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Close Air Support Guide

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Introduction
So, Kameraden, in honour of our recent victory, High Command have authorized a wider release of Close Air Support from reserve. Accordingly we have prepared a field guide on this subject about how to best use the Luftwaffe Schlachtgeschwader to assist your troops. This is mostly written from the perspective of a large team game player (3v3 and up), so bear this in mind. Stats and consideration are based on the state of the game as of February 2015.

Commander Overview
2CP Stuka Reconnaissance Pass
Commander Specific (In this format)


35



This comes 2CP earlier than the standard Ostheer Recon plane, but it is cheaper and only lasts for a single pass, as opposed to multiple runs. As a single pass it is much less likely to get shot down, but requires attention to watch and use to target other strikes, since areas will only be in view once.
3CP Redistribute Resources
In one other Commander




Converts:

50


Into:

150 125



This is the core part of the doctrine as it means Munitions are not something you have to ration.


28/9/15 Conversion rate has been made less efficient
6CP Stuka JU-87 D Anti-Infantry Strafe
Commander Specific (In this Format)



60



An MG-only Anti-Infantry (AI) Strafe, which suppresses soft targets but does not damage them.

This has a radius of 60-70 and will shut down rifle blobs if it catches them: some players will retreat the minute it hits, others will try to tough it out. If they stay around, keep shooting at them to keep them suppressed and try running over them.
10CP Stuka JU-87 Anti-Tank Strafe
Commander Specific (In this Format)


110


Whilst nominally an Anti-Tank (AT) strafe this is effective against all targets and capable of taking out all but the very heaviest tanks and can cause significant damage even to them.
12CP Stuka Bombing Strike
In three other Commanders


120



Drops a single bomb on a point target. This can also be used to decap a point
Operations


With no call-in units this is a Commander who relies only upon the Ostheer core units, but supports them with a diverse and powerful suite of off-map abilities which should cover almost all possible eventualities.

You have the choice about the direction your strafes come from. Generally you want them to come from the closest map side so that your opponents have less reaction time to avoid them and enemy AAA less opportunity to shoot them down. However you may also wish to consider in which direction opponents may move before the strafe hits and take that into consideration launching the strafe along their expected axis of movement rather than parallel to it. If you are really concerned about the plane being shot down and landing on your own troops you may wish to route so it does not over-fly your own positions.

In addition, by converting Fuel to Munitions, you can boost up and support your units without needing to make the trade-offs which might be necessary with other Commanders: rather than having to choose between Schrecks, LMG 42s, a Bunker, Flame Halftrack, Incendiary Rounds or Teller Mines, you can simply convert Fuel and obtain everything you want.

As such, converting Fuel to Munitions is really the heart of this Commander.

There are more or less 3 times you can employ it:

Early Game:

Converting even once or twice will enable you to buy LMGs and Schrecks for your early infantry and you also do not have to worry overly about spending for Rifle Grenades, or Fausts. Each time you do so however pushes your Fuel down by 50 and delays tanks. This usually results in you skipping T3 (which most experienced team game players will do anyway).

All-In:

If you convert too much, or if you feel ballsy, then you will never tech beyond T2 so you can go entirely with infantry and use your airstrikes in lieu of armour.


Late Game:

Team Games often involve building lots of Fuel caches in order to have armour quickly; if, however you keep your tanks alive, you will often find yourself with 50+ fuel income and nothing on which to spend it. Converting Fuel into Munitions in the late game puts all that income to use.
All In Build Order:





Especially if facing the USF, maybe add in or substitute some:

or



You advance tech as soon as you feel comfortable, after 4 units of so you will generally have the fuel to do so. This will enable you to use Rifle Grenades and upgrade to LMG 42s







Attempt some Fuel conversion along the way, equip everything with LMG42s and Schrecks and feel free to launch Rifle Grenades at every worthwhile target.

You should consider adding a Halftrack for on-map reinforcement. Also if you research to T3, you can use the flame upgrade to better counter Shock troops and other infantry, especially if you have not yet unlocked the AI strafe. Or you can do both if resources permit and set fire to the enemy whilst he is suppressed.

