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The United States is the second Allied army to be added to Company of Heroes 2. Added in The Western Front Armies expansion, the US faction emphasizes versatility and flexibility, designed to bend but not break under enemy pressure. The USA played an essential role in the Second World War, in providing invaluable resources and equipment as well as pitting their troops against the Wehrmacht. With the combined effort of the Allies, they eventually to defeat the Axis.
The US Forces are even more versatile than the Soviets or Ostheer Wehrmacht, with many upgrades allowing them to take on many unit types, though not quite as effectively as some more specialized units. Bazookas, for example, give infantry the means to hold their own against lightly armored vehicles but must be massed and/or flanking to take on medium and heavy tanks. BARs, while having a lower rate of fire than the MG42 LMG, can be fired on the move at an accuracy penalty. The M4A3 Sherman is an effective medium tank superior to the T-34/76 overall but can switch between standard AP rounds for armor or HE rounds for infantry.
US Buildings, Units and VehiclesEdit
Riflemen, Rear Echelon Troops, Mortar Team, and WC 54 Ambulance can be produced immediately from the Barracks. The Barracks can also unlock the Bazooka and BAR weapon racks as well as Mk. 2 Pineapple grenades. The units in the other buildings must be unlocked by purchasing the following units:
The Lieutenant (200 50 ) for the Platoon command post, unlocking the replacement Lieutenant (if the US player loses his Lieutenant, same for other officers), the M20 Utility Car, the M2HB.50 cal machine gun team and the M5A1 Stuart light tank. The Lieutenant's squad itself is a valuable asset, as he comes equipped with 1 bazooka, ideal for the early infantry game.
The Captain (200 60 ) for the company command post, unlocking the replacement Captain, the M1 57mm Anti-tank gun, the M1 75mm Pack Howitzer and the M15A1 AA Half-track. The Captain's squad can be upgraded to use 1 BAR, which costs 60 munitions, countering the vehicles that will inevitably arrive in the middle game.
The Major (240 120 ) for the Battalion Command Post, unlocking the replacement Major, the M4A3 Sherman Medium Tank, the M36 'Jackson' Tank Destroyer and the M8A1 howitzer motor carriage. The Major has three useful abilities, similar to a Wehrmacht officer in Company of Heroes: he can order a recon flight in his vicinity, an artillery barrage, and can act as a retreat point for American units, effectively providing a forward retreat point and reinforcement point with an ambulance parked nearby. It is however a very fragile three man squad, so do not place them in danger unless necessary, preferably when they've picked up weapons from the racks.
Teching is quite straightforward and syncs well with the progressing of the battle, given the Lieutenant's BARs for early infantry skirmishes, the Captain's Bazooka for vehicles, and the Major's recon and artillery to stop late game combined-arms pushes.
Rear Echelon Troops are most similar to the other factions' engineer. They are weaker than both Axis factions engineer troops at mid to close quarters combat but stronger at long range. Unlike other factions engineers they do not have demolition capabilities or weapon upgrades, except for the flamethrower with Rifle Company. They are effective in heavy cover (where they can use their Volley Fire ability more effectively) and in fighting positions (where they will be equipped with rifle grenades), but not anywhere else. They are used to build munitions and fuel caches as well as tank traps, barbed wire, sandbags, and fighting positions.
Riflemen are the quintessential infantry of the US Army. Well-trained with above average numbers, they are less accurate at long range than their counterparts but make up with a higher rate of fire and superior medium/close range effectiveness. They aren't very powerful by themselves, but they can receive a variety of upgrades form the various command posts including the BAR and Bazooka which can be acquired at a weapon rack for 60 munitions. Alternately, if Infantry Company or Tactical Support Company is taken the Riflemen squad can equip an M1919A6 light machine gun for 70 munitions from the weapon rack at base effectively turning it into an excellent defensive infantry counter. They have many other support abilities and can become the center of any strategy the US Forces can employ. At veterancy 1, they gain their anti-tank snare in the form of a rifle grenade.
The 81mm Mortar Team is comparable to mortars of other factions and provides the US Forces with early indirect fire support. Like other mortars, they are vulnerable to enemies at close direct combat. Like the other mortars, this unit can drop a barrage of high explosive shells on the enemy or smoke shells to block line of sight.
The WC 54 3/4 ton Ambulance will heal nearby infantry and allow reinforcement, but only in a friendly sector that is not in combat. It can be ordered to disembark its medics, who can automatically heal nearby infantry. It is an ideal complement to the Major's 'retreat point' ability. Keep it away from combat as it lacks weapons and is extremely fragile, its pathetic armor is easily penetrated and a direct cannon hit from most armored vehicles or AT guns will kill it; even most small arms fire can destroy it in short order.
