Company of Heroes Wiki
Veterancy Riflemen Squad 0
Riflemen Squad
Allied rifleman
Rifleman Sergeant with radio pack and M1 Carbine
Army American
Role Core Infantry
Men per Squad 6
Unit Cost 270Icon Manpower Small 270
6Icon PopCap Small 6
Upkeep per Minute -2.4Icon Manpower Small −2.4 (per man)
-14.4Icon Manpower Small −14.4 (full squad)
Prereq. None
Produced By Barracks
Cost to Reinforce 27Icon Manpower Small 27
1Icon PopCap Small 1
Health per Man 55Icon Health Small 55
Infantry Type Infantry
Basic Weapon 5x M1 Garand Rifle
1x M1 Carbine Rifle
Open Weapon Slots 5
Max. Speed 3 m/s
Produces (5)
Production Observation Post
Observation Post
  • Secures a friendly Strategic Point and increases resource production in that sector.
  • Costs 200Icon Manpower Small 200
  • Build Time: 50 seconds

Production Barbed Wire
Barbed Wire
  • Obstacle, impassable to Infantry
  • Requires Infantry Company: Defensive Operations
  • Costs nothing
  • Build Time: 2.5 seconds per piece

Production Sand Bags
Sand Bags
  • Provides Cover Heavy Heavy Cover for Infantry units
  • Requires Infantry Company: Defensive Operations
  • Costs nothing
  • Build Time: 6 seconds per piece

Production Tank Traps
Tank Traps
  • Obstacle, impassable to most vehicles
  • Requires Infantry Company: Defensive Operations
  • Costs nothing
  • Build Time: 6 seconds per piece

Production Mines
  • Buried bombs that explode when enemy units walk/drive over them.
  • Requires Infantry Company: Defensive Operations
  • Costs 25Icon Munitions Small 25 per piece
  • Build Time: 5 seconds per piece
Abilities (4)
Ability Throw Grenade
Throw Grenade
  • Throws a small explosive charge with a modest but deadly blast radius.
  • Requires Barracks: Mk2 Grenades
  • Costs 25Icon Munitions Small 25
  • Cooldown: 15 seconds

Ability Throw Sticky Bomb
Throw Sticky Bomb
  • Throws a powerful explosive that sticks to a target vehicle until detonation.
  • Requires Barracks: Sticky Bombs
  • Costs 35Icon Munitions Small 35
  • Cooldown: 15 seconds

Ability Suppression Fire
Suppression Fire
  • Significantly increases Suppression effects inflicted by this team's weapons, as well as its firing rate, at the expense of accuracy.
  • Requires Barracks: M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR)
  • Costs 40Icon Munitions Small 40
  • Duration: 15 seconds
  • Cooldown: 20 seconds

Ability Upgrade To Barracks
Upgrade to Barracks
  • Turns a neutral building into a Forward Barracks that can reinforce infantry units and (potentially) produce new units.
  • Requires the Riflemen Squad to garrison the target structure.
  • Requires the target structure to be inside captured and connected territory.
  • Costs 260Icon Manpower Small 260
  • Takes 30 seconds to complete

The Riflemen Squad is the core infantry unit for the Americans in Company of Heroes. Comprised of 6 men and initially carrying only semi-automatic rifles, this unit's primary advantages are its size and its low reinforcement costs. Like other core infantry units, the Riflemen Squad can receive several upgrades (all purchased at the Barracks) to enhance its combat capabilities, and eventually become a good general-purpose infantry squad.


The Americans joined World War II over two years after it has started. They brought with them a very large number of fresh soldiers who, in 1944, constituted the majority of Allied troops landing in Nazi-occupied France. This surplus of able bodies is represented in Company of Heroes through the cheap, expendable Riflemen Squad. This is the core infantry unit around which all American strategy is based, at least until American tanks begin appearing in the battlefield.

Riflemen soldiers are inferior to Axis soldiers at longer distances due to the modifiers on the weapons used. However, at medium and close ranges, a single rifleman is superior to a single basic Axis soldier such as a Volksgrenadier Squad. American commanders moving up riflemen squads aggressively establish a positive kill/death ratio, which is devastating against an Axis commander's more expensive units.

