Tank Cruiser Cromwell Command Tank
A Cromwell Command Tank on the roll
|Upkeep per Minute||-4|
|Produced By||Armor Command Truck|
1x M1919A4 Coaxial Machine-gun|
1x 7.92mm Besa Machine-gun
|Max. Speed||5 m/s|
The Cromwell Command Tank, or simply Command Tank, is an armored officer unit fielded by the British in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. Though lacking a main cannon, this command unit bestows powerful bonuses to any British vehicle within 30 meters of itself. It is one of only three British units that can accumulate Veterancy. A Cromwell Command Tank is required for the production of Sherman Fireflies.
British units are relatively limited in offensive power compared to their enemies. This is partially due to their inability to accumulate Veterancy in order to improve their capabilities. Instead, the British rely on command officers to join the other units, bolstering their strength thanks to Command Bonuses radiated from the officer.
In this respect, the Cromwell Command Tank is the vehicular equivalent of the Lieutenant. It is a Cromwell Tank which has had its primary 75mm cannon replaced with a dummy, and powerful radios installed in the now-empty turret space to allow the unit to communicate with other tanks and coordinate assaults. Any British vehicle within 30 meters of the Cromwell Command Tank receives a bonus to its fighting capabilities, potentially making an entire group of vehicles far more dangerous than normal.
The Cromwell Command Tank is one of the last units available for production. It is created in the Armor Command Truck for the cost of 300, 50, and takes up 8 like the normal Cromwell Tank. Only one Cromwell Command Tank can exist on the battlefield at any given time; once one is produced, production of this tank is disabled until the existing unit is destroyed.
The Cromwell Command Tank is one of only three British units that can accumulate Veterancy. In fact, the Command Tank receives a share of Veterancy from any kill made by a British vehicle up to 40 meters from its position, as well as from its own kills (if it can manage any, having no cannon of its own). As its Veterancy level grows, the bonuses a Command Tank bestows on nearby vehicles increase in strength.
Finally, the Cromwell Command Tank is the last cog in the British Tech Tree. The production of a single Command Tank is required to enable the Sherman Firefly, which is crucial for British anti-tank offensive capabilities.
The Cromwell Command Tank lacks a main cannon entirely. Instead it has a dummy gun, which cannot fire at all. Like other Cromwell Tanks, it has two Light Machine Guns, one mounted on the hull while the other is mounted coaxially to the dummy gun.
Besa 7.92mm, M1919A4 Light Machine Guns Edit
The Cromwell Command Tank has two Light Machine Guns installed.
One of these is an M1919A4, which is mounted coaxially on the turret. Hence, it can fire at a different angle to the hull. The other weapon is a Besa 7.92mm, mounted on the front of the hull. It too will fire forward, but only in the direction the hull is pointing at.
The two weapons are almost identical in all their properties, with a slightly better firing rate for the M1919A4. Nonetheless, these two weapons are good for suppressing enemy infantry, and will kill infantry if fired continuously.
Veterancy and Command Bonuses Edit
Most British units do not "level up", neither through combat (like the Americans or Panzer Elite) nor through purchased upgrades (like the Wehrmacht). The Cromwell Command Tank is one of only three units in the British army that can accumulate experience at all.
Veterancy increases the Command Bonus applied by the Cromwell Command Tank to all Infantry units in his vicinity. This effectively mimics the Veterancy effect of other armies, but only to vehicles within 30 meters of the Cromwell Command Tank's position.
The Cromwell Command Tank accumulates Veterancy thanks both to its own kills and to the kills of other British vehicles in its vicinity. Therefore, the Cromwell Command Tank itself does not need to go around killing enemies to level-up (which would be very difficult given that it has no cannon) -- it can simply stay close to other units that do the killing.
Command Bonuses Edit
The Cromwell Command Tank radiates a Command Bonus that automatically affects each British vehicle within a 30-meter radius around it.
A basic command bonus is applied as soon as the Cromwell Command Tank is created. Once the Command Tank reaches Veterancy Level 2 (two chevrons), the Command Bonus is significantly enhanced.
Basic Command Bonus:
- Sight range increased by +5 meters.
- Firing range of main vehicle weapons (tank cannons, etc.) increased by +2.5 meters.
- Reload time of main vehicle weapons (tank cannons, etc.) reduced by 25% (except for Sherman Firefly)
- Reload time of Sherman Firefly main cannon reduced by 40%
Enhanced Command Bonus:
- Sight range increased by +10 meters
- Firing range of main vehicle weapons (tank cannons, etc.) increased by +5 meters.
- Reload time of main vehicle weapons (tank cannons, etc.) reduced by 32.5% (except for Sherman Firefly)
- Reload time of Sherman Firefly main cannon reduced by 46%
The Cromwell Command Tank has the Flank Speed ability thanks to its Cromwell design. As an officer unit, it also has the ability to Maintain Command Range from other vehicles.
