russian armor

Panzer vor! An OKW Elite Armor Doctrine guide

OKW is a great faction that utilizes combined arms to its fullest potential. Here, I have developed a way for OKW players to maximize the effect of one of its strongest Commanders -- Elite Armor. The main objective of this build is to fight off early game Allied infantry and light vehicles, so as to successfully call in Pz4s for the middle game, which can allow you to not only wreck your enemy infantry spam, but also combat Sherman/T-34 spam. Let's start with a review the Elite Armor Doctrine.
Commander At-A-Glance: Elite Armor
Signal Relay

This ability is great to have on standby when you feel the need to gather intel about the location of enemy vehicles. At the cost of munitions, the mini-map will locate all enemy vehicles, allowing you to avoid or engage as you see fit. The problem lies in the fact that the mini-map fails to tell you what the vehicle is. It could be pesky Clown cars, or a T-34. Overall, however, the munitions price is a little too high for the price of learning where vehicles are, and not what they are.
Emergency Repairs

Emergency Repairs is a key piece of technology to which the USF already has access. It allows the crew to repair any critical hits on your tank, at the cost of munitions. Use caution! It leaves the tank crew vulnerable to being killed, and the vehicle to being abandoned. The cost is reasonable, but the use of this perk is only viable in a non-combat situation, in order to quick fix an engine, so that the vehicle can move out of range, in order to undergo full repairs.
HEAT Shells

HEAT shells act like ACPR and HVAP shells, which other factions gain the ability to use. It allows smaller caliber guns to adopt the power of bigger arty, due to Increased Penetration and the damage it can cause. The drawback is range and thus accuracy. HEAT shells are best used at close range, to compensate for extreme shell drop (HEAT shells replace the normal AP shell being fired. HEAT shells; however, have increased drop (arched trajectory) because of their slower velocity). I find that they are useful and cost effective, now that OKW is not munition-starved as previously.
Panzer Commander

The Panzer Commander allows for tanks to have increased sight range, and it also allows for the tank to call down arty, not unlike an Ostheer Field Officer or USF Major. However, the cost is overwhelming for a call-in which is underwhelming. The usefulness is only in increased sight range for the tanks.
Veteran Pz4 Battle Group

The pride of this Commander, two Panzer IV Auf J tanks, with a random amount of XP. These medium tanks add versatility to the OKW arsenal, as well as a well-rounded tank for all roles. While good, they are in not armed with 88s but rather 75mm guns, so use them with extreme care against heavier armor and always support them, for they are also more fragile. While munition heavy in outfitting both of them, the tanks are viable by themselves, for dealing with almost any but the heaviest Allied armor on the field.
The Build
Early Game Part 1

The key component of the early game is to not lose your infantry at all! You do not want to have to replace any of them: you want to conserve manpower and utilise the OKW vet bonuses.
Static defenses
The idea behind the extra Sturmpioneer is to use OKW increased munitions income, in order to lay mines and wire at choke points, so that one VP is easily within your control and so that the defenses funnel the enemy onto your troops, which should be dug in around the secondary VP. Use your Volks to engage the enemy first and foremost, and then ambush those units on the flanks and rear with blobbed-up Sturms, since they will decimate the infantry easily. (Yes! I said blob with OKW Sturms!).

Your defenses are not going to hold off the heaviest assaults; however, they will provide you with the ability to channel enemy units into key fire zones. The following are places I place my defenses on well known tourney maps.

  • Red - Wire
  • Yellow - Mines
  • Pink - Enemy Attack Routes

In this last picture, you can see how I shape the battlefield, by just using the hedgerow and placing the barbed wire, you can divert enemy troops into the narrow road. This allows you not only to divert infantry, but also light vehicles into the paths of mines, and place them under fire from infanterie rifles. Not only does this funnel the enemy into a pre-designed path, it also allows for the OKW player to hold onto 2 VPs, thus giving him map advantage.

When the enemy retreats, take time to order your Volks to decap key enemy points. (Remember! As OKW, it is just as vital to decap points, as it is to cap them, because when you decap, you deny the enemy the chance of gaining resources. In that regard, decap as many points as possible, in order to maximize the time the enemy stays rebuilding) and then also build up mines and wire.
Early Game Part 2

At this point your Munitions should be building up, so get your Volks shreked up. The beauty about OKW, is that they increase the Munitions income to 100%, so it is viable to lay mines and get shreks at the same time. While in the midst of capping and decapping points, obtain a Puma. The Puma is an amazing light vehicle killer at range, and can be useful in the late game, once it achieves vet status using heat shells.

Once you obtain the Puma and the shreks, you have the AT necessary, until your Pz4s come out to wreck the field; however, if you feel that the enemy is rushing for those Sherman's/T-34s because their amount infantry seems on the low side, there are fuel caches to order in a Raketenwerfer.

Whilst the Raketenwerfer is not the best AT gun in the game its RoF gives you the ability to keep the enemy tanks at bay, until your tanks come onto the field. Use the Puma to get right up close and personal to the enemy, especially if they go Shocks or BARS, since at close range the Puma can wreck infantry and chase them away. Another Sturmpioneer squad brings you to 3, which in coordination to with a Volks squad, or Puma, can easily destroy the blobs of US riflemen or Russian conscript spam.

