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Company of Heroes 2 Basic Concepts and Glossary

Like anything with a fanatical, cult following, the Company of Heroes franchise has its own vernacular. The purpose of this guide is to help newcomers to the series learn some of the commonly used expressions and concepts.
Basic Concepts
The following terms are the basics you have to know to follow the course of a Company of Heroes game. Whether you want to play a game or watch a stream, these concepts will help you understand the decision making behind a player's actions.
Critical Hits (Criticals, Crits)
Critical hits may occur when a unit or building is damaged. Infantrymen may be killed instantly, vehicles may suffer a "vehicle crit" (eg. Main Gun Destroyed, Gunner Killed, Damaged Engine, Immobilized), and buildings may take a sudden, large amount of damage. There is an element of randomness involved in how the game calculates critical hits. Some weapons are more likely to cause critical hits than others, and critical hits are more likely to occur to already damaged units.
Cutoffs, cutoff plays, and the cutoff game
Because a player only receives resources from points that are connected to their base sector by contiguous territory sectors, many strategies focus on capturing the points that will separate the opponent from their resource territories. An attack that seeks to break these lines of supply is called a "cutoff move" and the point that connects the resources to the base is called the "cutoff". The macro-level, strategic elements of cutoff plays is sometimes referred to as "the cutoff game".
Early/Mid/Late game
Terms that describe the progression of a match. Early game typically describes the phase of the game when players are following their preferred build order and capping order, and have constructed perhaps one base building. Midgame typically describes the phase of the game where players have more than one base building constructed, are reacting to each other's initial build and capping orders, and are making attacks and staging defenses. Finally, the late game refers to the period where most or all tiers have been built and most or all of the players' doctrine abilities have been unlocked. These terms are not precise, and are subject to individual interpretation.
A flanking attack (or more frequently, "a flank") is an attack that hits one position from multiple directions simultaneously. A large attack that attempts to encircle an enemy is also often called a flank. Flanking is an integral part of Company of Heroes. It is essential to attack from multiple angles to avoid having all your squads getting suppressed by 1 Machine Gun. Flanking also allows you to negate your opponent's green cover (as it is directional) and to strike their army's weak spots, such as artillery pieces, snipers, or their tanks' rear armor. This kind of attack applies more pressure than a regular one-way attack, and to fend it off your opponent will have to react quickly, which makes it especially good at forcing your opponent to make mistakes.
Green/red/yellow cover
The three types of cover in Company of Heroes. They are indicated by the color of the dots that show up when you hover your mouse over pieces of cover, and the color of the shield that pops up on a unit's icon when it is in cover. Green cover is the best, yellow cover is good, and red cover is negative cover, which is worse than no cover. Note that most green cover is directional, meaning that it will only protect you from the direction it is facing: a stone wall will only protect you from shots coming from the other side of the wall for example.
Hard and soft counters
Knowing how to effectively fight back against an opponent's army is one of the first thing a serious Company of Heroes player must learn. Units and abilities that are effective against specific enemy units are known as "counters", and are typically further characterized as either "hard" or "soft" counters.

Hard counters are those that can be relied upon to destroy an enemy unit. An SU-85 tank destroyer, for example, will hard counter an Ostheer StuG III, reliably destroying the StuG in only a few shots in a 1-on-1 fight.

Soft counters are units and abilities that will damage or delay an enemy unit, but cannot be relied upon to kill the unit outright. The Conscript's anti-tank grenades, for example, can do light damage to a StuG and slow down the StuG by giving it a damaged engine, but killing a StuG using only Conscript anti-tank grenades is too costly and takes too long to be considered a hard counter.
Remember that what is a hard counter for one type of unit may only be a soft counter to another.
Micro and Macro
"Micro" is the ability of a player to skilfully control his units on the field. Giving orders to units, positioning units, quickly navigating to hotspots on the map, moving vehicles and using abilities in the heat of battle all fall under the heading of "micro". Units such as snipers, scout cars, and machine guns are said to be "micro-intensive" because of the amount of "micro" and attention they require to be used effectively. "Micro" is often synonymous with "Tactics."

"Macro" involves having a game plan, reading the opponent, spending resources efficiently, and the ability to think ahead and predict the course of the game. "Macro" is often synonymous with "Build Order," or "Strategy."
Stalling tactics are those that are used to delay the enemy's advance or to otherwise buy time. Stalling by one unit is often used to allow other units to move into favorable positions, allow another unit to retreat safely, or prevent an opponent from capturing an important territory sector. For example, a player may purposely let an enemy machine gun shoot at an infantry squad so that he has the time to move a newly purchased tank into a position where it can attack the machine gun.
When units are attacked by machine guns, strafing runs, or certain other kinds of damage (like specific explosions), they can become suppressed, which is indicated by a flashing yellow icon. Suppressed units crawl on their bellies and have reduced firing rates. Units that are suppressed for a few seconds become pinned, which is indicated by a flashing red icon. Pinned units take reduced damage for a period of time, cannot move or shoot, but can retreat using the "Retreat" command.
Teching and Tiers (T0-T4)
Teching refers to investing resources into the construction of new base buildings or into unlocking new abilities from base buildings. In the case of the Ostheer faction, Tiers may refer to the purchasable headquarters upgrades that unlock new abilities and allow the construction of new buildings, and it may also refer to the base buildings themselves. The headquarters building is often referred to as "Tier 0" or "T0."

