Three different kinds of Engineers
|Role||Multi-purpose repair and construction infantry|
|Men per Squad||3|
|Upkeep per Minute||
-3.12 (per man)|
-9.36 (full squad)
|Produced By||American Headquarters|
|Cost to Reinforce||
|Health per Man||55|
|Basic Weapon||3x M3 Grease Gun|
|Open Weapon Slots||2|
|Max. Speed||3 m/s|
The Engineer Squad, also known as "Combat Engineers", are the primary repair and construction unit for the American army in Company of Heroes. Though small and ill-equipped for combat, this 3-man squad is essential for all American logistical operations - including maintenance to units and buildings as well as the construction of Defensive Structures to protect American assets. This squad can serve several additional support roles on the battlefield, including demolitions and mine-sweeping.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Weapons
- 3 Production
- 4 Abilities
- 5 Upgrades
- 6 Veterancy
- 7 Tactics
- 8 Quotes
- 9 Gallery
The American army relies on infantry to take care of the dirty work - be it leading in combat, or handling logistical work. The Engineer Squad takes the latter responsibility - running pretty much the entire American infrastructure. They are responsible for virtually everything that is not directly combat-related, from base construction to vehicle repair.
All Skirmish/Multiplayer battles begin with one Engineer Squad available. More can be constructed at the American Headquarters, for the price of 140, 3 per unit. This is a three-man team, armed only with very basic M3 "Grease-Gun" SMGs. Nonetheless, their abilities make up for their lack of combat prowess.
First and foremost, the Engineer Squad is a repair unit. Engineers can repair damaged vehicles and structures at a rate of 5 per second, an average speed. They are the only repair unit available to the Americans, which means that many Engineer Squads will usually be kept around during the late game - especially if many vehicles have been fielded.
Engineers also take care of all base construction. They can build no less than 6 different base buildings, and are tasked with ensuring that these buildings are in good repair.
Furthermore, Engineers are responsible for the majority of defensive construction. They can build 7 different Defensive Structures, including Machine Gun Emplacements and Mines, in order to protect American territory from the enemy. They'll often be kept busy replacing destroyed defenses and repairing damaged ones - when they aren't busy repairing vehicles or indirectly assisting in assaults.
Engineer Squads can be upgraded with one of two different weapon packages, specializing in either mine detection or anti-building activities. Nonetheless, they will never be a true combat unit, lacking the survivability and firepower to stand up to any other core infantry squad. Fortunately, since they are very cheap to construct, the loss of an Engineer Squad is considered only a minor setback.
When created, a new Engineer Squad is equipped with .45 Cal. M3 Submachine Guns. These rapid-firing weapons are nonetheless all but useless in anything except very close combat.
The M2 Flamethrower upgrade will add one Flamethrower to the unit's inventory, replacing a single M3. The Flamethrower is a good anti-infantry weapon, and is even more powerful against buildings (and infantry inside them).
.45 M3 "Grease-Gun" SMG
The .45 Caliber M3 Submachine Gun, also called the "Grease-Gun", is a World War II close-combat automatic weapon designed to replace the larger and more expensive M1A1 Thompson. Initially, each Engineer carries one such weapon.
The M3 SMG is a fairly poor weapon. It fires in 6-9 bullet bursts, and only has to be reloaded after about 8 of these bursts. However, each burst is rather ineffective, due to massively reduced accuracy. At a range of 20 meters - the normal engagement range in infantry combat - each bullet has only a 10% chance of hitting its target. That's assuming the Engineer using it is standing completely still, otherwise the chance drops to 5% per bullet. It doesn't get much better even at close range: at 5 meters (very close distance) the chance rises to 30% per bullet. Compare this to the Thompson M1A1, which has a 75% chance of hit per bullet at 8 meters.
Even though each hit causes 5 points of damage to the target, the low accuracy means that each burst fired at normal engagement range will only cause about 5-10 points of damage, resulting in poor combat performance. This means that Engineers are highly unlikely to win any infantry-to-infantry combat. Even long rifles can outperform this SMG in most cases. The Engineers have a better chance of defeating their opponents if they can get in close, but again this requires them to survive the initial confrontation.
Also note that the maximum range of this weapon is 20 meters. Most infantry weapons have a range of 35 meters. This means that most enemy infantry will start shooting before the Engineers can even return fire at all.
