M1917 Heavy Machine Gun Team
|Role||Heavy Anti-infantry weapon crew|
|Men per Squad||3|
|Upkeep per Minute||
-2.4 (per man)|
-7.2 (full squad)
|Produced By||Weapons Support Center|
|Cost to Reinforce||
|Health per Man||
55 (each crewman)
1x M1917 .30 cal Heavy Machine Gun|
2x M1 Carbine Rifle
|Open Weapon Slots||0|
|Max. Speed||3 m/s|
The M1917 Browning Heavy Machine Gun Team, or HMG Team for short, is a powerful anti-infantry Weapon Team fielded by the American army in Company of Heroes. Consisting of only 3 men, this team can unleash deadly firepower on enemy infantry units, destroying them rapidly and suppressing any survivors. Additionally, it can cause serious damage to enemy light Vehicles, especially when told to use Armor Piercing ammunition. It is used in conjunction with other infantry units to form a strong infantry-based assault force.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Weapons
- 3 Abilities
- 4 Veterancy
- 5 Tactics
- 6 Quotes
- 7 Gallery
As with all factions fighting in World War II, and in fact since World War I, the Americans understand the importance of mobile Machine Guns, and incorporate such weapons into their infantry combat doctrines. Given the American army's heavy focus on infantry in general, the M1917 Browning Heavy Machine Gun is an integral part of their operations. It is a rapid-firing, belt-fed automatic weapon, cooled with water to allow it to discharge long bursts of .30 Cal bullets.
This 3-man team is produced from the Weapons Support Center, for the cost of 240, 3. The primary squad member, the Machine Gunner, carries the M1917 heavy machine gun. The other two members of the team, carrying M1 Carbine Short Rifles are there to protect the Machine Gunner and replace him should he be killed in action. Its main advantage is its automatic fire, which allows it to provide extra damage to quickly kill enemy infantry in front of it. It will also provide Suppression in short order, reducing their effectiveness. This makes the unit very powerful against massed infantry, and almost impassible from the front while operational.
However, the machinegun is much less flexible than personal rifles for a number of reasons. The first is that the weapon must be set up in a fixed direction in order to fire, and packed up in order to move. Both processes disable the team and take up a few moments to complete. Second, once set up, the weapon can only swivel within a limited arc. The machinegun cannot fire too far to the side or behind itself without setting up again.
This setup process hinders the HMG team's offensive ability, especially if they need to retreat. Support from other units is crucial when setting up the gun or repositioning it to a different angle. This unit can easily be flanked at that time, and the supporting units can keep it safe while it adjusts to the correct angle.
Like most small arms, it is not very capable against armored vehicles, even with the AP Burst ability. This can make the HMG Team a weaker unit later in the game. They are also weak to snipers.
Both MG Teams are more akin to regular infantry squads than they are to the other Weapon Teams in several ways. These teams can capture Strategic Points like a regular squad, and can enter buildings to receive Structural Cover. They can also retreat, although they must pack up first before they start moving.
The tactical use of HMG Teams supports other American infantry operations, alongside their static counterparts, the Machine Gun Emplacement. In American doctrine, the Riflemen Squads or other infantry units engage the enemy and keep him busy, while the HMG Team finds a good firing position to secure the enemy, sets up, and begins raining bullets on them. This is the opposite of how Axis units utilize their machine guns (setting up the MG first, then flanking with infantry) because the M1917 is somewhat more deadly than the German MG42, and delivers less Suppression fire. There are also other uses for an HMG Team, both defensive and offensive, which are discussed in more detail below.
Note: Damage received by this unit can go independently to any crewmen, but can also strike the gun itself. Fortunately, the gun is sturdier than it seems, and it will take a serious explosion to destroy it. However, if the gun is lost, the entire team will die instantly. If the machine gunner is killed, another squad member will move in to replace him. If all three of the squad members are killed, the weapon will become abandoned, and may be captured by any friendly or enemy infantry squad containing at least 2 men (this can only occur if the machine gun was set up at the time).
