenades. They can be upgraded with Panzerschrecks, anti-tank weapons that are more than capable of dealing damage to Soviet vehicles and units. At veterancy level 1, they have the option to use the first aid ability.
Support units are of vital importance in the early game and they still have potent firepower in the late game. German support units pack more punch than their Soviet counterparts. As a trade-off, their squad size is smaller.
- MG42 Heavy Machine Gun : The MG42 is a four man squad, operating a heavy machine gun. The MG42 is used to suppress and pin enemy infantry. Compared to the Russian Maxim machine gun, they have a wider firing arc but the squads takes more time to move, deploy, and pack. The Armor-Piercing Burst ability is unlocked at veterancy 1.
- GrW 34 8cm. Mortar : The GrW 34 8cm mortar is a four man squad operating a mortar. The mortar outclasses its Soviet counterpart in rate of fire but is less survivable due to the low squad size. Upon veterancy 1, the counterbarrage ability is unlocked.
- Pak 40 7.5cm Anti-tank Gun : The Pak 40 7.5cm anti-tank gun is a four man squad operating an anti-tank gun. Compared to the Soviet equivalent, the ZiS-3 76mm anti-tank gun, the Pak 40 is less survivable and lacks artillery barrage, but makes up for a higher rate of fire and good effectiveness against most armor. At veterancy 1, can fire an accurate shot to stun vehicle crews temporarily.
- Sniper : The sniper squad is a soldier armed with a Scoped G43 gun, able to outright kill any infantry model with one hit, provided the bullet actually hits the target. Compared to the Soviet sniper, it has superior firepower but less survivability. At veterancy rank 1, the German sniper can fire a B. Patronen explosive bullet, which has a small area-of-effect detonation and will stun the targeted infantry squad or weapon team, making them move more slowly and unable to fire.
Doctrinal infantry Edit
- Artillery Field Officer
The Artillery officer can be deployed with some of the German doctrines, and is essentially a grenadier squad with 3 grenadiers and 1 officer. The squad performs worse than the grenadiers in combat, however it has access to many exclusive abilities that tend to be quite costly but to some use. The Artillery Field Officer has the ability to call down precise smoke to cover advancing infantry, or cover a retreat. Great for blocking visibility of enemy HMG's. He also has the ability to make surrounding infantry fight harder, improving their accuracy. The Artillery Officer also gains access to a co-ordinated barrage ability, similar to the 'Victor Target' ability of the British Captain from Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. Co-ordinated barrage directs all friendly artillery units on the map to barrage a single location, regardless of whether aforementioned artillery units are currently on a 'cooldown' for their own barrage abilities.
Ostruppen are cheap infantry that can be used to match the Soviets in terms of numbers, but their combat abilities are questionable in comparison to other infantry. Fairly sub-par units if commanded poorly, Osttruppen squads obtain noticeable bonuses to accuracy and durability if they are in cover, effectively allowing them to challenge enemy infantry if the terrain permits them, but they are still vulnerable to close-range weapons such as flamethrowers or automatic weapons. Some Commanders permit the Wehrmacht to activate a temporary ability that replaces killed infantrymen with Osttruppen, at a rate of one squad per six dead soldiers. Alternatively, the dedicated Ostruppen Commander allows them to be immediately available at 0 CP.
- Assault Grenadiers
Deployed by the Mechanized Assault Commander, Assault grenadiers have mp40 submachine guns that are lethal at close range. Once battle phase 1 is reached, assault grenadiers can use 45 munitions to throw a volley of model-24 grenades, which can effectively dislodge enemies from ambient structures or devastate weapon teams. They can be deployed at 0 cp, making them an early game unit. In the early game, Assault Grenadiers should be given support from other Wehrmacht units such as the MG-42 or standard grenadier squads, as they are highly vulnerable to enemy fire while they're closing in to close quarters, and replenishing lost soldiers can be problematic in the early game. Upon reaching veterancy rank 2, Assault Grenadiers receive survivability improvements that make them suitable for continued use through the mid and late game. Unlike Osttruppen or Grenadiers, Assault Grenadiers lack the panzerfaust ability that would otherwise pose a threat to enemy light and medium armour - this makes them vulnerable to vehicles.