The M2 Flamethrower fires a stream of incendiary fuel, which is set alight to burn its targets down. One such weapon is added to the Engineer Squad's inventory when purchasing the appropriate upgrade.
The M2 increases the combat potential of Engineers considerably. Although it only has a range of 20 meters (same as the M3 SMG, above), it is very accurate within that range. Each "burst" of flame lasts 4–6 seconds, and will inflict 25 to 30 points of damage to the target each second. This can kill infantry with alarming speed, only taking about 2–3 seconds to kill each man.
Most importantly, the M2 Flamethrower actually gains accuracy and damage against targets in Heavy Cover and Structural Cover. This makes it extremely deadly to enemy infantry hiding inside buildings or behind walls. In exact numbers, it gains a 50% accuracy and 50% damage bonus against these targets.
As a result, this weapon is extremely good at removing infantry holed up in buildings or suppressed behind cover. The Engineers still need firepower support from another unit to be able to get close enough to use this weapon properly, but once they get in position they can quickly destroy the target with ease.
Note that flamethrower weapons have no effect on heavy vehicles (tanks) and against most medium vehicles. Also, they have reduced damage against buildings, though the damage per second is high enough to still make this one of the best anti-building weapons available. Finally, upgrading Engineers with the flamethrower increases the rate at which they become suppressed by 50%.
The Engineer Squad is responsible for pretty much all construction work required for the American army. They construct both Base Structures and Defensive Structures, and there are plenty.
First of all, the resource bonus increases a sector's production proportionally to its original value. The more resources a sector originally produces, the more bonus you get for installing an Observation Post there:
|Resource Point Type||Resource Point Size||Original Value||Bonus||Total|
In addition, because the Observation Post stands on top of the Strategic Point, enemy units cannot capture the sector until they destroy the Observation Post itself. This increases the time it takes for enemy units to seize American territory, and gives you an advanced warning that your sectors are coming under attack - buying you time to mobilize a counter-offensive.
You should strive to place an Observation Post on each and every Strategic Point you control, and replace destroyed posts as soon as possible. Note however that there's little point in building these structures on Manpower Strategic Points that are further back on the battlefield - they don't help much, and the enemy is unlikely to get to them either.
- Costs nothing
- Takes 2.5 seconds to build per piece
Place Barbed Wire along infantry approach-routes to funnel them into a killing zone, i.e. an area covered by machine guns and/or mortars. This ensures that the enemy cannot flank your positions, and has to come straight into your line of fire.
Barbed Wire can be run over by almost all Vehicles without a moment's thought, so avoid placing it in areas where vehicles (both yours and the enemies) are likely to pass, or place Tank Traps in front of the wire to block vehicles as well.
Also, remember that enemy Pioneer Squads can dismantle Barbed Wire.
- Costs nothing
- Takes 6 seconds to build per piece
Sand Bags are man-made cover for infantry. Infantry units behind sand-bags are said to be in Heavy Cover, making them less vulnerable to direct damage and Suppression. However, they are just as vulnerable to explosives and artillery fire as troops in the open.
Like Barbed Wire, Sand-Bags also act as infantry obstacles. They are less useful though, since they give passing-by enemy infantry units a good place to take cover as they move, and so should not be used in this capacity unless you actually want the enemy to take cover there (to bombard them with a nearby mortar, for instance).
Sand-Bags can be run over by all medium and heavy vehicles without a moment's thought, so avoid placing it in areas where vehicles (both yours and the enemies) are likely to pass. Sand-Bags are also quite easily destroyed whenever anything explodes near them.
- Costs nothing
- Takes 6 seconds to build per piece
Tank Traps are anti-vehicle obstacles. Light and Medium Vehicles cannot pass through them, and must seek another way around the obstacle - preferably into a prepared kill-zone covered by Anti-Tank guns and/or infantry.
Heavy Vehicles, like the Axis Panther and Tiger tanks can crush Tank Traps quite easily by simply running through them. Also note that your own M4 'Crocodile' Shermans upgraded with the Bulldozer can accidentally crush these traps too.
Since Tank Traps don't block movement for infantry, it's customary to place a line of Barbed Wire behind the Tank Traps. That way, vehicles cannot crush the Barbed Wire (they can't reach it), so this defensive setup will block anything but the largest vehicles.
