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Thoughts on Panzergrenadiers

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16 Mar 2019, 07:45 AM
#1
avatar of miragefla
Senior Modmaker Badge

Posts: 1220 | Subs: 12

This is only my views and opinions and does not relate to the Commander Balance Preview or any things that might come from Relic. I just wanted to put out this topic to get views on what others think.

The Basis



Panzergrenadiers are Ostheer's advanced/elite infantry. Armed with assault rifles they perform well at mid-range against infantry with the capacity to also deal strong close-range DPS that meshes well with their Bundle Grenade. These traits make them good at defending support weapons and forcing enemies to keep at distance where Grenadiers or MG 42s can do the heavy lifting.

When armed with Panzerschrecks, they can deliver large amounts of burst damage and make potent support against flanking vehicles or forcing away units like tank destroyers.

Deployed from the Leichte Mechanized Kompanie, they can arrive when what could be considered the late early-game early-mid game is beginning.

Problems



Timing: Panzergrenadiers arrive at a later stage in the game outside certain strategies. By this point, other infantry are getting weapons and/or veterancy, but the biggest thing is that their arrival time coincides when Ostheer generally has 4 squads of Grenadiers who are likely arming with LMGs, veterancy, along with support weapons.

Combined with the fact Grenadiers are easier to micro with their ranged weapons and have utility in the form of snares, it's hard to justify adding them in when you got most of what you need from T1 for your infantry.

Competition in the Tier: T2 has many options for Ostheer to go with. The most chosen first units tend to be light vehicles as they allow Ostheer to go on the offensive and/or punish lone squads, especially those which lack snares or AT weapons.

Panzergrenadiers, meanwhile have all the weaknesses of infantry and will bleed if not handled correctly. They also don't start hitting their stride until veterancy 2-3 and cannot sit back like Obersoldaten.

To make Panzergrenadiers an AT option, you need a lot of munitions which means delays on the medical bunker so its often better to deploy earlier pak guns that also have use in the mid-late game and have a range advantage. You generally will not see early Panzerschrecks; LMGs to win the infantry war and the medical bunker all compete. This munition cost creates choices and delays and should be kept.

Difficult to Use Versus Alternatives: Panzergrenadiers are not a squad you can throw at the enemy in any shape or form. They need to pick their engagement ranges, figure out how to avoid fire on the way in and they be able to stay in the area long enough to deal their damage. Unlike Grenadiers, they don't have the advantage of needing to just keep the enemy at a distance, but they do compensate with having better DPS at the mid-short range can beat units Grenadiers would have issues with at short-range.

Still, in most cases, good MG 42 micro combined with Grenadier's good LMG DPS allows Ostheer to deal damage at distance and forces the enemy to close rather than the other way around which is more difficult for all assault infantry. No one wants to approach PGs and will keep distance where the squad is weakest unlike Grenadiers who have the MG 42 to protect them from assault units.

G43s Need a Revamp: G43s, while very good at chasing down hostiles with minimal DPS lose on the move, along with changing the squad's damage to deal high damage per shot, does not have major improvements. In fact, G43s make them weaker at short-mid range by a considerable margin. Their advantages do not kick in soon enough over the StG 44 unless you want that +7 sight for spotting.

Ideas



This is me throwing out random ideas. I'm not sure how this unit would see more play without becoming broken without extreme drastic overhauls.

Headquarters Unit after Battlephase: My biggest personal issue with PGs over all others, is timing. When I need to field the MG 42 along with 3-4 Grenadiers in a traditional build before teching up, I really don't need to be fielding more infantry when LMGs allow the Ostheer infantry to compete during the later stages of the mid-game and allow me to hand back.

Being in the HQ means they are not competing as heavily with all the T2 units that are so valuable and it might open new strategies where one holds out for BP 1 with fewer forces or more support weapons. It's somewhat similar to Osttruppen and Assault Grenadiers into T2, but it's more for rushing out a different kind of infantry.

