Jagdpanzer 38(t) "Hetzer"
A pair of Hetzers driving through a graveyard
|Unit Cost||600, 8|
|Upkeep per Minute||-1.07|
|Prereq.||Tank Destroyer Tactics: Hetzer Tank|
|Produced By||None; called in from the field.|
|Primary armament||7.5 cm PaK 39 L/48 gun|
|Secondary armament||MG42 Light Machine Gun|
|Max. Speed||6.2 m/s|
The Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer, or Hetzer Tank, is a medium Tank Destroyer fielded by the Panzer Elite Tank Destroyer Tactics company in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. Though diminutive, this tank is both fast and well-armored, and packs about as much punch as a Panzer IV - capable of reliably hurting other tanks. Its small frame and sloped armor make it much harder to hit than other medium tanks, but the Hetzer pays for this with the lack of a rotating turret. The Hetzer is a master ambusher, and can camouflage itself and wait for enemy tanks to come to it.
Overview[edit | edit source]
With the Tank Destroyer Tactics Command Tree, the Panzer Elite have the opportunity to make a more balanced force that relies less on light, fast-moving vehicles and infantry, and more on a heavy-punching armored force similar to those normally deployed by other factions. This is possible thanks to the introduction of the Jagdpanzer 38(t) tank (Lit. "Tank Hunter 38(t)"), known as the Hetzer ("Agitator" or "Hounder"). This small but surprisingly powerful tank-destroyer serves as part of the core Panzer Elite armored arm, alongside the Panzer IV Infantry Support Tank.
To recruit a Hetzer, you must first purchase the Tank Destroyer Tactics: Hetzer Tank Command Upgrade. This will unlock a Command Ability called "Hetzer", which costs 600, 8 to use. It will call in a single Hetzer tank, making it one of the more expensive tanks in the game (though it doesn't cost any Fuel), and has an incredibly low upkeep cost for a tank, only -1.07 (which is probably meant to be -10.07).
The Hetzer is constructed from a basic Panzer 38(t) chassis, an old Czechoslovakian tank adopted by the Germans before the war. This is the same chassis used as the base for a Marder III Tank Hunter, except it has been thoroughly upgraded with thick, sloped armor. This armor makes the Hetzer as tough as an M4 Sherman in terms of resistance to Penetration. Additionally, the low profile of this tank makes it harder to hit with almost any weapon.
The tank's original main weapon has also been replaced, with a quick-firing 7.5 cm PaK 39 Anti-Tank cannon. Packing about as much firepower as a Panzer IV, it can reliably pierce the rear armor of any Allied vehicle, though it may still have trouble getting through an M4 Sherman's or Churchill Tank's front armor. This issue is solved with the use of APCR Rounds, available through another Tank Destroyer Tactics Command Upgrade.
On the other hand, the upgrades to the Panzer 38(t)'s frame necessitated the loss of the swivel turret, meaning that the main gun is fixed to the hull, and can only fire forwards. This is an important point, because the rear armor of the Hetzer is significantly weaker than its front, meaning that it cannot afford to be flanked. The tank does have one weapon capable of firing in a 360-degree arc: a MG42 Light Machine Gun that is entirely controlled by a gunner sitting inside the vehicle's armor. Unfortunately this LMG is not a very good weapon.
The Hetzer can work together with Panzer IV ISTs to create a consolidated armor force, with the Panzer IVs providing anti-infantry fire while the Hetzer deals with enemy vehicles. However, Hetzers are also quite capable of working on their own, performing ambushes against enemy vehicles by camouflaging themselves along enemy patrol routes. The camouflage ability allows the tank to remain hidden until firing, in which case it will receive an excellent bonus for its first surprise shot. However, the tank must remain immobile while camouflaged.
Finally, with the aid of its Spotting Scope upgrade, the Hetzer can improve both its sight range and attack range. With this upgrade and the APCR Rounds Command Upgrade, the Hetzer becomes a great tank destroyer, tougher than a Marder III Tank Hunter and only slightly less powerful.
Note: You may only field up to 4 Hetzers at any given time. If one is destroyed, another can be called in to replace it.
Weapons[edit | edit source]
The Hetzer is armed with a large 7.5 cm PaK 39 Anti-Tank cannon, a powerful and quick-firing weapon designed to puncture enemy armor. In addition, it has an MG42 Light Machine Gun installed on a remote-controlled pintle mount at the top of the hull, which can sometimes kill enemy infantry.
7.5 cm PaK 39 Anti-Tank Cannon[edit | edit source]
The 7.5 cm (75mm) PaK 39 is a quick-firing anti-tank weapon. It is essentially identical to the 7.5 cm KwK 40 gun found on a "regular" (Wehrmacht) Panzer IV tank. It can also be directly compared to the M4 Sherman's Upgraded M1A1C 76mm anti-tank cannon.
