russian armor

Lemon's 2v2 USF

16 Aug 2015, 00:56 AM
avatar of LemonJuice

Posts: 1144 | Subs: 7

How to play USF in the current patch in 2v2s (Random, or otherwise)

It seems to be a community wide opinion that USF is just horribly underpowered in team games, and I have to somewhat agree...if youre playing like you were last patch.

New patch means new strategies, and I’m gonna share with you what I find to be most effective for me.

Preferred Commanders:
Rifle Company

Build Order 1:
Rifleman + Fighting Pit
.50cal HMG/Ambulance
Stuart/AT gun
HMG/AT gun/Pack Howitzer as necessary
Jacksons as necessary

Build Order 2:
Rifleman + Fighting Pit
HMG/AT gun/Pack Howitzer as necessary
Jacksons as necessary


Last patch USF focused around shock value, and taking enemy positions by storm with the Lieutenant > M20 > Sherman. However a lot has changed, with the Captain being cheaper, Stuart being much more useful, mediums being delayed, and most importantly, an increase in relevance of Axis medium tanks in almost every game.

So what does this mean? Well it means that the window of dominance Shermans have become a lot smaller than before. Last patch it was very common for Ostheer players to save fuel for an Elefant or Tiger, giving USF players ample time to run around with a Sherman and wreak havoc. However now Stugs and Panzer 4s are seen every game so the Sherman is a lot weaker overall. The increase of relevance of mediums also means that the Scott has been indirectly nerfed as well, since Stugs and Panzer 4s can kill those annoying pieces of shit in 2 hits, and have the mobility to chase them down.

This means that rushing for armor as USF is a really bad idea, which leads me to believe that USF ARMOR (at least Shermans and Scotts) ARE A TRAP. Why would you invest 300+ manpower and 100+ fuel into a vehicle that will have limited effectiveness and will only take up more pop cap, which in turn lowers your manpower income which in turn also means you wont be able to reinforce your expensive Riflemen.

So I ask you readers, to put the idea that you NEED to get tanks as fast as possible out of your head. There are other ways to win.

My strategy focuses around abusing the shit out of USF infantry, officers, and support weapons to gain ground, and hold it. Because youre not spending manpower on tanks, you can use all this new manpower on infantry/support weapons.

Early Game
The 3x Rifle start is pretty common. With the new patch, MG42s are seen every game so you have to play very carefully against Ostheer players and make sure your Riflemen dont get suppressed during the first engagement. Try to keep Rifles together so if one Rifle gets suppressed, the other Rifle can flank and relieve the suppressed squad. Honestly this is all just basic USF tactics and I assume you should know how to control your Rifles proficiently. If theres more demand I could make another guide but whatever. People complain that Rifles scale poorly, and while its true that Rifle vet leaves something to be desired compared to other infantry, you can use the wide variety of weapon upgrade available to help you scale into the mid game. The most powerful weapon upgrade is the LMG1919. Good DPS, and it makes Riflemen the most broken infantry because you can go into Defensive Stance whenever you want to quickly suppress enemy squads and win engagement effectively without losing any models. LMG1919 are the easiest way to compete against veteran LMG Grens as well as vet OKW infantry. Obviously you have to go Infantry Doctrine for the LMG, but I usually go Infantry maybe 80% of the time anyways. Another option you have is flamers from Rifle Company. While RC has seen a drop in popularity, its still probably the best doctrine to use on urban or close quarter maps thanks to Veteran Rifles, flamers, as well as the White Phos.