Population Reduction: They're elite/advanced infantry, but given the difficulties to get them into combat, I don't think they need to be 9. Reducing them to 8 I do not think would encourage spam given they lack proper snares, need munitions for AT weapons, and don't have the long-range DPS or Rifle Grenades to destroy HMGs like Grenadiers do.

G43s: Equip the entire squad with G43 Rifles and then boost their mid-range so the advantage over the StG 44 doesn't start at range 25-28. The weapon remains a trade-off, but allow them to have a decisive advantage at a greater range over the the standard StG 44.

What are Yours Ideas?



What do others think of on the unit? PGs, themselves and their stats, I feel are fine as they are a unit that requires some thought to use and have specific purposes. I just think they just come in at a point where the core roster is saturated with a large number of starting infantry, existing choices in infantry/support weapons and competition in their own tier where shock units and/or manpower-based AT weapons take precedence over the unit.





16 Mar 2019, 08:24 AM
#2
avatar of thedarkarmadillo

Posts: 2416 | Subs: 1

Personally I think their design is fine, as is the design of their opposing forces. Keep in mind that being able to keep pgrens at bay by keeping them at range is INTENDED. Relative positioning and all that. They also have a target size of 0.8 which is quite good. Ost is well designed in that each unit has a role that they excel in and are managed by taking them out of that zone. Only changes I'd like to see is a more refined vet ability. Preferably something that is related to armour (-10% target size in range of some sort of vehicle?) to reinforce them as the mobile, mechanized punch of the wehrmacht.
16 Mar 2019, 08:48 AM
#3
avatar of Farlon

Posts: 167

Their upgrade from infantry commander should be stock tbh or at least the passive that gives them bonuses when close to vehicles.
16 Mar 2019, 08:59 AM
#4
avatar of SuperHansFan

Posts: 272

Isn't 8 pop the same as Tommies with upgrade? I don't see why they should be cheaper and come earlier than allied elite inf when they are already non doc.

I'm not sure any further buffs are needed, they were already looked at a few patches ago and had their vet fixed. Last big patch gave you the ability to upgrade them with infantry doc.

It's not like they perform bad either, try cheatmod.
16 Mar 2019, 09:40 AM
#5
avatar of Farlon

Posts: 167

Isn't 8 pop the same as Tommies with upgrade? I don't see why they should be cheaper and come earlier than allied elite inf when they are already non doc.

I'm not sure any further buffs are needed, they were already looked at a few patches ago and had their vet fixed. Last big patch gave you the ability to upgrade them with infantry doc.

It's not like they perform bad either, try cheatmod.

In cheatmod you can see how well rangers perform or even conscripts but you don't see them used often in the actual game. By the time panzergrenadiers come out, they usually have to deal with already vetted or even upgraded infantry and light vehicles which they are very vulnerable to unless upgraded with panzershrecks which makes them useless against infantry. And they cost 9 pop cap.
16 Mar 2019, 10:02 AM
#6
avatar of Aarotron

Posts: 284

i wonder could it work if they were given elite gren rifles, lowered some stats and cost and make the come same time as grens from barracks for something like 280mp and stgs are now upgrade. They could function as alternative for grenadiers. upgrades could be locked behind tech 2 or 1, depending.
16 Mar 2019, 10:05 AM
#7
avatar of Lago

Posts: 2205

I maintain one of the major reasons Grens are so favourable to PGrens is because they have no DPS concentration.

The vast majorty of mainline infantry have weapon upgrades, which concentrate the DPS of the squad on one or two models. Losing models then is only a small DPS loss.

PGrens, however, have that DPS evenly split, so every model drop cuts that DPS by 25%. Combine that with (iirc) the same received accuracy stats as Grenadiers, and their impressive on-paper firepower is rapidly lost.

With Penals, this was solved with To The Last Man: the squad gets stat boosts to compensate for losing models. You could give PGrens the same ability so dropping to a 3 or 2 man squad doesn't cripple them.