The Riflemen Squad is built at the Barracks for the price of 270Icon Manpower Small 270, 6Icon PopCap Small 6. It is a 6-man unit, and as such is one of the cheapest infantry units available to any faction, whether going by total price or by the individual cost of each Rifleman. For example one single panzer grenadier is more than the price of two riflemen (at least before the patches).

5 of the Riflemen in this squad are equipped with .30 Cal M1 Garand semi-automatic rifles, designed for long- and medium-ranged combat. The sixth member of the squad is a sergeant, carrying a field radio backpack and an M1 Carbine "short" rifle. These weapons are somewhat superior, as the Axis factions use bolt action weapons. The 6-man unit size is also a great asset, as Riflemen Squads tend to win through outnumbering their opponents. The only non-American 6-man squad in the game is the expensive (though elite) British Commandos squad.

The Riflemen Squad is designed to be able to perform many different roles on the battlefield. Aside from combat, they have the innate ability to capture Strategic Points at 150% the standard rate (i.e. 50% faster than the normal rate for most units), and can construct Observation Posts to protect captured sectors. Additional abilities, purchased as Global Upgrades from the Barracks, enable this squad to effectively engage enemy Weapon Teams, garrisoned Infantry, and even Vehicles.

Most importantly, one of these Global Upgrades can outfit the unit with Browning Automatic Rifles, providing extra firepower at all engagement ranges, and allowing the unit to suppress enemy troops.

Riflemen are individually weak in combat, and are expected to die fairly often. Fortunately, they are very cheap and fast to replace, costing only 27Icon Manpower Small 27 to reinforce a single missing man and are worth minimal experience for each man lost. The Americans have several abilities that support this way of doing battle, including massive increases to their own ManpowerIcon Manpower Small Manpower income through the Supply Yard, the use of field reinforcements through M3 Halftracks and Forward Barracks, and so on. Therefore, Riflemen Squads can put continuous pressure on the enemy through a seemingly endless supply of fresh troops.

American strategy relies on this squad to serve as the lynch-pin for both its defense and offense throughout the early and middle portion of the battle. Other units are expected to provide support fire to the Riflemen Squads as they battle to seize and protect territory. When tanks roll into the battlefield, the Americans usually switch to using them as the core units, though Riflemen are still expected to lead the charge, expose enemy units, and provide overwhelming firepower in support of those tanks.

Note that the Infantry Company Command Tree increases the importance of Riflemen Squads throughout the battle significantly. It involves them in defensive construction, and also speeds up their reinforcement rate to shorten the time they have to spend outside of combat.


When a new Riflemen Squad is created, 5 of its members are carrying .30 Cal M1 Garand semi-automatic rifles, designed to do prolonged mid-range combat with enemy units. The 6th man is carrying an M1 Carbine semi-automatic rifle, with similar properties.

The M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) Global Upgrade, purchased at the Barracks, will equip this team with two of the eponymous LMGs, which are deadly at virtually any infantry combat range, and significantly increase this unit's usefulness.

Like most other Infantry units, the Riflemen Squad can also pick up a wide variety of abandoned weapons, from automatic rifles and anti-tank launchers to heavy weapons like Mortars and Machine Guns.

.30 Cal M1 Garand[]

The .30 Cal M1 Garand is a fairly standard semi-automatic weapon. A basic Riflemen Squad carries 5 of these rifles.

This slow-firing weapon is designed to kill infantry at relatively close ranges: about 10–20 meters, where accuracy is still somewhat lacking. Each shot hitting the target delivers 10 points of damage, so it would take about 6-7 hits to kill an enemy infantryman. The firing rate of this weapon leaves something to be desired, with ~2.5 seconds between each bullet.

When compared to the standard Axis combat rifle, the Kar 98k, the M1 Garand is almost identical - except for one major difference: the Firing Rate ("Cooldown") modifier they receive based on range to target. At a range of 17 meters, about the average infantry engagement range, both M1 Garand and Kar 98k have a similar Firing Rate. However, the Kar 98k's firing rate doesn't change much with distance, while M1 Garand fires significantly slower at long range, and much faster at short range.