With your starting Rifles you should pretty much always be rushing important garrisons, or go to the fuel sectors and into cover,

One tool that players often forget about is the Fighting Position (FP). Fighting Positions are a very good way to guarantee that you win the first engagement. Generally I will have 2 Rifles out on the field by the time I have a frontline territory captured so I can place a FP at a important location.The rifle grenades that the Rear Echelon fire are very very very annoying and is one of the best ways to deny garrisons and heavy cover in the early game. With effective positioning, you can completely shut down Axis players that are trying to set up MGs in hot spots. For example on Rails on the bottom fuel, you can place a FP in the area to deny the large house, and also deny the trench as well. With garrisons and heavy cover denied, its very easy for your superior Riflemen to win against any Axis infantry you’ll see in the first 5 min. Another utility of the FP is that it is a garrison, so your Riflemen can get in there if theres no cover around. Upgrading a .50cal on the FP is completely up to your discretion. Just keep in mind the Axis players WILL kill your FP pretty early on in the game but a .50cal can definitely help you keep hold of your territory for another few minutes.

I almost always go Lieutenant purely for the fact that there is no Axis infantry at the point it comes out that can handle him. The LT squad is a pure beast in terms of medium and close range firepower, coming with a BAR and a Thompson for a measly 200/50. Use him to aggressively push off non-LMG grens and Volks to further gain map control. Try not to lose him as his Vet 3 sprint is actually really useful in the lategame when VPs become an issue and you’re scrambling to get units all over the map.

I like to get a 50cal after the Lieutenant, since LMG grens and OKW infantry start to become troublesome around this time. AoE suppression is great, and lets you walk your Rifles and LT up to crawling Axis squads and shoot at them impunity. Just be very very careful with these things, if the gunner dies on retreat, the whole squad will stop to pick the gun back up and youll probably lose the gun itself. MG micro is just another skill in the game that youll need to get better at, but will definitely help you.

I generally dont get an M20 or an AAHT because they can get countered very easily by a variety of sources and in general can be a resource trap. I advise you to instead invest the fuel and manpower elsewhere.

Mid Game
Around this stage in the game is very beneficial to get an Ambulance if you dont have a Soviet ally that has medics. A common complaint about USF is the excessive bleed from Rifles. The way you mitigate bleed is through healing. An Ambulance also provides the bonus utility of being a forward reinforce point, albeit a very fragile one. Keeping your Rifles at full health is the key to maintaining a healthy economy.

I like to tech Captain as soon as I get 60 fuel after my Lieutenant. Once again, you get a very powerful unit for a relatively low cost. Not only does it serve as a decent AT squad, it can also be a decent squad for blowing up infantry at close range with its Thompson and lucky Bazooka shots. Another very underrated ability is On Me! It is the only suppression breaking ability in the game, and in a meta where MG42s are pretty much in every game, its a very very valuable tool. The downside to it is that every infantry and support unit in a pretty large AoE is gonna come running to the Captain, but you can still manually order them around. If youre quick on your fingers the rallying aspect of the ability will be a non-issue. On Me! is one of the best ways to counter the AI Strafe of the CAS commander.

After the Captain its not a bad idea to get a Stuart. The Stuart is a pretty effective counter to both light vehicles and infantry as well, and is also very tanky to boot. Normally the Stuart takes awhile to build, but thanks to the Captain’s supervise, it can come out a lot quicker.

After the Stuart, its probably worth it to get the 57mm AT Gun. A lot of players overlook the USF ATG just because it has pretty crappy penetration, but in all honesty I find pretty useful and an essential aspect of going this strategy because you need some form of AT to deal with medium tanks. Jacksons are the other main form of hard hitting AT in the USF arsenal, but I find ATGs a worthy investment that comes earlier because it doesnt cost fuel and its possible to recover an ATG after its decrewed. I usually have 2-3 ATGs together. I do this with basically every faction but just ATG wall it up and move them as a group to be the most effective. Its good as USF because Axis indirect fire has a very hard time of instantly clearing out large blobs of ATGs like a Katyusha can. The biggest threat is obviously the Stuka, but if you can split your ATGs into 2 or 3 different directions as soon as you hear the launch sound, you should be good. Even if they get decrewed, just recrew them with RE. Even if 1 ATG might deflect, the other 1 or 2 still have a chance to penetrate, and it only takes 4 ATG hits to kill a medium tank. Against Axis tanks with skirts or a Panther and heavier, you should pop Armor Piercing rounds. Also remember to activate the vet 1 ability, theres really no reason not to. It increases sight range AND the range of the gun, and combined with the 57mm high rate of fire, you can be landing very long range shots quickly. As with every faction, make absolutely sure your ATGs are well supported so they dont get overrun and stolen by the enemy. Theres nothing worse than an enemy stealing an ATG and using it to kill your own vehicles (jokes on them though you dont have any armor)