Mines are powerful bombs that are buried underneath the ground. Whenever an enemy unit moves over a Mine, it will detonate with incredible force, usually destroying or at least heavily damaging the enemy.
This specific type of mine is indiscriminate, detonating regardless of the type of enemy unit that passes over it. Therefore, both enemy infantry and vehicles will trigger the Mine. Your own units and vehicles can move freely over any mine set by friendly forces without detonating it.
Mines explode at a radius of 8 meters, and inflict 100 points of damage. The damage is distributed nearly evenly across the entire explosion area, meaning that it will usually kill most or all of a triggering enemy infantry squad. Against vehicles, mines usually cause extra damage, and even if they fail to destroy the vehicle they will usually damage or destroy its engine, slowing it down considerably.
Mines should be set as a preliminary defensive measure against incoming enemy attacks, while permanent emplacements are being set up, or as part of a more complex line of defenses. You can use Tank Traps and Barbed Wire to funnel enemies into a minefield.
Note that Mines can explode if struck with enough force (for example artillery shelling), so it is possible to clear away enemy mines by bombarding them. Also, engineer-type units can dismantle mines, and there are several types of units that can detect them without walking over them.
The Medic Station is a small building whose only purpose is to collect wounded infantrymen from the battlefield.
Once a Medic Station has been constructed, two medics will appear. These infantrymen will automatically seek out and retrieve any infantryman that has fallen in battle but not killed outright (this happens occasionally, especially during infantry-to-infantry combat). They will slowly drag these injured men back to the Medic Station.
This allows the Americans to save some of the expenditure often involved in replacing lost infantry squads. However, due to the automatic nature of this structure's work, you might also find yourself with more infantry units than you really need.
The Machine Gun Emplacement, or MG Nest, is a stationary sand-bag enclosure with a Browning M1919a4 .30 Machine Gun installed inside. This machine gun will automatically open fire at any target within its wide, forward-facing firing cone.
The M1919 is an excellent anti-infantry weapon. It will suppress enemy infantry very quickly, and then begin to pick them off one by one. It can wipe out an enemy infantry team within a dozen seconds or so - assuming they cannot find any cover to hide behind.
In addition, it is possible to garrison up to 6 men inside this emplacement, to provide additional firepower - especially to defend the emplacement's vulnerable flanks (remember that the machine gun cannot rotate to attack enemies behind the structure).
Machine Gun Emplacements are placed down to protect a sector against enemy infantry and light vehicles. The use of lines of Barbed Wire and Mines in front of a Machine Gun Emplacement can significantly increase its deadliness.
Remember that Machine Guns have little or no effect against armored vehicles. If you wish to create a more well-rounded defensive position, you may want to couple this emplacement with M1 57mm Anti Tank Guns or other anti-tank units.
- Requires the Infantry Company: 105mm Howitzer Command Upgrade
- Costs 450, 75, 11
- Build Time: 60 seconds
This artillery unit can bombard enemies at a significant range, and packs about as much punch as any off-map artillery. It fires in salvos of 6 shells each, and is fairly accurate at most distances. All bombardment by this unit is manually-activated: it will not fire automatically at targets entering its range.
Although the game treats this as a Weapon Team, the gun is completely immobile: it will remain wherever it is placed, so it's often best to position it closer to the front lines to allow it to fire deep into enemy territory when necessary - otherwise it may become useless once the front lines have advanced sufficiently. Also note that it is not possible to scuttle this unit, so once created, it will remain on the battlefield in the same position until destroyed by the enemy.
M2 105mm Howitzers can be abandoned if their crew-members are killed. This allows the enemy to take control of the weapon, and should be avoided at all costs.
The Barracks is one of the most important Base Structures available to the Americans, because it produces their core infantry unit: the Riflemen Squad. Since Riflemen play a major part in American combat, this is often the first building to be constructed. The Barracks also produces the first light American Vehicle - the Jeep.
Additionally, the Barracks provides three Global Upgrades that enhance the performance of Riflemen Squads. First it enables them to throw the all-purpose Mk.2 "Pineapple" Grenade, which is also made available to Airborne Squads and Ranger Squads. Then, Sticky Bombs are enabled, which can do serious damage to enemy vehicles. The last upgrade equips each Riflemen Squad with a Browning Automatic Rifle, a great assault rifle for suppressing and killing enemy troops.