As a result, Riflemen Squads won't do very well in long-range combat against a basic Axis infantry unit, having a much better chance if they can close the distance. The large squad size coupled with faster firing rate will subdue such an enemy - assuming the Riflemen can cover the distance without being seriously wounded first. Of course, coming closer is usually a bad idea if the enemy is armed with close-range or rapid-firing weapons like SMGs or LMGs.

.30 Cal M1 Carbine[]

The .30 Cal M1 Carbine (no actual relation to the M1 Garand, above), is a "short" magazine-fed semi-automatic rifle. One member of the Riflemen Squad, the sergeant, carries one of these by default.

The M1 Carbine is less accurate at long range than the M1 Garand, but makes up for this with a slightly higher firing rate, and the fact that it doesn't need to be reloaded as often. This weapon also suffers a much smaller accuracy penalty while the squad is moving (the smallest penalty of all infantry weapons, actually). This gives it a slight advantage at close and medium range, where it can unload more bullets into the enemy. Unfortunately, the damage output of this weapon is also somewhat lower.

M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle[]

The M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle Global Upgrade, purchased at the Barracks, will outfit each existing and future Riflemen Squad with two of these fully-automatic magazine-fed weapons - essentially early assault rifles.

Though slightly less accurate than the M1 Garand, the Browning Automatic Rifle (or "BAR") fires 5-10 bullet bursts, making it a very deadly weapon. It can fire about 8 such bursts before having to be reloaded, and is quite fast overall anyway.

The addition of two of these weapons makes the Riflemen Squad a very good anti-infantry unit, capable of overwhelming most enemy infantry at most ranges. Though the squad will still lose out to SMG-equipped infantry at close range, it can nonetheless inflict serious casualties on the enemy. Panzer Elite, and British infantry in the event that one is lost to the enemy, however receive reduced damage from the BAR.

It's also important to note that the squad will retain the two Browning Automatic Rifles as long as at least two squad-members remain alive. Since these weapons constitute the squad's primary firepower, the loss of up to 4 infantrymen from a BAR-equipped squad does little to reduce its firepower. The enemy would have to kill at least 5 infantrymen to start making any serious dent the squad's damage output.

Furthermore, this weapon allows the unit to activate the Suppression Fire ability, which will quickly suppress and/or pin-down enemy infantry, making them easier to kill. Although rare, occasionally, if the BAR armed Riflemen Squad gets close enough to an enemy squad, the firepower from the two BARs can suppress and pin the enemy squad even without the use of the Suppression Fire capability. 

This weapon is utterly essential to ensure that Riflemen Squads are not outmatched by enemy infantry in the mid and late portions of the battle, and it is probably the first upgrade that should be pursued.

Note: When an infantryman holding a Browning Automatic Rifle is killed, and there is no other squad-member available to pick the weapon up, there is a 20% chance of the weapon being dropped and becoming abandoned. Other infantry squads (friendly or enemy) can pick this weapon up if they have at least 1 Open Weapon Slot.


The basic Riflemen Squad can only construct Observation Posts. These structures protect a Strategic Point from capture, and enhance its resource output.

The Infantry Company Command Tree can also unlock construction of four different Passive Defenses, allowing the Riflemen Squad to take over some of the defensive responsibilities of Engineer Squads by hastily constructing defenses to protect newly-captured sectors until such time that an Engineer Squad can be disposed to construct heavier defenses.

Production Observation Post Observation Post[]

  • Costs 200Icon Manpower Small 200
  • Build Time: 50 seconds

Production Barbed Wire Barbed Wire[]

  • Requires the Defensive Operations Command Upgrade from the Infantry Company Command Tree.
  • Costs nothing
  • Takes 2.5 seconds to build per piece

Barbed Wire is an anti-infantry obstacle. Infantry cannot pass through a piece of Barbed Wire, and have to go around it.

Place Barbed Wire along infantry approach routes to funnel infantry 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.

Production Sand Bags Sand Bags[]

  • Requires the Defensive Operations Command Upgrade from the Infantry Company Command Tree.
  • 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 Cover Heavy Heavy Cover, making them less vulnerable to direct damage and Suppression. And they are slightly less vulnerable to explosives and artillery fire compared to 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.