The M20 Utility Car is an M8 Greyhound Armored car with the turret removed and replaced with a ring-mounted .50 cal. machine gun. It isn't the most effective unit on the battlefield, but most enemy infantry will be helpless until they start rolling out AT assets. The machine gun can also target and bring down enemy aircraft. It's crew can disembark the vehicle and deploy a Bazooka, giving it flexibility when dealing with different enemies. Be cautious about when and where to consider disembarking the crew, as the vacant vehicle can be easily taken by enemy infantry.
The M2HB .50 cal Machine Gun Team is less mobile than its Soviet counterparts, but it makes up for it in its vastly superior firepower: capable of suppressing then rapidly killing enemy infantry. It also has a wide firing arc. The M2HB can also effectively damage light vehicles making it an effective counter to enemy light vehicle rushes, except for the Panzer II Luchs light tank.
The M5A1 Stuart Light Tank is suitable for mid-game light armor combat, and is arguably the best light tank in the game. Able to take on light targets and either blind or shock heavy vehicles, it is effective against multiple types of enemy units. However, its thin armor makes it very vulnerable to any form of AT firepower and like other light tanks, cannot go toe to toe with heavier armor without support.
The M1 57mm Anti-Tank Gun isn't the most powerful one out there, but it's light weight, and it has comfortable traversal speed and rate of fire and is cheaper than a few other AT guns. It can deal considerable damage to light and medium vehicles. When faced with heavy tanks, the 57mm can temporarily activate an 'APDS Rounds' ability, in which the crew will begin to use rarer tungsten-shell sabot rounds at the cost of some munitions. These higher-velocity can reliably penetrate medium tanks, inflicting higher damage, and will be able to offer a threat to heavy tanks.
The M1 75mm Pack Howitzer has dubious accuracy, but has excellent firepower, making it an excellent alternative to the mortars that the Soviets or Ostheer may access. As of the April 1st update, the Pack Howitzer's shells inflict light suppression on enemy infantry.
The M15A1 AA Half-Track provides the USF with anti-air capabilities. Armed with two .50 cal machine guns and a 37mm autocannon, the M15A1 can suppress infantry and challenge light vehicles in addition to defeating enemy aircraft. A unique detail of the M15A1 is that the AA casemate is built to face out from the rear of the vehicle, and the halftrack will often need to turn in order to bring its armaments to bear - be wary, as shells striking the back end of the vehicle will still inflict additional rear armor damage.
The M4A3 Sherman is less expensive than its Axis counterparts (but more expensive than the T-34/76) and can be produced in larger numbers. The Sherman's 75mm M3 Gun is capable of engaging light vehicles but begins to struggle against medium armor unless flanking--for this the more capable M36 'Jackson' is required. It's highly capable against enemy Infantry - especially tight clusters of enemy squads - when switched over to HE Ammunition. The Sherman also has a lower penalty for firing on the move, making it suitable for skirmishing and harassment tactics. The US Mechanized Company allows the M4A3 Sherman to be upgraded with a bulldozer like the 105mm Sherman, but keeping it's 75mm gun, and allows normal M4A3 Sherman to be upgraded to use the M1 76mm gun, increasing it's firepower to equal the "Easy Eight" Sherman and the German tanks.
The M36 'Jackson' uses a 90mm gun to challenge any and all Axis vehicles that the US Forces may encounter, including the heaviest enemy tanks. This expensive unit has impressive range and even more impressive anti-tank abilities, the 90mm rounds are particularly devastating while flanking. Keep it a long distance away from enemy units to avoid return fire and watch out for enemy assault guns such as the Jagdpanzer or Stug III and beware of Jagdtigers or Elefants.
The M8A1 Gun Motor Carriage is basically a howitzer that does not require men to pick it up to move it around. It is highly effective against infantry, able to target and fire on targets behind hedgerows and even buildings. It is also effective against enemy light vehicles. Keep it out of direct fire.
The M26 Pershing is a doctrinal Heavy tank available to the Heavy Cavalry Company that can be requisitioned at command rank 13. Weaker than the Tiger I and the IS-2 Heavy Tanks, the Pershing requires less manpower and takes less population than both and is still formidable with its 90mm cannon, particularly if supported. Although it lacks the machinegun turret upgrade, it makes up with automatically throwing grenades at veterancy rank 2. Unlike most other American vehicles, the Pershing has no crew to disembark so keep Rear Echelon troops to carry out repairs if needed.
