The Armor Company Command Tree is one of the three American command trees. This tree is focused on turning vehicles and tanks into the primary American battlefield units, replacing Infantry in most roles. This is achieved through faster vehicle production and replacement rates, the ability to repair vehicles without Engineer Squads, and the ability for light vehicles to capture sectors. In addition, this Command Tree enables calling in two powerful armored units, the M26 Pershing Heavy Tank and the Sherman Calliope multi-rocket artillery. This Command Tree offers powerful offensive capabilities, and ensures constantly and unrelenting pressure on the enemy through American armored assaults.
One of the major factors contributing to the Allied victory in World War II was the United States' industrial capacity. Even before the war, the United States was busy manufacturing a massive amount of weaponry which it gave through the "Lend-Lease" agreement to the British and other Allied combatants. Once the country joined the war itself, it brought along a seemingly endless supply of equipment, vehicles and tanks. In the face of dwindling German wartime production, victory was only a matter of overwhelming the enemy with weapons that just kept on coming.
The Armor Company portrays this advantage by concentrating all American strategy around its vehicles - both lighter and heavier ones - to put constant pressure on the enemy's production. Vehicles, being tougher and faster than Infantry, are made more useful and more self-sufficient with this Command Tree, significantly reducing the need for large groups of Riflemen or other infantry units.
This is done in several different ways: Firstly, American Light and Medium Vehicles can now capture Strategic Points on their own, reducing the need for Infantry to accompany them on land grabs. Secondly, American vehicle and tank crews can now repair their own vehicles, at a much faster (but much more expensive) rate. Although Engineer Squads are still recommended for giving standard maintenance to the growing vehicle fleet, they don't need to risk themselves in combat by following the vehicles on attacks.
Furthermore, production times for new vehicles are shortened considerably (by half), allowing vehicles to be fielded in short order and replaced quickly when lost, thereby maintaining constant pressure on the enemy. This can be augmented even further by relying on the Allied War Machine to instantly replace lost vehicles for a nominal price.
Finally, with this Command Tree the American army can field two of its most powerful units. The M26 Pershing is a heavy tank - the only heavy tank available to this faction - which is tasked with drawing firepower and acting as a meat-shield for fast flanking assaults. The Sherman Calliope is a medium tank with no overt offensive capabilities, but is able to launch a massive rocket barrage that can be used either as a long-range artillery or a good direct-combat weapon.
The Armor Company relies on fielding a large vehicle fleet, and is therefore a more offensive force that tries to keep its enemy under pressure at all times. Powerful armored assaults, centered around M4 Sherman tanks and M26 Pershings can stand face-to-face with strong Axis opposition, until the enemy can no longer keep up with the speed of production.
Command Tree Structure Edit
|Doubles the production speed of all units and Global Upgrades at the Motor Pool and Tank Depot. Also halves the production time of Jeeps.||Grants all Jeeps, M3 Halftracks and M8 Greyhounds the ability to capture Strategic Points (at 100% rate), effectively allowing all-vehicle groups to make their own land grabs without Infantry.|
|Field Repairs||Allied War Machine|
|Grants an ability that allows all vehicle crews to simultaneously repair their own vehicles. For 20 seconds, this ability repairs every damaged American vehicle by 15 per second - for the cost of 150.||Grants an ability that, while active, will immediately replace the first two American vehicles lost in combat, free of charge (except of course for an activation cost of 200).|
|M26 Pershing Heavy Tank||Calliope Rocket Launcher|
|Allows calling in an M26 Pershing Heavy Tank for 800, 14. This tough tank can lead American armored columns into battle, soaking up damage and destroying enemy units with ease. Only one M26 Pershing is allowed on the field at any given time.||Allows calling in a Sherman Calliope for 650, 10. It is a medium tank that can launch a powerful rocket barrage to destroy targets both far away and in combat. Up to two of these tanks may be fielded simultaneously.|
Command Upgrades Edit
- Total Price: 15 Command Points
The Armor Company Command Tree is split into two branches: Armored Support and Logistics. Each branch has three Command Upgrades available for purchase, and they must be bought in a specific order.
Unlike other Command Trees, the Command Upgrades made available here are not split based on any coherent specialization; each branch simply offers three useful upgrades of increasing usefulness.