Production Tank Traps Tank Traps[]

  • Requires the Defensive Operations Command Upgrade from the Infantry Company Command Tree.
  • 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.

Most tanks are also stopped by Tank Traps, but Heavy Tanks like the Axis Panther and Tiger can crush Tank Traps quite easily by simply driving through them. Also note that your own M4 'Crocodile' Shermans upgraded with the Bulldozer can accidentally crush these traps too. Note however, that they can be destroyed not only by heavy tanks, but also by continuous artillery strikes.

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.

Unlike Wehrmacht Tank Traps and Panzer Elite Road Blocks, American Tank Traps do not provide any sort of cover to nearby units.

Production Mines Mines[]

  • Requires the Defensive Operations Command Upgrade from the Infantry Company Command Tree.
  • Costs 25Icon Munitions Small 25 per piece
  • Takes 10 seconds to build per piece

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.


Your first Riflemen Squads will have no combat abilities at all. However, up to three such abilities can be unlocked by purchasing the Global Upgrades available at the American Barracks. They expand the Riflemen Squad's combat options beyond basic infantry-to-infantry firefights, and enable them to contend against a variety of targets.

Like all other American Infantry units, the Riflemen Squad can convert ambient buildings into Forward Barracks.

Ability Throw Grenade Throw Grenade[]

  • Requires the Mk2 Grenades Global Upgrade from the Barracks
  • Costs 25Icon Munitions Small 25
  • Activation: Select Ground
  • Cooldown: 15 seconds

When the Throw Grenade ability is activated, select any point on the ground. The Riflemen Squad will move to within 15 meters of that point, whereby one of the squad members will pull out a Mk.2 "Pineapple" Hand Grenade and lob it at the target spot.

1.2 seconds after the grenade hits the target, it will explode with a damage output of 60 - enough to kill an infantryman. The radius of the explosion is 4.5 meters, though the 60-point maximum damage is inflicted only on targets on top of the grenade itself. Other targets receive diminishing damage, down to only 20 points at the outer radius. Still, there is good likelihood to instantly kill any already-injured infantryman caught within the blast radius regardless of how far away he is.

Due to the time it takes to throw the grenade, and the time it takes for it to detonate, this weapon is primarily useful against stationary targets, including infantry behind cover and inside buildings. Weapon Teams are especially susceptible to this attack, since they cannot quickly get away. In fact, this is one of the best ways to get rid of an enemy MG42 Heavy Machine Gun Team.

Note that grenades do cause damage to vehicles, and have some (small) chance of destroying a vehicle's secondary weapon (if it has one) or damage its mobility. However, actual damage is negligible to vehicles, and significantly reduced against enemy armor. It's usually better to restrict the use of grenades to infantry targets only.

Ability Throw Sticky Bomb Throw Sticky Bomb[]

  • Requires the Sticky Bombs Global Upgrade from the Barracks
  • Costs 35Icon Munitions Small 35
  • Activation: Select Vehicle (enemy)
  • Cooldown: 15 seconds

When this ability is activated, select any enemy vehicle. The Riflemen Squad will move to within 14 meters of that vehicle, and throw an explosive device at it. The explosive, wrapped in cloth and covered with a sticky material, will remain attached to the vehicle until detonation.

The fuse on the Sticky Bomb lasts 4 seconds from the moment it hits the target vehicle. When it runs out, the bomb will explode with a force of 100-150 damage points, directed entirely into the vehicle itself. Penetration is usually guaranteed, unless the vehicle is equipped with special Armor Skirts, in which case the bomb has only a 75% basic chance to penetrate the armor.

In addition to straightforward damage, the bomb is almost guaranteed to damage the target vehicle's engine or render it completely immobile. Light vehicles might be destroyed outright, regardless of how much health they have left.

The use of Sticky Bombs allows Riflemen Squads to assist in destroying enemy vehicles. By rendering vehicles motionless, it can also make them easy targets for other units, especially anti-tank units who can now fire at the target at their leisure.

Note that once the Riflemen Squad reaches Veterancy level 2, the range of this bomb is increased to 20 meters. In other words, the squad only needs to get within 20 meters of the target vehicle in order to throw this weapon (instead of the default 14 meters).

