You can micro a single Pz4 to deal with 9 zooks in Cover to Cover?
Whats the shooting range or Brumbar & Zook? Whats the running speed of Brumbar & infantry in Cover to Cover?
You dont get what I mean, 9 zook Ranger isnt a big problem. 9 Zook Ranger with Cover to Cover is the problem. The speed boost it gives, the ability to pass through MG crew & MG nest.
Cover to cover is a known ability.
Units need to be in a big green AOE before the ability is popped to actually get the bonus. The smoke drops on the green flare. Stuka the area around the green smoke and use ground target. I mean, as soon as you see the green flare drop, you know you're getting CoC-ed. You can also expect a calliope barrage before hand to clear out the MG nests behind the smoke. Brummbar has an easy target here, with it's large AOE to really easily ground target the smoke and catch sprinting infantry. Cover to cover is an ability that you really have to react to. You can't expect to sit still and wait it out. The ability is doctrinal and can be nasty in teamgames, but as I've said, the USF will lack combined arms, HARD. Once cover to cover is dealt with and the calliopes have fired, you know they lack everything.
Point is, react to Cover to cover, don't engage, fall back and use indirects against smoke, place MGs in defensive positions. IR searchlight is not a bad unit vs that, neither the vetted kubel if you manage to save it. If you have obers, drop the poison smoke in front of the CoC smoke to slow down units.
A single P4 won't deal with the zook blob, but you can be sure that if you have a combined force, it will bleed. Heck, I usually go for one 3x zook rangers and don't know how many times I've had P4s take down 4 models in one shot, especially when walking over craters (tend to clump up).
Is CoC a good ability? Yes
Are ranger zooks an absolute menace against tanks? Also yes
Are they fuc*ton expensive to maintain? Yes.
Calliope + ranger zooks are also pop expensive, and since calliopes have a cooldown on the barrage, you play around that. Same as other cheese tactics, this one just takes getting used to. I've never used that tactic as USF and I've had it used against me when I play OKW in standard custom games with whoever joins the lobby. I've also seen allies use it in both ranked and unranked. As OKW I always went for a stuka or two, bound them to ctrl-6, and used tab to just carpet bomb in an X around the dropped smoke while I moved the MG. And if I heard the calliope, I soft retreated sideways.
Same as how you need to adjust and get used to playing against certain toxic units. ISU-152, ST, KT, Ele/Jagd, early MG42 spam or kubel + Spios as USF, or maxims as OKW, etc.
The object/unit itself is not OP, just the way to use it is toxic