russian armor

USF Mechanized Company Guide


Currently, the USF's poor selection of units during the early game limits the available strategies. This mechanized company build adds the versatility of the WC51 and takes advantage of the refit option: using it to keep constant pressure on your enemies. This build has worked very well for me, in 1vs1's and 2vs2's, and is most effective against double OKW, but has merits vs. mixed Ostheer and double Ostheer.
The Commander
0 CP: WC51 Heavy Truck

240 20 5

A very fragile, but very versatile support unit. It is fast enough to outflank enemy positions, and can carry a single squad of soldiers with it, giving it extensive power on wide maps with many flanking routes and open maps with much space. Don't use it for its combat power, but for its support power. Rush freshly reinforced squads to the front, and back-capping squads to their objectives. Remember, that with it's 20 fuel cost, it is a major loss if destroyed, so be careful with it.

2 CP: Withdraw and Refit

The cornerstone of this strategy, withdraw and refit is the most powerful ability in this commander, and synergizes very well with the US forces heavy useage of light vehicles. It returns 75% of a vehicle's fuel and manpower cost. It does not return munitions, so keep that in mind when returning Shermans or M20s. If you return a unit that is already carrying another unit (IE: WC51 with vehicle crew driving and rear echelon in the back), the carried unit will be ejected automatically.
3 CP: M3 Halftrack Assault Group

520 35 12

The M3 halftrack is very fragile, and a hefty investment for the manpower starved US forces, especially in the mid-game. It is mainly useful to callin late-game for the assault engineers that are inside, which can lay demo charges and light AT mines. Use these late-game to secure territory and create traps for enemy armor. If you decide to purchase the M3 halftrack assault group, use withdraw and refit to return the resources of the M3. Theoretically the M3 can be used to support rifle pushes into enemy territory, but it has similar HP to a Kubelwagon, making it die from 1 AT gun round + a few bullets.

4 CP: Recon Sweep


The recon sweep is basically a more accurate version of the major recon ability, which also can be called as far into the fog of war as needed. If you have a vetted major, use the major recon, as it is cheaper and has a second plane as well. Otherwise, use the recon sweep.
8 CP: 155mm Artillery Barrage


This heavy artillery strike is the perfect choice to counter static units like pak43s, immobilized tanks, static artillery, and OKW bases. In fact, OKW bases will typically take 80% damage from the artillery strike, which will allow you to finish them off with supporting artillery from an ally, or a few rounds from your armor. This artillery allows you to effectively counter most of the counters to USF lategame armor, and punishing your enemy for having a forward base building. Use this artillery in conjunction with your fast Sherman to slow down enemy teching if you are fighting OKW.
The Build
Early Game

The idea of the early game start is to take advantage of your mobility to overwhelm your enemy, and use the WC-51's mobility on large maps to flank and cut off the enemy. If you see volks in green cover, use 2 rifles to engage from range, while your WC51 flanks to the side and drops off your third squad to deal heavy damage to the flanked position. The WC51 soft-counters the Kubelwagon and gives you a mobile option to quickly move riflemen around the map and ambush side-capping squads. Remember that it doesn't have very good armor or HP, so you must always be paying attention to it.

If you find a lull in the action, take your WC-51 deep and try to find your opponents truck building. If you destroy it, you will have more or less won the game. Remember, that the vet 1 ability of the WC51, "step on it," is a free ability, and can be used to move units around the map quickly and efficiently, as well as to escape danger zones. Units that are inside the WC51 can still fire while the unit is using "step on it," but the WC51 itself will not.

Do not get the WC51 if you are fighting Ostheer. It is not worth the extra micro required to keep it out of faust range, as it doesn't deal very useful damage vs. grens, and the increased mobility doesn't help you much.
Early to Mid Game

Next, you must take advantage of your early game fuel presence to push even deeper into enemy territory and secure your rear. Refit your Jeep as soon as you either see a raketen or as soon as your M20 comes out.

Use your M20 to lay multiple AT mines on roads and flanking positions. As soon as you are done with the mines, replace the M20 crew with your RE squad. Be careful with your M20, it can provide immense early game pressure, and provide you with veteran crews. The 340 manpower investment is a boon to get returned later in the game as USF, since the returned mp can be spent on a cache or a new unit, or even to merely reduce to manpower starvation USF starts to gain as matches go on.