Standard Build Order:


Using both early and late game conversion this supplements your early game with powerful infantry upgrades at the cost of delayed armour and once at pop-cap supplements that armour with powerful strikes.

My usual Build Order with this Commander assumes that I am in playing a mixed 4v4 with OKW, possibly as the only Ostheer player. This might happen by random, or maybe as part of an Arranged Team.

Normally, you research 4 units from T1 and then upgrade:

This usually means:




Grenadiers provide Fausts, which protect OKW from early Clown cars (M3-A1), and MGs are something to which they have only doctrinal access:



Convert at or around this time, and purchase LMGs and Schrecks

You will become fairly passive at this point, since you will be working on creating Fuel caches, there is no reason to build a Munitions cache - Fuel only. As long as your team is holding a VP and a Fuel point, you are doing just fine.

You may wish to add more bunkers or MGs to support your teammates and maybe buy a PAK



But you do not want to engage in heavy combat, since you need manpower ('MP') for caches. In an ideal situation you want to be in reserve, countering enemy pushes and supporting your teammates. Use Recon to see what the enemy are doing, so that you and your teammates may anticipate their attacks.

Again, you can research an Half-track, but often OKW will have a Battlegroup HQ (medical station).

Possibly research another Pgren with Schrecks, if you are facing a lot of armor

Tech to T3, but do not build it

Tech to T4






Build Panthers, but be conservative with them. They are too expensive to throw away, and you need the Fuel to convert into Munitions.

You should neither need Panzerwerfers nor Brummbars, because your Commander Abilities will fulfil those functions for you.


This is the point at which you can become offensive again, probing with Panthers and screening them with Schrecks. Again, Recon is your friend to see what is around you and your AT Strafe is excellent for breaking up defensive positions and forcing armour to relocate. Dangerous foes like Jacksons and SU-85s will be very vulnerable to Schrecks and AT-Strafe. Don't overextend, you should have enough VP around that you can slowly force the enemy back and/or prompt him into a rash counter-attack to regain lost ground. If he tries to pull armour out to repair AT-Strafe often can finish it off and the threat of bomb strikes often means he has nowhere safe to repair his armour especially if you have a recon plane up.

Where?

This Commander is useful on all maps: tighter and urban maps provide fewer chances for the enemy to maneuverer to avoid Strafes, but also mean that attacks may hit buildings rather than their assigned targets.
When?
As with most Ostheer commanders there is no reason to chose this Commander at the start of the game. You will probably not want the Recon pass as soon as it becomes available, but you may want to start Fuel Conversion as soon as it unlocks at 3CP. By that time, it should be clear if you needed one of the other options in your load out.
The Rest of Your Loadout
Commanders
Close Air Support is probably THE Commander for playing with OKW for two reasons:

  • Soviet will often seek to counter OKW with on-map artillery such as the mighty B4. You have the Recon + Airstrike combo to take them out.

  • OKW tends to have weak recon and sometimes powerful, but expensive and inflexible off-maps. Your own abilities are a lot more flexible and available, and often more reliable



The only other doctrine which comes overlaps in capability is Luftwaffe Supply - which has similar abilities and mechanisms if you can keep late game units alive, but this time converting MP into Fuel or Munitions. Some may prefer to have one or the other, others view the two as complementary and use one or the other depending on the map.

You may wish to consider also having a doctrine with the 250/7 Mortar Half-Track, since that gives you a counter to a Soviet Forward HQ, as well as enabling you to contribute to early indirect battles, before your Strafes would unlock.


Further, particularly when playing with random teammates, you may wish to cover the eventuality of being with more Ostheer players, in which case a Tiger or Elephant Commander would be appropriate.

Bulletins


This Commander usually means that you making an infantry heavy play, especially in the early to mid stages of the game, so Bulletins which buff Grenadiers and Pgrens will be most useful. This includes almost all of the relevant buffs except build time decrease - very rarely is that relevant on anything, and VET boost on PGrens (if they have Schrecks gaining VET will not be an issue).

