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March 31st Patch

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Patch Notes Introduction



It's that time of the year again. A time for triumphant cries and soft weeping. Some will respond with outrage. Others will nod solemnly at the tidings brought.

This is a red letter day.

This is a patch notes day.

Hello! Welcome to our patch notes analysis. I'm Corp.Shephard, member of the alpha Illuminati, and I wanted to take a little time to help explain the March 31st patch notes. Like most things that have to do with Company of Heroes 2 patch notes can be needlessly complex, perplexing and infuriating. Not to worry though! This analysis will show you exactly why you should be angry/happy instead of leaving you to guess.

It is my goal to explain the more complicated terms in the patch notes and give all changes context. Why are they important? What does it really mean? These are the questions we will try to answer.

Before we begin let's set a quick guideline.

?Facts:Text in these boxes will be facts and trivia about the notes. What is a scatter radius? Why should I care? What does this change really mean?

This box will provide context.


!Alternatively this box will provide opinions from CoH2.org staff members about the patch notes. Take note of the name at the bottom.Corp.Shephard


Well then. Let's dig right into it, shall we?

Patch Notes Analysis



OKW




SWS Truck

• Speed Max reduced from 4.2 to 3.2
• Armor reduced from 4 to 3
• Wreck Armor reduced from 25 to 4
• Multiple Wreck critical removed to prevent an exploit of blocking paths with sws wreck


?Facts: Wreck armor refers to the armor of the wreck after a truck’s death. It will now be possible to “force fire” on wrecks and kill them with small arms fire.





Flak Base Defenses
• OKW base Flak Gun chance to shoot down aircraft has been reduced to 0.5%

?Facts: This took a little digging in the mod tools. Previously a flak defense had roughly a 1 in 125 chance of shooting down a plane. Roughly 0.8%.

To put things simply OKW base defenses should shoot down planes ~40% less often.

Emplacements from commander abilities were likely not nerfed. They use a different weapon.


!It’s fair to note that while the base buildings for OKW were nerfed the Schwerer Panzer HQ (Flak Truck) remains the same. It has a about a 7% chance to shoot down a plane per hit. You won’t exactly see 40% less planes being shot down.
Corp.Shephard



Volksgrenadiers

• Removed 0.71 received accuracy at veterancy level 5
• Added 0.7 cooldown and reload at veterancy level 5


?Facts: Received accuracy only affects small-arms fire. It has no effect on most tanks cannons.

Reload helps the Panzerschreck. Cooldown helps the rifle that Volks use. Reload time of the Panzerschreck is 5.4 seconds at vet 5 now.


! This change is most likely there to make anti-infantry counters like Shock Troops, Riflemen and HMGs more effective at protecting allied armor from Volks blobs.
Corp.Shephard




Panzershreck

• Far Accuracy has been reduced from 0.025 to 0.020

?Facts:20% reduced accuracy at max range. For anti-tank weapons, accuracy is: (target size * accuracy = chance).

Chance to hit an M20 Utility Car (size 16) at max range after patch: 32%.
Chance to hit an IS-2 (size 26) at max range after patch: 52%




Obersoldaten

• LMG MG34 moved to an upgrade and is an exclusive upgrade (can only purchase LMG or STG)
• LMG MG34 upgrade now costs 60 munitions
• LMG MG34 damage has been reduced from 8 to 6
• STG 44 damage has been reduced from 8 to 6


?Facts:An unupgraded Obersoldaten squad does 30-71% more damage than an unupgraded Grenadiers (30% more at point blank range, 71% more at max range).

Grenadiers have a .91 received accuracy modifier. Obersoldaten have a .70 received accuracy. Received accuracy reduces the chance that small-arms fire will hit the unit. It has little to no effect on most flamethrower and tank weapons.



!
Obersoldaten are still great versus infantry but they’re no longer uncontested by anything other than LMG Paratroopers. Base Obersoldaten feel like armored up Grenadiers with extra damage; I would suggest planning to spend munitions on them though. Forcing OKW to choose munitions between anti-infantry and anti-tank is a good idea.
Corp.Shephard



Raketenwerfer

•Ready aim time (time required to aim on the first shot fired) has been reduced from 1 - 1.5 seconds to 0.25 – 0.375 seconds.
•Fire aim time (time taken to aim on subsequent shots) has been reduced from 1 – 1.25 to 0.125 - 0.25 seconds.
•Reload time has been increased from 3 – 3.6 seconds to 3.8 – 4.3 seconds


?Facts:
Raketenwerfer remains the third fastest firing AT gun just behind the Pak40 and ahead of the ZiS-3. (Excluding the Pak43)

The changes make the first shot much faster and the overall fire-rate increased by about 6%.



