Good Lord, Company of Heroes is good

I just picked this game up over the weekend and with my typical gamer hubris I skipped the tutorials and went straight to skirmishes to get a feel for the game. It took quite a few rematches but finally im able to beat the AI on normal pretty much every time unless im being really lazy.

The fact that the AI dosent really try to properly bait and flank MGs make it relatively easy to turtle up early game and make sure you have the AT firepower and your own armor to survive the late game.

Now my biggest question is unit XP - now I know my units get the little green exp points for wasting enemies is this also what gives me command points? Also how does the one German building (the one that lets you purchase veteran upgrades) work in relation to the points gained in combat. Do existing units benefit from the upgrades purchased at this bldg or is it only new ones or do I have to do anything special to get the benefits?

for instance when my Sherman gets the little sand bags on front this is from being level 1 or 2 right? And ive seen some Axis vehicles with Schurtzen side armor on them and I dont think this is a normal upgrade but an experience one unless I just didnt see the buttons.

Allied exp and axis work differently. Each allied unit gets exp points for each kill they make, and those points also go into giving you command points.

Axis works by buying the vet upgrade from that building, but for each kill an axis unit makes gives you exp forward command points.

The sherman with the sandbags is the machinegun upgrade for them that you buy for each tank .

I would recommend trying out the campaign, also – it’s very good.

As someone who never plays skirmish mode, though, I am planning to try that out when I finish the campaign.

ok the exp thing makes a lot more sense now… I was wondering why the Allied bonuses (bonii?) were like way way better than the German ones.

what about doctrines? The allied ones seem better overall (more coherent anyways). The Tiger tanks are nice but I think the 88mm is just a sitting duck. That self repair skill the allied tanks can get sounded lame at first (was hoping for passive regen) but man when you have a wedge of Detroit muscle surrounding and blasting a Panther to pieces its nice to just burn a few munitions and get back to near 100%.

Alot of opinions over at the relic forums say that the allied commands are better then then axis ones and I have to agree with that. I’ve heard people say that armor and air could use some balancing and that infantry is the worse of the 3.

For axis , the 88mm has a huge attack range as long as it has visual on enemies. The problem is that just about any mortar or special attack can wipe them out. I have no idea if Relic is going to release another balance patch or do one major revamp when it releases the expansion this fall.

I started playing again. That’s for all the “my god this is good” comments assholes. It’s a good thing this game is indeed great, so you’re all off the hook for now.

I’m nearly done with the campaign but I did have quite a bit of trouble with Mission 9, Hill 192. I went back and forth on several tries. I missed the time limit, got taken out wave after wave from bombing, didn’t get enough capture points for a substantial push, etc. Finally as I was running low on beer and patience I downloaded a trainer and solved the issue. Lame I know but it helped me move on.

That was the only mission I’ve done where I felt like they wanted an explicit set of actions to be done in order to advance. My strategy on that map sucked. Any tips?

Allies get both self-repair and resurrect abilities. When to use each is kind of situational - when blasting away at an expensive Panther you may want to self-repair and possibly trade a cheaper Sherman for a Panther. Otherwise you’d almost always resurrect so you get your armor back on the field. Both abilities are really good though.

Probably the strongest Allied tree is Airborne, though, for the sheer mass of force that can be quickly brought down wherever needed: anti-tank guns almost as cheap as the generic version that can be quickly deployed anywhere (thus neatly avoiding AT guns’ main weakness) vs armor, and strafing runs vs infantry. It’s very frustrating as an Axis player watching your expensive armor die time and again to clusters of paradropped AT guns appearing out of nowhere. Really the only counter to a good Allied Airborne player are Knights Cross infantry with the rank 2 experience bonus - at that point they can survive strafing runs and do a number on AT guns. Kind of expensive, though…

Axis defensive doctrine is pretty weak. I’ve only found a few maps where 88 guns are at all useful, and they’re all maps with geographic setups that limit sneaky mortar/sniper strikes. The most useful defensive doctrine ability is registered artillery; it’s a fairly devastating way to defend a VP (unlike any other artillery strike it hits nearly instantly so can’t be dodged). Infantry gets rangers and a howitzer which, unlike 88s, can use indirect fire.

How does the triage center work?

I was on the V2 rocket mission, and I built a triage center to see if it would help…when someone got shot, the medics would run out and haul him back, but then nothing would happen. I couldn’t figure out a way to get access to healed men, or figure out if they were being healed.

Is it supposed to be built next to a medical center? (I didn’t have access to that building for that mission…)

Holy crap, I’m starting to feel like some kind of Company of Heroes savant, or something. I hardly play RTSes (or anything!) but I beat it second try. I did NOT capture it in only 50 minutes though, not at all.

My strategy was to start off crawling along the left edge of the map. It was slow going at first until I got a halftrack to flush out the machine gun nests down there. A little more nest-flushing action and I had enough command points for Rangers. Rangers made fairly short work of the Axis armor that showed up when I tried to push into town, and by then I had my tank factory up and running. Once I had my tanks out and had captured the town at the left middle edge of the map, I was starting to get rolling.