When in command of a large number of riflemen and they use the ability all at once they can penetrate even the "vastly superior German Armor e.g the Panzer IV or even a King Tiger.

Note that sticky bombs have a 100% accuarcy: once the bomb is thrown, it will go to stick to the vehicle objective, and no matter what the vehicle tries to do, the sticky bomb will find its way to the vehicle (making sometimes some very akward animations where a bomb flies in a curved direction). The only way for a vehicle to avoid being hit is to maintain enough distance from the Riflemen Squad so that they can't throw a sticky bomb.

Ability Suppression Fire Suppression Fire[]

  • Requires the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) Global Upgrade from the Barracks
  • Costs 40Icon Munitions Small 40
  • Activation: Immediate
  • Duration: 15 seconds
  • Cooldown: 20 seconds

When activated, the Suppression Fire ability acts to significantly boost the suppressive potential of all the squad's weapons - primarily the BAR's, as it is the most rapid-firing weapon this team usually holds.

This ability acts in two stages:

For the first 7.5 seconds after the ability is activated, the amount of Suppression inflicted by each shot from this team's weapons is increased by a factor of 4 (i.e. 4 times as strong as normal).

For the next 7.5 seconds, suppression is again quadrupled, giving a total of x16 the suppressive potential of the team's weapons. This will surely be enough to suppress any enemy infantry target that is not inside Cover Structural Structural Cover.

Firing rate is also doubled for the entire duration of the effect (15 seconds), meaning that the team fires twice as many bullets as it normally does. The soldiers still need to reload after the same number of bullets though, and reloading is not accelerated.

The down-side is that throughout the entire 15 seconds, the team's accuracy with each weapon is reduced to 30% of its original value, meaning that most bullets will miss. However, thanks to the doubled firing rate, this does not amount to a significant reduction of damage, so it is still quite possible to destroy or at least severely damage the enemy squad while attempting to suppress it.

This ability is extremely useful for performing "Fire-And-Maneuver" tactics: one Riflemen Squad suppresses the enemy unit(s), while another squad moves around to flank and destroy them from a different angle while they are suppressed.

Always remember that units inside Cover Structural Structural Cover are immune to Suppression.

Ability Upgrade To Barracks Upgrade to Barracks[]

  • Costs 260Icon Manpower Small 260
  • Requires the Riflemen 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 a Riflemen 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
Barracks Riflemen 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.


As an American unit, the Riflemen Squad can gain three levels of Veterancy. Each level brings its own specific benefits, increasing the unit's combat potential and/or survivability.


Like all other American units, the Riflemen 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 Riflemen Squad gains a specific set of bonuses as listed below. These bonuses are cumulative with each other.

Veterancy Riflemen Squad 0 No Veterancy:
  • Unit is at normal combat efficiency.
Veterancy Riflemen Squad 1 Level 1 Veterancy:
  • +25% accuracy with all weapons.
  • 20% harder to hit by any enemy weapon.
Veterancy Riflemen Squad 2 Level 2 Veterancy:
  • +10% accuracy with all weapons.
  • +25% resistance to Suppression.
  • +15% Damage Reduction from all sources.
  • Sticky Bomb throwing range increased from 14 to 20 meters.
Veterancy Riflemen Squad 3 Level 3 Veterancy:
  • +20% accuracy with all weapons.
  • +50% damage with all weapons.

With the above Veterancy bonuses, the squad becomes significantly more valuable as a combat unit, capable of surviving far longer in combat and delivering much more accurate firepower - especially when coupled with the Browning Automatic Rifles weapon package. The cost of reinforcing a Veteran unit does not change, it combines these strong traits with constant reinforcements to become one of the best infantry units available.


Pinpointing specific strategies for the Riflemen Squad is difficult, as this unit is supposed to perform a myriad of different roles on the battlefield. Curiously enough, this isn't through a plethora of different abilities (like the Panzer Grenadiers) or through useful upgrades (like the Infantry Section), but rather through sheer overwhelming availability: Riflemen Squads are just cheap to build and cheap to replace, outnumbering the enemy and putting constant pressure on his positions.

Therefore, at each stage of the battle, the Riflemen Squad is going to serve very different purposes, work with different units, and perform different activities. If straightforward analysis of the situation fails, you can always default to just sending masses of these infantrymen into combat and hoping they come out victorious.