If you need it, or have a large surplus of manpower, its not a bad idea to invest into a Pack Howitzer. Just remember to have them in direct line of sight with the enemy so it can direct fire on to them, which is more accurate than barraging or shooting from behind a line of sight blocker. The barrage on the Pack Howitzer has longer range than its autoattack, so use it barrage Battlegroup Headquarters or enemy mortars. At vet 2 your regular barrage is replaced by a HEAT barrage, which has better penetration (useless) and has a larger AoE explosion, so take advantage of that as well.

Late Game
Alright by this time you should have 3 upgraded Riflemen (usually with LMGs), a Captain, Lieutenant, maybe a Stuart, and an array of support weapons. Teching to Major is useful as the Major acts a forward retreat point next to your Ambulance, which helps you cement your control over portion of the map. The next logical step is to get armor, but I advise you to only get Jacksons, and only if medium tanks continue to be a problem or the enemy has gotten heavy tanks. Always use Jacksons defensively, they have great range, damage, and good penetration but a low health pool so its very dangerous to dive into fog after enemy tanks. There might be a couple paks or shreks waiting for you, and then suddenly you 300+/100+ investment just went down the drain. A trick you can also use is to decrew Jacksons when you dont need them so they take up less pop cap. Youll have greater manpower income during this time, and you can just pop the crews back in when enemy tanks appear again. Its all about maximizing efficiency. A not well known thing about Jacksons is that their Armor Piercing Rounds increase their damage to 240 from 200. Dont forget to use that ability against heavier tanks, it makes a big difference! Another fuel dump that is good in the late game is Priests. Priests are good because theyre a lot less likely to die than a Sherman or Scott. Priests serve as your weapons of mass destruction and a way to kill enemy infantry in their base or Battlegroup Headquarters. Enemy players will curse your name as their vet squads can do nothing but die. Take note of when your enemy retreats, and then barrage their base to get a few wipes in. Theyre also very good at breaking up enemy defensive formations, such as Pak walls, MG teams, mortar crews, or if an Ostheer player is trying to reinforce his army at a halftrack. Remember that Artillery in general has a tendency to overshoot the barrage target, so try to undershoot the barrage ability so that your shells land on target. As with the Jackson, leave your crew out of the vehicle when barrage is on cooldown so that you have more manpower income.

With weapon upgrades, your Riflemen should be doing quite well on the field. Wipes are bound to happen, but dont be afraid to replace one or two Rifle squads with fresh ones and give them weapon upgrades. In the same vein, try to replace your Officers if they die as well, especially the Captain due to On Me! Remember to always use Defensive Stance to win you engagements across the board.

Late Game Questions
You might ask, how do I deal with Elefants? Typically Elefants are the bane of USF existence because they dont have a very efficient way of dealing with it other than P47 spam. The thing is, the enemy Elefant actually doesnt have much to shoot at. The only vehicles youll have made during the course of the game is an Ambulance, and maybe a few Jacksons, Priests, and a Stuart. An Elefant should never be able to shoot on a Priest, and youre supposed to use Jacksons defensively anyways. The counter to the Elefant is itself. It takes up a large chunk of pop cap, as well as costing a very large amount of resources to deploy as well. If its not killing anything, destroying it is not really a priority. ATGs are a pretty good way to poke at the Elefant. Especially at Vet 1, USF ATGs can poke from a long range. In addition, Priests are a good way to force an enemy Elefant to move. While the Elefant is moving, your ally or yourself can move in some AT to try to take it out or force it off the field.