The M4A3E8 "Easy Eight" Sherman is a doctrinal Medium tank available to the Rifle Company. More expensive than the M4A3 Sherman, this versatile tank is somewhat of a hybrid between that and the M36 Jackson Tank Destroyer. The 76mm cannon lacks the range of the "Jackson" or the high explosive rounds of the M4A3, but makes up for great all round firepower and little loss of accuracy while moving. This tank can stand toe to toe with a Panzer IV and be a threat to a Panther tank but must be massed to be able to take on heavy tanks and tank destroyers.
Assault Engineers are doctrinal infantry available to a few commanders and are the USF's equivalent to the OKW Stumpioneer, only weaker and slightly cheaper. They can wreak havoc on standard infantry at close range and can be upgraded with a flamethower to burn out infantry. They can construct most things built by Rear Echelon troops but instead of tank traps, assault engineers can lay mines that can blow up infantry or damage vehicles. Unlike Rear Echelon Troops, assault engineers lack hazard removal tool upgrade but can cut barbed wire without it. Like Sturmpioneers, Assault Engineers aren't slowed down by Mud or Deep Snow.
Rangers are doctrinal infantry available to the Heavy Cavalry Company. These expensive elite infantry are initially armed with M1 Carbines and grenades and can be upgraded with Thompson SMGs and still pick up weapons from racks afterwards, arguably making them the best short-ranged infantry in the game. The are tougher than most other infantry and enjoy good accuracy with their weapons along with above average numbers.
Paratroopers are doctrinal infantry that are dropped in the battlefield. These numerous elite infantry are initially armed with M1 Carbines but can be upgraded with 2x M1919A6 LMGs or 4x Thompson SMGs. They are good at harassing supply lines and demolitions. Be careful where you drop them: they can die upon hitting obstacles or being attacked by Anti-Air.
The Sherman Calliope is a doctrinal unit available to the Tactical Support Company. This unit is more expensive than other rocket carriers but is far more durable and can still lay waste to enemies in a wide area with a T34 multiple rocket launcher, even though it cannot fire its cannon. The fact that it is a tank means it can unload its rocket volley up close more safely than other rocket carriers.
The M10 "Wolverine" Tank Destroyer is a doctrinal unit available to the Armor Company. Armed with a 3-in cannon, this unit is effective against armor and has good range. Although it is very fragile, this unit is cheap compared to most armored units and easier to mass and replace than Sherman tanks. They are effective against heavy tanks in overwhelming numbers but will fall prey easily to Anti-tank guns.
The 105mm Bulldozer Sherman is a doctrinal unit available to Armor Company. It is basically a short range heavy artillery mounted on a Sherman Tank, with its cannon effective against infantry, buildings, and light vehicles. The bulldozer can remove most obstacles, including tank traps, or it could create a barrier to potentially block attacks from a direction.
Company Commanders Edit
- Airborne Company: Airborne utilizes the depolyment of pathfinders as a means of infantry with a good dps at ranged combat, and paratroopers for elite infantry that can be outfitted with BAR LMGs, or Thompson SMGs. A variety of team weapons can be paradroped from the sky at any place to be manned by either your or allied forces. Finally, the P47 rocket strafe provides anti-tank support in tank to tank engagements.
- Armor Company: This doctrine contains elite units that help with the early to mid-game, with access to assault engineers to defeat infatry at close combat and specialized tanks that help with vehicles and mass infantry respectively. The M10 Wolverine allows an early and reliable but lower damage means of mobile anti-tank, whereas the Bulldozer Sherman is effective against fortifications and massed infantry. Finally, the 240mm Howitzer Barrage makes quick work of enemy emplacements.
- Heavy Cavalry Company: The highlights of this doctrine are the rangers that are capable of defeating infantry squads at all ranges, and the M26 Pershing heavy tank - the only means to get a heavy tank in this faction. Infantry versatility is focused with riflemen being able to lay sandbags and mines, with smoke support and combined arms ability with vehicular support.
- Mechanized Company: The emphasis on light vehicles is focused with this doctrine - utilizing early game light vehicles to exploit weak points in enemy positions. Cavalry riflemen mounted in these light vehicles allow quick and fast enemy defeats along with a formidable anti-tank sachel. Tanks at the late game are further modulated with bulldozers and 76mm guns for better anti-tank performance.
- Infantry Company: Infantry uses basic world war 1 strategy - infantry supported with field artillery to attack enemy positions and units alike. The BAR LMGs help with long range superior firepower in riflemen or rear echelon troops. The mortar half tracks, the M7 Priests and the Time-on-target Artillery Barrage help with softening enemy positions before a final mop-up with infantry.