LE IG 18 Infantry Support Gun

The Suppression on AOE will also help its effectiveness against blobbing in a non-lethal way.
• Added mild AOE suppression on hit

! You can’t really quantify this change with numbers. The suppression is a nice perk and it increases the risk-reward of using direct fire with your ISG. A good hit on a blob can suppress the whole thing but that can be rare.
Corp.Shephard



King Tiger / Panther Combat Blitz

• Combat Blitz Speed Bonus modifier reduced from 2 down to 1.4

! Doubling the speed of the King Tiger for Blitz was extremely strong (and silly looking) for such a lumbering and vicious tank. Adding a little more risk for over-extended Axis heavy tanks is good.
Corp.Shephard



King Tiger
Armor reduced from 425 to 375

?Facts: A 50 armor reduction means that the King Tiger will take about 12% more damage from the front than before.

The King Tiger’s armor is now tied at 3rd place with the IS-2. Only the Elefant (400) and Jagdtiger (525!) have higher frontal armor.


! A 12% reduction in frontal durability isn’t going to make the King Tiger extinct by any means. It’s still a monster that does 240 damage per shot and has a huge squad wiping splash attack.
Corp.Shephard



US Forces






M10 Wolverine

• Health has been increased from 400 to 560

?Facts: This health change is a significant boost in durability. AT weapons come in essentially four flavors for the Axis:
  • 120 damage weapons: Puma, Panzerschreck (Now 5 shots to kill M10)
  • 160 damage weapons: Nearly every tank and AT gun (Now 4 shots to kill M10)
  • 240 damage weapons: King Tiger (Now 3 shots to kill M10)
  • 320 damage weapons: Elefant, Jagdtiger, Pak43 (still 2 shots)

    A Teller Mine does 400 damage. The M10 can now survive a Teller Mine.


! The M10 has always been an okay tank destroyer but now it is a very good one for cost. It’s really versatile tank destroyer. With 50 range it can out-range most enemy tanks. With flanking speed it can chase and flank tanks that out-range it and now it has the durability to fit that role. The penetration is lacking but it’s cheap. Against medium armor the M10 will very likely out-pace the Jackson with the two changes combining. Against heavier armor you’ll need to leverage it’s cheap price to overwhelm foes at just the right time. This could allow Armor Company to see some more use. Corp.Shephard




M36 Jackson

• Damage reduced from 240 to 200
• Penetration increased from 160 / 180 / 200 to 200 / 220 / 240
• AP rounds penetration increased from 220 / 250 / 280 to 240 / 270 / 300


?Facts: The damage change is fairly significant as the Jackson will require an extra shot against many tanks.

Axis tank healths operate at a few different levels:
  • 400 health: Puma, StuG, Pz II “Luchs” (No change, 2 shots).
  • 640 health: Jagdpanzer, Panzer 4, Ostwind (from 3 shots to 4)
  • 800 health: Panther (no change, 4 shots)
  • 1040 health: Tiger I, Elefant (from 5 shots to 6)
  • 1280 health: King Tiger, Jagdtiger, Sturmtiger (from 6 shots to 7)

Against heavy armor this change represents about a 2-5% increase in DPS (depends on range and armor). Against medium and light armor it is 16.67% damage loss.

Jackson AP rounds were reduced from adding 70 penetration to all levels to adding 40 / 50 / 60 penetration.

Combined with the change to the 222 Scout Car the Jackson will no longer one-shot the 222.


