Goliath Tracked Mine
A Goliath lurking next to a bridge.
|Role||Remote-controlled mobile bomb|
|Upkeep per Minute||-1.34|
Funkwagen 'Vampire' Halftrack|
(Munitions Halftrack in the single-player campaign)
|Primary armament||50kg TNT bomb|
|Max. Speed||5.5 m/s|
- See also: Goliath Tracked Mine
The Goliath Tracked Mine, or simply "Goliath", is a remote-controlled explosive device constructed by the Panzer Elite in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. Small and speedy, it can drive straight into an enemy defensive position or group of units and detonate itself in a massive explosion that will surely take out several enemy units or at least cause severe damage. Its camouflage ability allows it to be used as an ambush weapon, or to make its way slowly deep into enemy territory where it can do significant damage.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Weapons
- 3 Abilities
- 4 Automatic Camouflage
- 5 Veterancy
- 6 Tactics
- 7 Gallery
During World War II, German armed forces held a technological advantage in several different fields, and amongst these were robotics and remote-controlled machines. The Goliath Tracked Mine is one of the more insidious applications of this technology: an un-manned "suicide" vehicle carrying nothing but a huge amount of explosives - meant to be driven straight into the enemy before detonating in a large blast.
In Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts, the Panzer Elite have the ability to construct such a vehicle. The idea of a unit whose sole purpose is to inflict damage, with virtually zero protection, is very much in line with their modus operandi.
In the skirmish/multiplayer mode, Goliaths are constructed by a Funkwagen 'Vampire' Halftrack, whereas in the single-player campaign they are built by the Munitions Halftrack. Each Goliath costs 125, and does not consume any of your Population Cap. Construction takes about 5.5 to 6 seconds per Goliath.
The Goliath is little more than a large metal box with a set of treads attached. The box contains an engine to drive the treads and electronics to facilitate remote-controlled navigation. All remaining space is stuffed full of high explosive material. The box itself is made of thin metal - barely constituting any form of armor. This unit is not meant to survive: it is meant only to destroy.
Goliaths are reasonably fast, and can overtake most medium tanks. They can maneuver autonomously, like any other vehicle (though in real-life, these units were controlled by a wire that stretched from the vehicle back to its operator, with the wire was found vulnerable to damage or sabotage via a shovel; a radio-controlled version was created but had an additional electronic rack on top of its hull).
The only weapon on a Goliath is its packed explosive material. Once it reaches its target it can be ordered to detonate this charge, destroying the Goliath itself and anything unfortunate enough to be within the blast radius. While it won't destroy a medium tank in a single hit, it will certainly damage such tanks severely - and will likely kill any smaller unit outright. The explosion will also trigger if the vehicle is destroyed by enemy fire.
Goliaths also possess an important ability to camouflage themselves. This ability is automatically activated whenever the Goliath remains motionless and behind cover for 5 seconds. As long as it remains immobile, the Goliath is invisible to 3 meters or further from its position (though some units possess augmented detection abilities and can spot it at a greater range). This allows the Goliath to remain in ambush position until needed, or even make its way slowly into deep enemy territory - possibly all the way to the enemy base.
The Goliath has no weapons with which to defend itself. Its only attack is to detonate itself, using the massive 50kg explosive charge packed into its hollow hull.
50kg Explosive Charge
The Goliath is absolutely packed with explosives. This weapon is an absolutely devastating attack, which will destroy both the Goliath itself and any unit unfortunate enough to be within range.
The 50kg Explosive Charge detonated in a radius of 8 meters. Units within the first 4 meters will suffer the full force of the explosion: 375 points of damage. This is enough to destroy most light and medium vehicles, and will hurt a medium tank to at least half of its Maximum Health. Units between 4 and 6 meters from the explosion will suffer "only" 300 points of damage, and units between 6 and 8 meters away will suffer 168 points of damage - still enough to kill infantry and some light vehicles. Note that the explosion is guaranteed to pierce any armor.
Bridges are exceptionally vulnerable to this explosion, suffering 50% more damage than any other target. This makes the Goliath an excellent weapon for destroying a bridge quickly to deny passage to the enemy. Weapon emplacements, like the fearsome British 17 Pounder AT Gun nest, suffer a whopping 2x damage from the explosion, so the Goliath is an excellent weapon for punching a hole through enemy positions - if it can get close enough. Unfortunately, Slit Trenches are difficult to destroy with this weapon, as with most other weapons in the game.
Note that the explosive charge does not detonate automatically. You must press the Detonate the Goliath ability button (see below) to order the Goliath to blow itself up.