Then I pushed into the middle and slightly up the right edge of the map, getting more strategic points. The goddamned Nebelwerfers started bombing my ass, which was a pain. Once I got close enough to get the “OMG a spotting site!” alert, I was like, how the hell do I get up there to that house? Answer: micromanage a Sherman up the road at top speed, just far enough to get in visual range, so I could Calliope it out of existence. Then evac the Sherman – got it back down the hill with like 5% of its health left. Once the spotting house was taken down and the German arty shut up, then things were relatively placid and I cut my way through all the hedgerows (love that bulldozer) around the left side of the map, and crawled up to the hilltop and beat the shit out of it with my Calliope and all the armor I could muster.

Any tips on getting the medal? Doing THAT requires skills I totally lack. Though this guide seems quite good. Trust the Germans to do a good Company of Heroes guide ;-)

throws a screenshot of the axis on hill 192 onto the screen
Repoman: 82, 82, 82.
Skipper: 82 what?
Repoman: Machine gun nests.
Skipper: There’s a lot more than 82 machine gun nests, Repo.
Repoman: 246 total.
Skipper: How many? (To game developer)
Game Dev: 250.
Skipper: Pretty close.
Game Dev: There’s four left off screen.
silent moment … camera shits to Repoman and the music builds.

seconding this as I have no real idea how the medics work either. I thought if I built a medic bunker amidst by garrisoned MG nests it would make them a lot harder to kill but it didnt appear to really do anything

I never really used the triage center, if it’s like the axis medic upgrade then you need to have the medics bring back a certain number of infantry then you get a free squad. It’s more useful for the axis as you can get free grenaders that way.

Medic bunker works the same way, but it has to be in range of the battle (roughly, mortar range). Triage center IIRC will heal your wounded units to full. Axis don’t need it, they get medpacks that allow them to spend munis to do that in the field, which is HUGE for upgraded Knights Cross guys with huge individual HPs. Run to the back of an MG nest, grenade it, heal up.

Amusingly, you can target medics carrying wounded manually, but your units won’t take potshots automatically. I call it “committing war crimes” and do it fairly religiously whether Axis or Allied. Hey, it’s 60 free manpower he’s getting back.

Ah so the problem is I wasn’t getting enough of my guys shot up. Lesson learned!

(Later in the mission I wantonly wasted lots of them, but they weren’t in range of the medic center by then…)

One thing I like about the game is that when things start going wrong, it’s not an automatic “Oh shit I need to replay or redo from last save” – often, grabbing some nearby set of guys or a tank and rushing them to the location will save the day. The ability to have the heroic last-second saves is wonderful.

In particular if you can do it by parachuting in some guys behind an offending machine gun or some such.

Yer, this game really rewards keeping some reserves nearby and having flexible tactics. It also sets up some nail-biting lines of defense. On the Hill 192 mission, there was one point where I was trying to come up the middle, and suddenly all the fields in the center were aflame and artillery was landing on my tanks and I had to pull back to the flanking hedgerows and bring up some AT guns, which barely managed to keep back the Axis armor that tried to push on through. Finally achieved a stalemate there just long enough to take out the arty spotters, at which point I was able to flank around the rest of the map while my AT gunners / BAR riflemen held the center. Great stuff, great stuff.

That mission was hell for me, I split up my forces into two teams to attempt to surround the hill, that mission was proof positive how useful officers with their artiltery power are.

I am unusually slow while playing this game but I like to take my time and go sector by sector, street by street as I sweep across most of the maps. Hill 192 was timed, so that blew my normal playstyle out of the water.

But in a funny twist in mission 11, Hebecrevon, I was doing my normal slow sweep, this time with two Sherman tanks and two M10’s. I left a lot of stuff back at the starter base and went on my way. Then about 2/3 of the way clearing the map the base is assaulted with the rest of the entire panzer division on the map. It was mass chaos. I barely got back with my sweep force but came in to the rear of them so I caught their weak armor side and was able to come out okay. I swear to god though I was panting after that mission. Very, very tense.

You guys need to stop this already… I might actually play the single player campaign and then I’ll have to whine how horribly boring the story is…

It’s not about story…I mean, it’s just different scenarios from the war. It’s about whether you find the actual mission setups interesting.

I’m looking forward to playing through it again after I get through all the missions, because I’m betting I can cut through early campaigns easily now that I know more about how things work. For example, it took me a bit to realize that Machine Gun emplacements don’t need a squad camped inside them and don’t count against your population cap…so now I tend to set up a couple of them around each capture point to secure it while I move on. That would have saved me a lot of hassle in early missions.

I’m also curious how easy Mission 4 is if you go straight to the enemy HQ and knock it out…

Hill 192: Mass tanks, support with engineers, use dozer to cut through the hedgerows.

Edit: You may want to use some MG nests, barbed wire, and an AT gun to keep skirmish forces out of your base.