The primary weapon for the HMG Team is of course the M1917 Browning .30 Cal Heavy Machine Gun. This is a surprisingly accurate and deadly weapon, capable of destroying enemy infantry with ease. It can be loaded with Armor Piercing Rounds for additional Penetration against enemy light and medium vehicles. This weapon is operated by a single infantryman.
In addition, two "extra" squad members are armed with M1 Carbine Semi-Automatic Rifles. These are basically defensive weapons, meant to return fire at enemy units coming too close to the machine gun, especially from behind.
M1917 Browning .30 Cal Heavy Machine Gun
The M1917 is a belt-fed, water-cooled, fully automatic firearm. It is designed to fire large quantities of bullets, showering the enemy with deadly lead and scaring him into staying behind cover.
Compared to other infantry-carried Heavy Machine Guns, the M1917 has a rather slow rate of fire, though it can fire far more bullets before requiring a reload, and is somewhat more accurate at all ranges. The weapon fires bursts of between 32 and 40 bullets per burst, lasting 4–5 seconds. At normal infantry engagement range (20 meters) each bullet has a basic chance of 40% to hit its target, and each hit inflicts 7 points of damage - giving a very high damage output for this weapon. It will normally kill two infantrymen per burst under optimal conditions.
Note that the more enemy infantry are in this weapon's firing cone, the more accurate it becomes, increasing its deadliness significantly.
Suppression-wise, due to the slow firing rate, this weapon will take a little longer to suppress or pin down an enemy unit. In fact, it is more likely to kill most of the unit before it even becomes suppressed. Still, it's good to know that whoever survives the initial attack will not be able to maneuver or even fire back.
The primary drawback for this weapon is that it has a limited firing cone - facing forward and capable of turning only 60° left or right of the set heading. In order to attack in a different direction, the weapon needs to be dismantled (2.5 seconds!) and then set up facing the new direction (another 3 seconds!). In other words, the weapon is vulnerable to flanking maneuvers, requiring the HMG Team to constantly be supported by other units who can fend off flankers.
M1 Carbine .30 Cal Semi-Automatic Rifle
The M1 Carbine is a semi-automatic magazine-fed rifle. It is a standard-issue weapon for American airborne and mechanized infantry.
When compared to other semi-automatic or bolt-action rifles, the M1 Carbine's only real advantage is speed: it has a higher firing rate, and can fire more bullets before having to reload. This makes it better for mid-range encounters (15 meters) than other rifles, but it loses in damage output and accuracy at long range.
Two infantrymen in the HMG Team carry this weapon, for purposes of defending the machine gun from enemy flanking attacks. However, two rifles are hardly enough to truly pose any danger to enemy units.
Note that if the original crew of an HMG Team are killed and the gun re-captured by another infantry unit, the team-members will not be equipped with M1 Carbines. They'll use the "standard" weapons dictated by their default unit properties. For example, if an Engineer Squad acquires an abandoned M1917, the men not operating the Machine Gun will use M3 SMGs.
The HMG Team has only one combat ability available: Armor Piercing Burst. This ability increases Penetration values to maximum for a short duration, allowing the unit to do serious damage to enemy light and medium vehicles.
When the Armor Piercing Burst ability is activated, the M1917 HMG operated by this squad receives a massive increase to its Armor Penetration values, raising them to the absolute maximum. This lasts for 20 whole seconds.
While this is active, the M1917's bullets have an unequivocal 100% chance of penetrating any armor. This allows the team to reliably inflict damage on light and medium vehicles, regardless of facing. Unfortunately, inherent damage reduction values mean that the weapon still does virtually nothing against tanks, but it can damage Wehrmacht Bunkers, which are normally immune to Machine Gun fire.
The ability lasts 20 seconds, and has a concurrent Cooldown timer of 20 seconds. This means that the ability becomes available as soon as it runs out - and can be used again immediately if you can afford it (and still need it).
