Stuart Light Tank
A Stuart, sitting on a rainy beach
|Upkeep per Minute||-5.5|
|Prereq.||At least one Captain on the field|
|Produced By||Field Support Truck|
|Primary armament||M6 37mm Gun|
1x M1919A4 Coaxial Machine-gun|
1x 7.92mm Besa Machine-gun
|Max. Speed||6.5 m/s|
The Stuart Light Tank or Stuart is a light tank fielded by the British in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. Extremely fast and impervious to small-arms, it can perform reconnaissance, harass enemy lines, and intercept exposed enemy vehicles. In a tight spot, the Stuart Light Tank can fire a special round to kill large groups of infantry instantly.
The Stuart Light Tank is an optional but interesting addition to British forces. One of the first tanks to become available during a battle, it serves a role that is normally reserved for armoured cars: skirmishing with enemy units and intercepting them behind enemy lines. Naturally, since it is a tank, it has several advantages in this role that most armoured cars do not.
The Stuart Light Tank is produced from the Field Support Truck for the price of 280, 45. Production requires a Captain to exist on the battlefield. The Stuart normally becomes available relatively early in the battle, and provides the British with an uncharacteristic fast-attack force, something no other British units are really designed for.
A Stuart Light Tank is remarkably fast for a tank, being about as fast as an SdKfz 251 Half-track. It is armed with a 37mm cannon, which is a good anti-vehicle weapon which can take out a Half-track with a couple of shots, and actually has enough Penetration to hurt the rear armor of enemy tanks. The cannon also has the additional though expensive ability to fire a Canister Round, which will kill any infantry within a target area. The tank also features two separate Light Machine Guns which are used for suppressing and killing infantry.
Armor-wise, the Stuart can withstand fire from most non-anti-tank weapons quite well. Its rear armor is a little lighter, and from that direction it can be hurt by light cannons like the 20mm gun on an armoured car. However, even heavy machine guns will do virtually no damage to a Stuart.
Overall, the Stuart Light Tank is expected to give a mobile defense against other fast-moving vehicles and large infantry groups, during the period where the British defensive line is incomplete and vulnerable to surprise flankings. Their speed allows them to react to these attacks wherever they occur.
Once the defensive line is complete, the Stuart's function changes considerably, since it is normally not required for defense any longer. Instead, it can be used to harass enemy lines and provide reconnaissance information about enemy defenses, or to go out and intercept enemy vehicles and infantry that expose themselves to attack or if the front line is breached it can be used as a counter attack unit.
The Stuart Light Tank is armed with three separate weapons. Its turret carries the primary M6 37mm Gun, a light anti-tank cannon. Mounted co-axially with the cannon is an M1919A4 Light Machine-gun. Another Light Machine Gun, a Besa 7.92mm, is mounted at the front of the hull.
M6 37mm Gun Edit
The M6 37mm Gun is a light anti-tank cannon. While not sufficiently powerful to penetrate the front armor of any medium (or larger) tank, it is quite potent against all other vehicles. The gun has a range of 40 meters, which is just beyond the tank's sight-range.
The explosion of the 37mm shell causes 50 damage per hit. However it is only 1 meter in radius, making them poor anti-infantry weapons.
Besa 7.92mm, M1919A4 Light Machine Guns Edit
The Stuart Light Tank has two Light Machine Guns installed.
One of these is an M1919A4, which is mounted coaxially on the turret. Hence, it will fire at whichever target the gun is pointing at. The other weapon is a Besa 7.92mm, mounted on the front of the hull. It too will fire forward, but only in the direction the hull is pointing at.
The two weapons are almost identical in all their properties, with a slightly better firing rate for the M1919A4. Nonetheless, these two weapons are good for suppressing enemy infantry, and will kill infantry if fired continuously.
The Stuart Light Tank has surprisingly few special abilities. Barring Company Commander upgrades, it has only one: the ability to fire a Canister Shot. Like other tanks, they can utilize the Royal Engineers Support company's Hull Down ability.
Fire Canister Round Edit
When Fire Canister Round is activated, select a target enemy infantry. The tank's main cannon will, almost instantly, fire a special shell at the target. This shell breaks into many small pellets as it leaves the cannon, and the pellets will instantly kill any infantry (including garrisoned infantry) caught within 4 meters of the targeted infantry unit.
The range of this shot is 30 meters. If the targeted infantry is further than 30 meters away, the Stuart Light Tank will first move to within 30 meters of the target before firing.
The Canister Round will cause damage to light vehicles within its blast radius, but should not be expected to destroy them entirely. Armored vehicles and buildings will avoid damage entirely.
Use this ability whenever you spot a large group of infantry huddled together in a small amount of space for a massive rain of death. It can also be used to quickly dispose of a weapon crew threatening the Stuart or any other friendly unit (with the extra bonus of being able to then capture the weapon intact).
Be careful using this ability when the Stuart is about to die, as the game seems to crash if the Stuart uses it while it is Out of Control.
Hull Down PositionEdit
- Costs: Nothing
- Prerequisite: Royal Engineers Support: Hull Down
- Activation: Immediate
- Cooldown: 9 seconds (activate/deactivate)
Once the "Hull Down" ability has been purchased on the Royal Engineers Support Field Improvements chart, it becomes available for all Stuart Light Tanks until the end of the mission.
To activate this ability, simply click it. The tank becomes immobile as sand bags barricades are erected all around it. The tank can continue firing while this is being accomplished.
Once the process is complete (9 seconds), the tank will have traded its mobility for increased defense. The tank's armor is increased by 25%, and it takes only 75% damage from any source.
To release the Stuart Light Tank from Hull Down Position, simply click the button again. This is only possible once the tank has been fully entrenched - you cannot stop the entrenching process halfway-through. As soon as the button is clicked, the tank is released immediately from the sandbags (which disappear) and may drive off at once.