Each shell fired by the PaK 39 causes 112.5 points of damage. Its explosive radius is only 0.5 meters, meaning that it will rarely cause damage on anything except a direct hit. As far as Penetration values go, this shell can easily pierce the rear armor of any Allied tank, but has some difficulty going through front armor on medium tanks, such as the M4 Sherman (against which it has only a 60% basic chance for penetration). It will go through the front armor of lighter tanks easily, including a Cromwell Tank.
The PaK 39 is relatively fast-loading for its size, firing one shell every ~5 seconds. This gives it a slight edge over allied tank guns. It is also reasonably accurate, with a 75% chance to hit targets at its maximum range of 40 meters. Additionally, the gun is relatively accurate against infantrymen as well, though it must score a direct hit on an infantryman to kill him, and thus is unlikely to take care of an entire squad of them within any acceptable timeframe.
The primary downside to this weapon is that it cannot swivel, since the Hetzer tank has no turret. It can only fire at targets directly in front of the vehicle, so the entire unit must rotate to engage targets at other directions.
MG42 Light Machine Gun[edit | edit source]
This is a belt-fed automatic weapon, which is commonly installed on many Axis vehicles and infantry units. There are many variations of this weapon, with slightly different statistics. The MG42 installed on a Hetzer is roughly average compared to other variants.
This weapon fires short bursts of between 10-15 bullets each, with an interval of 3 to 4 seconds between bursts. It is reasonably accurate at ranges between 15-25 meters (the normal infantry combat range). Each hit causes 4 damage, a little lower than the average MG42's damage output, but still deadly.
This MG42 is mounted on a remote-controlled pintle at the top of the vehicle, which can rotate 360 around to engage targets at any direction. The use of a remote-controlled weapon mount ensures that the gunner cannot be killed, since he is sitting inside the vehicle's body.
Unfortunately, this MG42 has extremely low Suppression values - it would require close to 1000 bullets to suppress an infantryman. However, it can still kill infantry in exposed positions. This weapon is meant mainly to dissuade enemies from coming near the tank's weaker rear armor.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
The Hetzer tank can activate a special camouflage ability called Ambush Lock-Down. It makes the vehicle invisible, yet immobile, and adds a massive bonus to the first shot fired at any enemy vehicle.
Ambush Lock-Down[edit | edit source]
- Requires the vehicle to be stationary and not in Negative Cover.
- Costs nothing
- Activation: Immediate
- Duration: Permanent until deactivated.
- Cooldown: None.
To activate the Ambush Lock-Down ability, the Hetzer must be completely stationary, and must not be in Negative Cover (i.e. on an open road).
When this ability is activated, the vehicle is immediately rendered invisible to the enemy. It can only be detected by enemy units coming within 8 meters of the tank, though some units have an increased camouflage-detection range.
While in Ambush Lock-Down mode, the Hetzer is also immobile. It cannot turn or move at all. You can freely control the vehicle's automatic targeting by clicking the Cease Fire button that appears while this ability is in effect.
While it is in this mode, the Hetzer's first shot against any target will render it visible. However, that shot also carries a significant set of bonuses:
- +100% Penetration against any target.
- +25% accuracy.
- +50% damage.
As a result, the first shot can do some serious damage to an enemy vehicle, and is virtually guaranteed to penetrate its armor. In fact, it will penetrate any armor except the front armor of an M26 Pershing, having only 60% basic chance to do so (more with the APCR Rounds Command Upgrade).
Once the first shot is fired, the Hetzer should immediately be ordered to leave Ambush Lock-Down mode, so that it can turn and engage the target if it tries to move out of the cannon's narrow field of fire. The following shots won't receive the bonus anyway, unless the Hetzer manages to re-camouflage itself first (this requires 10 seconds of no contact with the enemy, and is therefore unlikely).
Ambush Lock-Down is a great ability to use when anticipating enemy incursions into your own territory, but can also be used to sneak the Hetzer into enemy territory, as explained below in the Tactics section.
Upgrades[edit | edit source]
The Hetzer can be upgraded with a set of binoculars mounted on a periscope. These increase the vehicle's sight and targeting range significantly.
Spotting Scope[edit | edit source]
The Spotting Scope upgrade provides the following bonuses once installed:
- +10 meter bonus to the vehicle's sight-range (total = 45 meters)
- +10 meter bonus to the main cannon's firing range (total = 50 meters)
With these bonuses, the Hetzer can spot targets further away and attack those targets. Accuracy is also increased, so that now the tank is 75% accurate at 50 meters instead of at 40.