Either a Barracks or a Weapons Support Center (see below) is required for the construction of a Supply Yard, which unlocks the highest tier of base structures. The Barracks is often constructed first, because of the high importance of core infantry during the early stage of the game.
Most important are the Heavy Machine Gun Teams and Snipers. The HMG Team is an excellent anti-infantry support unit, capable of quickly suppressing and killing enemy infantry, like a mobile Machine Gun Emplacement. The Sniper is a stealth unit, capable of killing individual infantrymen and providing important reconnaissance to the American force.
Either a Barracks or a Weapons Support Center (see below) is required for the construction of a Supply Yard, which unlocks the highest tier of base structures. The Weapons Support Center is often constructed later on, because it doesn't provide any general-purpose units useful in the early game. However, skilled players can make very good use of support infantry instead of core infantry in the early game nonetheless, as they can be significantly stronger if used well.
- Requires an existing Supply Yard.
- Costs 240, 45
- Build Time: 112 seconds
The M3 Halftrack is a transport vehicle, capable of both ferrying and reinforcing infantry units - an exceptional logistics vehicle. It can also be converted into a powerful anti-infantry, anti-vehicle and anti-aircraft weapon.
The M8 Armored Car is a medium vehicle with a powerful cannon, which can engage and destroy enemy light vehicles with ease, and can also be used for flanking and destroying tanks.
Finally, the M1 57mm Anti Tank Gun is a three-man Weapon Team with good anti-tank properties. Mobile and hard to hit, it can ambush and destroy enemy tanks - primarily on the defensive or in support of infantry assaults.
All three weapons will be greatly useful to the Americans mid-game, and remain useful later on in support of more massive tank and infantry assaults, not to mention providing a cheap and mobile defensive force to protect American territory.
- Requires an existing Supply Yard.
- Costs 350, 90
- Build Time: 165 seconds
The M4 Sherman is the core American armored unit. Designed to combat enemy tanks face-to-face, it can even receive two Global Upgrades at the Tank Depot, called the M1A1C 76mm Gun and Defensive Smoke Screen, which further increase its tank combat capabilities.
An M4 'Crocodile' Sherman can also be constructed here. This is an Infantry Support Tank armed with a flame-thrower, which can do serious damage to infantry - especially those hiding inside buildings and behind cover.
The American army is never at full combat potential without armor, so the production of a Tank Depot is of paramount importance. Some players prefer saving resources and building this structure even before constructing a Motor Pool, just to get the armor out there faster. This is not the default choice, however, as tanks are quite expensive for the Americans.
The Supply Yard serves two functions. For one, it is used by the game to delay the construction of high-tier Base Structures like the Motor Pool and Tank Depot, both of which require an existing Supply Yard to enable their construction. Secondly, this structure can significantly reduce the maintenance costs involved in fielding a large army.
The Supply Yard provides two Global Upgrades, called Level 1 Production and Level 2 Production. Their effect actually has nothing to do with production itself: they simply augment the upkeep-reducing effects of this structure, reaching 54% upkeep and then 32% upkeep. This effectively boosts Manpower income, or rather reduces the impact of having a large army. As a result, the Americans can withstand serious attrition to their core units, as they can always muster the required Manpower to build more of them.
Since the Supply Yard is a requirement for the high-tier production units, it is often purchased as early as possible - under the assumption that its upkeep reducing properties will help cover its own costs quickly.
Once this structure is built, it will radiate an aura within 15 meters of itself. Any injured infantryman within this radius receives +2.5 per second, until he is fully healed or leaves the aura zone. This is a fairly rapid healing rate, and can bring a Rifleman from near-death to full health in about 20 seconds.
A Triage Center is often built right in front of the American Headquarters. This way, any infantry unit that retreats to headquarters will receive automatic healing as soon as it arrives, reducing micro-management and ensuring that injured units are quickly brought back to combat readiness. Of course, you need to remember to reinforce those units for any lost men, as the Triage Center does not provide this service automatically (or at all).
Building a Triage Center early in the battle will save a lot of Manpower on reinforcing fallen men. After all, injured infantry returning to battle without healing will surely die soon enough, and will need to be replaced...