- Recon Support Company: Recon in other words is basically the Airborne Company with alternate abilities. The different I&R pathfinders can call artillery barrages, and paratroopers drop with a pack howitzer this time. The doctrine comes with the M8 Greyhound, useful for taking out light vehicles and displacing infantry with the cannister ability. Finally, the cluster bombs, at 100 munitions forces enemy infantry and team weapons to clear areas and sections, allowing your infantry to capture with less resistance.
- Rifle Company: The elite troops doctrine of the United States Forces. The Sherman Easy Eight is a comparitively better tank in both firepower and armour than than a typical M4 Sherman. Rear Echelons can be equipped with flamethrowers, and Riflemen can lay mines and sprint. White phosphorus rounds help with dealing infantry damage, relying on other units to finish them off.
- Tactical Support Company: Tactical Support company in other words is the Infantry doctrine, but substitutes howitzer artillery with air support, though the mortar half track remains. It also has the Sherman Calliope that softens infantry at a short range with rockets, and additional armour to prevent instant death from attacking enemy though its main gun cannot be fired.
- Urban Assault Company (Commander Update): This doctrine directly counters mass machineguns in buildings and team weapons in urban areas. Rangers are a versatile infantry squad effective against other infantry and tanks alike given the weapon choices. The Sherman Calliope, molotov cocktails, rifle grenades, and cover to cover helps deal with garrisoned buildings and clumped infantry.
While doctrines have less impact than their Company of Heroes counterpart did, they still determine for a good part the strategy of the American player. As of June - November 2014, six commanders are available to play, with three (Infantry company, Airborne company and Armor company) being instantly accessible and the other three unlocked by the war spoils dropping system. This strategy assumes that you have no company chosen.
The most general build is Riflemen > Riflemen > Ambulance > Grenades > Riflemen > Lieutenant for the early game. This build is suited most Ostheer or OKW if you can not see their first building choice. Riflemen provide the hammer and anvil of this strategy so ensure they trade well.
As soon as the game starts get a rifleman training and send the Rear Echelon troops to the closest capture point. Ideally they shouldn't see combat throughout the game as they are weak and any manpower used to reinforce them is manpower wasted. Depending on map size they should be able to take one or two points before you should pull them back or garrison them in a building just behind the front lines. Only use them in combat if absolutely necessary.
The first two Riflemen should be grouped together acting as a squad. One should work as the fire element who pops smoke and holds in cover and the the other the manoeuvre force that aims to close in with the enemy if the Rifleman squad has the close range advantage. (Don't close with Strumpioneers or Assault Grenadiers). After you have this basic combat force an ambulance is a good idea as it allows you to sustain a combat force on the front lines. If you kept your Riflemen together they should come out on top of any lone squad thrown their way. After this grab a third Rifleman squad and start upgrading to grenades. Grenades are necessary for the late early game as the enemies will start to attack in blobs or get machine guns, either one Grenades allow the use of fragmentation grenades to smash blobs and smoke grenades to ruin the machine gun. Once you've got grenades you should have enough for another Riflemen squad and then a Lieutenant treat this as another squad of 2, don't blob them with the other riflemen as it wastes the US Forces greatest advantage, flanking. With the training of the Lieutenant you cycle into the next phase.
Once you've unlocked the Lieutenant you gain the ability to bring in utility cars, heavy machine guns and Anti-Air Halftracks. The none of these are particularly necessary in this but act as a guard. Should you find that you were outplayed in the early game these can act as a save. Generally grenades should give you such an advantage early game you shouldn't need to use any of these and should focus on getting a Captain for the vital reason of Anti Tank. If you have a large territory advantage consider also getting the BAR unlocked as it allows your Riflemen to fight almost any Infantry unit one on one with the exception of Obersoldaten.
Once you get the captain start training an Anti-Tank gun, you're definitely going to need it once medium tanks start rolling out. If you've been pushed back and are starved for fuel consider getting a Pack Howitzer and another Anti-Tank gun to halt the enemy armour; otherwise go for a major. It's a good idea to move the major into a position just behind the ambulance and to set up a forward reinforcement base.
Late Game Edit
Late game is very specific on what has happened up to this this point. If the enemy has dominated the early and mid games you should definitely expect them to attempt to over run you with armour and thus you should get the M36 'Jackson' then 2 Shermans. If the game had been competitive it's generally a good idea to open with 2 Shermans then get a Jackson. All you need to know is that the M4A3 Shermans take damage and provide vision for the M36 'Jackson' and are required for any offensive push in the late game. By this point your Infantry should have BAR's and or Bazooka's to frighten off enemy Armour. Furthermore, a USF player would be wise to deploy anti-tank rifle grenades to cripple enemy tanks before committing their own armor, so that damaged enemy tanks will not be able to escape. Jacksons are the linchpin of any USF anti-armor composition, so their deployment is crucial.