! The biggest loser here is probably the Panther. The penetration buff is a big deal for the Panther but the damage changes don’t benefit the Panther until Vet 2 where the Panther gets an additional 160 health. It’s almost important to note that just one Bazooka shot can mean the difference between getting killed in three hits and four. The Jackson will be more consistent but it will be worse against most targets without some support.Corp.Shephard




M8 Greyhound

• Canister shot damage has been increased from 40 to 80
• Canister shot radius has been increased from 3 to 5
• Canister shot now pierces
• Squad death critical on hit has been removed
• Damage has been increased from 40 to 60
• Penetration has increased from 35 / 45 / 55 to 40 / 45 / 60
• Distant scatter max has been increased from 35 / 45 / 55 to 40 / 45 / 60
• Reload has been reduced from 4.5 / 4.4 to 2.9
• Radius has been reduced from 2.5 to 1.75
• Call-in recharge time has been increased from 45 seconds to 90 seconds


?Facts: Canister shot no longer automatically kills infantry with a special critical.
However, almost all infantry in the game have 80 health.


! In my experience the new Canister Shot ability is less powerful at wiping single squads but a little better against blobs. Other changes to the Greyhound make it a better light tank. Now more than ever it is very good at hovering at max range and sniping off infantry with it’s excellent vision range and accuracy. The late arrival of the Greyhound at CP3 is awkward but it’s a decent vehicle.Corp.Shephard




USF Mortar Halftrack

• Angle Scatter has been reduced from 10 to 6
• Distance scatter max has been reduced from 12 to 5
• Mid-damage has been increased from 0.15 to 0.35


?Facts: Put simply, the USF mortar halftrack and the Wehrmacht mortar halftrack are extremely close in terms of effectiveness now. These stats mirror the Wehrmacht’s.


! This is a huge deal for Infantry Company. The Wehrmacht mortar half-track is a very solid vehicle. The Wehrmacht mortar HT is hard to use because allied mid-game light armor is very dangerous. Axis forces tend to have some scary fast units mid-game (Pumas come to mind) but they’re not as prolific. Axis forces also rely on being stationary more often thus mortars are more effective against them. This buff could easily be too much but it is good to see a useless unit getting some attention. Only time will tell.

The silver lining here is that the 222 scout car is getting a decent buff so Wehrmacht players might be able to protect themselves from a mobile mortar like this.Corp.Shephard




Pack Howitzer

The Suppression on AOE will also help its effectiveness against blobbing in a non-lethal way.
• Added mild AOE suppression on hit

! Once again it is hard to quantify this change. The Pack Howitzer has always been a pretty decent, if expensive, support unit. It has always been more accurate and dangerous when firing directly at enemy troops. This suppression boost helps protect it while doing this role.
Corp.Shephard



Howitzer Motor Carriage (M8A1 ‘Scott’)

• Distance Far increased from 3 to 4
• Distance Mid increased from 2 to 2.5
• Damage reduced from 120 to 100

?Facts:
HMC splash damage deals 80 damage at ~1.38 radius before patch.
HMC splash damage deals 80 damage at ~1.35 radius after patch.

Almost all infantry have 80 health.


! I’m a pretty prolific user of the Howitzer Motor Carriage. The splash damage changes make it a little more consistent. As you can see above the difference in infantry lethality is very small. The drop from 120 damage to 100 damage is a bigger change. HMCs have always been good at sieging OKW trucks. It will take 20% more time to siege now though. It also makes it slightly less effective against light vehicles.
Corp.Shephard



Soviet




Sniper

• Sprint removed from vet 1 ability
• Flares are now granted at veterancy 1

! Sprint needed a massive nerf. It’s removal is harsher than I expected but it’s a good move. Needing vet 1 to throw up a flare sort of sucks but the power isn’t too crucial and vet 1 is easy enough to get.
Corp.Shephard



B4

• Direct fire now pierces through terrain (to improve usability – still requires clear line of sight)
• Direct fire range has been reduced from 150 to 100
• Direct fire cost has been reduced from 180 munitions to 90 munitions
• Direct fire now requires Veterancy level 1
• Removed precision strike
• Veterancy level 3 has had the 1.5x damage bonus removed
• Veterancy level 3 now increases ability range by 33% on barrage and direct fire


?Facts: B-4 does 640 damage base. Before it could one-shot a Panther with a direct hit with Vet 3. Increased range will reduce overall scatter.