It can receive one of two extra abilities, depending on the Company Commander tree selected by the British player: either the Hull Down ability, or the Creeping Smoke Barrage ability.
Maintain Command Range Edit
- Costs nothing
- Activation: Select Target (friendly vehicle)
- Cooldown: none
When this ability is activated, select a friendly vehicle. The Cromwell Command Tank will move to about a 20-meter distance of that unit, and will do its best to remain within no more than 30 meters away from that unit at any time. The Command Tank will nonetheless continue firing at targets that enter its line-of-sight, and may also try to keep the followed vehicle between himself and enemy units automatically.
Since the Cromwell Command Tank bestows its command bonuses to any British vehicle within 30 meters, this will keep those bonuses enabled on the target vehicle. Again, this is not required to activate the command bonus, it just makes sure that the Command Tank is always near enough to give those bonuses.
Any order given to the Cromwell Command Tank will immediately break the Maintain Command Range order. That includes moving orders, shooting orders, or an order to 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 Command Tank in Maintain Command Range mode within it will only select the other units, leaving the Command Tank unselected. Issuing an order to those units will therefore keep the Command Tank in following mode.
Flank Speed Edit
- Costs 35, and reduces Fuel income by a few points for the duration.
- Activation: Immediate
- Duration: 30 seconds
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
When this ability is activated, the Cromwell Command Tank receives a maximum speed upgrade of 50%. This brings the tank from the relatively fast speed of 5 to a whopping 7.5 - as fast as a Motorcycle. Acceleration and deceleration values are adjusted accordingly, to allow the tank to utilize this maximum speed efficiently.
This ability can be useful for the Cromwell Command Tank if it wants to keep up with other Cromwell Tanks employing it, for instance to support a flank attack. It can also use this ability to retreat quickly from a battle-gone-bad, since it has no real offensive capabilities of its own.
Hull Down PositionEdit
- Costs: Nothing
- Prerequisite: Royal Engineers Support: Hull Down
- Activation: Immediate
- Cooldown: 9 seconds (activate/deactivate)
Once the "Hull Down" ability has been purchased on the Royal Engineers Support Field Improvements chart, it becomes available for any Cromwell Command Tanks until the end of the mission.
To activate this ability, simply click it. The tank becomes immobile as sand bags barricades are erected all around it. The tank can continue firing while this is being accomplished.
Once the process is complete (9 seconds), the tank will have traded its mobility for increased defense. The tank's armor is increased by 25%, and it takes only 75% damage from any source.
To release the Cromwell Command Tank from Hull Down Position, simply click the button again. This is only possible once the tank has been fully entrenched - you cannot stop the entrenching process halfway-through. As soon as the button is clicked, the tank is released immediately from the sandbags (which disappear) and may drive off at once.
Creeping Smoke Barrage Edit
- Costs: 50
- Prerequisite: Royal Artillery Support: Forward Observation Officers
- Activation: Select Ground and Direction (visible territory, no more than 75 meters from the Command Tank)
- Duration: ~30 seconds
- Cooldown: 75 seconds
When this ability is activated, select a point on the ground as the middle of the intended smoke barrage. Then select a direction in which this barrage will stretch. Once confirmed, an off-map artillery will fire 11 smoke shells along the narrow corridor defined by the selected area.
This effectively creates a long stretch of land full of smoke. Neither enemy nor friendly units can see well through this smoke, and thus cannot detect units traveling through or behind this smoke.
This ability is excellent for masking an advance. You can use it in one of two ways:
- Cover an enemy's entire position with smoke, so that they cannot see an advance moving right in front of them. You can go past the enemy position entirely, or use this to bring your offensive units to within a few feet of that position to destroy it close-up.
- Cover a narrow corridor of advance with smoke, then drive your assault force down that corridor. This allows you to travel through a narrow ambush area without being attacked by the ambushing units. You can even make a corridor leading up to an enemy position so that it cannot fire until you're close enough to assault it.
In both situations, make sure to move your spearhead carefully so that the smoke conceals it at all times - either inside or behind the smoke. You have about 30 seconds before the smoke clears.
Like most other British tanks, the Cromwell Command Tank may be upgraded with a Tank Crew Commander to increase its sight-range. This is a cheap and fast upgrade that can be installed at any time, and so should be installed when possible.
Tank Crew Commander Edit
When this upgrade is complete, the top hatch of the Cromwell Command Tank will open, and a crewman will pop his head out to look around. This commander increases the sight-range of the tank to exactly 45 meters, from its original 35.
The sight-range increase effectively allows the tank to survey enemy troop positions without being detected (since most units and emplacements in the game have a sight-range of only 35 meters).