However, also note that if the Goliath is destroyed by enemy weapons, or suffers "critical" damage from any shot, it will explode immediately. Therefore, whenever enemy units are around, always expect the Goliath to explode at any second - so keep your units well clear of its blast radius!
The Goliath Tracked Mine has but one ability: the ability to detonate itself on command!
- Costs nothing
- Activation: Immediate
This ability is self-explanatory: it will cause the Goliath's explosive charge to detonate, destroying the vehicle and causing massive damage to any target within its blast radius.
For more information about the explosion and its damage, see above.
The Goliath Tracked Mine has a very powerful ability to camouflage itself. It works in a similar manner to the ability used by the Fallschirmjäger Squads.
Whenever the Goliath enters Light Cover or Heavy Cover, and remains motionless for 5 whole seconds, it will become camouflaged. This essentially renders it invisible to all enemies.
The camouflage will only dissipate if the Goliath moves or turns. Therefore, a Goliath can hold its position almost indefinitely - behind enemy lines even - without the enemy even knowing that it's there.
Note: Prior to Patch 2.602, the Goliath's camouflage was flawless, meaning that no other unit could ever detect it. The only way to reveal a Goliath was to have a vehicle "nudge" it out of its position (usually by accident, since you wouldn't know where to nudge otherwise), causing its camouflage to dissipate. In patch 2.602, the Goliath was rendered detectable - though it is still very hard to spot except with special detection-capable troops like the British Infantry Section Recon Squad.
With this camouflage ability, it is possible for the Goliath to slowly and meticulously make its way into enemy territory by "sprinting" from one cover to the other while the coast is clear, then using Camouflage to remain hidden until the coast is clear again, and repeat the process until the Goliath is in position to perform a strike against some target deep inside enemy territory.
Alternately, the Goliath can hide itself near your own front lines, and wait for enemy units to try and invade your territory. Once they engage your defensive forces, the Goliath reveals itself and rams into the enemy group, detonating and destroying them.
For more on how to use this ability, read the Tactics section below.
Like all other Panzer Elite units, the Goliath Tracked Mine can attain 3 levels of Veterancy, by accumulating experience points from the killing of enemy units. As it gains levels, its performance will increase proportionally.
The idea of gaining veterancy for a vehicle whose only purpose is to destroy itself may sound odd, but it does carry some potential application.
Like all other Panzer Elite units, the Goliath Tracked Mine uses the Panzer Elite Shared Veterancy system to accumulate Veterancy points. In this system, units share experience from their kills with each other, within a certain radius.
Since the Goliath's only attack will also destroy it, naturally it cannot gain experience from its own kills. However, any unit within 35 meters of the Goliath when it explodes will gain 50% of the experience value of any unit destroyed in the blast.
Vicariously, the Goliath receives 50% of the experience value of kills made by other Panzer Elite units within 35 meters. This is the only way for the Goliath to gain experience.
To do so, keep the Goliath near (but not too close!) to your other units as they attack and destroy enemies. Make sure that the Goliath remains within 35 meters, but is well out of the firing range of other units: enemy units tend to target the Goliath over all other units, due to its destructive potential.
Every time the Goliath gains a level, you'll be asked to choose which Veterancy Upgrade you wish to apply to it - either a Defensive bonus or an Offensive bonus, but not both. You can choose a different bonus at each Veterancy level, if you want.
The bonuses described below are specific to each level. Due to the way they are applied on top of each other, when computed together (see below) they may or may not add up as you may expect.
Note: Although the Goliath is capable of acquiring Offensive Bonuses, these will do nothing to improve the deadliness of its singular attack. Therefore, only the Defensive Bonuses have any real value for this vehicle.
When these bonuses are computed together with each other as well as the unit's basic statistics, the results at each level are as follows:
If this hasn't been made clear so far: Only select the Defensive Bonuses for the Goliath. Offensive bonuses do nothing for it!
Why Gain Veterancy?
Again, it may seem a little counter-intuitive to spend time upgrading the veterancy on a vehicle that is not meant to survive its own attack anyway, but as the table above shows, there are some important benefits you can attain.
First and foremost is speed. A faster Goliath can do three things better: it can surprise the enemy more effectively, it can close in the distance with the enemy faster before being destroyed, and it can sprint from one camouflage position to the next faster. As a result, the vehicle is much more survivable, especially when making its dash towards the target.