Accessed through the Encirclement Doctrine Commander, Stormtroopers are ideal for breaking enemy supply lines. Similar to the Soviet partisans, Stormtroopers can be deployed from any ambient structure that isn't occupied by an enemy squad allowing them to appear quickly and flank enemy positions or neutralize captured points. They are costly to deploy and maintain, and their combat abilities do not particularly stand out - their use as a flanking and infiltration unit is tantamount.
There are a number of vehicles the Germans can produce. These tend to be more expensive but also more powerful, and usually outmatch their soviet counterparts.
Light Vehicles Edit
- Sd.Kfz. 251 Half-track:
The 251 half track can carry up to 2 ordinary squads, has decent armour and speed. Unlike its Soviet counterpart, the 251 half-track's enclosed structure means that garrisoned units can not fire at nearby units whilst inside the halftrack. Once the HQ is at battle phase 2, it can be upgraded with flamethrowers for 90 munitions. This greatly enhances it's anti infantry capabilities, but it loses the ability to transport soldiers. It can transport machinegun teams, and is immensely useful for reinforcing nearby squads. With the proper doctrine, this halftrack can lay heavy anti-tank mines that can heavily damage and immobilize enemy vehicles.
- Sd.Kfz. 221 Scout Car
The 221 scout car is a cheap but effective unit. It has better armour and firepower than the soviet M3, but it costs more and lacks the ability to carry infantry. It can be upgraded with a 2cm auto-cannon which improves its anti infantry and aircraft capabilities. This upgrade also allows it to destroy Soviet M3's and generally any light vechicle it meets. The 2cm auto-cannon can inflicts enough damage that it is able to challenge Russian T70 light tanks, if provided the right support and maneuvering. With the 2cm auto-cannon upgrade, it can be used to hunt vulnerable units behind the enemy's screening force. Soviet support vehicles such as Katyushas and the occasional SU-76 (if flanked properly) can be destroyed by the 2cm auto-cannon, and enemy support teams such as snipers, machinegun crews, and AT gun crews can be decimated if the 221 scout car catches them from a flank. Be wary, as the 221 receives notable damage from small-arms fire, and will perish even more quickly if targeted with Soviet PTRS rifles or anti-tank grenades.
- Sd.Kfz. 250 and 250/7 Half-track
The 250 half-track can carry one squad and has no offensive capabilities, but the open-top design allows garrisoned infantry to fire at nearby enemies - accessed through the Mechanized Assault commander and the Mechanized Support doctrine, the 250 lacks the ability to reinforce nearby squads, and should primarily be used as a squad transport vehicle, if at all. The 250/7 mortar half track cannot carry infantry, however it has a permanent mortar team stationed inside it and acts as a fast, movable mortar.
- Panzerwerfer 42 Half-track
The Panzerwerfer is the German equivalent to the Soviet Katuysha, but with slightly better armor. It fires ten rockets within five seconds, and at veterancy 1 can activate counter-barrage. Ordered from the heavy panzer corps. Has a mounted MG42 for defence, though it cannot rely on it for long. The rocket battery can turn and target independently of the direction the Panzerwerfer chassis is facing, and its rockets are fired at a much steeper angle than the katyusha.
Medium Vehicles Edit
- Sd.Kfz. 234 'Puma' Armored Car
An armored car called "Puma"; it's a vehicle with 8 wheel drive and it's equipped with an anti-tank gun 5.0 cm, it has the ability anti-tank to a certain extent. Valid for light vehicles structure, armored vehicles, and defenses. It is available only with "Mobile Defense Doctrine". Although this is true, the OKW can access this in their Mechanized Regiment headquarters, without the requirement of any specific doctrine.
- StuG III Ausf. E
The StuG III model E is a weak but cheap DLC commander unit. It costs and acts similar to the T-70 light tank, and has noticeably weaker armour and firepower than the StuG G. The main cannon is ineffective against tanks, but it has an impressive rate of fire, and has deadly accuracy when firing at infantry units as its shells are high explosive.