Since it barely costs anything, this upgrade should be installed on all tanks for added situational awareness. It also allows the Cromwell Command Tank to perform reconnaissance if required.
By the time the Cromwell Command Tank becomes available for construction, the British army should already have completed (or almost completed) a strong line of defensive fortifications to protect whatever territory they've managed to take. From this point onward, any additional territory has to be taken using superior force, for which the British will use their armor battalion, comprised primarily of Cromwell Tanks and Sherman Fireflies.
Unfortunately, for the British, to maintain both an adequate defensive line and a viable offensive force is extremely costly in Population Cap points. Only a few tanks can be created, and while durable, they are no match for the heavier German tanks.
To even the odds, the British use a concentrated armor punch, striking at the enemy's weakest point to maximize their advantage. But the effectiveness of their tanks is only sufficient when accompanied by the Cromwell Command Tank, which will augment their firing rate considerably, allowing them to rain much more firepower on the enemy within a short amount of time. Additionally, the Cromwell Command Tank allows a significantly better situational awareness for the tanks, preventing surprises from enemy counter-attacks, and allowing the British tanks to shell targets from beyond the normal sight-range.
Additionally, it's always important to remember that the Cromwell Command Tank is required for the production of any Sherman Fireflies. Without them, any resulting tank force will be significantly weaker in anti-tank capabilities, and may be fended off by a single enemy King Tiger or even a Panther.
Armored Punch Edit
When making your armored advance on enemy territory, always keep your tanks accompanied by a Cromwell Command Tank. The bonuses given by this tank are two-fold: it increases sight and weapon ranges for all vehicles in the advancing assault force, and it increases the firing rate of main tank weapons by at least 33% (and even moreso for Sherman Fireflies).
The extra sight-range and weapon-range also allows the advancing force to shell the enemy position from outside its own sight-range, giving your tanks the protection of distance and the Fog of War. Additionally, any enemy units attempting to flank you would either have to go a long way around, or would be picked up as soon as they got even remotely close to your attacking force.
Always remember that the Cromwell Command Tank is generally unarmed. It has two Light Machine Guns, but these are not really useful as offensive weapons. Therefore, keep the Command Tank out of harm's way if at all possible, and use the Flank Speed ability to remove it quickly from the battlefield if things go awry.
Nonetheless, the Command Tank must be kept close enough to the attacking force to apply the command bonuses and gain Veterancy for itself. You may want to drive the Command Tank to a point where it can apply these bonuses to as many tanks as possible. When flanking an enemy tank with your own armor, it may be better to move the Command Tank to support one of your flanking tanks, to increase the rate at which they fire at the target's rear armor.
If you did not select the Royal Commandos Support tree, by this time you should have at least one additional ability for the Cromwell Command Tank:
- The Creeping Smoke Barrage is probably the more useful one, as it allows masking your advance from enemy eyes until your force it right on top of them (or, even better, behind them). You can also use it to get past ambush areas or to completely bypass an enemy defensive position to get into the enemy's base.
- The Hull Down Position can be used to provide defensive bonuses for the Command Tank. This can be used to protect the tank from flank attacks, but generally puts it at risk of being caught while immobile, or being shelled by artillery. You can even present the tank as a target for enemy fire, buying time for other units to get into their attack positions, but remember that the Cromwell Command Tank is by far your most valuable tank unit, and losing it is a major setback.
On the Defensive Edit
Like all other British tanks, the Cromwell Command Tank is not a defensive weapon. It should be kept behind the lines, possibly being Over Repaired by specialized Sappers in preparation for your attack.
Also, by keeping it behind the lines, you can dispatch it to support any tanks that head off to block an enemy's advance through a weak point in your defenses. Optimally of course, you'll want to have no weak points in your defense that are not covered by either infantry or emplacements, but occasionally you will need to use your tanks to repel an enemy, and in that case make sure that the Command Tank drives off to help them do so. Once the enemy's offensive is over, retreat the tank back to the rally point and resume Over Repair.
Once again it should be pointed out that the Cromwell Command Tank does not have a primary weapon, and cannot effectively destroy any target. If it is being attacked, use the Flank Speed ability to get it out of harm's way.
As all Cromwell Tanks, it has medium armor that is distributed gradually around it, with much less of a weak spot at the rear than most other tanks have. Nonetheless, an anti-tank weapon should have no problem doing heavy damage to or utterly destroying a Command Tank, so it should never be exposed to such weaponry.
Finally, remember that the Cromwell Command Tank is an extremely lucrative target for the enemy. If you keep it stationary during an attack, there's a good chance the enemy will take this opportunity to shell you with artillery in order to take out the tank.
Like all officers, such as Lieutenant and Captain, Cromwell Command Tank casualty will result your enemy yield higher experience point than majority of the other units, which give your enemy an advantage in his/her company command tech tree.