T17 Armored Car
|Role||Medium scout vehicle|
|Upkeep per Minute||-6.91|
|Produced By||Motor Pool|
|Primary armament||M6 37mm Gun|
|Secondary armament||Browning .30 Cal MG|
|Max. Speed||6.4 m/s|
In July of 1941, seeking to replace their stock of overly light and under-armed M3 Scout Cars, the United States Military decided on an ambitious program to replace all of them- the light 6x4 T22, the medium 6x6 T17, and the heavy 8x8 T18. However, observers in Europe and Africa quickly came to the realization that the 37mm gun used on all these vehicles were no longer suitable for fighting armor, and a vehicle more directly suited to recon was preferred.
With a better engine, simpler transmission, and 4x4 drivetrain replacing the more unweildy 6x6, the T17 project was given some life again as the T17E1 (the very vehicle featured in Company of Heroes)- however, the U.S. Army still judged it as too large and expensive for their planned use, therefore the T17 wasn't accepted for service by the United States Army, which instead decided on full production of the T22 as the M8.
Despite this, the vehicle was produced in medium quantity and issued to the United Kingdom, various Commonwealth states, and minor Allied powers such as Honduras or Brazil. Given that only the American Military Police used the Staghound (and an unarmed version at that), the vehicle is totally ahistorical in American service in-game. While perhaps it's being commanded by troops from one of the powers that uses it (such as Canada), this is unlikely given the radioman's deep southern accent.
The T17 Armored Car is a cheap, early vehicle with medium armor and vehicle-fighting capabilities and a good engine, allowing it to quickly move across the battlefield. It is armed with a light 37mm cannon as well as a hull-mounted Machine Gun.
As the Armored Car is one of the first armored vehicles available to a U.S. Army commander, its use is largely dictated by the timing of the first vehicle's deployment. If the T17 is constructed before the Sturm Armory or Panzer-Jäger Kommand, then it will become a temporary main-line vehicle, while if constructed afterwards, it will fit in as a general-utility support vehicle, using its diverse range to lend a hand to various other units in the U.S. Army.
If constructed early, the Staghound should be treated like a miniature tank- clearing out fortifications and vehicles on the battlefield, as well as forcing any Infantry without Anti-Tank support to either retreat or die. In this regard it is an acceptable, though not exceptional vehicle- without any upgrades or abilities specifically kit for Infantry, it will have worse performance in terms of killing power compared to practically all of the other Armored Cars (or the Stuart), made up for somewhat in the main gun's high firing rate.
However, the White Phosphorous ability and fast cannon mean light vehicles fighting with the Axis at this point, Halftracks in particular, are in serious danger- with the ability slowing them down and disabling their ability to fight back, the Staghound can quickly and safely destroy almost any light vehicle- even later game light vehicles like the Light AT Halftrack can be quickly shredded by the main gun.
A Staghound produced later will fill various support roles, with its strengths lending to efficient capabilities in multiple duties. Its speed and solid sight radius (especially with Veterancy) make it an ideal reconnaissance vehicle- strong enough to take some hits and still able to track enemies and give vision to support weapons and Snipers. The fast-firing gun and low cost of the vehicle make it a very good Infantry support vehicle, able to easily deal with enemy Infantry, especially the MG42, a weapon as deadly against infantry as it is harmless against the Staghound.
Finally, the Staghound truly shines as a supporting vehicle in a Tank-Hunting team- using the White Phosphorous rounds on an enemy Tank will do little damage on its own, but the effects on its speed and accuracy will allow an AT Gun, M10, or M18 time to approach and fire on an enemy Panzer, while the enemy vehicle will be unable to respond in kind.
With all this in mind, the T17, like its Vanilla counterpart, is a well-rounded and effective vehicle that should be produced as soon as possible and in as large quantity as possible, especially under Armor Company, which gives several additional bonuses to the vehicle. As such, quick construction of a Motor Pool should nearly always be a priority as a U.S. Army Commander.
As any American unit, the Staghound gets experience for Veterancy from direct kills in combat (though none from assisting others). When destroyed, even if replaced with Allied War Machine, the Veterancy is lost. These bonuses are cumulative.
Vet 1: Sandbags add-on - Health bonus +50 (315 in total)
Vet 2: Sight-radius (x 1.3)
Vet 3: Accuracy improved (x 1.15)
Every level of Veterancy is very useful to the staghound- the Sandbags will lower enemy penetration values just a touch, Health, Sight Radius, and Accuracy bonuses (which also effect the MG) are all direct and obvious upgrades- a Veterancy 3 Staghound becomes a low-cost armored sniper, able to take out Infantry and light vehicles very quickly from a distance.
The Staghound only has one ability, the White Phosphorous Round. This ability, however, is rather significant to the vehicle.
White Phosphorus Rounds
- Fires a white phosphorus round at an enemy vehicle, temporarily disabling it.