The Riflemen Platoon[]

A single Riflemen Squad may outnumber the enemy, but it is not sufficiently powerful to stand up to most enemy squads once they've acquired a few abilities, especially MG42 Heavy Machine Gun Teams and other anti-infantry units. To address this problem, consider pairing your Riflemen Squads into platoons: teams of two Riflemen Squads working together.

This enables the use of "Fire-And-Maneuver" tactics, combined with the massive firepower of two infantry squads (12 men, if they fire all at the same time, they have to potential of doing 120 points of damage at the same time). One squad is charged with engaging and holding the enemy: they take cover, and begin firing their weapons at the enemy force to keep them busy. Meanwhile, the other squad maneuvers to a flanking position, opening fire at the enemy from a different angle - preferably one where the enemy does not receive protection from cover.

This two-punch move is very effective against most enemy units, and can even be useful against machine gun fire - assuming the fire team has somewhere to hide. Again, casualties are to be expected, but then this unit is very cheap to reinforce, so don't take them too seriously unless the unit has gained veterancy.

A Riflemen Platoon is less effective than a platoon made up of Panzer Grenadiers or other Axis infantry units, because it consists of only two squads, and hence is less flexible than a platoon consisting of three or even four squads. However, each squad contains 6 men, and thus is less likely to get completely wiped out while performing these maneuvers. Even if it is destroyed, replacing an entire squad is much cheaper for the Americans than it is for the Axis factions.

Platoon Support Weapons[]

Naturally, adding support Weapon Teams produced by the Weapons Support Center can significantly increase the potential of a Riflemen Platoon. First and foremost of these is the Heavy Machine Gun Team, which serves as the stationary element in the "Fire-And-Maneuver" tactic. It can actually suppress the enemy in short order, allowing the Riflemen to flank very easily.

A Mortar Team can also provide good support for a platoon - preferably two platoons at the same time (thanks to its great range). Once an enemy is suppressed, or forced to seek shelter in a building, they become an excellent target for the mortar. Additionally, smoke grenades can be used, what will greatly increase safety of the Riflemen during performing maneuvers, and allow them to flank enemy positions relatively easily. Sometimes, seemingly "harmless" smoke grenades combined with Riflemen platoon may achieve more devastating results than normal mortar bombardment.

Later on, other units can also work in support of a Riflemen Platoon, especially the M3 Halftrack (providing reinforcement, and able to ferry an entire platoon from one location to the next) and the M8 Armored Car (providing anti-vehicle firepower). Still, the basis of American infantry strategy all revolves around that basic platoon, with all other units supporting it. This persists until the introduction of the M4 Sherman tank, which (for some companies at least) then becomes the focal point of any attack.

Early-Game Tasks[]

At the start of the battle, most players will use their first Engineer Squad to immediately construct a Barracks and begin creating Riflemen Squads, which they will use to capture sectors. The alternate approach would be to use Engineer Squads (producing a few extra ones from the American Headquarters) for this task, conserving resources.

There are two main advantages in going for Riflemen Squads immediately: They capture sectors quicker (50% quicker in fact), and are much more likely to survive confrontations with enemy units once contact is made.

However, Riflemen Squads cannot effectively hold sectors against enemies without support from Engineer Squad-built Defensive Structures. So although initial encounters may be favourable, reliance on Riflemen Squads alone may easily lead to losing some sectors in subsequent enemy attacks. Naturally, this is less of a problem for the Infantry Company, which can enable basic defensive construction for Riflemen Squads.

With help from defensive structures and other support units soon to enter the field, Riflemen Squads can be very effective at defending your occupied territories well into the mid game. You can use down-times to place Observation Posts on the most valuable or vulnerable sectors - if you don't have enough Engineer Squads to take care of this task.

Remember that Riflemen Squad reinforcements are cheap, but they need to maintain strong presence along the front lines, and so can't keep retreating every time a few men die. To solve this problem, construct at least one Forward Barracks close to the most vulnerable areas along your defensive lines, and pull Riflemen Squads there for reinforcement. Do not order them to "retreat", unless they are about to be destroyed, or else they'll just run all the way back to your HQ territory.