How do I deal with Tigers/King Tigers? Tigers and KTs pose a significantly larger threat than an Elefant to this strategy because theyre primarily Anti-infantry heavies. However not to fear, an ATG wall with Armor Piercing Rounds, Jackson in the back, and a Captain squad running around trying to flank it are often enough to deal significant damage to a Tiger, or atleast to force it off the field. Just play patiently. More often than not after a few engagements an oppurtunity will arise where you can finish off the heavy. Dont try to brute force a chase after a wounded heavy where its very likely you can lose your Jackson or your ATGs, and then suddenly youre vulnerable to armor because you have no AT.

How do i deal with enemy Loiters and CAS? Well, loiters are very easy to counter. Just buy the AAHT from the Lieutenant tier (remember, you teched both LT and CPT so you have full access to the USF arsenal), and just set it up in AA mode. The enemy will just waste 200 munitions for every time they use it. CAS has seen a drop in popularity, but its still quite annoying. Whenever you see the AI-Strafe, remember to split your squads up. If multiple squads get pinned, try to use On Me! to get your infantry back up and ready to fight. If you have a major on the field, retreat your troops to the Major and get them back on the field. The AI-Strafe will be on cooldown and youll have suffered very little losses, if any. The enemy will probably try to combo a Stuka dive bomb onto your Major if he sees you retreating. As soon as you see the Recon plane pass over your Major, just turn off the forward retreat point so that all your infantry just redirect to your base. The Stuka dive bomb will either land where the Major was, or he didnt call it in, wont be able to call it in on your base because he doesnt have sight of it. If you go Priest, CAS players will likely try to AT-Strafe your Priests. Once again, this is quite easy to dodge. If you see enemy recon overhead, just immediately move your units around so its hard for the enemy to target them.

Should I tech grenades/weapon racks? This is again up to your discretion. There are many games where I’ve won without using grenades or the weapon racks, and many games where I have won thanks to grenades and weapon racks. Just be smart about WHEN you throw in grenades. If you use them during a run of the mill skirmish, your opponent will probably dodge them, and itll just be waste of resources. At the same time, its sometimes worth it to throw a grenade on a unit in green cover to force them to move out of cover so your Rifles can deal more damage. Its up to your own judgement and discretion. The best time to use grenades is probably during large scale pushes, and throwing multiple grenades across multiple locations. Your opponent will likely not be monitoring every single firefight, so its likely youll get atleast one or two grenade hits. Your forcing the enemy to micro beyond what theyre capable of. If youre facing up against OKW light vehicles and you dont have your Captain yet, its worth it to go Weapon Racks and get a pair of bazookas on your Rear Echelon squad, effectively turning them into an AT squad. Bazookas have a pretty fast rate of fire compared to the shrek, so you should always shoot, move closer to the target and shoot again. Shoot n scoot, shoot n scoot. A good practice is to fire a volley, count to 5, and then stop to shoot again. Once your Captain hits the field, youll have a total of 4 Bazookas at your disposal, a pretty significant amount if you think about it. BARs are useful if you dont go either Infantry Company of Rifle Company and you need your Rifles to scale.

Quick Recap:
Use an early FP to win early engagements and deny enemy territory
Tech both Lt and Cpt to gain access to all of the USF support weapons
Purchase upgrades on your Riflemen to keep them relevant in the mid and late game (usually the LMG1919 in most situations, Flamer on certain maps)
Use .50cal HMGs to help shut down blobs of Axis Infantry, and use multiple ATGs to deter enemy armor.
Do not invest heavily into USF armor, other than the Jackson and Priest, use the manpower that you wouldve spent on vehicles to reinforce your powerful Riflemen or recrew any weapons.

Feel free to ask me any questions.