The Engineer Squad possesses four different abilities. Three of these are non-combat: The ability to Repair damaged units and buildings, the ability to Cut Barbed Wire, and the ability to Upgrade Neutral Buildings into forward barracks.
The fourth ability, which is enabled through a Global Upgrade, allows the Engineers to plant a demolition charge to clear buildings.
- Costs nothing
- Reduces Manpower accumulation by about -5 per minute while active
- Activation: Select Target (damaged vehicle or buildings)
- Cooldown: none
To activate this ability, select a damaged vehicle or building belonging to the Americans or any Allied faction. The Engineers will move to close proximity of the target and initiate repairs. Alternately, simply right-click on the target unit or building.
Engineer Squads repair at a rate of +5 per second. This is average compared to all other repair-capable units in the game. Repairs will continue until the target is at 100% of its Maximum Health, though they will be automatically canceled if the target moves too far away or is destroyed. The Engineers will endeavour to stay close to the target - if it doesn't move away too quickly.
Since American buildings and vehicles are quite expensive. It is very important to keep them in good shape at all times - to avoid losing them. For this reason the American army usually keeps several Engineer Squads around even during the late game - despite their relative lack of combat capabilities.
Note that while repairs are on-going, they drain -5 off your income per minute. This is not a significant amount, but can be a little more significant if several squads are conducting repairs at the same time.
- Costs nothing
- Activation: Select Barbed Wire
- Cooldown: none
Barbed Wire Cutters are used to quickly destroy a piece of Barbed Wire in order to pass into a fenced-off area. When this ability is activated, select a piece of Barbed Wire (friendly or enemy). The Engineers will move to close proximity of that piece and destroy it within a few seconds.
This ability is very useful for allowing infantry quick access to an area the enemy considered safe: especially if he went to the trouble of putting Tank Traps in front of the wire, assuming that nothing but a heavy tank would be able to pass through this location. Follow up by rushing your infantry force through the breach.
Oftentimes, Barbed Wire is used for funneling infantry into a minefield or killzone. By breaking through the wire instead of going around it, you reduce the chance of running into an ambush or surprise set up by the enemy.
Note that although it's possible to target them, you don't actually need to cut your own Barbed Wire fences to get through. You can simply select the offending piece and scuttle it.
- Requires the Demolitions Global Upgrade from the American Headquarters
- Costs 50
- Activation: Select Building (Neutral or Enemy)
- Cooldown: 5 seconds
To enable the Demolition Charges ability, you must first purchase the Global Upgrade called "Demolitions" from the American Headquarters.
When this ability is activated, select a neutral or enemy building or bridge. The Engineers will approach the target, and take several seconds setting up a large explosive charge up next to or on it. They will then retreat to their previous position.
A demolitions icon will appear above the planted explosives, with the words "Detonate Me!" hovering over it. When this icon is clicked, the explosive charge will detonate.
The explosion is very powerful, causing 300 points of damage to every target within 7 meters of the blast point. This includes any targets inside the rigged building, as well as any targets outside and within the blast radius. The blast will also penetrate the armor of any vehicle caught in the explosion, delivering the same 300 points of damage, and will instantly destroy any bridge it is planted on.
The explosion is guaranteed to kill most if not all infantry garrisoned inside the target structure - not to mention infantry outside and nearby. Damage to the structure itself is usually not so great - unless it is an enemy base structure or emplacement: these will take double or even triple the damage, potentially destroying them outright!
This ability is excellent for quickly getting rid of an enemy's fortified position, or for preventing enemy access to strategic points. Unfortunately, it means having to get the Engineers close enough to plant the charges - but then again Engineer Squads are cheap to build and reinforce. Additionaly, proper usage of smoke grenades available for mortar teams can give engineers enough time to plant explosives and withdraw safely with little or no loses.
Note that Demolition Charges can be blown up at any time you choose, but until they are detonated they may be defused by enemy engineering units like the Axis Pioneer Squad. Waiting too long to trigger the blast may give your opponent time to defuse the bomb.
- Costs 260
- Requires the Engineer Squad to garrison a neutral structure.
- Requires the garrisoned structure to be inside captured and connected territory.
- Activation: Through the Garrisoned Structure's menu.