- Costs 40 Munitions
The White Phosphorus round, also known as "Willy-Pete", is a simple ability- when an enemy vehicle is targeted, the next shot fired (with almost perfect accuracy but nearly no damage) fills up that vehicle with smoke, making the weapon far less accurate and making it almost unable to move. This effect only lasts for a few seconds.
This ability is very potent and should be used essentially any time the munitions are available for it. The ability to take a vehicle essentially out of battle for a short is useful in almost every occasion, particularly when said vehicle is in battle- a second of your side firing on the enemy vehicle can easily send it to the grave.
In a fair fight, this makes the Staghound a potent light vehicle killer, potentially able to destroy even an upgraded Puma. In an unfair fight where the Staghound is facing a vehicle it cannot reliably penetrate or damage, like the Panther, it allows friendly units to either retreat safely or quickly deal some damage to the tank, though the associated risk of getting the Staghound close enough should be noted.
Finally, the last obvious use of the ability is desperation in survival. A Staghound that's nearly been destroyed by an enemy vehicle can blind it and attempt to quickly escape.
- A pair of T17s will be able to keep an enemy vehicle blind full-time, though at an astronomical munitions cost. If you are drowning in Munitions- though in a competitive game you usually won't be- this can be an effective way to indefinitely knock an enemy vehicle out of the fight.
- 20mm guns do very low damage to the Staghound, especially after the first rank of Veterancy, making it a very good unit to deal with Flakvierlings or un-upgraded Pumas. Be advised that these units still have enough penetration power to effortlessly do damage to the sides and back of the vehicle.
- The Panzer Elite fears the Staghound- Their array of light vehicles are easily trashed by the T17's fast-firing gun, and most of their heavier vehicles are particularly susceptible to the WP round's blind effect. The poor old Hotchkiss without the gun upgrade will practically always lose to the Staghound!
- The WP round is most dangerous against Assault Guns and Tank Destroyers- being practically unable to turn the vehicle or make hits at long range takes away all of the advantages the vehicles have and allows units to close up and flank.
- Rangers or Recoilless Rifle-equipped Airborne plus a Staghound are a cheap mobile tank-hunting force. The Staghound can blind the enemy vehicle, allowing the Infantry to quickly close and put shots off. Meanwhile, the T17 can do some additional damage or clear out threatening Infantry.
- The Staghound is the heaviest vehicle that can make use of the Raid ability from Armor Company, and the heaviest unit overall that can capture points in general. Use this to safely take points that would be dangerous for other units to take, due to MG fire, Mortars, etc.
The T17 is a jack of all trades yet a master of none. While versatile, a more specialized unit will be able to do any of its individual roles better- there are better Infantry Support vehicles, better "miniature tanks", better light Tank killers, better quick-response vehicles, all in the Staghound's price range and timing. The T17 will almost always underperform compared to a specialist, especially without Veterancy, so in games where few of its roles come in handy, it will be considerably less effective.
Enemy vehicles of almost any kind can shred a Staghound, especially if the Armored Car is unable to effectively use its White Phosphorous ability for one reason or another. Alone, the Staghound only has a hope in fighting light vehicles- even with the ability in use, the second a Panzer gets its sight back, the Staghound is usually dead. AT guns can also do the job on the vehicle, killing it in one or two hits on average.
Anti-Tank Infantry are the biggest threat of all to the Staghound- unable to be blinded or flanked or killed in short order, the Staghound's only recourse in dealing with Panzerschreck-equipped units is simply to run away and hope the rockets being fired at it don't outright destroy it.
Mines (outside of the Teller Mines) will usually not outright kill a Staghound, but cripple its engine, making it easy for another unit to finish the job.
Compared to the M8 Greyhound Edit
- Higher fire rate with the main gun
- White Phosphorous rounds
- Slightly better armor and HP
- Requires no upgrades
- Better use of doctrines- more cohesion with Rangers/Airborne and better Raid utility
- Different profile- Easier to hit from the front, harder to hit from the sides
- Veterancy kit for general use rather than vehicle combat in particular
- More expensive (10 fuel) and longer to produce
- No ability to lay Mines
- No .50 cal for suppression
- Less penetration power with the main gun
- Higher munitions upkeep for an active vehicle
Generally speaking, the T17 performs stronger as a supporting unit than as an independent unit versus the M8 (which is better on its own but not quite as versatile supporting), which should be the deciding factor in the choice- a player focusing on heavier direct use should pick the Greyhound and a player focusing on support use should pick the Staghound.
In terms of factions, the Greyhound, with its better penetration and specific strength against Infantry-based AT performs better against the Wehrmacht whereas the Staghound's ability to shred light vehicles lends itself well against the Panzer Elite, though both vehicles also have advantages against the opposite faction as well.
Overall, the choice should come down to simple playstyle and preference as both units are essentially of the same value in most games.