16 Aug 2015, 01:27 AM
avatar of OuTLaWSTaR
Donator 11

Posts: 438

Wow, that's alot of information your sharing. Kudos
16 Aug 2015, 01:55 AM
avatar of Justin xv

Posts: 252

I like this, Lemon. Thank you for sharing these helpful tidbits of information.

I have to ask though, why not armor company?

Armor comp lets you tech for both LT and Cpt giving you access to every support weapon and still giving you access to a competent TD. And if you forego Major completely Bulldozer is a wiping machine.

Let's not forget access to demos.
16 Aug 2015, 02:02 AM
avatar of LemonJuice

Posts: 1144 | Subs: 7

I like this, Lemon. Thank you for sharing these helpful tidbits of information.

I have to ask though, why not armor company?

Armor comp lets you tech for both LT and Cpt giving you access to every support weapon and still giving you access to a competent TD. And if you forego Major completely Bulldozer is a wiping machine.

Let's not forget access to demos.

good question. well ill start with your first point, that it gives access to a competent TD. this is somewhat true, the m10 is definitely a competent tank destroyer. however, i feel like the jackson out classes it in almost all situations. i just feel like the jackson is a much more potent AT platform. the pros of the m10 is that it can tank an additional AT shot, as well as having pretty good crush capabilties. however, the tankiness only comes into effect really if youre diving for a tank, which i try not to do (because diving for a tank leads to you throwing your armor away). Crushing also forces you to get very close to the enemy. lets say they have an AT gun in the fog of war, and your m10 rushes forward to try to crush some grens. the at gun shoots at ur m10 once, the grens faust it and retreat. suddenly your dead in the water with a pak shooting at a disabled m10. thats another couple hundred manpower and 80 fuel down the drain. at the end of the day, i feel like m10s are once again, resource TRAPS. i would personally rather invest my resources in a tank i can keep alive, a jackson. Bulldozer also isnt very bad at all, i dont really have complaints about it. however i feel that infantry company AS A WHOLE is much better than armor company. the combination of LMG, time on target, and priest call ins make infantry very very appealing.

i cannot emphasize enough just how strong the lmg1919, or more specifically, defensive stance, is. it lets you have the upperhand in infantry firefights in the mid game.

this doesnt mean armor company is bad. if youre having success with it, go on ahead. take some tips you learned from this guide, and incorporate it into your own strategy! innovate! there are many good things about armor company, demos for one, you have access to flamers, and the RNG bombs can be absolutely devastating.
16 Aug 2015, 02:23 AM
avatar of sneakking

Posts: 655

Permanently Banned
Wow, awesome work Lemon. I agree with a lot of your ideas about timing, popcap relevancy and USF inf micro. Also FP has always been an essential for me, and I've seen a lot of good USF players not use them so I didn't know if I was doing the right thing or not.

16 Aug 2015, 02:49 AM
avatar of ClassyDavid

Posts: 424 | Subs: 2

One thing I am noticing is lack of grenades or weapon racks. Was this merely of a no brainer for USF or do you feel they are merely unnecessary? Besides relying on Commander weapons of course. One last thing is do you truly feel other USF armour is pointless? Scott, Sherman, etc. (besides M10)
16 Aug 2015, 02:53 AM
avatar of LemonJuice

Posts: 1144 | Subs: 7

One thing I am noticing is lack of grenades or weapon racks. Was this merely of a no brainer for USF or do you feel they are merely unnecessary? Besides relying on Commander weapons of course. One last thing is do you truly feel other USF armour is pointless? Scott, Sherman, etc. (besides M10)

I talk about weapon racks and grenades near the end. Yes i feel that USF armor is very much often a resource sink that returns very little because theyre so squishy. its so easy to lose a tank to a pak wall, its just not worth making in the first place when the enemy is gonna have paks, stugs, panzer 4s, jagdpanzers, panthers, elefants, etc. basically EVERY axis medium except for an ostwind will hands down beat a sherman. and an ostwind can even kill a scott.