- Takes 30 seconds to complete
When an Engineer Squad enters a neutral structure that's inside captured and connected territory, this ability appears in that structure's menu.
Activating this ability begins a 30-second upgrade period, at the end of which the building will be converted into a Forward Barracks.
A Forward Barracks has two functions: reinforcing infantry, and constructing new units.
Reinforcement here works the same as it does at the American Headquarters: any infantry units which have lost one or more men can move to within 25 meters of the Forward Barracks, and will be able to replace any lost men for a nominal cost.
Unit production is possible here as well. Initially, the Forward Barracks can only produce new Engineer Squads. As more American base structures are constructed back at the HQ Territory, new production options will become enabled at the Forward Barracks:
|Existing Base Structure||Unit Production Unlocked|
|American Headquarters||Engineer Squad|
|Weapons Support Center||Mortar Team|
|Heavy Machine Gun Team|
|Motor Pool||M1 57mm Anti Tank Gun|
These units cost the same amount of resources as they do when produced from their appropriate base structures. They will appear next to the Forward Barracks when production is completed.
Note that all unit production at a Forward Barracks is suspended if the sector it's in ever falls into enemy hands. You must recapture the sector to re-enable unit production.
Also note that converting a structure into a Forward Barracks changes its ownership to American. The enemy cannot Garrison this structure with infantry. In fact, enemy infantry will be able to "un-convert" the structure back to a neutral structure, given time and opportunity, so you will need to protect your Forward Barracks from this possibility.
Engineers can specialize in one of two tasks, which are diametrically opposed to each other. The M2 Flamethrower upgrade makes this a viable combat support unit - if only against specific types of targets. The Minesweeper upgrade actually reduces combat capabilities, but increases overall usefulness as a non-combat support unit.
With this upgrade, the unit receives an M2 Flamethrower weapon which is added to one of the team-members, replacing his M3 SMG.
The M2 Flamethrower turns this unit into a good combat support or even assault unit. Flamethrowers are excellent against infantry who are hiding in buildings or behind cover, destroying them rapidly. Therefore, while another infantry unit suppresses the enemy, or convinces them to seek cover, the Engineer Squad can move in and finish them off.
Of course, Engineers are still rather fragile, which means that any such assault is still risky. However it does give some potential combat use to this predominantly non-combat unit.
When this upgrade is purchased, one of the team-members is outfitted with a Minesweeper tool, replacing his M3 SMG.
The minesweeper is not a weapon. Therefore, by replacing an SMG with a minesweeper, you are effectively reducing the unit's combat potential by 33%, making it even less useful in combat than before.
However, the unit now has the ability to detect Mines within a 15-meter radius. It can do so while moving as well, which means it will easily be able to map out a minefield before running over it.
The Minesweeper squad can lead an armored formation to ensure it doesn't run into a minefield, or it can patrol for mines on its own. This is an exceptionally useful ability against the Panzer Elite faction, which usually has several types of mines available (including mines that can drop from the air into your own territory...).
Note: Although unupgraded or flamethrower-equipped engineers are unable to detect mines on their own, they can still defuse them. If you manage to detect mines by minesweeper-equipped squad, nearby enginner squads will start to automaticaly disarm mines, provided that they don't have other orders.
Like all other American units, the Engineer Squad obtains Veterancy points by killing enemy units. It receives 100% of the experience value of each unit it kills. Once it has accumulated a sufficient number of Veterancy points, it will automatically advance to the next level, gaining the related bonuses immediately.
American units do not share Veterancy points with one another. To receive points, the unit must personally kill an enemy unit.
At each Veterancy level, the Engineer Squad gains a specific set of bonuses as listed below. These bonuses are cumulative with each other.
|Level 1 Veterancy:
|Level 2 Veterancy:
|Level 3 Veterancy:
Since Engineer Squads are responsible for operating the entire American infrastructure, they will be present from the very start of a battle to the very end. They are expected to assume all sorts of duties - whatever is required at the time.
Deciding what to do with your first Engineer Squad is a big dilemma, which (like the first move in a game of chess) can have serious implications on the remainder of the battle. As the game progresses, there is less need for construction work and more for repairing vehicles and buildings that come under enemy attacks.
