russian armor

Relief Infantry Guide

Introduction/General Information
In the Company of Heroes 2 world, not all strategies are alike. Many players choose to use tried and true build orders, commanders, and abilities in order to achieve victory on the battlefield. In this guide we will be highlighting an ability often ignored by players, but can be a fun way to victory. This guide is centered around the "Relief Infantry" ability available to Wehrmacht players. It is featured in three commanders, and has long been ignored or forgotten by most players. Victory awaits you commander!
The Ability (Relief Infantry)
Comprising foreign volunteers, convalescents and conscripts from annexed territories in the East, Osttruppen are the mainstay of the Wehrmacht's relief infantry divisions. Surprisingly effective in numbers, these hardy (if reluctant) soldiers can be used to augment better-trained German units.

Though they may change from one balance patch to the next, the basic premise of Osttruppen has always remained the same: cap, swarm, distract and defend. They are larger but less well-trained than the smaller Grenadier and Panzergrenadier squads, and are generally best used to fortify defensive lines, re-crew support weapons and capture territory whilst more valuable units combat the enemy.

Osttruppen are best used in cover, in which they enjoy an innate defensive modifier unique to that squad.

Let's take a look at the ability itself:

The description for the Relief Infantry ability is fairly concise, but the requirements and mechanics behind it have long been misunderstood by many.

I have met a number of players who think that you need to lose entire squads in order to receive Osttruppen replacements. This is incorrect. As the text says, you have to lose four soldiers (entities); it doesn't matter if it's four from one squad (i.e. a Grenadier squad gets one-shotted by an ISU-152) or one from four squads.

The ability works on all applicable Wehrmacht squads, including weapon teams, Snipers and even other Osttruppen... so a fairly painless way of acquiring more Osttruppen is simply to use the ability once your first wave of Osttruppen has already arrived. Rinse and repeat!

Here is a summary of the Relief Infantry ability and its requirements:
  • It is unlocked at 6 CP;
  • It costs 90 munitions to activate;
  • It has a duration time of 120 seconds;
  • It has a cooldown time of 180 seconds;
  • It will replace losses from all Wehrmacht squads, including other Osttruppen;
  • You will receive one Osttruppen squad for every four individiual soldiers lost;
  • You will receive a maximum of three Osttruppen squads per use of the ability;
  • It will end after either the 120 second duration time is over OR three Osttruppen squads have been dispatched.

ACHTUNG! ACHTUNG!: Please note that the Relief Infantry and Rapid Conscription abilities can sometimes glitch, and so will not recognize that the criteria for a replacement squad have been met. This means that on occasion you will need to lose more soldiers than the number given on the respective ability's description. This is a bug and does not reflect the intended use of these abilities.
The Commanders
The Relief Infantry ability is currently available in three commanders:
  • Festung Support Doctrine
  • German Infantry Doctrine
  • Lightning War Doctrine

Of these, Festung Support is an obvious choice as it is available to all players by default and grants access to the leFH 18 light field howitzer, which costs a sizable amount of manpower – a resource you will save with successful use of the Relief Infantry strategy. Conversely, Lightning War grants the Tiger, which a savvy player will be able to afford by the time it is available. Both of these commanders present viable options.
The Strategy
The strategy itself focuses on frequent and sustained usage of the Relief Infantry ability. The goal is to flood the map with Osttruppen in order to harass the enemy on all points of the battlefield, distract their defensive lines, bolster your own defensive lines, 'faust enemy armor and re-crew support weapons.

If you are on the defensive during an enemy counter-attack, put any Osttruppen you have in bunkers or buildings, behind walls or in trenches if an allied player has access to them. Osttruppen are at their best when using abandoned weapons such as DP-28, LMG 34 and LMG 42 light machine guns, or anti-tank weapons such as PTRS', M9 Bazookas and of course the Axis Panzerschreck.

Be warned that this strategy will quickly deplete your munitions reserves, but the manpower and fuel you save in the process can be put to excellent use. Whilst your enemy is distracted by waves of Osttruppen attacks, spend your manpower on fuel and munitions caches, anti-tank guns and bunkers.
Relief Infantry is unlocked at 6 CP, thus it's a late mid-game ability. Depending on the general skill of both yourself and your opponent(s) and the average damage output you're inflicting, you will reach 6 CP somewhere between 11 and 15 minutes, though it can be later depending on other factors.

In order to successfully use this strategy you must meet some basic fundamental requirements:
  • Good map control, as you will want a constant 30+ munitions income;
  • A sizable infantry-based force, including support weapons and (ideally) anti-tank guns;
  • A Half-track to reinforce your losses, especially your veteran non-Osttruppen squads.

ACHTUNG! ACHTUNG!: Make sure to purchase any munitions-based upgrades you want before initiating Relief Infantry spam, as repeat usage of the ability will seriously drain your munitions reserves.

For example, upgrading to an LMG 42 on one of your Grenadier squads will cost you 2/3 of the price of a single use of the Relief Infantry ability.
Initiate the Spam
This is certainly the hardest part as it requires luck as well as initial losses on squads which you will not want to lose, but once this is achieved the ensuing self-perpetuating spam will be extremely difficult to counter.