why invest resources into a unit that wont give a big return? might as well put those resources to use else where (reinforcing your rifles, getting jacksons and priests, etc)
16 Aug 2015, 03:08 AM
avatar of momo4sho
Senior Caster Badge
Donator 22

Posts: 463 | Subs: 1

too much time on your hands. :loco:

all joking aside, nice guide :sibHyena:
16 Aug 2015, 03:14 AM
avatar of LemonJuice

Posts: 1144 | Subs: 7

too much time on your hands. :loco:

all joking aside, nice guide :sibHyena:

actually only too like 45 minutes to write this srihead
16 Aug 2015, 04:56 AM
avatar of Vuther
Senior Moderator Badge

Posts: 3094 | Subs: 1

actually only too like 45 minutes to write this srihead

Can't read this, clearly not properly edited.

Of course not, I already read all of it which I appreciate and will consider for my own play.

...kinda sucks to hear you basically say USF mediums are mostly a waste of time though. :(
16 Aug 2015, 05:49 AM
avatar of JuanElstretchyNeck

Posts: 226

Cheers Lemon. Great read.
16 Aug 2015, 06:08 AM
avatar of Mortar
Donator 22

Posts: 559

Thanks Lemon. Hopefully,we'll see a new meta develop.

Have you thought much about what are the best choices for faction/commander for the partner of the USF player? What units/commanders would you think would work best with this.
16 Aug 2015, 08:52 AM
avatar of kersal

Posts: 63

Hi Lemon,
can I applies this tips to 1v1 too or there is something different?
16 Aug 2015, 09:07 AM
avatar of Kreatiir

Posts: 2816 | Subs: 1

Great read, I enjoyed it.
Thanks Limoen!
16 Aug 2015, 09:51 AM
avatar of LemonJuice

Posts: 1144 | Subs: 7

jump backJump back to quoted post16 Aug 2015, 06:08 AMMortar
Thanks Lemon. Hopefully,we'll see a new meta develop.

Have you thought much about what are the best choices for faction/commander for the partner of the USF player? What units/commanders would you think would work best with this.

This usf build has actually almost everything you'll need in terms of abilities. Time on target is one of the best ways to counter emplacement, so maybe a soviet commander with recon would be good. If not your major can just use his own recon.

There isn't much synergy to be had, the build works with pretty much everything
16 Aug 2015, 09:52 AM
avatar of LemonJuice

Posts: 1144 | Subs: 7

jump backJump back to quoted post16 Aug 2015, 08:52 AMkersal
Hi Lemon,
can I applies this tips to 1v1 too or there is something different?

You can try it in 1v1s
16 Aug 2015, 11:31 AM
avatar of BeefSurge

Posts: 1891

Lemon do you get good use out of the light AT mines?
16 Aug 2015, 11:59 AM
avatar of Fanatic
Patrion 14

Posts: 480 | Subs: 1

Thanks for this guide Lemon, good reading. Do you god replays who feature this strategy? And what do you think about substitute Rifleman with Rear Echelons?
16 Aug 2015, 11:59 AM
avatar of kersal

Posts: 63

Some problems (in 1v1 vs OKW):
1) Dual AIG: all my infantry get pinned every engagement
2) Stuka fires and destroy all the ATG.
16 Aug 2015, 15:07 PM
avatar of Jeo
Patrion 39

Posts: 9

nice write-up, i don't have access to rifle company but I've been using Armor and Infantry company more and more so it's helpful to see some tips geared toward those commanders.

how would you deal with MG42 spam in the early game? I've played a few games where my opponents will get 4-6 MG42 teams with overlapping and staggered firing arcs and it's so difficult to play against even with smoke grenades. the only consistently effective solution i've come up with is going early stuart but your build seems to get a much later stuart. any experience in dealing with mass mg42 spam?
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