A Stuart Light Tank can receive only one upgrade, same as all other British tanks: A Tank Crew Commander.
Tank Crew Commander Edit
When this upgrade is complete, the top hatch of the Stuart Light Tank will open, and a crewman will pop his head out to look around. This commander increases the sight-range of the tank to exactly 45 meters, from its original 35.
The sight-range increase effectively allows the tank to survey enemy troop positions without being detected (since most units and emplacements in the game have a sight-range of only 35 meters).
This is an extremely crucial upgrade for the Stuart, given its role as a reconnaissance vehicle. It barely costs anything too.
During the mid-early game, British forces have already constructed a fair infantry force, captured several sectors, and are building a strong defensive line to protect them. A Field Support Truck is on the field, and has created a Captain to oversee and augment the defensive construction. At this point, however, the enemy is likely already gearing up for its first serious advance, with combined infantry and light-vehicles. This is where a Stuart Light Tank will come in handy. Placed a little behind your defensive line, it can quickly rush to reinforce any sector coming under anything more than a light attack - especially where enemy vehicles or large masses of infantry are involved. It can even pre-emtively patrol ahead of your lines to detect the enemy before they can reach you, allowing you to mass up your forces where needed, and perhaps destroying an enemy unit before retreating back to your territory.
Later on, when better, stronger tanks and fearsome defensive emplacements have been created, the Stuart Tank is no longer needed for defensive operations. At this time it can be delegated entirely to performing scouting missions into enemy territory: locating weak points in their defense or even attacking exposed enemy units with hit-and-run tactics.
Eventually, the enemy will likely reinforce his lines with stronger anti-tank capabilities, at which point the Stuart can't prove enemy lines without risking outright destruction. It can then be used to support your force-advances into enemy territory, by quickly flanking the enemy and opening fire at their weaker units or massed infantry positions.
Stage 1: Defensive Support Edit
During the early defensive stage of the British strategy, the Stuart Light Tank is virtually the only mobile unit that can engage enemy vehicles. This is before tanks appear, but enemy armoured cars and half-tracks will certainly pose a danger to your defensive construction infantry and preliminary anti-infantry emplacements.
Keep your Stuart Light Tanks in a location where they can quickly respond to any enemy attack along your defensive line. The Stuarts can provide potent anti-vehicle fire in any sector that requires it within seconds of an attack. It can also hunt down enemy units firing at your defensive line from a distance, such as Mortar teams or rocket-equipped SdKfz 251 Half-tracks.
If you have the Hull Down ability, use it whenever coming up against anti-tank infantry or well-armed vehicles. Without tanks, the enemy cannot yet harm your Stuarts significantly when they are in hull-down mode. Do remember that the front machine-gun would be locked in a forward-facing position, and can only fire at enemies directly in front of the Stuart.
Stage 2: Scouting and Interception Edit
Once their defensive line is constructed and secure, they should begin constructing a heavier offensive arm in preparation for advancement on the enemy's territory. During this time, the Stuart Light Tank can provide its services ahead of the line, running scouting and interception missions in enemy territory.
Scouting is the Stuart's moment to shine. With a Tank Crew Commander upgrade, it can see 10 meters further than most units, and so can drive around to chart enemy emplacements and the location of Weapon Teams. This will reveal weak spots in the enemy's defenses that can later be exploited when the British forces advance against them. This information will often prove invaluable, but always be sure to keep the tank itself out of harm's way. Since the enemy cannot see you at this distance, you have the advantage of being absolutely safe as long as you keep your distance. Also stay away from enemy resource points, as they have their own sight radius.
In case you spot a weak enemy position, like a mass of unprotected or garrisoned infantry, or a vehicle sitting alone somewhere, feel free to engage it with the Stuart in a hit-and-run attack. The Canister Round ability can be very useful here, to take out a lot of infantry troops with a single, lightning-fast strike. Again, this is hit-and-run, so make sure to withdraw as soon as the enemy realizes what you're doing, and never stay too long in one spot.
Stage 3: Flanking Attacks Edit
Later in the battle, the enemy will have already fielded several armor and anti-tank units which pose a significant threat to the Stuart, as they can take it out with one or two hits. At this point, scouting becomes next to impossible, as stumbling across an enemy unit in bad circumstances will get your Stuart killed very quickly.
This doesn't make the Stuart Light Tank obsolete though. During an assault on an enemy sector, you can use the Stuart to flank the enemy, thanks to its great speed. It can go around the enemy position and come up behind them to use its main gun or Canister Shot ability to take out any vulnerable target, then withdraw to avoid being destroyed.
This is even useful when flanking enemy tanks: the Stuart can easily maneuver behind a tank and attack its rear armor, where the Stuart's shells have some chance of penetrating it and causing damage. Do remember to keep the enemy tank engaged with your heavier units, or it will destroy the Stuart rather easily.
Again, never forget the Canister Shot: if an enemy position, Weapon Team or garrisoned emplacement is halting your advance, a Stuart can usually flank it and shower it with pellets, instantly clearing a relatively large area of all infantry within it. This can turn a slow, costly assault into a quick and painless affair in a matter of seconds.
Always remember that the Stuart Light Tank is a light tank. Its armor may stop small arms and machine gun fire, but it is not invulnerable to larger cannons. Tanks can cause it serious damage, and the many German anti-tank weapons can take a Stuart out with a single shot or, at most, two - even to the front armor. Always remember to use the sight-range advantage to scout ahead before committing to an attack.
"Alright, let's go chaps!"
"We're under attack!"
"They're getting close sir!"
Moving in combat
"Move this bloody thing!"
When selected multiple times in quick succession
"Gunner, aim the turret at that camera in the sky"