Depending on your proficiency with infantry tactics, you may be able to construct Riflemen Platoons (see above) to actually take the fight into enemy territory. However, expect serious casualties unless you can provide ample support with other units - especially Heavy Machine Gun Teams.

Mid-Game Tasks[]

With a more solid defensive line and a wide variety of units to support them, Riflemen Squads can now lay back and defend American territory against enemy incursions. It is often best to keep the infantry behind the defensive line, so that they can rush in with great numbers and "save the day". At other times, especially in sectors where a strong defensive line has yet to be constructed, Riflemen Squads should be placed behind Sand Bags at the front, to delay the enemy while other units move in to assist.

Don't worry about losing Riflemen, and moreover don't worry about losing sectors either. In fact, it's sometimes better to entice an enemy to enter and capture a sector, only to surround and destroy him with a quick counter-attack.

Attacks on enemy territory should be more difficult at this stage, because the enemy will be defending with powerful units - usually ones that can easily oppose even large groups of Riflemen. If you have good, well-rounded groups, supported by Weapon Teams and support vehicles, you can make small advances, but don't expect too much. Alternatively, it may be a better idea to make quick, sudden land grabs with one or two squads - just go on, take a territory, and come back out as soon as possible to resume defense. Unless the enemy is quick to react, the Riflemen Squad can at least neutralize a sector in short order, thanks to their 50% faster capture speed.

Late-Game Tasks[]

Once a Tank Depot has been built, and tanks are beginning to roll off the production line, the role of Riflemen Squads is somewhat diminished. Instead of being the center of attack and defense groups, they are now themselves support units for the armor.

Due to their low cost and ample numbers, Riflemen Squads are expected to lead assault columns. They'll be the ones making first-contact with the enemy, revealing enemy units and force compositions so that the tanks can array themselves appropriately before charging in. Most importantly, the infantry are tasked with shutting down anti-tank units and gun crews before the (expensive) tanks come into their firing range. Again, expect losses among the infantry, but they are expendable. Further, using Sticky Bombs, Riflemen can cripple enemy vehicles by damaging or even destroying their engines, especially effective against late game Axis tanks, which tend to be slow to begin with. In large groups, Riflemen can even threaten the most powerful Axis vehicles by throwing Sticky Bombs en masse, though this will cost a large amount of munitions.

Again, note that for the Infantry Company, reliance on Riflemen Squads is usually warranted well into the late game. Instead of accompanying armor, the Riflemen are coupled with Ranger Squads, M4 'Crocodile' Shermans and M3 Halftracks to form a powerful fighting squad. Again, Riflemen are meant to take fire for the other units, buying them time to make flanking maneuvers. Reinforce at the Halftrack and keep pushing ahead.


Riflemen Squads have some of the weakest infantrymen in the game. Like all other infantry, they are vulnerable to pretty much any weapon, but especially any suppressive fire weapons like Machine Guns. Mortars pose a threat to infantry in cover, as do flamethrowers. The only weapon that has trouble at killing Riflemen would be an anti-tank gun, though even these are sometimes accurate enough to just snipe out your infantry one-by-one.

However, as stated repeatedly during this article, Riflemen are some of the cheapest infantry available to any faction. They are expendable, and should be treated as such. That doesn't mean throwing them right into the chaos and letting God sort them out, but rather that you should count on reinforcing them after the battle, rather than saving every man. Don't retreat until you're about to lose a squad. Keep the Riflemen between the enemy and your other units - which are invariably more valuable than the Riflemen themselves.


When selected:

After completed reinforcing:

When issued with move order:

When Constructing Structures:

When issued halt order:

When entering a building:

When selected in combat:

Quotes about capturing:

When capturing abandoned heavy weapon:

When wounded and under fire:

When wounded and issued with attack order:

After destroying enemy unit:

After destroying enemy unit, when wounded:

When issued with attack vehicle order:

When ordered to build passive defenses:

When pinned:

When planting mines:

Selected, when wounded:

While throwing sticky bomb:

When activating suppressing fire, not in battle:



In the first tutorial mission sergeant of the Rifleman Squad will use a M1 Thompson instead of a M1 Carbine.