Beyond that? This is a squad that needs to close in without losing a model and has no tools to do so. What it needs is reliable durability. An extra man makes problems with the AT upgrade, and received accuracy is random, unreliable and provides no protection from the AoE weapons PGrens find themselves up against.

I reckon it's worth experimenting with Received Damage on them.
16 Mar 2019, 10:14 AM
#8
avatar of Butcher

Posts: 1047

i wonder could it work if they were given elite gren rifles, lowered some stats and cost and make the come same time as grens from barracks for something like 280mp and stgs are now upgrade. They could function as alternative for grenadiers. upgrades could be locked behind tech 2 or 1, depending.
That would be too close to Obersoldaten for my taste.

The biggest problem I have with PGs is that you bleed a lot more manpower with them than with Grens for a somewhat redundant role (AI). If I want to get my PGs into medium range against BARs and Brens I can count on losing a model in the process.

Meanwhile Grens can sit back and use their MG42 from cover. I think the purpose of PGs should be more on assaulting (since they have assault rifles). To accomplish that role better they need to be a bit more resistant to incoming fire. If not then it's always better to sit back with long range, cheaper Grens. Another issue is that the squad is 4 men. Now try to assault with a high cost 4 men squad.
16 Mar 2019, 10:27 AM
#9
avatar of BlickWinkel

Posts: 49

Some love for PGs would be great. Using them as your mainline infantry now is just an uphill battle. They have so many downsides compared to Grens:
  • short optimal range means you cannot effectively preemptively attack team weapons, or attack them if they run early; grenadiers can wipe an AT Gun that's pulling out from far away or destroy an mg before it can effectively attack them
  • it is, most of the time, impossible to focus fire with panzergrenadiers, you don't want them close together and then the range doesn't allow all squads to attack the same target effectively; and the other way around, they are easy to be singled out themselves
  • their weapon loadout means that as soon as you lose a model, your dps goes down by 1/4; Grens losing a model is not a big deal, since their damage is concentrated in the mg42
  • they are much more prone to wipes, since they operate closer to the enemy; when you hit retreat, they are still in range for quite a while, while grens retreating from their max range leave enemy line of sight quickly
  • awkward tech spot; when they become available, you can't get them, since to stay in game you already had to get some Grenadiers and at that point that's enough infantry, getting PGs will mp bleed you. Mixing them with Grens is also somewhat of an adittional micro burden since they work completely different
  • no AT snare can be brutally exploited by the enemy
  • a lot of allied infantry is medium-short range focused; instead of countering that with grenadier's long range, with PGs you play right into their hand and enable them to use their strenghts

    They just don't fit well into how CoH is played.
16 Mar 2019, 10:29 AM
#10
avatar of insaneHoshi

Posts: 796

You could just give them a smoke grenade.
16 Mar 2019, 10:58 AM
#11
avatar of Syraw

Posts: 88

In my opinion we can try the following:

Make the g43 upgrade be on 4 men and improve its DPS to make it a good alternative to STG44s. A cost increase should be considered.

Consider giving them smoke, which is to be locked away if they upgrade to G43s and replaced by 0.5 armor.

Give them some guard like button ability ? (this will make them support Panzers, they are panzergrens after all)
16 Mar 2019, 11:07 AM
#12
avatar of Sander93

Posts: 1530

Some ideas:

They start out with 4x G43. This gives them better mid range and better close range DPS compared to Grenadiers by default (but nothing really special) while having solid long range. Price down to 300-320MP.

Then there are two upgrade paths, one for AT and one for AI. One gives the squad Panzerschrecks. The other gives a fifth man (or body armor or very low RA) and STG-44s, with some balance tweaks perhaps.


Give them a weapons profile similar to IR STG44 Obersoldaten. So 2x G43/Kar/MP40 and 2x STG44 or whatever. Most of the DPS is given to the STG44s. This allows the squad to retain most of its firepower until the last two models instead of losing 25% of their total DPS per dropped model.