Use Armor Piercing Burst to take care of enemy vehicles that have entered your line of fire. Remember that it may still take some time to kill the enemy vehicle unless it is very light or already damaged. This can be an extremely effective way to take care of Panzer Elite light vehicles, such as the Scout Car and Armored Car.
- Costs 260
- Requires the HMG Team 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
Like all other American units, the HMG Team 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 HMG Team 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:
Note that these modifiers apply both to the gun and to its crew. Therefore, this also affects the two additional crewmen, who are armed with M1 Carbines (and thus receive the above bonuses for their own weapons).
If the M1917 HMG is abandoned and recaptured by another infantry unit it will reset to Veterancy Level 0, losing any Veterancy bonuses it had previously acquired. It can then resume acquiring Veterancy as normal.
Most players consider the Riflemen Squad to be the primary anti-infantry unit for the American army, at least until upgraded M3 Halftracks can take the field. But in truth, the Americans have early access to a very powerful and very cheap anti-infantry unit in the form of the Heavy Machine Gun Team.
On its own, this team is far too vulnerable. It can be flanked easily by two enemy units working in unison, and can be grenaded by any squad that manages to get close enough. However, as part of an infantry group, working closely with Riflemen Squads or other infantry units, the HMG Team is a powerful infantry killer. It can wipe out an entire enemy squad in a matter of seconds, and leave the rest cowering in fear and ready to be killed by whatever other unit is nearby to do so.
Groups containing HMG Teams can operate both defensively and offensively:
On the defense, the HMG Team works as a mobile substitute to a Machine Gun Emplacement. This enables you to use a single unit to defend several sectors, instead of constructing one Machine Gun Emplacement per sector. This is very useful in the early game, where purchasing all those emplacements could be well beyond your budget.
On the offensive, the firepower from an HMG Team can cut a hole straight through enemy infantry or even light vehicle defensive forces. It's usually best to lure the enemy to come to you, by first engaging him with another infantry unit, then bringing in the HMG Team to surprise and destroy the enemy. Once they're dead, the HMG Team sets up to protect the Riflemen or other infantry units as they scramble to capture a new sector and fortify it. During the early and middle game, this sort of tactic is the only real offensive effort the Americans can mount.
Early Game: Operating Alone
During the very early game, this should be very simple, as HMG Teams are very powerful against any unit the enemy can field at this stage. It's also unlikely that the enemy will have any counter abilities, like Grenades, available for his troops this early on. Therefore, your HMG Teams can easily push the enemy back and kill many of his units before he gets savvy to this and begins arming his troops with better equipment.
There are three caveats that make this type of strategy a little more risky. For one, HMG Teams do not capture sectors as quickly as Riflemen Squads do. Secondly, HMG Teams are far more fragile (having only 3 men per squad), and are and more expensive to reinforce than Riflemen. If you can't keep your HMG Teams alive and well, you'll begin incurring losses and will need to pay dearly for them. Finally, if you do lose an HMG Team, the enemy will be able to capture your machine gun, getting HMG Teams of his own using your equipment! This is very bad for you, and means you'll need to start building Riflemen Squads to counter those enemies.
Try to support your HMG Teams with Mortar Teams at all times, in order to increase firepower output. A Sniper, though expensive, can also help here if you know what you're doing. Nonetheless, expect your first attempts at this type of strategy to fail - HMG Teams are far more difficult to use properly in this capacity, working alone, than Riflemen Squads.
Although the Americans can construct Machine Gun Emplacements to protect their sectors, these emplacements are expensive, and once built they cannot be moved. Therefore, one MG emplacement can usually only protect a sector or two. An HMG Team, on the other hand, can move about freely, and thus can be used to protect any sector that comes under attack within its vicinity.
Don't expose the HMG Team by just setting it up like an MG Emplacement and forgetting about it. It is a fragile unit, and once spotted by the enemy, may easily come under mortar attack. Keep the unit slightly further back from your lines, but close enough that it can rush in to kill any enemy infantry unit that appears. That way you get the element of surprise, and with that you can wipe out enemy infiltrators easily.