Once you have unlocked the Relief Infantry ability and have accumulated 90 munitions, gather your infantry and prepare for an attack. By now you should have several veteran Grenadier and Panzergrenadier squads and a number of support weapons, as well as an Artillery Field Officer if you have selected the German Infantry Doctrine. This is useful as his abilities will make Osttruppen much more potent when blobbed.

Activate the Relief Infantry ability and then immediately attack your enemy at a spot where you expect heavy resistance; pick a target the enemy would not usually expect you to attack, as he will then question why you are playing in such an unorthodox manner. If he is confused he will question your overall strategy as well as his own form of response, which will potentially hand you the advantage.

The aim is to lose soldiers, but not squads. If you have a Half-track, use it to reinforce your infantry during the attack so as to keep your squads in combat. The more you lose, the more you gain; your squads will stay alive (even as individual soldiers die) and gain veterancy whilst the enemy's perish, and your losses will be replaced by Osttruppen which can in turn replace more losses the next time around.

Repeat this pattern until you have two or three Osttruppen squads.
How to use Osttruppen
Once you have accumulated several Osttruppen squads you will no longer be forced to risk losing your better-trained and more expensive Grenadiers and Panzergrenadiers. Use your Osttruppen combined with the Relief Infantry ability to get even more squads by repeating the above steps, as the same rule still applies.

Since Osttruppen squads comprise six soldiers rather than four, you will (numerically speaking) receive three squads for every two lost. This means that – assuming your initial assaults were 'successful' – you can rinse and repeat this strategy by simply using Osttruppen to replace Osttruppen, and thus you will theoretically receive an 'extra' squad after each attack.

Things your Osttruppen should do whilst the Relief Infantry ability is active:
  • Harass and capture hostile territory;
  • Attack enemy defensive positions when supported by other units and artillery/off-map abilities;
  • 'Faust enemy armor;
  • Distract enemy units and lure them into ambushes;
  • Sacrifice them to get more!

Things your Osttruppen should do whilst the Relief Infantry ability is cooling down:
  • Capture neutral territory close to your borders;
  • Re-crew support weapons such as HMGs, mortars and anti-tank guns;
  • Pick up abandoned weapons such as LMGs and anti-tank rifles;
  • Stay in heavy cover!

When playing defensively or anticipating an enemy-counter attack, don't forget to stay behind walls and garrison bunkers, trenches and ambient buildings. Make good use of those defensive modifiers.
Final Thoughts
Before we leave you to your Osttruppen hordes, we would like to share some final thoughts on the strategy as a whole, as well as recommended maps to use this on. Keep in mind, no strategy guarantees victory, and you should still make smart tactical decision to overcome your opponent.
Pros & Cons
Pros +
  • You get large numbers of expendable troops to undertake the tasks mentioned above;
  • You save a lot of manpower that would normally be used to reinforce squads;
  • The manpower and fuel reserves allow for a good transition to T3 and/or the Tiger call-in;
  • Osttruppen spam supported by HMGs and an Officer can decisively shut down enemy infantry;
  • 'Recycling' Osttruppen indefinitely is economical and extremely difficult to stop completely.

Cons -
  • You will rarely if ever have munitions left to spend on other upgrades or abilities;
  • You will quickly reach your population cap and find yourself stuck there;
  • You will be handing enemy players an awful lot of XP over the course of a game;
  • Can be quite map-dependent;
  • Can be very difficult to adapt to changing circumstances due to over-reliance on infantry;
  • Can be extremely difficult to recover if the strategy collapses (KV-8, heavy artillery, etc.)
The Relief Infantry strategy is very map-dependent and in many ways quite circumstantial; a major aspect of it focuses on aggressive capping and constant harassment of neutral and enemy territory, and so whilst this works very well on wide, open maps, it can quickly become an issue on narrower or more urban ones.

ACHTUNG! ACHTUNG!: Whichever map you try it on, it is advised to have some armored units in reserve so that should the Osttruppen 'machine' collapse then you can buy yourself enough time to replace some of your losses. This is crucial, as the period between your last Osttruppen squads dying and your new (regular) squads arriving will likely determine who wins the match.

Here is a list of recommended maps:

(2) Faymonville Approach
(2) La Gleize Breakout
(2-4) Hurtgen Forest
(2-4) Vaux Farmlands
(6-8) Lanzerath Ambush
(6-8) La Gleize
(2) Langreskaya / Langreskaya Winter
(2) Kholodny Ferma / Kholodny Ferma Winter
(2-4) Crossing in the Woods (1v1)
(2-4) Semoskiy / Semoskiy Winter (1v1)
(2-4) Minsk Pocket (1v1)
(2-4) Road to Kharkov (1v1)
(2-4) Moscow Outskirts / Moscow Outskirts Winter
(4-6) Rzhev Winter (2v2)
(4-6) Oka River Winter (especially 2v2)
(6-8) Steppes (especially 3v3)
(6-8) Angermuende
(6-8) City 17 / City 17 Winter (especially 3v3)
Thanks for reading! Remember, COH2.ORG is always looking for innovative strategies from the community! Get in touch with a staff member to find out more about how to have your guide featured on COH2.ORG. Good luck commander!
1 user is browsing this thread: 1 guest