Armored Support Branch Edit
The Armored Support Branch increases the Armor Company's brute force application.
It begins by cutting all vehicle production times in half. This allows the Americans to quickly field a large vehicle fleet, and to replace any casualties in short order. This puts more pressure on the enemy, who cannot rely on lulls in the battle to reorganize and consolidate their forces.
Next up, the Armor Company allows its vehicle crews to repair their own vehicles, without the need for Engineer Squads - even during combat. Vehicle self-repair is done for all vehicles simultaneously, and works considerably faster than Engineer Squad repair, although at a somewhat hefty Munitions cost.
Finally, the M26 Pershing Heavy Tank can be called to the field. Although only one can exist at any given time, this tank is still an excellent addition to the American armored force, being able to lead armored groups into combat and protect them from damage as they envelop and overwhelm the enemy. It is the most powerful American vehicle available - and the most expensive.
Fast Deployment Edit
- "Begin armoured operations."
- When the Fast Deployment Command Upgrade is purchased, it will immediately double the production speed of the Motor Pool and Tank Depot.
- As a result, the production times of M3 Halftracks, M8 Greyhounds, M1 57mm Anti Tank Guns, M10 Tank Destroyers, M4 Crocodile Shermans and M4 Shermans are halved. Additionally, the Jeep is also produced at double speed at the Barracks.
- Global Upgrades at the Tank Depot also enjoy this increased production rate, taking half as much time to install.
- Increased production rates will enable the Americans to create their first vehicle fleet rapidly - assuming they can gather up the resources to do so. This helps speed up the transition from an early-game, Infantry-based force to a mid-game, Vehicle-based one.
- Once American battlegroups begin attacking the enemy en-masse, this upgrade is crucial for keeping the pressure up. The Americans are very hard to subdue when they can replace their vehicles so quickly, and can perform constant attacks on enemy territory without any considerable lulls in the battle, or plug gaps in their defenses very quickly. Naturally, keeping up a steady income of resources is imperative, because the cost of production is not changed.
- Purchase this Command Upgrade early in the battle. If you intend to try a fast land grab tactic in the early game with the Raid Command Upgrade (see below), Fast Deployment will enable you to put a large number of Jeeps on the field in short order. If you prefer the vehicles you produce to last longer, choose to advance to Field Repairs instead of acquiring Raid.
Field Repairs Edit
- "We can now support field repair."
- The Field Repairs Command Upgrade unlocks a Command Ability of the same name. This ability costs 200 to activate, and will basically repair a large amount of damage from every American vehicle on the field simultaneously.
- When activated, this ability lasts for 20 seconds. During this time, each and every American vehicle that is even slightly damaged will receive +15 per second. This can potentially heal 300 points of damage from a vehicle: about half the health of an M4 Sherman, and enough to heal an M8 Greyhound or an M3 Halftrack entirely.
- Repairs will stop once a vehicle reaches 100% Health, but if it becomes damaged again while the ability is still active, repairs will resume again as appropriate.
- While this is going on, vehicles being Field-Repaired are free to continue doing whatever they are doing. They can still move and can fire at enemies. Of course, they may also be damaged by enemy fire as normal.
- The rate of +15 is very high indeed: three times higher than that of an Engineer Squad. It is the single highest healing source in the game! Nonetheless, a vehicle under fire can receive much more than this much damage per second, so Field-Repairs during battle doesn't make a vehicle invulnerable - they just let it survive longer.
- It is often best to use this ability after a major assault, not during it. This will quickly ready your force for an enemy counter-attack or even for further advancement into enemy territory. Let the healing run its course if you can, before plunging back into combat.
- Use during combat can prolong the life of a vehicle, such as a tank acting as a meat-shield, but it has to start early enough, and again probably won't save a vehicle coming under heavy fire.
- Field Repairs makes an excellent third purchase from this Command Tree, after Fast Deployment and Raid. It will help mid-game vehicles survive for longer and reduce reliance on Engineer Squads early, assuming you can gather enough resources to use this ability at all.
- This ability can be used once every 45 seconds. In other words, if you can afford to use it twice in a row, you'll experience a 25 second waiting period between uses. This is a rather short wait, though during battle can still be a very long time.
M26 Pershing Heavy Tank Edit
- "Pershing reserve are now available."
- The exorbitant cost of this Global Upgrade belies its usefulness. It unlocks the ability to call in an M26 Pershing Heavy Tank, the most powerful vehicle available to the Americans. This ability costs a massive 800, and the tank consumes 14.
- The M26 Pershing is the American army's answer to the Panther tank. It is well-clad in armor, reasonably fast, and carries a large gun that can kill a wide variety of targets. With 990, it can soak up a good deal of damage - which will only be received from enemy units powerful enough to get through the tank's front armor, or nimble enough to flank it.
- Once summoned, the M26 Pershing becomes the focus of the Main Armored Battlegroup, a collection of tanks and vehicles that will accompany it into combat. In such a battlegroup, the M26 Pershing's role is to take the enemy head on, firing heavy shells on the most dangerous targets, and at the same time drawing fire to itself. While this exchange of fire is going on, the remainder of the Battlegroup attempts to encircle and destroy the enemy.
- It should very much be noted that only one M26 Pershing is allowed on the battlefield at any time. The Command Ability that summons it becomes deactivated once the tank is called in, and remains inactive until the tank is destroyed (or never, if you manage to keep the Pershing alive throughout the rest of the battle). This is often irrelevant though, because the Pershing consumes a lot of Population Cap points - so fielding two of them would cripple the rest of the army anyway.
- Thanks to the high cost in Command Points and Resources, it's not recommended to try to reach this Command Upgrade before the late stages of the battle. Build up a force that can support the M26 Pershing adequately before calling it in, because on its own this tank will easily be overwhelmed and destroyed. Built a sizeable fleet of support vehicles and tanks, then field the Pershing and start giving your enemy hell. This gives you the element of surprise, especially if the enemy hasn't figured out what Command Tree you're barking up yet.
- Some experienced players think the opposite is true: that attempting to reach the M26 Pershing as early as possible can net a very quick win. Of course, this often means supporting a Pershing with only medium vehicles or even infantry, so it is much more difficult to pull off - but a skilled player can make a light armored battleground surrounding the Pershing and dominate the field for quite some time - if not win immediately.
- Then again, due to the usefulness of the Allied War Machine Command Upgrade in conjunction with the Pershing, there's a good incentive to wait until it's purchased. Read more on this below.
Logistics Branch Edit
- The Logistics Branch is more uneven than the Armored Support Branch, providing three Command Upgrades that are seemingly unconnected to each other.
- At the beginning of this branch, American Light and Medium Vehicles receive the ability to capture Strategic Points, immediately reducing the importance of Infantry units by a good degree.
- The Allied War Machine upgrade allows instant replacement of lost vehicles, for a hefty Munitions cost. It helps reduce the impact of losing valuable American vehicles in combat, both financially and strategically, contributing to keep a steady grip on the situation even in the face of what would otherwise be significant defeats.
- Finally, this branch enables the use of a very powerful support vehicle, the Sherman Calliope - a medium tank with no main cannon, but the ability to launch a mass of deadly rockets at both close-range and distant targets - to achieve various tactical and strategic goals.
- In truth, these upgrades provide good synergy with the Command Upgrades on the Armored Support Branch. As a result, Armor Company Commanders tend to alternate between this branch and the Armored Support Branch when choosing which Command Upgrades to buy - giving a gradual advancement along both branches at the same time.
- "Mechanized has their orders. They can take and hold."
- Despite being at the top of its branch, the Raid upgrade is one of the most important Command Upgrades for the Armor Company. When purchased, it will give all American Light and Medium vehicles the ability to capture Strategic Points, an option normally reserved for Infantry.
- This ability is given to the Jeep, M3 Halftrack/M45 Quadmount, and M8 Greyhound. The capture rate for all these vehicles is identical, standing at 100% - the "normal" capture rate - slower than that of Engineer Squads and Riflemen Squads.
- This has a major impact on the game, especially in the early stage. These vehicles, being fast if not good anti-infantry units, can make early land-grabs on a very large scale. They can continue to harass the enemy well into the mid-game by making hit-and-run attacks - capturing or neutralizing a point only to retreat. Hence the name of this Command Upgrade: "Raid".
- Furthermore, this Command Upgrade does more than any other upgrade to reduce reliance on Infantry and pass it to the Vehicles. Infantry no longer have to join in on attack missions, to capture the points being conquered, reducing the risk to them and speeding up your now all-vehicle assault groups. Of course, Infantry can still help, building up defenses for a newly captured sector and potentially dealing with enemy anti-tank units, but this can usually wait until combat is over.
- This is usually the first Command Upgrade to be purchased, even before Fast Deployment, so that you can use your Jeeps and early M3 Halftracks to start a land grab as soon as possible. If not, it is usually the second purchase. Again, reducing dependence on Infantry is very important for this company, and the earlier the better.
Allied War Machine Edit
"Allied War Machine is ready to go."
- The Allied War Machine is a unique and very interesting Command Upgrade, offering what basically amounts to a gamble: Waging a large amount of resources on the change to save an even larger amount, or turn a tactical defeat into, at worst, a draw.
- This Command Upgrade unlocks a new Command Ability of the same name. Activation of this ability costs 250, and starts a 30 second countdown timer.
- If any American tank or medium vehicle is destroyed within these 30 seconds, the game will immediately create a replacement for this unit at the American Map Entry point - completely free of any additional charge. For example, if an M4 Sherman is destroyed while this ability is counting down, a completely new M4 Sherman will appear at the entry point immediately.
- Up to two vehicles can be automatically replaced for each activation of this ability. After that, additional destroyed vehicles will simply be destroyed for good, until the next time this ability is used.
- Only vehicles on the list below will trigger this effect:
- To understand how powerful this ability can be, just note the M26 Pershing at the bottom of this list. This unit normally costs 900 to summon. If during the Allied War Machine's countdown your M26 Pershing is destroyed by the enemy, a completely new one will come to the battlefield immediately to replace it. Even if this is the only vehicle destroyed in a battle, this is still worth the 250 you paid for the privilege. Now imagine that an M26 Pershing and an M4 Sherman are destroyed within the ability's active duration, and you can see why this gamble is often worth the price.
- Naturally, the best time to activate this ability is during heavy combat, when you notice that one or (hopefully) more valuable vehicles are about to be destroyed. Actually, the list above is sorted by value, from highest to lowest, to help you figure out when it's time to activate it.
- If no vehicles are destroyed during the countdown, you will have basically spent your 250 for nothing. This is the other side of the coin, the gamble which you make when activating Allied War Machine. The trick therefore is not to activate it too early (or needlessly), and not to activate it too late!
- Due to the ability to bring back M26 Pershings so easily, this Command Upgrade should be purchased before your first M26 Pershing Heavy Tank ever enters the field. The only exception is when you try to get the Pershing in very early, in which case the tank might not lose any combat to begin with.
Calliope Rocket Launcher Edit
- "Calliope reinforcement ready for the field."
- The Sherman Calliope is a field artillery unit, but very different from the ones used by other factions. It costs 650, 10 to summon one such vehicle.
- The Calliope is a heavy rocket artillery piece, mounted on the chassis of an M4 Sherman tank. The tank's main cannon is disabled, to make room for the rocket firing mechanism, but a large raft-like series of tubes on the roof can launch a massive barrage of rockets instead. This is the vehicle's primary attack, and it is quite devastating.
- The range of the launcher is 150 meters - somewhat short for an artillery piece. However, this unit's powerful barrage is actually more useful for killing targets at close range - the normal tank-engagement range of ~40 meters. At this range, the rockets will all land in close proximity, causing massive damage to a single target or a closely-packed group of targets. With 100% Penetration, a salvo can kill a heavy Axis tank!
- Thanks to the Sherman Calliope's thick armor and reasonable speed, it is rarely endangered by anything other than enemy counter-artillery - which only means that it should relocate after each barrage it fires. It can accompany other tank units into battle without much fear, and thus can provide close support for armored battlegroups.
- Long-range bombardment at 150 meters is less useful, as the rockets spread out over a large area at this distance. Nonetheless, it's an optional attack that can scare the enemy or kill their infantry quite easily, and holds several potential applications. More often though, Sherman Calliope bombardments are used before combat to soften up an enemy position at 70 meters or so.
- The Calliope Rocket Launcher Command Upgrade can be purchased whenever you feel that you need it - it'll always be useful, though the Sherman Calliope itself will probably serve different purposes in the mid-game than in the later game.