The use of Engineers for combat support roles also requires serious consideration. While very fragile, Engineer Squads can contribute directly or indirectly to most battles - and they are cheap to replace.
The first unit available to the Americans at the start of the battle is an Engineer Squad, and they can immediately produce more from the American Headquarters. But deciding what to do with the first few units can have a large impact on the early stage of the battle.
Many players will send their first Engineer Squad out to capture some territories - especially high-value Fuel and Munitions points. The problem with this is that when the Engineers come into contact with enemy units, they could easily lose. To counter this problem, you can have the Engineers construct forward defenses to protect themselves and the sectors they capture.
Other players prefer constructing a Barracks straight away - to begin producing Riflemen Squads. These have a better chance of surviving encounters with the enemy. However, Barracks construction takes time, during which you are not capturing territory.
As always, the balanced approach usually works best for players who do not have a particular strategy in mind for the current battle map. That is, send the first unit of Engineers to begin capturing nearby high-value territory, while the second unit begins construction of a Barracks. While this delays Riflemen Squad creation, the Riflemen will be able to take over for the Engineers before contact with the enemy is made - especially on larger maps.
In any case, don't go overboard with constructing Engineer Squads during the early game. You need combat units to prevent enemy land grabs.
Engineers will spend much of the battle constructing defensive positions at your forward sectors. The variety of Defensive Structures available to them is wide, and it's important to use them all in unison.
Firstly, Engineers can "cordon off" a territory quite easily. A pair of Engineer Squads can quickly erect a line of Tank Traps with a Barbed Wire fence behind it, to block movement through a particular passageway. Use this simple obstruction to keep enemies from crossing into your territory at hard-to-defend locations. Funnel enemies into major passageways which you can cover with anti-tank and anti-infantry units.
If Munitions are available in abundance, consider planting mines or entire minefields. A single mine at a narrow access point can take care of small enemy infantry units attempting to infiltrate and/or seize your territory. Large minefields should be planted along the wider passageways that cannot be cordoned off.
Finally, place Machine Gun Emplacements to protect the more valuable sectors or major entryways. Use Barbed Wire to create a funnel in front of the Machine Gun Emplacement so that enemy infantry must enter the emplacement's line of fire. If you have the time, make several layers of Barbed Wire: it's free, and layered barbed wire will ensure that enemy engineering units cannot cut through it all too quickly.
Eventually, you will have constructed all Base Structures available, meaning that Engineer Squads are left with the tasks of repairing vehicles and replacing lost Defensive Structures. You may need to keep three or four Engineer Squads around to handle all this.
If the enemy is proficient with artillery, he may shell your home base occasionally. If your enemy is using artillery in this way, keep one Engineer Squad close to (but not inside) your base, to conduct repairs when needed. The last thing you need is to lose a structure to enemy bombardment.
Engineer Squads will often be required to support your assaults - especially if you've purchased upgrades for them. Minesweeper squads walk ahead of your advancing force, to locate mines before the force rolls over them. This is less important if you've got M4 Sherman tanks equipped with Crab Mine Flails, but these tanks are only capable of destroying mines, not detecting them. Flamethrower squads are used in a different manner, often flanking or following the advance. They are sent into combat when enemy infantry have been located inside a building, or hiding behind cover. Flamethrowers will take care of these units easily.
Engineer Squads are some of the weakest infantry units in the game. Poorly-equipped for combat, they cannot go head-to-head with any enemy infantry unit. The only time you'll actually want to use an Engineer Squad for combat is when they are equipped with Flamethrowers and are sent in specifically to take care of an enemy infantry unit in garrison or cover position. Escort them with other infantry units when moving forward to enemy position, before enemy heavy infantry kill the engineers.
In other words, keep the Engineers away from battle unless there is no other option. Accept the fact that you will probably lose these squads often, and remember to retreat them to base before they are destroyed - they are very cheap to reinforce, about 50% cheaper than buying a whole new squad.
When upgrading with a Flamethrower:
When issued with attack order:
When ordered to build:
After finished building:
- after constructing Barracks.
- after constructing Triage Center.
- after constructing Supply Yard.
When issued with move order:
When issued with attack-move order:
When issued with capture order:
When wounded and issued with capture order:
After capturing a point, when under heavy fire:
When planting democharges:
- after selecting same team of engineers many times