Rush out the M15 AA HT, and use it to supplement your riflemen as an effective field force. Move your riflemen out in front of your M15 and push back the enemy with the combination of suppression from the HT and CQC damage from your rifle squads. Unlock BARs after your M15, and equip your rifle squads with one each, then 2 each (don't forget your LT). Remember that bar rifle squads are most powerful at mid and short range, but be careful to stay still in the rifle grenade range of grenadiers. As the game continues, rifles will be more and more outclassed by Ostheer and OKW infantry, so transition them slowly into a supporting force for your armor. Get grenades after your squads have BARs, or instead of BARs if you are facing an MG heavy enemy strategy.

Build a Major and set up a forward retreat point with an ambulance.

Build Fuel caches as soon as you start floating MP from taking reduced losses due to your light vehicle pressure.

Versus Enemy Light Vehicles:

This strategy is VERY weak against enemy armor rushes. In this case, the biggest threat you face will be the Panzer 2 "Luchs." Use the M20 mines to destroy the Luchs (M20 mines one-shot the Luchs), or use the M20 crew to deal light damage. If you are having troubles dealing with the Luchs, unlock and upgrade bazookas on your rear echelon squad.

If your opponent builds a 222, flak-halftrack, or a puma, remember that a set up USF M15 AA HT is able to deal heavy damage to light vehicles that are in its cone of fire. As long as your M15 is firing its autocannon at an enemy light vehicle, it will win. Use a rifle-grenade from a rifleman squad to ensure victory.
Mid to Late Game


Typically, your late game will depend on what you prefer as your USF lategame armor composition. I prefer a Sherman-heavy build with 1 Jackson as support. Use the M15 until you are either about 40 fuel away from a Sherman, or end up fighting a hard-counter like a JP4/Stug-g. Replace the crew inside with an RE squad, and refit it. As soon as the Sherman enters the battlefield, replace the Sherman crew with your M15 crew. to save manpower on a new RE squad, you can wait to recycle your M15 until your Sherman has been finished, in which case you can use the fresh vehicle crew to return the M15.

Use the HE rounds on the Sherman to support your infantry as they push into enemy territory. Late game should rely on your armor to win battles and wipe as many squads as possible while your Jackson punishes the tiger or panther.

You should have at least 1 Sherman + 1 Jackson by the time the Tiger/Panther arrives. Use AP round Shermans and flank the tiger if he overextends. Try baiting him over your defensive mines if you have any.
Remember, if you lose your Jackson when you don't have enough fuel for another, use withdraw and refit on your most damaged Sherman (with your worst crew) to quickly fund the production of another jackson. Crew the new Jackson with you best Sherman crew so that you have access to AP rounds.

Crews are important, if you have a highly vetted Sherman crippled during an assault, get the crew out and get them away from the front lines so that they can boost the vet of one of your other vehicles. Finish the crippled vehicle with your Jackson, or just secure it and bring the crew back up after winning the battle.

If you find yourself floating fuel late game, consider teching to a Captain to use the supervise function in order to pump out as many tanks as you can. You may find it useful to take him into combat and get him to lose most of his models so that he doesn't become a drain on your popcap.

This strategy is very dependent on early game pressure and quick teching. There is not much late-game potential, so you must ensure that you always have a resource advantage, by forcing the enemy to react to you. Without P47s, dealing with enemy armor will be troublesome, so you must make good use of maps and flanking armor to ensure that your Jackson can dish out damage, without being in danger itself. Hopefully, you win the game before your enemy has a chance to call in heavy armor.

If you find yourself with a friend, or fighting alongside someone using this strategy, you may want some quick pointers on ways to help your ally.
The best way for a US player to aid a friend who is going for such a heavily mechanized build, would be to tech for Captain tier (in order to cover early game AT weakness) and use doctrines with good late-game potential, such as airborne doctrine for P47s, or infantry company for artillery and infantry lmgs. Remember that as USF players, you must be mobile at all times, as well as on the offensive, so talk with your ally and target specific positions in the enemy line to assault. Remember to use recon and artillery beforehand and to use multiple avenues of attack to outflank enemy positions.

Don't forget to use your manpower early on to build fuel caches, as late-game it becomes hard to keep Shermans alive at all times. Losses will be inevitable if the game lasts for a long time.
As Soviet
Soviets meld much better with this strategy than USF because of their easy access to heavier units and better infantry to support advancing armor. The best doctrine to use would be ones with mark target such as guard motor, and doctrines with heavy armor, such as shock rifle front-line or armored assault. These doctrines will give your allies Shermans much better damage vs. enemy armor, as well as access to good assault units that can assault fortified positions frontally and screen for the weakly armored Shermans.

Additionally, doctrines with good access to artillery such as heavy mortars, B4s, and ML20s are very useful to synergize with 155mm artillery strikes to snipe OKW bases without needing unit presence in the area, and put pressure on enemy hard points using indirect fire.

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