Give Panzergrenadiers a timed ability that switches their weapons profile around: "single shot fire". They will now deal high damage at mid to long range, but low damage at low range. This will allow them to be much more versatile. The timed nature of the ability (can not be canceled) gives enemy players the chance to counter it by moving to close range.
16 Mar 2019, 11:24 AM
#13
avatar of GiaA

Posts: 364

I strongly disagree with putting them into HQ. Don't take away tech coice consequences from the game.

My suggestions:
1. Smoke Grenade
2. Slight Price decrease
3. Make Shreks target vehicles only if that's possible.

16 Mar 2019, 11:41 AM
#14
avatar of |GB| The Lnt.599

Posts: 226

I actually play a lot with the pgrens. my built is mg-gr-gr-mg t2- 2pgrens or 1pgr-pack-pgr. This way i usually get them quite early before there a much allied infantry upgrades out. which means i can vet them at similar rate. It also allows u to be very aggressive. with the 2 grens providing the long range support as mentioned into the main post.

However, when the allied infantry support upgrades are coming, u will start losing more models (even when vetted) trying to get into the optimal range. So im wondering if maybe giving some sort of sprint ability would be useful. This could also reduce there received accuracy or not. Dunno if that would be OP with later vet.

There are 3 kinda possible types of sprint that im having in my mind.

- A sort of ost oorah version. This could be locked behind vet 1 as well so that u dont have it at the start, where closing distance and the model drop isnt that much of a problem.
- The rifleman sprint; u gain a short sprint buff but after that your troops are slower, and might take increased damage.
- A passive sprint, like the USF officers got. so u can get quicker into action again with your pgrens.

Reason because i propose some kind of sprint is that it allows u to close distance quicker, preferably before u lose a model so u have a bit more equal close quarter fight against for example dubble bar rifles. I think the sprint should be locked behind vet though, cuz in early game if u rush them it might be too strong, and u dont need it, not vs unupgraded infantry. It could also be possible to lose the sprint ability if u upgrade schrecks. But since its only a 5-7 sec sprint i doubt its neccessary.
16 Mar 2019, 12:00 PM
#15
avatar of AtomicRockets
Senior Moderator Badge

Posts: 717

As a player who almost always plays WM with PGrens (in a T2 rush strategy), I would say that putting them in the HQ after BP1 might be a bit too much.

I would propose the following changes:

- "Fire up" sprint ability, incurs a penalty on movement speed after ability duration.
- Slightly readjusting veterancy, so that the massive powerspike they receive at Vet 2 is partially transferred to Vet 1.
16 Mar 2019, 12:32 PM
#16
avatar of Vipper

Posts: 5190 | Subs: 1

Timing:
The problem does not actually have to do with timing of PG but the timing of allied options.

Allied "elite" infatry come earlier, this is the equivalent of having KT early available in the game and the opponent having to swarm with mediums to counter making the first engagements having a very significant impact in the game and increasing snowballing effect. These unit should be delay or the should not come with "elite" weapon and their weapon should be delay upgrades.

Competition in the Tier:

This again has to timing this time of light vehicles/light tanks. One find the need to rush a 222 to counter the m3/flamer combo or the Wc51/smg combo. Light vehicles/light tanks could also be delayed a bit so that cars have a longer time to pay and their squad wiping ability reduced. The reintroduction of the 221 as a counter to car could also help.


G43s Need a Revamp:

G43 and other doctrinal weapons could use a redesign. Imo they could easily be merge with 5 men upgrade providing an alternative role for the units instead of more of the same. Their profile could be changed to much those M1 making grenadiers a units similar to riflemen and Pg a units similar to paras/ranger.

Further more the ability (and other like it)could be moved to be an upgrade available in the HQ giving the player the choice of investing his fuel to improve his infatry or going for lights, instead of the I spam infatry until I get enough CP to unlock weapons logic.

Another approach would be to completely scrap the G43 for PG/ST "jager light infatry upgrade" and give them other bonuses for these unit custom made for the role, that could include Thompson/PPsh for Stormtroopers or 5 member or defensive bonuses or access to Faust or combination of G43 (redesigned) and LMGs.

Suggestions:
1) Reduce reinforce time, PG reinforcement is ridiculously high. (Actually normalizing all reinforcement times in 4 categories would help allot from faster to slower engineer/mainline/elite/support weapons)

2) Reduce cost to buy change weapon at spawn to +2 Kar/G43 +2ST44 allowing +1+1 shreck, the 2 extra ST44 could be an available upgrade or it could an upgrade for the "jager light infatry upgrade" ability (g43).

3) Overhaul veterancy and vet 1 ability. Bonuses could include reinforcement cost reduction, increase is XP gained for taking damage and less XP gained for enemy for inflicting damage, damage reduction similar rangers. Vet 1 ability could include passive synergy when fight near vehicles or some sort of close range AT weapon like Hafthohlladung.

4) Maybe have BP1/T2 become cheaper but only allow building PG and 221 the rest being lock behind BP2. (similar change could be made for T3 allowing to better time Ostwind/Pz4)
16 Mar 2019, 12:41 PM
#17
avatar of SeductiveCardbordBox

Posts: 410

jump backJump back to quoted post16 Mar 2019, 12:32 PMVipper
Timing:...this is the equivalent of having KT early available in the game and the opponent having to swarm with mediums to counter making the first engagements having a very significant impact in the game and increasing snowballing effect.


U wot m8? How does this even begin to be relevent, or even make sense, there's no allied faction that unlocks a medium tank at a different time to unlocking their TD?? What?

-----

More generally, and a bit of an outlier of an idea. Would it be too much to drop their DPS by 25% per model and then add a 5th man? The only other 4 man 'assault' infantry in the game right now are Sturmpioneers, and they get to do other non-combat things as well as be a flanking squad.
16 Mar 2019, 12:47 PM
#18
avatar of Sander93

Posts: 1530

More generally, and a bit of an outlier of an idea. Would it be too much to drop their DPS by 25% per model and then add a 5th man? The only other 4 man 'assault' infantry in the game right now are Sturmpioneers, and they get to do other non-combat things as well as be a flanking squad.


5 models create a problem with the Panzerschreck upgrade, as they would possibly get too much survivability. But this could be solved by giving them AI and AT upgrade paths (different stock weapons), where the AI path gives them an extra man as well as the STGs.
16 Mar 2019, 12:48 PM
#19
avatar of Vipper

Posts: 5190 | Subs: 1



U wot m8? How does this even begin to be relevent, or even make sense, there's no allied faction that unlocks a medium tank at a different time to unlocking their TD?? What?

I used as an example not as something that actually happen in the game.

I has been argued for instance Penal are balanced because the are outnumbered (which would the equivalent of having an KT and having to swarm me with mediums) and that imo is actually bad design. Unit should be of at suitable power level for the time frame and scale accordingly.
16 Mar 2019, 12:51 PM
#20
avatar of Lago

Posts: 2205

5 models create a problem with the Panzerschreck upgrade, as they would possibly get too much survivability. But this could be solved by giving them AI and AT upgrade paths (different stock weapons), where the AI path gives them an extra man as well as the STGs.


Something like this maybe?

  • Panzergrenadier squad cost reduced to 280.
  • Panzergrenadier STG damage reduced by 20%.
  • New upgrade path added that adds a 5th man, mutually exclusive with Panzershrecks.

Less manpower spent on 4-man Shreck Panzergrens, and 5-man anti-infantry PGrens with the same damage output. Could work.

You'd also still have the option of cheaper, smaller PGren squads you can upgrade to 5 man later.
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