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Special Operations are a kind of tactics commanders may use in order to win over the enemy. Special operations are concentrated around the use of infantry units that operate behind enemy lines in order to achieve a specific objective.

Preparation[]

Before any special operation can be launched, the commander must have a clear objective in head and prepare for it. A clear objective is perhaps the most vital element for the success of the operation because it will dictate what type of infantry are to be used. The ideal objective should not be something very large, such as destroying the whole enemy base, but should instead be something that will support the commander's rush into victory. Here are some example of objectives:

  • Neutralizing field artillery pieces: if the enemy is constantly annoying you with artillery (such as the M2 105 mm howitzer or the 25 Pounder), it might be a good idea to send in a small group of infantry with the sole objective of neutralizing it.
  • Softening the enemy force: if a commander is preparing for a major offensive, it may be a good idea to send in some skirmishing infantry to destroy some enemy vehicles or defensive emplacements.
  • Capturing a strategic point: the enemy may have particularly exposed strategic point(s) that, if captured, could cut off large portions of their territory. Taking fuel and munition points also hurts the enemy's economy. Either way, threatening points that the enemy once thought was safe can wreak havoc on their strategy as they are forced to respond or watch your troops take their points one by one.

Units[]

Special operations should mainly consist of infantry, ideally with a high level of veterancy. The commander must know what type of enemy they are up against in order to be able to ideally prepare and equip its soldiers. The commander must acknowledge the fact that their infantry will not benefit from the support of heavier units such as tanks and must equip their soldiers to deal with all situations. The only way for these units to survive is through heavy firepower and high mobility. Never should a commander send only one squad of infantry behind enemy lines and expect that unit to deal any significant damage. At least 3 squads of infantry should be used. Ideally, all units are either equipped with automatic weapons or anti-tank rocket launchers. Automatic weapons can make short work of enemy infantry encountered and the team has less chances of being bogged down in prolonged firefights, which can take away the element and surprise and let the enemy commander counter the operation. Weapon teams (such as mortar and HMGs) aren't suggested because they take time to set up, which hinders mobility.

Here are some ideas for good infantry special ops team:

  • Volksgrenadiers and Grenadiers: Volksgrenadiers can be equipped with MP40s, which greatly multiplies their firepower while grenadiers can be equipped with up to 2 panzerschrecks, dealing serious damage to enemy armor. Ideally, 3 MP40-equipped volks squads to deal with enemy infantry and 2 panzerschreck-equipped grenadier squads form the special ops team.
  • Panzergrenadiers: they form perhaps one of the best special operations teams as they can be equipped with a various amount of weapons. It is suggested that all teams be equipped with MP44s or panzerschrecks. Group zeal and increased squad sizes should also be purchased as it will increase their survivability. Infantry Halftracks can seat up to 2 panzer grenadier squads and transport them quickly to their target while protecting them from suppression and enemy fire (especially useful when driving past MG bunkers) and providing reinforcements and firepower, but may have trouble getting through difficult terrain or narrow passages.
  • Fallschirmjaeger (only if using Luftwaffe Tactics) : Fallschirmjaegers can be directly inserted behind enemy lines, which means that the commander doesn't need to find a way to insert them (insertion will be dealt with later). Their passive camouflage ability will also make them harder to find, hence increasing their survivability and time of operation. FG42s will make short work of any infantry encountered. However, they lack heavy anti-tank firepower to counter any real threats to armor (panzerfausts aren't ideal as they tend to cost munitions and a have a slower reload time).
  • Stormtroopers: stormtroopers are also great soldiers for special operations because they can be equipped with the dreaded MP44s and panzerschrecks. Plus, their camouflage ability lets them sneak behind enemy lines or disengage, hide and rest. This ability will also let them directly sneak up to the enemy without anyone ever noticing before disappearing into the shadows again.
  • Rangers: Rangers are both equipped with automatic Thompson SMGs and M1 bazookas, which make them very flexible and useful in the special operation role. Their "fire-up" ability will also let them break free of suppression and keep on fighting.
  • Paratroopers: U.S. Airborne troops have the advantage of being able to be directly dropped anywhere on the map. Their recoilless rifles can also let them counter enemy armor with relative ease. They can also throw satchel charges to destroy enemy buildings and fortifications. However, their lack of automatic weapons can be a problem.
  • Commandos: Being commandos, they are the most suited unit for special operations. However, it takes seven command points before the commander can unlock the commando's full potential. For more information about using commandos, refer to this article.
  • Engineers/Pioneers/Sappers: most of these units are weak in combat (except sappers with PIATs), but they have one major advantage: the ability to build emplacements. These emplacements can be used to harass the enemy and create roadblocks (imagine how would the enemy commander feel if there were tank traps, barbed wire, MG bunkers in his backyard).
  • Snipers: when camouflaged they can be used to scout ahead of your main force, and help take out weapon teams and other small squads in a pinch. Make sure to turn off free-fire to not alert the enemy too early!

Insertion[]

After the commander has fixed his objective and deemed special operations a viable solution to his plan, it is time to insert his men. Insertion has a very important pre-phase: force build-up

Force Build-up[]

The commander must find the appropriate units that will compose his spec-ops team. If a squad is designated to play a spec-ops role, than the commander must not use it for other purposes during the force build-up (unless it's really necessary). Remember that one squad is rarely enough to accomplish a mission. If the unit chose has the ability to be sent directly behind enemy lines (such as paratroopers), than the commander must make sure these units remain hidden until enough of them are together (e.g. wait for 2-3 paratrooper squads to be assembled before launching the mission). If the units selected cannot be directly inserted, than just make sure they remain at the base.

Insertion[]

When a team is travelling to reach an objective, it is best if the enemy commander has no idea that such a thing is happening. This can be done by avoiding strategic points (don't get too near them as they reveal a small portion of the map) and enemy emplacements like bunkers.


Execution[]

Artillery pieces: may be guarded by MG bunkers. Use suppression breaking abilities and run like hell to get around their cone of fire, then grenade them and the artillery piece. Panzer Elite's incendiary grenades are especially deadly to bunkers (but with long recharge time), just be careful to not burn yourself. Satchel Charges are also a much more explosive solution if you manage to get close enough to throw them. Demolition Charges planted by engineer units take a long time to place, but are almost guaranteed to destroy anything they are placed against. Anti-tank weapons also work on buildings, so get them to target MG bunkers and artillery.

Softening enemy forces: since your team is generally small, try to pick off individual (or even better, weakened) units hanging around their territory or enroute to battle away from the enemy's main force, destroy them, then get out of there before the enemy can retaliate. Always know your strengths and weaknesses, and that means don't engage armor if you have weak (or no) anti tank weapons since they can chase down your infantry.

Capturing strategic points: once you are deep behind enemy lines, spread out and start capturing as much as possible to confuse the enemy. The objective here is not to fight, so run away if you encounter significant resistance and just find another point to capture. Beware of mines, booby traps, and MG emplacements placed at capture points by a clever opponent since they can cause huge casualties. Be vigilant of Artillery as the enemy may try to use artillery strikes, on or off map, to drive you away from their points.

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