- StuG III Ausf. G
The StuG III model G is a decent tank, with a fixed turret and a Panzer III chassis. It can be upgraded with an MG42 to give it extra defence against infantry, and minor effect on enemy aircraft. The StuG is a great defensive tank, when put at the back of the lines and only driven up to fight enemy tanks when they are weakest or not paying attention. Its forward facing gun has long range and is great for supporting friendly troops and armor against enemy vehicles and structures. 1 on 1 the T-34 will be able to outclass it easily if it gets too close. At veterancy rank 1, the StuG can fire a specialized 'HEAT' shell at enemy tanks, which will stun the target if the shell connects.
- Panzer IV
The Panzer IV is a sturdy German tank, with a powerful gun and armour. A good mix of mobility, anti-infantry, and anti-tank capabilities, the Panzer IV's versatility is impressive and is overall superior to most allied medium tanks. At veterancy rank 1, it may use blitzkrieg tactics to outrun the enemy at veterancy rank 1.
- Flakpanzer IV "Ostwind"
The Ostwind is a fast tank armed with a flak cannon that deals good damage to infantry and aircraft. Good if your opponent is using a lot of infantry but little tanks. Similar to the Panzer IV, veterancy rank 1 allows the Ostwind to utilize blitzkrieg tactics for increased mobility. Be wary of the Ostwind's surroundings, as the flakpanzer's line of fire can be blocked by ambient cover objects or terrain.
Heavy Tanks Edit
- Sturmpanzer IV 'Brummbar'
A dedicated assault gun for attacking enemy positions and infantry. It can annihilate any infantry (including AT guns) and does decent damage to enemy howitzers mounted in armoured casemates. Firing in an arc that can reach over battlefield obstacles and low buildings, the Brummbar can provide indirect fire support in the right situations. Has the same armour as a Panzer IV, but the heavy gun takes a long time to reload and is less effective against armor. As with most tanks, it can be upgraded with a MG42. With no turret and the expected sluggishness of a heavy tank, the Brummbar is somewhat less mobile than other armoured vehicles.
- Panther Pz.Kpfw. V Medium Tank
This medium-heavy tank is a fast and powerful killing machine. Its sturdy armour makes this tank a force to be reckoned with, but its 75mm cannon is more specialized against armor than the Panzer IV. Capable of withstanding infantry assaults, it is even better against tanks and can be a threat to heavy tanks when flanking. Can accommodate a MG42.
- PzKpfw. VI Tiger Heavy Tank
The Tiger tank is extremely powerful and and is good against all enemies. It's heavy armour and fast firing gun is accurate enough to eliminate infantry, and can devastate even the most powerful targets, such as IS-2s and ISU-152s, particularly when flanking. It is slightly less mobile than the Panther, and should be handled accordingly. Like many other German tanks, can upgrade with a MG42 turret gunner to kill infantry trying to outflank it.
- Tiger Ace
This special tiger tank is a 3 star veteran tank, with great sight range, firepower, and survivability. Can only be ordered in once a game (via elite troops DLC commander) for 800 manpower. It doesn't require fuel, but once called in reduces manpower and fuel income that will re-establish over time. Regardless of the player's chosen camouflage for heavy vehicles, the tiger ace always deploys with a unique yellow stripe pattern, making it difficult for an enemy player to ignore it when it is engaged in combat.
- Elefant Heavy Tank Destroyer
The Elefant is a monstrous tank destroyer, with tremendous range and frontal durability, that can exterminate Soviet medium armour with two hits. To balance this great firepower and armour, the Elefant is exceedingly slow and lacks a mobile turret; although the Elephant arguably has the last word in head-on tank battles, it is immensely vulnerable to being flanked, and it has negligible combat abilities against enemy infantry. Use its immense range with a screening force of infantry to effectively deny enemy tank movement through a large area.
Units obtain veterancy by killing enemies, taking damage and using abilities. The unit can get up to 3 stages of veterancy, each improving the unit and it's capabilities. The effect differs for every unit, but the pattern is usually: Star 1: unlocks new ability that can be activated Star 2: improves characteristics like speed and health Star 3: maximises the unit's potential and gives it a further boost in parameters.
Style and Strategy Edit
It is useful to combine your attacks as you move into mid or late game as an all tank push will get crippled by a combination of hostile infantry and anti-tank. However, if you combine your attack they can clear out almost all defensive positions if supported by support units or artillery.
Command Doctrines Edit
There are numerous German commanders featured in the game, with many more being available as DLC .