! B-4 will not one-shot as much but it will be slightly more accurate at vet 3. This create a more consistent B-4 that axis players can play around aside from crossing their fingers and praying. I think we can all agree that a more consistent B-4 is better.
Corp.Shephard




For Mother Russia

• 1.5x damage bonus converted to 1.25 weapon accuracy

! A big nerf for this power. This change makes sure the B-4 can’t benefit, which is good, but 25% accuracy does not compare to 50% damage. In some cases this buff will not help units in combat at all. A decent example is the ZiS-3 AT gun vs any Tiger tank. The ZiS-3 cannot miss these large tanks so bonus accuracy does not help.
Corp.Shephard




Guard Troops

• PTRS Accuracy increased from 0.03 / 0.0425 / 0.055 to 0.22 / 0.50 / 0.60

?Facts: PTRS is now half as accurate as the Guard’s Mosin-Nagant against infantry at most ranges. It does 2.5 times as much damage. The PTRS is now a more effective anti-infantry weapon than their Mosin-Nagant rifles.

It is now effectively impossible for the PTRS to miss a vehicle.

Tank Hunter Tactics conscripts use the same weapon as guards. The buff could potentially help conscripts.

The PTRS does 40 damage and infantry have 80 health. It will not one-shot enemy infantry.


! Guards will be scarier to enemy infantry now. The PTRS has an abysmal aim-time though so they will still be very slow at the start of the engagement. Snipers and mortars remain a really good way to punish these immobile troops.
Corp.Shephard




120mm Mortar

Damage Distance mid increased from 3 to 3.5
Damage Distance near reduced from 1.5 to 1.1

?Facts: 120 mm before the patch would one-shot kill any infantry within 1.85 units of the explosion radius. After the patch it will only instant kill around ~1.66 units. This is about a ~10% reduction in instantaneous infantry kills. The increased distance mid will increase incidental non-lethal damage.


Wehrmacht



Pioneers

• Sight increased from 35 to 42

?Facts: The MG-42 has a range of 45 units. Pioneers who re-crew an MG-42 will retain their sight radius and be able to see nearly as far as they can shoot.



Sniper

• Health increased from 48 to 82

?Facts: All infantry in the game have 80 health with two exceptions: both sniper units. A sniper with 82 health can no-longer be one-shot by a mortar (unless the mortar is a 120mm).


! This is a huge deal for the Wehrmacht sniper. He already snipes and camouflages faster than the Soviet sniper team. With a health boost he is arguably more durable than the soviet sniper team as well. Most tanks and heavy artillery will still one-shot him. I’m not too worried about the Soviets here. They have lots of artillery, counter-snipers, vehicles and bigger squads to fight him. USF is going to feel a lot of hurt from this change though. I’m a little worried.
Corp.Shephard



SdKfz 222 Armored Car

• Health increased from 200 to 240

?Facts: A Soviet TM-35 mine does 200 damage. The 222 can now barely survive a mine. It can no longer be one-shot by a M36 Jackson. Conscript and Riflemen AT grenades do 100 damage each. Two AT grenades alone will not kill the 222.


! A great change. This opens up Wehrmacht players to a bit of a more mobile early game and gives them more options against USF light vehicle play. The 222 still gets utterly wrecked by the M15 AA Halftrack but it can survive one extra shot for escapes. It puts it on more even footing with the M20 Utiltiy Car and makes it just a bit better at bothering Riflemen. It makes the 222 a little harder to assassinate late game if you’re using it for spotting scope vision.Corp.Shephard



HMG42

• Near accuracy from 0.68 to 0.7
• Mid accuracy from 0.41 to 0.45
• Far accuracy from 0.14 to 0.35

?Facts: The MG-42 does 2.5x as much damage at range against infantry with the buff.



Tiger / Tiger Ace / Panther

• Blitzkrieg max speed bonus reduced from 35% to 15% exclusively for the tiger and panther. Other tanks remain the same
• Acceleration reduced from 60% to 30%

! Blitz has always been contentious because it allows carelessness with Axis heavy tanks to go unpunished. I like this change because it forces the Axis to be more careful with their armor.
Corp.Shephard



Conclusion



Whew! That was a lot to digest, huh?

This is a good step forward for balance but there's still a way to go with underutilized units and the patch is sure to bring some unexpected issues here and there.

If you have any extra questions leave them in the comments below. I hope you've enjoyed our patch notes analysis!
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