This includes:

Grenadier 3% Accuracy COMMON

Grenadier 5% Cooldown COMMON

Grenadier 3% Reload UNCOMMON

Grenadier 2% Cooldown, 2% Reload RARE

PanzerGrenadier 3% Accuracy UNCOMMON


Also:

Teller Mines and Minefield 6% Cheaper COMMON

This provides an interesting choice if you wish to lay lots of mines, though mines are often fairly easily countered (even if a surprisingly large of number of players don't make the effort). It might not also be so great if you end up playing with another Commander with less munitions to spend.


However similar abilities are probably best avoided:

Panzerfaust 4% Cheaper COMMON

M42 Incendiary 2% Cheaper COMMON

As the savings are tiny and the abilities not used that often

Bunkers 10% Faster COMMON

Also not worth it, as speed of build is less a limiting factor than MP income or moving to the build site in the first place.
With or Against
With


axisaxis You should always be glad to see this Commander in your teammates' load-out, since it is broadly useful. Understand that, if used as suggested above, your teammate will not be overly aggressive and risk losing units: his early game will likely be to build up caches and units and his late game will be focused on keeping armour alive in order to fuel off-maps. He is also going to focus on building fuel caches, which will greatly help your teching and armour progression but not give you a lavish munitions income.

okwokwYou have no need to fear on-map artillery, since a counter is available, so they should not get more than a few shots off. Further, you can rely upon having plenty of Fuel for your own units and request Recon to avoid getting them into trouble. Also, this player should be able to contribute bunkers, MGs and later Strafe, which can protect your trucks and control infantry attacks, with which you will otherwise often have difficulties

Against



alliesallies

An early indication of this commander is better equipped Ostheer infantry than you might otherwise expect, usual methods for combating same will often work but will be harder to pull off. Bear in mind that if he has made a heavy investment in PGren schrecks Allied Light and Medium armour will have an especially tough time and even heavies should be careful.

There is not much you can do to directly counter his airpower, though either AA-Halftrack can try. The foe can choose from what direction his Strafes approach, and there is little chance you will be able to shoot down the planes before they hit if he does so wisely. Be ready to move around when you see the smoke; try not to position your units so that a strafe would hit several of them at once. Staying away from the map edge will give you more warning as well. You may wish to be more cautious with your armour and withdraw earlier than you might otherwise do so as canny players will often seek to finish off damaged armour with strafes.

Also be very careful about where you are repairing your armour and be ready to relocate in a hurry.

amisamis
All the armour you have is vulnerable to the Anti-Tank ('AT-Strafe'), and the Anti-Infantry ('AI Strafe') will control your infantry very well. You can try toughing out the AI Strafe and recovering after it passes, but if your men are being shot at by other units this might not work. However, if your Major occupies a forward position, you can often be back and attacking again before Strafe has cooled down so that, in conjunction with your teammates, you may make progress that way.

Unlike the Soviets, your artillery is mobile, so you can use Priests without too much problem, as long as you shoot and scoot, and do not bunch up.

Be very careful with your Major, and where you position your retreat point. He will be a very tempting target, so be ready to relocate. Doing so after each enemy recon run is a good idea, even if you are not attacked.



sovietssoviets
If you see this Commander on the load screen, you are probably not going to have the chance to use the B4 or ML-20. IS-2s and T-34/85s are about the only things tough enough to survive Strafe if they get caught by it. Beware the possibility of a strike on your base just after you retreated to it, so try to avoid retreating en masse
Conclusion
We hope you found this Guide informative. We would like to thank Affrs and the other regulars on the WW2 Daily Pic thread for their assistance.

Go forth and vanquish!

Make War not Love!
Changelog
23/6/15 Today's patch makes plane crashes less devastating and buffs Allied AAA units.

As such one can expect Recon planes to be more easily countered, apart from that no real change I think

28/9/15 Resource Conversion now grants 125 MUN rather than 150.
Delay increased on strafes so these are more easily dodgable
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