For the Soviets, the Tiers refer to the base buildings that have been constructed. "Back-teching" refers to constructing a base building from a lower tier. For example, an Ostheer player may begin the game, tech to Tier 2, build Tier 2, and then later back-tech by constructing the Tier 1 building.
VP pressure and The Drain
There are usually 3 Victory Positions on the map and each player starts the game with 500 Victory Points. The first player to reach 0 Victory Points loses the game. When a player's opponent holds the majority of the Victory Positions on a map, the player is said to be "under VP pressure" and loses Victory Points. When the player controls the same number of Victory Positions on the map as his opponent, he is said to have "stopped the drain" and neither player loses Victory Points. Note that Victory Positions are often referred to as "Victory Points", creating a confusion with the actual Victory Points.
Here you will find the simpler and yet very commonly used expressions.
Base Pin
A base pin is a move by a player to trap his opponent's units in their base. Typically, a base pin involves a player setting up an aggressively-placed, defensive position near the exit of his opponent's base.
Build-order (BO)
A player's build order is simply the sequence in which he produces units. Typically, a build order only encompasses the initial handful of units that a player plans to make. Build orders usually become "messy" as the game progresses and the player loses units or is otherwise forced to react to the opponent.
The sequence in which a player captures territory sectors with his first few units. Along with a player's build order, capping order is an integral part of a player's strategy at the start of a match.
Clown Car
Typically: the Soviet M3A1 scout car. Less-commonly: an M5 halftrack.
Crush/Heavy Crush
Vehicles with "crush" can crush infantry by driving over them. Vehicles with "heavy crush" can destroy large obstacles like hedgerows by driving over them. All vehicles can crush light obstacles like fences, but this doesn't have a special name.
Command Points, which are earned for getting kills, losing units, and building base buildings. Once you earn 1 CP you can pick your Commander, and afterwards, CPs unlock new commander abilities during the match.
Field presence
The quantity and quality of units that a player has outside of his base and on the main battlefield. A player may have 10+ units in his army, but if they are all sitting in his base, he is said to have no field presence.
A unit equipped with flamethrowers. Typically: combat engineers or pioneers upgraded with flamethrowers.
A player will often separate individual units from his main fighting force to capture peripheral points on the map that his opponent controls. This tactic is known as harassment, and sometimes as "ninja capping".
Hard and soft retreat
A hard retreat is a retreat using the "Retreat" command on an infantry unit. Soft retreating refers to getting units out of a fight by using simple Move commands.
Map control
The amount of territory a player has captured. A player who "has map control" owns at least half of the map's resource sectors.
Marcus Car
A Clown Car with Guards Rifle troops inside, used to hunt down enemy light vehicles.
"Metagame" can refer to many things. It is most widely used to mean the popularity of certain strategies, tactics, units and factions throughout the Company of Heroes playerbase at a given moment.
Short for "manpower," which is one of the three resources.
Short for "munitions," which is one of the three resources of the game.
Offmap can refer to units that are called in from a Commander ability rather than from one of your base buildings (this is a holdover from the original Company of Heroes - in that game, units built from base buildings did not arrive from map borders but spawned directly in the base). It can also refer to artillery abilities and other abilities that arrive from outside of the map, as opposed to on-map artillery pieces that players must build and then fire.
"OP" can stand for two different things:
  • "Observation Post": Refers to the Resource Caches in Company of Heroes 2. They can be of two types: fuel or muni. OPs can be built on strategic points - they prevent the opponent from capturing the point until the OP is destroyed, and they provide increased fuel or muni income. It is a holdover from the original game, where instead of Resource Caches there were "Observation Posts."
  • "Overpowered": Refers to a unit, ability or strategy that is considered too powerful in its current state.
    Example: "Strafe is OP!"
Pop cap
The limit on the number of units you can control. Pop cap is always 100 in CoH 2 and each unit counts for a different population number.
Random-number generator (RNG)
There is a probability value attached to almost everything that happens during a Company of Heroes game. How much damage a flamethrower burst does to a unit, where artillery shells fall and many more outcomes are determined by what is, in effect, a behind-the-scenes dice roll made by the computer.
Buy new units to replace dead ones in a squad. You can only reinforce near a base building, a halftrack, or a bunker upgraded to allow reinforcing. Reinforcing a squad is cheaper than buying a new squad and retains veterancy.
Short for Panzerschreck, the anti-vehicle weapon Panzer Grenadiers can upgrade.
Shock unit
Many strategies revolve around producing a certain powerful unit early in the game that can inflict a lot of damage before the opponent can deploy appropriate counters. In these situations, these units are often called shock units. Shock units are typically said to have a certain window of opportunity where they are most effective, before the opponent can build a proper counter.
Short for "Strafing Run." Refers generally to all kinds of strafing runs in the game, which is when an airplane flies over the battlefield attacking ground units with machine guns or cannons. This is distinct from a bombing run, which is when the plane drops bombs.
Combat engineers or pioneers upgraded with minesweepers.
Unit composition
The units that make up a player's army. A player is said to have a strong unit composition or "good combined arms" when his army is composed of many kinds of units whose strengths complement one another.
Short for "veterancy."
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