Always try to keep your HMG Teams backed up by infantry squads when doing this. If the enemy is smart, he may try to outflank the HMG, and can easily wipe it out. You need a second unit, possibly even another HMG Team, to watch the first team's back.
If you have access to M3 Halftracks, use them to ferry HMG Teams around. Consider using a Mortar Team to work together with an HMG Team in killing enemies. Snipers and Jeeps can also be of great help here, spotting enemies ahead of time, giving the HMG Team enough time to set up or relocate as necessary.
If at all possible, try to find a building to put your HMG Team in for a better defensive position. This will allow them to avoid Suppression, and protect them better overall. Remember that up until patch 2.600, HMGs can move from window to window almost instantly, basically meaning that the unit has no flanks to cover.
The trick here is coordination. As explained above, the HMG Team is too vulnerable on its own. It can only fire in a forward arc of 120° in total (60° to either side of its current facing), and would take upwards of 5 seconds to change its facing.
In theory, this would mean that another unit, either another HMG Team or a Riflemen Squad, must protect the HMG's flanks. This is normally how the Wehrmacht use their mobile machine guns (see MG42 Heavy Machine Gun Team). However the Americans tend to use their HMG Teams in a different manner: as flankers.
The idea is that a basic infantry squad makes contact with the enemy, initiating a firefight. This unit stays behind cover, and is meant only to draw enemy fire and keep them busy. While this is going on, the commander surveys the battle and picks a good place to put down the machine gun. The HMG Team moves to that position, sets up, and opens fire at the enemies in order to kill them all.
This double punch is primarily meant to overcome the lack of powerful short-range weapons in the American infantry arsenal. So instead of holding the enemy down with one unit and closing in with another, it's more a matter of holding the enemy down and then firing even more bullets at him from a different angle, creating a kill zone.
You have to make sure the enemy is concentrated on the first unit when bringing in the HMG Team. If the enemy gets savvy, he will open fire at your HMG team and may kill it before it even gets a chance to set up, so never send the HMG Team in to make first contact, and don't move them too close to the enemy at any time. Keep your distance.
Again, the use of buildings can be crucial, as it affords plenty of protection to the HMG Team and allows it to engage targets at various directions quickly (before patch 2.600).
Also make good use of Mortar Teams, if you have any. Since this entire tactic is geared around keeping the enemy in place, they will make fine targets for a quick mortar barrage (Manually activated. Don't let the mortar fire automatically, it's much slower).
Once the attack succeeds, the HMG Team will need to set itself up to protect the area from enemy counterattacks. Quickly get your other units to grab the sector and begin building new fortifications. The HMG Team will provide covering fire until a Machine Gun Emplacement can be set up.
The Heavy Machine Gun Team is very powerful, but at the same time very vulnerable. With a forward arc fire cone and long setup/teardown times, it can easily be flanked and destroyed by enemy infantry. High explosives, such as grenades, can knock out an entire HMG Team with one hit. Always keep enemy infantry away from this gun.
The low crew count also makes this unit more vulnerable than infantry. The enemy only has to kill three men to destroy this unit, so reinforcing it and keeping it healthy are very important points to remember.
Due to being stationary all the time, this unit is very vulnerable to artillery - even mortar strikes. If shells start falling, pack up and move off immediately before the enemy gets lucky. Avoid infantry support tanks (tanks firing high explosive shells) like the plague. Another great danger are enemy Snipers: if a crewman is sniped, get the hell away.
On unit creation :
On unit selection :
On halt order :
On attack move order :
On move order :
On attack order :
On armor piercing burst order :
On garrison order :
On capture order :
On capture complete report :
On retreat order :
On under-attack report :
On enemy kill report :
Selected, when wounded:
On attack order, when wounded:
On move order, when wounded:
When leaving production building, which is under attack: