A Captain on the move
|Men per Squad||1|
|Produced By||Field Support Truck|
|Health per Man||60|
|Basic Weapon||Webley revolver|
|Open Weapon Slots||1|
|Max. Speed||3 m/s|
- "Captain ready, Sir. What you want me to do?"
The Captain is a one-man unit in a British army, featured in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. He is a high-level Command Officer, whose primary purpose is to bestow defensive bonuses to Infantry and Defensive Structures in threatened sectors within your territory. The Captain is one of only three units that can accumulate Veterancy, and is required in order to advance the British Army's tech-level. You can only have one Captain on the field at any given time.
Once the British Army is underway securing territories and erecting a defensive line to protect them, the British player needs to bring in a Captain to oversee the defensive effort. The Captain will be responsible for coordinating your defensive efforts, by strengthening specific sectors against enemy attacks.
The Captain is called in from the Field Support Truck, and costs 300, 30. He is a one-man squad, making him the most expensive infantryman in the entire game. This means that the Captain must be protected at all costs, as losing him will cause a massive set-back.
The Captain is barely armed, carrying only a Webley Revolver. His true value is not in attacking enemy units, but rather in providing important defensive bonuses to other units and buildings. This "Command Bonus" is applied to all relevant British units within the same sector he happens to be in at any given time. The bonuses are geared towards making both Infantry and Defensive Structures (primarily gun emplacements) more durable to damage. It is often necessary to keep the Captain moving between friendly sectors, to apply these defensive bonuses in areas that are coming under enemy attack.
In addition, the Captain provides a secondary rally point for retreating infantry: they all have the option to retreat to the Captain's position rather than to the Headquarters Command Truck. This allows you to decide where you want your infantry to go. Retreating to the Captain's position gives the ability to quickly get several infantry units to a sector that needs defending.
The Captain gains Veterancy levels through both his own kills and the kills of other infantry units in his vicinity. As his level increases, he will provide better and better bonuses, becoming even more valuable to your efforts.
The Captain is also extremely crucial to the continued development of the British army towards offensive strength, because he is a prerequisite to the creation of the Armor Command Truck which produces tanks. Though some players do not incorporate this Truck into their offensive strategies, most players will want to get a Captain on the field as quickly as possible to begin producing tanks nonetheless. In addition, the creation of a Captain enables production of a Stuart Light Tank from the Field Support Truck.
You may only have 1 Captain on the field at any time. Once he is created, the option to produce another Captain is greyed-out, and will only be enabled if the Captain dies.
The Captain is armed with nothing more than a Webley Revolver (some claim it is an Enfield No.2 Mk.I revolver, the two are nearly identical visually, though the game-files call it a Webley). This is an extremely poor offensive weapon, and the Captain is not meant to actually use it in combat.
Captains can pick up an alternate weapon if one is found. It is best to arm them with heavier automatic weapons like the Bren LMG or MP44, given the option.
There is little that can be said about this weapon, since it is not meant to be used in any offensive capacity. The Webley is a drum-loaded revolver handgun, firing inaccurate, infrequent shots. It's the Captain's last resort, really, and if he's put in a situation where he actually has to use it, then something must already be wrong with your strategy.
Veterancy and Command Bonuses
Most British units do not "level up", neither through combat (like the Americans or Panzer Elite) nor through purchased upgrades (like the Wehrmacht). The Captain is one of only three units in the British army that can accumulate experience at all.
Veterancy increases the Captain's survivability by a small degree, but its most important purpose is to increase the Command Bonuses that this Lieutenant applies to all relevant units and structures in the same sector as himself. This effectively mimics the Veterancy effect of other armies, but only to units in the same sector. Note that this only applies in sectors that are directly linked to your HQ Territory (the sector where your Headquarters Command Truck is currently set up).
The Captain accumulates Veterancy thanks both to his own kills and to the kills of other infantry units in his vicinity. Therefore, the Captain himself does not need to go around killing enemies to level-up (and is unlikely to do so in the first place), he can simply stay close to other units that do the killing. Of course, doing so himself can speed up the veterancy process - if it doesn't get him killed.
The Captain constantly radiates bonuses that apply to all relevant units in the same sector as himself. This ability is active as long as the Captain is in a friendly sector that is directly linked to your HQ territory (where your Headquarters Command Truck is currently set up). This includes sectors belonging to your allies.
The affected sector will show up in green on the mini-map and tactical map. It will also have a white outline surrounding it in the main game view area. Units within that sector will have a white outline around their squad icons, indicating that they are receiving the Captain's Command Bonuses.
There are three Command Bonus levels, with each level providing a better effect than the last. The "Basic" level is available to the Captain immediately, the second level is unlocked at Veterancy 2, and the last level is unlocked at Veterancy 3.
Basic Command Bonus:
- British Infantry units within the Captain's sector receive:
- 20% damage reduction from all sources
- 50% less Suppression from all sources
- Constant but very slow health regeneration
- British Weapon emplacements within the Captain's sector receive:
- 50% Maximum Health bonus, basically allowing emplacements to take 50% more damage than normal before being destroyed.
Enhanced Command Bonus:
- British Infantry units within the Captain's sector receive:
- 20% damage reduction from all sources
- 75% less Suppression from all sources
- 15% Maximum Health bonus, basically allowing infantry to take 15% more damage than normal before being killed.
- Constant but very slow health regeneration (doubled from the Basic Command Bonus)
- British Weapon Emplacements within the Captain's sector receive:
- 125% Maximum Health bonus, basically allowing emplacements to take 125% more damage than normal before being destroyed.
Resource Command Bonus:
- All bonuses from previous levels still in effect
- If the Captain is in a sector that has a Munitions or Fuel point in it, that point will generate 80% more resources than normal. This is cumulative with bonuses given by your Command Trucks, Company Commander abilities, etc.
The Captain's primary abilities lie in his Command Bonuses (see above). Nonetheless, he has several other abilities - particularly ones involving artillery attacks.
Captains can Maintain Command Range from infantry units, making sure the captain goes wherever the infantry goes. They also have the Victor Target ability, which causes all British artillery pieces to open fire at the same target, regardless of their actual range. Finally, he also has the Royal Artillery Support ability to act as a Forward Observation Officer and call in off-map artillery barrages.
- Costs nothing
- Activation: Select Target (friendly infantry)
- Cooldown: none
When this ability is activated, select a friendly infantry unit. The Captain will move to about a 10-meter distance of that unit, and will do his best to remain within no more than 30 meters away from that unit at any time. He will nonetheless continue firing at targets that enter his line-of-sight, and will also try to keep the infantry between himself and enemy units automatically.
Since the Captain bestows his Command Bonuses to any relevant unit within the same sector as himself, this ability will usually make sure that the infantry he is following is always receiving these bonuses. However, it's always possible for the Infantry to stop in one sector while the Captain stops just outside the sector's edge, so micro-management may be unavoidable.
If the target unit ever garrisons a structure or Slit Trench, the Captain will enter the structure with them automatically, and leave when they leave. Again, this saves the player some micro-management.
Note that when an infantry unit retreats to Headquarters, the Captain does not automatically retreat as well - he just moves at normal pace towards wherever the unit has gone. This may expose him to attacks, since he is neither running away nor receiving the defensive bonuses associated with the retreat action.
Any order given to the Captain will immediately break the Maintain Command Range order. That includes moving orders, shooting orders, or an order to retreat or use any ability. You would need to issue the Maintain Command Range order again after the fact. Fortunately, to avoid this problem at least some of the time, selecting a box of units with a Captain in Maintain Command Range mode within it will only select the other units, leaving the Captain unselected. Issuing an order to those units will therefore keep the Captain in following mode.
- Requires at least one 25 Pounder Gun Howitzer or Priest 105mm on the field
- Costs nothing
- Activation: Select Ground (any visible)
- Cooldown: 180 seconds
When this ability is activated, click a ground target anywhere within visible area (I.E. not in the Fog of War).
If the target is within range of any 3" Mortar Emplacements, those emplacements will also fire 6 shells each at the target.
You may target any piece of ground that is not in the Fog of War, and your artillery (but not mortars) will fire at it regardless of range constraints. In other words, if you have somehow acquired line-of-sight to the other side of the map, all your artillery pieces can shoot there unimpeded, regardless of where they are positioned.
You can use this ability both offensively and defensively. Before an attack, this can be used to massively damage an enemy position (you'll need a recon unit there to sight the target). When defending, use this to quickly create an impassable field of fire at a target point without having to issue separate orders to each artillery piece.
Note that any artillery piece that is currently in Counter Battery mode, Overwatch Barrage mode, or is simply cooling down from a recent barrage, will not participate in the bombardment at all. Since the game only checks whether artillery exists or not when deciding whether to allow you to use the Victor Target, it's possible to activate the ability with no artillery pieces ready to respond to it! This wastes the ability, and starts the mandatory 180-second cooldown despite not actually doing anything. Always make sure you have at least one artillery piece ready to fire!
Any artillery piece taking part in the barrage will thereafter go into cooldown mode as appropriate for its unit type, same as it does when firing normally.
- Requires the Forward Observation Officer ability from the Royal Artillery Support command tree
- Costs 150
- Activation: Select Ground (Visible)
- Duration: ~15 seconds
- Cooldown: 30 seconds
When this ability is activated, select a point on the ground within visible territory. This location will be hit by 8 artillery shells fired by an off-map 25-Pounder artillery.
The distribution of the shells around the target area is as follows:
- The first shell strikes up to 6 meters from the target position.
- The next three shells strike up to 15 meters from the target position.
- The last four shells strike up to 22.5 meters from the target position.
The shells used in this attack are 25-Pounder shells, making them identical to the shells fired by the 25 pounder Gun Howitzer emplacement.
Note that the shells are preceded by signal smoke, so the enemy may be able to react to the shelling if he's quick enough.
The entire bombardment effect is accompanied by a clearing of the Fog of War in a radius of 22 meters around the target position. The Fog of War will remain cleared for 35 seconds, which is about 20 seconds after the bombardment has ended.
Finally, note that the Captain must be no more than 45 meters away from the target position to activate this effect. If you choose a target that is too far away, the Captain will first close the distance before calling in the barrage.
The British army places a great emphasis on its field officers. It relies on them for Veterancy, and requires them as part of its Tech Tree. The Captain forms the "top" part of the command chain, and is therefore an invaluable addition to the British arsenal.
Once a reasonably-large number of Infantry units have been created, and are already busy capturing territories and setting up your defensive line, production of a Captain is crucial for providing an extra strength to your defensive forces. Whether you choose to keep producing lower-level units for a while or call in a Captain as soon as possible depends on your personal strategy. Also, if you want a better anti-vehicle response team, consider producing a Captain to fulfill the requirement for the Stuart Light Tank.
The Captain is almost entirely a defensive unit. His Command Bonuses apply only within friendly territory (and in fact only in sectors directly linked to your HQ territory), and he has no real offensive capabilities on his own. In fact, exposing the Captain to enemy fire is always a bad idea, since he is very expensive for a single infantryman, and losing a Captain means losing all the Veterancy he has accumulated.
A Captain can be sent out on attack missions with other infantry, to get the experience off their kills. Again, this is quite a dangerous prospect, and should only be attempted at weak points in the enemy lines, rather than during full assaults. Additionally, a Captain can be moved at the very rear of an advancing column, so that once a sector is secured all units within it will immediately enjoy the Command Bonuses radiating from the Captain.
On the Offensive
The Captain is not a good Offensive unit. For one, he is only a single man with a very high resource cost, so a lucky shot can kill him and waste you an awful lot of resources. Additionally, unless you can capture a better weapon, he is armed with nothing more than a weak revolver and can't really contribute to the battle.
Furthermore, the Captain's primary advantage - his Command Bonus - is only applied when in your own territory, which means that he basically has no beneficial effect in neutral or enemy territory whatsoever.
One reason to take the Captain out with the infantry on offensive missions is to gain Veterancy: The Captain will receive a share of the experience frmo any kill the infantry makes within 40 meters of him. It's even better if he can actually kill some enemies himself, but don't count on it.
Another reason may be to use the 25 Pounder Artillery Barrage ability, which requires the Captain to be no more than 45 meters away from the intended target. Remember that Victor Target, a similar ability, works regardless of range. The two abilities can be activated in rapid succession to utterly obliterate an enemy position.
Finally, with a Captain at the very rear of an advancing column, you can swiftly move him into a newly-captured sector in order to apply his defensive Command Bonuses there. This can make it considerably easier to hold the new sector against enemy counter-attacks.
Consider keeping the Captain in a Bren Carrier during attacks. This will allow you to remove him from combat quickly, and will protect him to some extent from enemy fire. Still, this does not mean you can put him at the head of an advance, as a single shot from an Anti-Tank gun might destroy the Carrier and Captain at the same time.
On the Defensive
The Captain is an invaluable asset for your defensive operations. Whenever he is in a sector, he will increase the staying power of both infantry and weapon emplacements, making the sector significantly more defensible.
Since you can only have one Captain, it may be necessary to micro-manage his position by moving him from sector to sector to fend off enemy attacks along your line. This is why it's usually a good idea to construct a Bren Carrier for the Captain, so that he can move rapidly to wherever he is needed. It also provides some defense against enemy fire.
Always keep the Captain at the very rear of a sector to prevent him being killed. One exception is when trying to gain Veterancy for the Captain through nearby infantry kills. In other words, in a sector defended by infantry, keep the Captain no less than 40 meters from the infantry to get a share of their kill experience. Nonetheless, keep the Captain as far back as you can manage.
Both the 25 Pounder Artillery Barrage and Victor Target abilities can be used defensively, to bombard enemy advances as they do battle with your defending forces. Just try not to hit your own units with these bombardments.
As with all infantry units, the Captain is vulnerable to small arms fire, artillery strikes and flame-thrower weapons. If he is being attacked, retreat him immediately to avoid losing him!
Also watch out for snipers - they will want to kill the Captain first. Fortunately, after the first Veterancy level he has enough Health to survive the first sniper shot. Get him out of range quickly.