This increased range allows the Hetzer to do two things: It can be used as a tough scout unit, and it can snipe at enemy targets.
As a scout, the Hetzer can locate enemy positions and vehicles easily, and can be used to assist selecting an Ambush point (or allowing the tank to withdraw quickly if an ambush point is about to be overrun).
As a sniper, this tank outranges almost all other tanks, and can simply bombard enemy units in its line of sight, forcing them to come closer if they want to shoot back.
Veterancy[edit | edit source]
Like all other Panzer Elite units, the Hetzer 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.
Accumulation[edit | edit source]
Like all other Panzer Elite units, the Hetzer 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.
Each kill the Hetzer makes will grant it 100% of the experience value of the killed unit.
In addition, it will pass 50% of that value to any Panzer Elite units within 35 meters of itself.
Bonuses[edit | edit source]
Every time the Hetzer 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.
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:
* Click the button at the top-right corner to view the entire table.
Selecting Veterancy bonuses for the Hetzer is tricky, because it can benefit greatly from both Defensive and Offensive bonuses. Speed and toughness from Defensive Bonuses can make this tank a great flanker, and enhance its potential when working alone, especially as an ambusher. On the other hand, increased penetration and firing rate makes certain that the Hetzer will win a one-on-one encounter with most enemy medium tanks. Therefore, your choice must depend on the purposes you wish this tank to serve.
In either case, like most other Panzer Elite vehicles, it's usually best to at least take the first level in Defensive Bonuses, because it has the most effect and increases the vehicle's chance to reach higher veterancy levels alive. Beyond that, it is a matter of personal preference.
Tactics[edit | edit source]
The Hetzer is one of the more versatile tanks available to any faction. On the one hand, it can be used as a main-line battle tank, coupled with Panzer IV ISTs to form a brute armored fist. On the other, a single Hetzer can infiltrate enemy territory and wreak havoc entirely on its own. This is something very few enemy tanks can do.
As a core-armor piece, Hetzers serve as the primary anti-tank strength at the front of an assault, essentially relieving the lighter-armored Marder III Tank Hunters from this duty, allowing them to stay further away from the firefight. The Hetzer-Panzer IV IST combination is an almost perfect one as far as the distribution of duties for destroying multiple types of targets, making this one of the more effective armored forces in the game.
As a lone ambusher, the Hetzer can use its unique Camouflage ability to slowly make its way into enemy territory undetected. With increased sight range, it can slowly inch its way into an ambush position, where it can lie in wait for vulnerable enemy tanks to pass so that it can surprise them with powerful attacks against their rear armor.
It should be noted that many Hetzer tactics work well with the Jagdpanther, due to their similarities in design and features. However, the Hetzer is faster and more manuverable, but lacks the thick armour. But, Hetzers also work as a great escort for a Jagdpanther as well.
Finally, thanks to its camouflage and sight range it can also act as a good spotter for other, stronger long-range units - especially Marder III Tank Hunters or even Jagdpanthers. This is important because the Tank Destroyer Tactics company lacks any other camouflaged units with which to perform this task.
Core Armor[edit | edit source]
Normally, the Panzer Elite rely on Panzer IV ISTs to soak up damage and deal with enemy infantry, while Marder III Tank Hunters risk themselves in flanking maneuvers against enemy vehicles, or shooting from long-range in the hope of piercing enemy armor occasionally. The Marder III is rather fragile, being vulnerable to many weapons, especially when its main gun is sited. Although Panzer IV ISTs and Marder IIIs make a powerful attack force, they will not last long together against enemy armored forces.
With the Hetzer, the Panzer Elite now have the capability of fielding a well-rounded tank force, similar to enemy armor groups. Both the Hetzer and Panzer IV IST have good armor and can stand up to enemy tanks, and can therefore perform a more straightforward base-and-flank tactic - with the Panzer IV ISTs taking enemy fire and killing infantry, while the Hetzers swiftly move to flanking positions to destroy enemy armor. This group can handle almost any threat that comes at it.
If the enemy is more infantry-centric, you can simply exchange the Hetzers and Panzer IV ISTs: the Hetzers use their toughness to soak enemy damage and draw enemy attention, while the Panzer IV ISTs flank to destroy enemy infantry (and especially to prevent infantry from flanking the Hetzers and hitting their soft rear armor). You can even switch between Hetzer-center and Panzer IV-center as the situation requires: both tanks are roughly equally survivable in the face of enemy fire.
Marder III Tank Hunters can then take up long-range firing positions to bombard enemy units from afar - reducing the risk of losing these fragile tank destroyers.