In addition, the bonus health, damage reduction and damage evasion bonuses ensure that once the Goliath makes its charge, it is much more difficult to destroy prematurely. Each extra meter the Goliath can cover before being destroyed can mean a world of difference, so a longer-lasting Goliath is always a more effective one - despite the "waste" incurred when it actually attacks its target and loses all that hard-earned veterancy by essentially dying.
In the bottom line, it's up to you whether you want to risk bringing a Goliath along to combat in order to gather Veterancy - you might lose the unit altogether, and it may take some of your own units out when it dies if you're not careful. It requires a lot of skill.
However, if you are proficient with the use of Goliaths, the improved performance you'll receive from having veteran Goliaths available is significant enough to be worth it.
If you want a middle-ground, consider leveling your Goliaths to Veterancy 1 - this gives a sufficiently large bonus to make them considerably more effective than level-0 Goliaths; you don't need to get to level 3 if it's too difficult for you to keep them alive that long.
The Goliath is one of the most unique units in the game. It's the only unit whose only attack is to sacrifice itself, and it has by far the most offensive firepower and least defensive abilities of any unit. It's the ultimate Panzer Elite weapon in every respect.
Coupled with its amazing camouflage ability, the Goliath's tactics are unconventional to say the least. At 125, you can use the Goliath to do a lot of damage - but you might also waste all those resources on a failed assault. Learning which targets to attack and how to attack them is therefore extremely important.
By default, it's always possible to just make a frontal charge right at the enemy... assuming the Goliath survives enemy fire long enough to get within blast range. As many starting players will learn, getting the Goliath to the target is harder than it may first appear. Therefore, various tactics can be used to maximize the Goliath's potential by using it as a support weapon, preferring cunning over brute strength - the same principles that turn a good Panzer Elite force into an unbeatable one.
One thing common to all Goliath tactics is reconnaissance. You will want to know the location of the most valuable - or most heavily defended - enemy assets. This is where your Goliaths can do the most damage. Without reconnaissance, you'll surely run into a defensive emplacement or enemy unit that can take out the Goliath before it can get close to the target. Know your enemy, know the entry routes into his territory, and use stealth and guile if possible to get through his firing lines.
Leading the Charge
The most basic tactic you can use is to simply lead your attack with a Goliath charge. One or two Goliaths drive at a certain distance ahead of the rest of your assault force (at least 10 meters ahead, to avoid blowing up your own forces by mistake). They then charge head-first into the strongest enemy units or groups of units, and detonate.
Naturally, the best targets would be unit concentrations or defensive positions. A single Goliath can take out a 17 Pounder AT Gun if it can get close enough, or can kill a dozen infantrymen if it's aimed properly. Take out whatever poses the highest threat to your attacking force. As a result, the defenders will be much less capable at stopping the rest of your units.
Of course, charging head-first into an enemy position puts the Goliaths at serious risk of being destroyed prematurely. Therefore, it's usually best to keep them spread out, if you're using more than one, to avoid losing all of them simultaneously. Do not charge into a Heavy Machine Gun position, or another rapid-firing cannon - these will likely destroy the Goliath before it can do any real harm. Slow-firing positions or units (especially tanks) are much less likely to hit the Goliath at all.
After the detonation, waste no time: charge your force in quickly to capitalize on the sudden deficiency in the enemy's defenses.
When making an attack against enemy territory, a better use for Goliaths is to deploy them after your forces have made contact with the enemy. Instead of charging the Goliaths in first, hold them slightly back and to the sides of your force. When combat erupts, the Goliaths make a quick flanking maneuver and charge into the enemy from the sides or rear.
The benefit here is that the enemy is busy engaging you, and may or may not even notice the Goliath before it's too late. His units may not be able to swivel around fast enough to fire at the approaching Goliath, dramatically reducing the chance of them destroying it prematurely.
Additionally, since combat has already started, the enemy units will be largely stationary, and you'll have a rather accurate idea of where to hit them to cause the most damage. Again, aim for concentrations of troops, dangerous crewed weapons, or a weapon emplacement blocking your advance.
Do not charge the Goliath through your own forces - this is way too dangerous. Always seek a flanking route towards the enemy, and drive the Goliath in through that route.
If you can perform effective reconnaissance, such as with Camouflaged Kettenkrads or other scout units, you may be able to discern the location of vulnerable high-value assets, such as lone medium/heavy tanks, artillery emplacements, a British Command Truck, etcetera. These are prime targets for the Goliath, as they are unlikely to be able to defend themselves against it.
It may be necessary to get the Goliaths deep into enemy territory to execute such an attack. Read below on infiltration methods.
One of the best uses for a Goliath is to make an ambush - with the help of its Camouflage ability. A Goliath can be placed in a hidden position and left to wait until an opportunity presents itself.
You can use ambush tactics defensively or offensively, as the situation requires. In either case, getting the Goliath to its ambush position is the hard part - after that you only need to discern the correct moment to strike.
- This is the easier of the two ambush tactics you can use. Place a Goliath in a hidden position close to an approach route leading to your own territory, and wait. When the enemy makes a massive attack against your territory, wait for the bulk of his force to move past your Goliath (draw them into your territory, if possible), and engage them with your defensive forces to hold them in place, as shown in the figure to the right.
- Once the enemy is engaged, identify any concentration of enemy units, and then drive the Goliath straight into them. Since the enemy have just passed the Goliath and are now standing motionless and exchanging fire with your troops, they may not even notice its approach. It can quickly drive in between enemy units and detonate, taking out a large portion of their units.
- This will speed up the destruction of the attacking force considerably. If your units have won the battle with minimal losses, capitalize on this immediately by following up with your own attack on enemy territory.
- In the same vain, the Goliath can simply ambush enemy units inside their own territory, by hiding near a road or other major passageway and waiting for a sufficiently large enemy force to move past. Try to time your attack so that your Goliath has to drive a minimum distance to intercept the enemy, and to hit as many enemy units as possible. The result will either be a delayed enemy offensive, or even forcing the enemy to give up that particular attack and withdraw to repair and replenish his lost troops.
- Getting the Goliath to an ambush position is more tricky here, because you'll need to put it inside enemy territory first. To do so, use short bursts of movement from cover to cover, each time waiting for camouflage to kick in before examining the situation and waiting for the next opportunity to move deeper and deeper into enemy territory. Do not move through enemy lines of sight, or you may lose the surprise factor. Always be ready to withdraw the Goliath to your own territory if you think the enemy knows where it is.
- Naturally, you'll want to try to stay away from enemy-controlled Strategic Points: don't forget that they have their own (small) line-of-sight, and the enemy might spot you driving past them, again losing your surprise and potentially exposing the Goliath to enemy attacks.
Another possible tactic is the use of half a dozen or more Goliaths to attack the enemy's entire front line simultaneously. Each Goliath is aimed at a different target, and they all attack in unison.
This is mainly possible because the Goliath does not consume Population Cap points, so over time you can amass a large number of them without diminishing the strength of your defensive and offensive forces. The only limitation is based on how much Munitions you can produce, since each Goliath is expensive.
A Massive Attack with Goliaths will leave your enemy with fewer units with which to defend, allowing you to ram his weakest point with your assault force and overwhelm the enemy. Also, the Massive Goliath strike will keep your enemy guessing about where you are about to hit him with your army. He'll also be sending vulnerable engineering squads to the front lines to repair damaged assets, and these will easily be killed once your attack hits the enemy lines.
Once you've mastered the art of sneaking Goliaths into enemy territory, you can try to make a sudden attack on the enemy base. This is the epitome of Goliath tactics, and can render the opponent helpless for a long period of time.
The best results are acquired with several Goliaths acting in unison. Each Goliath sneaks its way into an ambush position close to the enemy base. When the signal is given, the Goliaths attack in unison, hopefully destroying at least several production facilities. The more Goliaths you can use for this tactic, the better.
The figure on the right shows how this is done; again, short bursts of movement between hiding spots will slowly get your Goliaths into position. Try to surround the enemy base with Goliaths if possible, to attack from several different direction. This will ensure that at least some of the Goliaths can breach the enemy's base defenses, if there are any. The use of more than one Goliath against each target is recommended, because a single bomb may not be sufficiently powerful to destroy a base structure.
Do not go for the enemy HQ unless there are no other valuable targets. It is often the toughest structure available, and may take four or five Goliaths to destroy. You're better off knocking out other, weaker structures - tank production is usually the first target, followed by support weapons, and finally infantry production.
The Goliath is a flimsy unit, carrying no actual armor and having very little health. It can be taken out rather easily with rapid-firing weapons, such as Heavy Maching Guns and Anti-Aircraft weapons. Mines are also a serious threat.
Artillery can knock out a Goliath easily as well, but it will need to know a stationary Goliath's position beforehand (unless you foolishly charge your Goliath through an artillery barrage - a bad move).
Infantry armed with regular small-arms can damage the Goliath and potentially destroy it, but this will take time. Tank and anti-tank cannons are the least threat, because the Goliath is very hard to hit - especially when moving (it has similar damage evasion properties to a Motorcycle). A single tank cannon hit will kill a non-veteran Goliath, however.