russian armor

Knowing Is Half The Battle - Recon Company Strategy

US Forces: Recon Support Company Build
Read on for more details about the build. Use this section to reference the build order quickly.
Early Game

Mid Game

Late Game

Introduction & Commander Overview

Recon Support Company is an interesting Premium Commander. I was lucky enough to get this Commander several times during the Alpha and I took a liking to its humble set of abilities. Recon Support has a fun play-style that gives you a solid mid-game and exceptional scouting powers. This commander will reward players who can quickly formulate battle plans to stay one step ahead with their increased scouting.

This build was developed for 2v2 play. I think it could work in 1v1s but it will likely struggle on maps where Heavy Machine Guns struggle as we do rely on our .50 Caliber HMGs mid game.

Before we get into the build proper, let us look at Recon Support Company's powers in brief and analyze them.
1CP - Forward Observers
"Riflemen squads now see further while in cover or garrisoned."

  • A free passive ability that helps your Riflemen gather information and pick their fights
  • Requires you to be stationary for ~2-3 seconds to activate.

This power boosts your Riflemen's sight range by ~30% when they are stationary in cover or a building. It is not flashy but it helps quite a bit. Jump from building to building with Riflemen to gather information. Otherwise this passive will just give you some forewarning of enemy movements.
2CP - IR Pathfinders
"A squad of I&R (Intelligence and Reconnaissance) Pathfinders can be deployed to the battlefield. These I&R Pathfinders are authorized to call down artillery barrages." A recon squad with excellent sight range and mid-range firepower."

210 7

  • Pathfinders camouflage in cover automatically.
  • Pathfinders boast excellent sight range.
  • Can lay beacons that will allow Airborne units to reinforce.
  • At Command Point 6 they unlock a special power that allows them to call-in off-map artillery. Extremely potent barrage.
  • Also has a "Fake Artillery Barrage" power that just throws down red flares for 20 munitions. Good mind games!
  • Extremely fragile 3-man squad.
  • Weak in combat due to numbers and no special weapons.
  • 210 manpower to call-in.
  • Their call-in artillery requires them to be ~50 range of the target to call it in.

This is a fascinating support unit. My advice is to not call it in at CP 3. It is not a good combat unit and doesn't really shine until CP 6 at which point it can call-in devastating artillery barrages that come in rather quickly. In my opinion the I&R Pathfinder artillery call-in is the best artillery that the US forces have available to them at this time.

The beacons that they lay can be useful for a later power.
3CP - M8 Greyhound
"The M8 Greyhound is a fast armored car that can tackle light vehicles its 37mm main gun. Its canister shot is able to decimate grouped infantry. Effective against light vehicles. Weak vs. tanks and anti-vehicle weaponry."


  • A light vehicle that boasts a superb sight range that improves with veteran levels. Puts the T-70 to shame at higher levels of veterancy.
  • Canister Shot special ability offers scary anti-infantry power.
  • Good long-range firepower. The Greyhound seems to boast range that exceeds many hand-held AT weapons like Panzerschrecks. Somewhat of a sniper tank.
  • Costs 280 manpower and 40 fuel.
  • Fragile. Requires a 75 munition Armored Skirts upgrade to soak multiple anti-tank hits safely.
  • Low penetration. It can bully some light vehicles but even auto-cannon units like the Panzer II "Luchs" tank can kill it.
  • Resists small arms fire but is not immune.

The Greyhound is a superb light vehicle. It has a great sight range and it can fire its cannon at long range as well. This unit used to be a superb choice with Lieutenant tech (Tier 1) but the US AA Halftrack is now on that tier. I believe it is still a good unit for this purpose though.

Canister Shot is interesting. I would treat it like an Ostheer Bundled Grenade. The Greyhound has to "aim" for a second or two before it fires but it more or less kills all infantry in the AoE. It is better on stationary targets like AT guns in my experience. It can be used on moving units but will struggle to hit sometimes. I have even killed retreating units with this ability but it is... inconsistent. The Greyhound is a bit of a "sniper" light tank so they will often try to force a fight with it. Use Canister Shot on Volksgrenadiers/Panzergrenadiers who are rushing ahead to Panzerschreck you carefully. If you kill the guy with the Panzerschreck it reloads instantly when the next guy picks it up!

While it can wipe squads when it hits properly Canister Shot has a mind of its own. Be careful and don't rely on a squad wipe.
4CP - Recon Sweep
"A recon plane will do a high altitude sweep of the battlefield."

  • Scouts anywhere, anytime.
  • Vision from the plane only lasts seconds.
  • Does not make "multiple passes"
  • The Major has this power and actually gets two scout planes with veterancy.
  • 60 Munitions.

A lackluster power that still has uses. You can't undervalue the power to scout the enemy on demand and that's what this power gives you. The ability gives vision in a wide circle straight down a line. You get to draw the line. The vision granted is very brief so pay attention.

Use this power to spot crucial information. Where is the enemy Jagdtiger/Elefant? Where is that Howitzer? It can keep you in the fight.
7CP - Airdropped Combat Group
"Two squads of Paratroopers can be paradropped into the battlefield along with an AT Gun. These Paratroopers are deployed with a random set of equipment."

  • Drops two Airborne Squads with randomized weapons and an AT gun with attached crew.
  • Value is decent. The ability costs 900 manpower but offers 1030 manpower and 240 munitions worth of units anywhere on the map.
  • Randomized Airborne weapons can be one of the following: 2 BARs, 2 Bazookas, 2 M1918 LMGs or 3 Thompson SMGs.
  • Expensive. Who can save up 900 manpower in a match?
  • Airdrops everything so it requires line-of-sight and beacons to do it safely.
  • Randomized weapons makes the power unreliable. Favors anti-infantry squads.

An interesting power but quite unrealistic. The cost is high for decent value. I almost never use this power and I have been disappointed when I have used it. US AT gun is fairly weak and the randomized weapons on the Airborne can give you units that you don't need.
Early Game

We're going to go off the beaten path with this build.

Instead of three Riflemen we're going to go with two Riflemen and one additional Rear Echelon squad. It's a build that's fallen out of favor since Volley Fire was fixed.

We want to save some manpower for .50 Caliber HMGs and we want extra fuel with this build. The Rear Echelon squad enables both of these things. It has lower upkeep and lower cost so we have more manpower floating. You can consider buying a Fuel Cache with your second Rear Echelon squad. It helps us get our Greyhound faster by giving some CP experience and it feeds our fuel income.

Our early game will be weakened by these choices though. The first battles may not go in your favor. Play more defensively than you normally would. Put your Rear Echelon squads into buildings to slow the enemy down. Preserve the health of your Riflemen.

Keep your Rear Echelon squads alive. They're your anti-tank mid-game.

Your early game movements will differ based on your opponent:
  • Against OKW: pair your units up and explore the map. Rear Echelon + Riflemen will conquer Sturmpioneers almost always.
  • Against Ostheer: Keep spacing between all of your units and send them along wide flanks as to avoid MGs. Try to surprise him with your firepower and angle of attack.

Recon Support takes a little time to kick in so we're going to go Lieutenant to give us more early game punch. Our goal is to field a deadly infantry force and then flood the field with armor to keep the enemy on their toes.

The Lieutenant is an exceptionally good medium range unit with a BAR in the squad automatically. All US Officers gain experience when allied units around them get experience. If you fight together with your other units then your Lieutenant will become veteran very quickly! Treat him like a Rifleman who has extra firepower.

We have access to the superb .50 Caliber HMG and we're going to make use of that. This unit is the best HMG in the game. It has the set-up time of a Maxim, the suppression and killing power of the DshK (very good), and a large arc in which to ensnare troops. Use this to suppress elite infantry who are just too tough to fight normally. Early game it can act as a soft-counter for light vehicles as well. The Kubelwagon is no match for this HMG.

When fighting the OKW, you need to get a read on the enemy's tech path. This should be pretty easy with your superior scouting powers early game.

Vs. OKW: Mechanized Regiment HQ

You found a Mechanized Regiment truck. Mechanized Regiment means fast light vehicles from the enemy and lots of trouble. Here's what you need to do:

Get your Bazookas nice and early. We're going to put those Rear Echelon squads to use. Grab Bazookas on both squads as your munitions will allow. Your Rear Echelon squads are your dedicated bazooka machines. Protect them and use them to scare the enemy's armor away.

Your Lieutenant and .50 Caliber HMG will suppress and slaughter enemy infantry. Your Rear Echelon squads with bazookas will push enemy light armor back. Your ever flexible Riflemen can help with any enemy threat thanks to their AT grenade at Vet 1. This gives you a well rounded force. Your early Bazookas and HMGs will help against his light armor.

Once things settle down with the enemy light armor rush we will continue as planned.

The Ambulance is a necessity that should be safe to get after the rush. If you need to burn excess manpower then grab another HMG.

Consider the Greyhound carefully. It has good anti-infantry and good sight range. I like to get the M8 Greyhound against Flak Half-tracks but not against Pumas. If you see a Puma then you should be wary about the Greyhound.

If you don't get a Greyhound then save your fuel and get a Major ASAP.
Vs. OKW: Battlegruppe Headquarters

You found a Battlegruppe Headquarters. This means the enemy will likely play a more defensive game early on. Expect MG-34s and him to use his truck to reinforce and exert map control around it.

If you have the manpower you should pick up a second .50 Caliber HMG. Sometimes your resources will be tight. Pick it up whenever you can.

Focus on controlling the map with your heavy machine guns. Get an Ambulance to keep troops healthy. The enemy may try to punish your .50 Cal Machine guns with the OKW's Infantry Support Gun which is akin to a mortar. Just keep moving with your HMG. It packs and unpacks like a Maxim so it's very mobile. The Ambulance can reinforce troops in the field if stationary and in allied territory. Use this to keep your HMGs battle ready. Conserve your fuel.

At CP 3 you should pick up a M8 Greyhound. Now your fighting force is very scary! You have strong suppression, a good anti-infantry tank and solid core-infantry. Your biggest weak point is probably either a tech switch into Pumas or a Jagdpanzer. To counter both you'll need to pick up Bazookas. Give both of your Rear Echelon squads two Bazookas and you'll be set against armored threats.

Greyhounds have far better sight range though so avoid threats and snipe at infantry with your superior range. With luck you can pin the enemy back to their Battlegruppe Headquarters truck using your Heavy Machine Guns and then blow it up with Bazookas and Greyhound.

If a direct siege of their Battlegruppe Headquarters is not possible then use your superior vision and mobility to capture everything around the truck and strangle his resources.

If you saw MG-34s from the enemy then you should expect him to get Fallscrimjagers too. Thankfully they are also CP 3 so your Greyhound will arrive right on time to punish this elite infantry. Beware of their Panzerfaust ability though! Vehicle Crews can repair damaged engines instantly with their "Repair Critical" ability. A slow greyhound is a dead greyhound. It is possible, if dangerous, to repair in combat with this ability. Consider it if you know that AT troops are nearby.
Vs. Wehrmacht Forces

Dealing with Grenadiers with LMG42s can be quite difficult without the .50 Caliber Machine Gun. If your manpower budget does not allow for it though do not get the second .50 Cal HMG. When your Greyhound hits the field at CP 3 you'll have an edge. Your Greyhound has the edge against an up-gunned 222 Scout Car but don't get cocky. You can still lose that fight. The Pak40 is an ever present threat though. Use good scouting to keep tabs on the enemy AT guns.

If you don't see any Tier 2 units at all by CP 3 then trouble is brewing. Pressure his fuel hard! You will struggle to fight Ostheer tanks with only Bazookas. Your Greyhound will be really hard for him to take down with Panzerfausts alone. Run him over and punish his greed!
Late Game
No plan survives contact with the enemy. You may have been forced to deviate from the build already due to the enemy. I will try to lay out some guidelines to help you in the late game.

Around CP 6 you should consider pulling in your Pathfinders. This unit is most valuable against Ostheer players who are playing an extended Tier 2 game. The barrage that they can call in comes in very fast and hits very hard. Pak40s and MG42s will struggle to dodge the barrage and you can create squad wipes with this power.

From here, we're going to specialize our units further. Start picking up Bazookas on your Riflemen too and then back them up with M8A1 Howitzer Motor Carriages. Our infantry will keep our M8A1s safe with tons of Bazookas. Our M8A1s and .50 Caliber HMGs will keep our Bazookas safe from enemy infantry. Our Pathfinders will spot danger before it arrives.

If you're well ahead in fuel income you could consider a Sherman but I find that most opponents when they are behind fall back on Pak40s and Raketenwerfers. The M8A1 will allow us to dismantle these from a safe range.

Keep track of the enemy's fuel expenditures. If you see:
  • Ostheer player with no Tier 2 units
  • The Panzer Schwerer Headquarters Truck (OKW's final tier, Tier 4)

Then you need to prepare for armor quickly. Consider building a Sherman or a Jackson before your M8A1s. The Jackson is a 60-range tank destroyer who will benefit from your excellent scouting abilities. It is very fragile and you have no mines. Protect it with your Bazookas that you picked up earlier.

Pick up an M36 Jackson as soon as possible after your first two M8A1s.

If you feel like your front-line needs more "meat" and more units to soak damage then consider a Sherman.

Our ideal armored force is: 2 M8A1s, a Jackson Tank Destroyer and a Sherman.

Commit to building your tanks ASAP. American tanks take a legendary amount of time to build. We don't have a Captain to speed up production either.
Airdropped Combat Group
If you need to replenish infantry squads that have been lost then you could consider this power. It is an incredible risk. You must save manpower and you don't know what you will get. Airborne are just better than Riflemen though so you will be stronger for it.

I believe it has too high of a opportunity cost to be of value however. Avoid using this power unless you desperately need boots on the ground and you're floating resources.
Recap and Conclusion
Here's the build in rough order.

  • Rifleman
  • Rifleman
  • Rear Echelon Squad
  • Lieutenant
  • .50 Cal HMG
  • M8 Greyhound at CP3.
  • Bazooka Research + Equip Rear Echelon squads with Bazookas
  • .50 Cal HMG
  • Ambulance
  • Major
  • I&R Pathfinders
  • M8A1 Howie
  • M8A1 Howie
  • Equip MORE squads with Bazookas
  • M36 Jackson
  • Sherman
Video Guide
Good luck and I hope you enjoyed this guide! Contact me on COH2.ORG, post comments on this thread, or find me on Steam!

and remember...!

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