Make sure to convert munitions to fuel so as to quicly get the battlegroup and flack truck soon.
Mid Game

The mid-game is all about recruiting the Obersoldaten and the Pz4 battlegroup. Use the Flak truck to further bolster defences, by setting it up near your fuel, or at the blocked off VP, so as to snipe those pesky Rear echelons/engineers which roam the battle off the points. You need the Obersoldaten to work the enemy infantry at range, to the extent that you then can rush in with Sturms using the infamous 'blob' mentality, which is key to killing Allied units efficiently.

Always make sure to cut off the enemy points whenever possible, denying them the resources they so desperately need,while at the same time keeping your economy alive. Then recruit that battlegroup. Once you get that, upgrade them with armor skirts in order to prolong their durability, since they are essential for combatting tanks like the the Easy8 and T-34-85, which can otherwise plague the battlefield.
The Battlegroup
The battlegroup contains very important upgrades: 3 of them to be precise. It can obtain not only increased armor, but also an MG or a Commander, both of which should be the highest priority. Since munitions are limited, the first upgrade you should get is the Armor Skirts, to allow the Pz4s to have more armor and thus live longer on the battlefield. Without these, the tanks are almost not worth the cost, if the enemy has any sort of AT upon the field. Since there are 2 tanks, I have found that equipping one with an MG is significant enough. The other needs the Commander, for he allows the battlegroup to see further, coordinate better and thus allowing an advantage on an enemy unit which lacks line of sight. However, if you choose the Commander, you must keep the Pz4s together at all times, so as to actually have the bonus applied to the group.

A key feature of this Commander is HEAT shells. HEAT is a type of shell that in is a shape charge and is effective, no matter the range, but it is not accurate. The game mimicks this with Increased Penetration, but also with crazy shots and drops. Pz4s are best used against medium/light armor, but when heavier tanks like the IS2 arrive, you need to flank and get around the IS2 at all costs. Get up close and use HEAT shells, for they will penetrate the heavier armor. This is what makes it so nice. Make sure to attack with fausts and other AT,so so as to kill the enemy as fast as possible.

Once you get a panther or KT, the need for HEAT is still best used only upon the Pz4s, for both heavier armor tanks have enough penetration at range. To be successful with the battlegroup, the key is to use them in coordination with the Puma (at range) and your Volks, so as to to quickly eliminate enemy armor. The faster you eliminate the enemy armor in 1v1, the more likely you are to win. With the Sturms, you can also repair tanks very quickly, thus continuously push, be aggressive and take cut-off points and push the enemy back.
Late Game

If you make it to this stage, use your Tanks as reactionary forces. Flex with the tanks, as in respond to threats with them based upon threat level. Flanked by t34? Flex the panther to respond and then bring it back. When you react and counter enemy pushes, you allow yourself the ability to hold the VPs until they count down to your ultimate victory. Personally I requisition a Panther to back up my Pz4s, so that any enemy armor dies fast and hard, for it is easier to obtain than the KT, and is faster, so it can to keep up with my Pz4s.
Possible Counters

When the Russians use these typical anti OKW strats, it is easy to predict future moves. With Shocktroops, the key is to lay in wait with Sturms, and bait the Shocks with Volks. The hard part, however, is when to retreat your Volks - and when not too..... KEEP THEM ALIVE.!

Also. if it is Shocks, you can bet they will bring out a KV1, or IS2, near mid/late game. When that time comes, focus those quickly and get up close and behind the tanks, with your Pz4s, using HEAT up close, while the Puma hits at a distance. Use shreks up close too. Micro your Pz4s well, so that they keep the tank spinning which is trying to get off a shot.

Against Clown cars, try to get in close with the Sturms, since the STG44s will take it down fast; also keep in mind, if Clown cars have units in them, then the enemy is in fact not capping as fast as they could be.

Maxims are the hardest thing to counter. The trick is to not let them get into the buildings but to keep them in the open, where you can counter with flanking Sturms. If you find them in a building, get that Puma hitting it at a distance, and try to hit every side at once, so that only one side is pinned at a time.
US Forces

Treat BARs like Shocks. Engage at range, and at a distance, then when they get closer, exterminate with your Puma/tanks and blobbed Sturms, in the rear or sides, for at that time the BARS are focused toward your units at distance. Do the same, if the enemy goes Elite Riflemen. At this stage, that Commander is nerfed with its reduced recharge time, and the fact it is only 1 level of vet.

The AA-Halftrack is tricky. Try to flank it and get in a shot or two with a shrek, for then the Puma can kill it faster, than the Puma itself will get killed.
Panzer Vor!
You now know what to build. You now know how to maximize the potential of each of your units. Now get out there and shove a Panzer IV Battlegroup into your opponents Rear Echelon! Good luck, have fun, and please leave comments below.
1 user is browsing this thread: 1 guest