When relying on such tank-heavy forces, remember to field a Bergetiger Repair and Recovery Vehicle as well. The Bergetiger can restore destroyed tanks to keep the force rolling, and can even place itself at the front of the tank force to soak up enemy damage - freeing up the other tanks to move to the flanks and deal with the opposition.
Hetzer Ambush[edit | edit source]
The Hetzer, along with the M18 Hellcat, are the only tanks in the game that can use Camouflage. The primary use for this ability is to enable the tank to perform ambushes, whether inside enemy territory or along the entry routes to your own sectors.
To perform an ambush, the Hetzer must first get into a suitable position. Picking a suitable position is more difficult than it sounds: it needs to be a spot with a clear line of fire, that is sufficiently out-of-the-way so that enemy units don't accidentally stumble upon the Hetzer and reveal it. It's usually better to make an ambush along a side passage rather than a major roadway - that way you're more likely to catch a lone vehicle or other weak group, rather than ambushing a powerful enemy force. Nonetheless, a good ambush can assist even against powerful enemies.
Getting to the ambush position is the next step. If you're going to perform an ambush for incoming enemy units, this is easy because you can simply place the tank inside your own territory. Within enemy territory this is more tricky: you need to get into position without the enemy noticing. This means gradual progression, moving the tank in short, quick bursts of movement, followed by camouflage. Use the tank's extended sight range (granted by the Spotting Scope upgrade) to ensure that no enemy units are nearby while you're moving - you don't want the enemy to fire at your tank nor you tank to fire at them. When the coast is clear, dash to the next location and camouflage again, and so on until you reach the desired ambush location.
Once the tank is ready in ambush, activate "Cease Fire" and wait. When the enemy passes your position, toggle "Cease Fire" off to let off the surprise shot with its massive bonuses. Then immediately disable camouflage until the target is destroyed.
When performing a defensive ambush, let the enemy pass into your territory before firing, and make sure the entire enemy force has gone past the Hetzer before revealing it. This way you'll have the Hetzer already in a flanking position for the remainder of the defensive battle, while your other forces converge on the enemy from the front and sides.
In offensive ambushes in enemy territory, your actions depend on whether the Hetzer is working all alone (trying to take out weak or defenseless enemies) or is simply setting itself up as a surprise flanking support for a larger offensive. If it is alone, the Hetzer should only open fire when the opposition is light, such as on a lone enemy tank or a group of light vehicles. When it is used as support for an offensive, let the entire enemy force pass the Hetzer on their way to confront other units, then de-camouflage the Hetzer and move it to a flanking position behind the enemies.
As a Spotter[edit | edit source]
The Hetzer can use its camouflage ability to act as a spotter for other long-range units, since the Panzer Elite Tank Destroyer Tactics company does not have any other camouflage units. The Hetzer simply sets itself up close to the enemy lines (or behind them) in an out-of-the way position and camouflages itself ("Cease Fire" is very much recommended"). Other long-range tanks, such as the Marder III Tank Hunter, other Hetzers or even a Jagdpanther, can then accurately bombard any spotted enemy units from some distance away.
If the enemy tries to send units to take out the bombarding units, the Hetzer can then drop its camouflage once the enemy has passed, providing a sudden flanking force to surround and destroy the enemy (see above).
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
The primary weakness of the Hetzer is its rear armor. At the front, the Hetzer is as strong as an M4 Sherman tank, capable of withstanding serious firepower and deflecting weaker tank and anti-tank shots. However from the rear, it is often up to 10 times weaker, allowing penetration by almost any weapon heavier than a machine gun. This is a serious problem because the Hetzer's main cannon can only fire at units directly in front of the tank, so it must turn to engage enemies in one direction, presenting its rear to any enemy units in the opposite direction.
This makes the tank very susceptible to attacks by enemy anti-tank infantry, which can easily flank and destroy the tank. It can snipe enemy infantrymen, but is unlikely to kill enough of them to prevent them from hurting it first.
Nonetheless, the Hetzer is still a medium tank, and as such is not too vulnerable against most attacks. Remember however that it has a low maximum health, and will not last long under anti-tank fire. As usual, artillery fire is also dangerous to it, though the tank can easily speed away from an artillery bombardment zone.
Finally, Hetzers are exceptionally vulnerable to mines - not because of any extra damage or penetration, but because mines tend to render tanks immobile. An immobile Hetzer cannot turn its gun to attack enemy units not directly in front of it, and as such can be made completely vulnerable to any enemy that wishes to flank it and hit its weaker rear side.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
On unit selection:
On move order:
When under attack:
On move order when under attack:
On attack order:
On attack order when under attack:
When attack Command Truck:
When confirmed a kill: