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Guide to CoH

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  • Guide to CoH

    In hopes to spark a little more interest in this game, im gonna attempt to do a bit of a guide for everyone. I think a lot of people get really frustrated with this game because of its depth, and just give up on it. Hopefully if people understand the game a bit more, theyll play it a bit more.

    Im not sure how im gonna structure this and ill probably update it, but if you have questions about a certain strategy or map strategy, let me know and ill do a write up for it. Tonight ill do just the basics.

    The Basics
    There are 3 aspects of CoH that separate it from other RTS. The cover system, suppression, and tank/vehicle usage. All 3 of these are pretty basic things needed by both races, and generally the player that utilizes them the best wins.

    Cover

    Technically, there are 3 types of cover, but in all practicality there are really 5 types of cover. Utilizing cover will reduce the amount of incoming fire, and is absolutely vital to winning an infantry fight. This should be obvious, but cover will only help you if incoming fire comes from in front. Ill cover (hehe) them from worst cover to best cover.

    1) Red cover. This is the worst brand of cover and you should avoid it all costs. If you ever see an enemy crossing red cover, jump at the opportunity to punish him for it. Types of red cover include main streets and rivers. To be sure, you can hover your mouse over territory and a red shield will signify red cover.

    2) No cover. This is sort of like the "default" damage received. You get no bonus for being in it, but its bad because someone firing from cover will kill you easily. You can tell if you are out of cover if your hovering mouse stays normal and does not signify anything.

    3) Yellow cover. This is pretty damn good cover and you should actively seek it. Yellow cover is the most common sort of cover, and includes bushes, barrels, sides of streets, and a host of other objects. A yellow mouse will signify yellow cover.

    4) Green cover. This is the best cover and should be the main sort of object you hide behind. Infantry will survive very well behind it, and you also get immunity to suppression fire if the entire squad is behind green cover. Types of green cover are sandbags, walls, haystacks, certain trees, wells, graveyards, and many other objects. There aren't many sites for green cover, but most battles are fought over them. A green mouse will signify green cover.

    5) Garrisoned structures are the final type of cover, and are very dynamic. In some cases, they are the best cover, and in other cases, they are the worst. This is the part of the game most new players have trouble with.

    Its important to note that a garrisoned squad gets a larger defensive bonus than a squad in green cover. Generally, you would think this is great. The problem, however, lies in the amount of firepower you can generate from a house and how easy it is to get surrounded.

    The firepower of a house is very cool in CoH. It is determined by how many windows a house has facing an enemy squad. If there are 5 windows facing an enemy, you will have 5 shooters. This is good. However, its possible you could have only 1 window or even 0 windows! Even with a better defensive bonus, you will not win a battle if its always 5 vs 1 or 5 vs 0. So, when choosing a building to garrison, make sure you can have a maximum number of shooters firing at a time. Also, know of any blind spots where an enemy squad can kill a garrisoned squad without even being touched. One important thing to note is that new "windows" can be created in the course of a battle if a structure is damaged.

    The potential for getting surrounded is important too. It is unwise to lose a full squad because reinforcement is cheaper than a new squad is. If i see an enemy bunkered into a house, I try to devise a way to completely wipe out the squad and therefore give me a manpower advantage. Grenades and flamers are the best weapons against garrisoned units. Generally, they will attempt to retreat, but moving in regular infantry squads to the exit will usually result in a dead squad.

    Suppression

    Another very cool ability in CoH is suppression fire. Suppression fire comes from the amount of fire coming in on a unit at one time. A squad that is being suppressed will undergo two phases. First, they will go prone and crawl around a bit, usually out of cover. They can still fire, though its inaccurate. This phase is indicated by a squad's avatar flashing yellow. The second phase of suppression is "pinned", and a pinned squad is incapable of returning fire and will usually be completely out of cover. This is signified by a big red "PINNED" that will show up.

    All units can cause suppression, but some do it more effectively because their ROF is high. The axis MG42 is the most effective at suppression, and is arguably the most important axis unit. Although it does not do much damage, it will allow a volks squad to win every single battle. The .30 cal for the Allies is similar, but causes more damage with a slower suppression rate. BAR riflemen can force suppression fire for 40 munitions, and in most cases it will result in a win for that rifleman squad. Occasionally a direct mortar or artillery hit will cause suppression as well. The upgraded Allies half track also causes suppression, though slowly. Finally, tank shells can cause squads do spread out and stop firing, though they do not stay suppressed.

    Suppression fire usually results in a retreated squad. Always use this to your advantage and make a land grab afterward. An entire army of people crawling on the ground is not effective ;)

    Tank Use

    Tanks are also fairly dynamic and important to use wisely. All tanks have fairly strong frontal armor, weaker side armor, and very weak rear armor. Whenever possible, have your tanks receive shells at the front, and deliver shells to the rear. Also, have infantry and AT guns firing with your tanks for maximum effect. Use infantry to disable/hurt the tanks, AT guns to scare them, and tanks to take the beating. All tanks work similarly, but their damage, speed, armor and cost determine how you use them. Ill cover each tank separately.

    Sherman/Panzer IV: These two tanks function almost identically. They are decent tanks with decent speed, and should be used to flank to the back of enemy armor for quick rear shots. They are also good against infantry, but do not let these tanks go unaccompanied. With infantry support, they are something to be feared.

    M10: This is a very niche tank, and is called a "tank destroyer" for a reason. Do not let it get near infantry. When using this tank against other tanks, think of it like a guerrilla. Quick hit and run attacks. Come swooping in at high speeds, get 1 or 2 quick rear shots in and retreat. These tanks are especially effective at blitzing forward to finish off a badly injured tank. Protect them, though, because their armor is likely the worst for any tank in the game.

    Pershing: The best allied tank and its certainly an impact unit. Often you can let this tank take on a lot of enemy units alone, but make sure you do not lose it. Since its expensive, a quick loss of this tank almost always means a loss. Ive found this tank is best used to take out all of the supporting enemy units so that your own supporting units have an easier time.

    Ostwind: Only use this against infantry, as it is useless against armor. It does not have great protection, so make sure you do not send it into a trap. I generally do not build this tank because by the time you can build it, enemy armor is more of a threat than enemy infantry.

    Panther: This is the best axis tank next to the tiger. Its great against all allied armor with its giant gun and great protection. However, its terrible against infantry and can easily get swarmed by them, so do not leave it unprotected.

    Tiger: See Pershing above. Use it exactly the same way.

  • #2
    Re: Guide to CoH

    looking into this game. still wondering though, got my hands filled up with ArmA and Crysis soon to come

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    • #3
      Re: Guide to CoH

      Great writeup Santa! Thanks much!

      3) Support game play in a near-simulation environment. Where the focus of play would not be solely on doing what it takes to win, but doing so utilizing real-world combat strategy and tactics rather than leveraging exploits provided to players by the design of the game engine.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Guide to CoH

        Great stuff Santa.

        One of the things which kills me badly when I play is a pair of guys with a flamethrower. Sometimes they die quickly, and other times they will wipe out an entire infantry squad. Any tips for taking them on?

        Also, Flak-88 - when I build one of these, a smart opponent will just roll up an AT cannon at max range and blast it. I can't seem to make them useful unless I'm already dominating.
        Peace through fear... since 1947!

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        • #5
          Re: Guide to CoH

          Originally posted by Icky
          One of the things which kills me badly when I play is a pair of guys with a flamethrower. Sometimes they die quickly, and other times they will wipe out an entire infantry squad. Any tips for taking them on?
          Flamethrower engys, crocs, and flammenwerfer halftracks have to be fought differently than every other unit. Flame units completely reverse the cover system. Red cover becomes the best, green cover becomes the worst. Flames will hardly touch you if you are in red cover, but realize that this will leave you exposed to small arms fire.

          If you are garrisoned and you see a flamer coming up to the building, just get out of it. The infantry will die VERY quickly inside of a burning house. If i see my enemy bring up some riflemen with a flamer attached, i tell all of my units to target the flamer first. If it looks like he'll get a few fire sprays in, ill move out of cover until its dead. Its important to realize when you have no chance though, and to just immediately retreat or fall back where there are more friendly units.

          Using flamers is very effective because it forces people out of cover or out of buildings. Always accompany them with infantry so that when they get out of cover, they are still screwed.

          Originally posted by Icky
          Also, Flak-88 - when I build one of these, a smart opponent will just roll up an AT cannon at max range and blast it. I can't seem to make them useful unless I'm already dominating.
          Flag 88s are pretty much my thing, and i use them in most games. You have to be thinking from the very beginning of the match how you are going to use them to help in your overall strategy. There are several things to consider when building an 88.

          1) Position. Will the 88 have mostly unobstructed view in its long line of sight? Is it in red or no cover so that advancing enemy infantry are exposed? Are there hills around it that will cause the 88 to miss more frequently? Finally, can i sit here the rest of the game and win because i have more VPs and more munitions? That 88 aint gonna move, so you better not either.

          2) Defend it. If you are defensive, you have to go tier 2. Use the infantry to defend the outskirts of the line of sight so that the 88 does not have to deal with fog of war. Have engineers mine up the approaches to slow down enemy units advancing on it. Its also a good idea to have an MG42 nearby so that if the enemy steals it, they will likely die anyway.

          3) Keep it. I *always* keep one pioneer squad and one volks squad near my 88 at all times. When the enemy knows about your 88, he will use some form of artillery on it. Either strafing runs, calliopes, or howie fire. These artys may kill the crew, but you will immediately re-crew it with the volks and repair it with the pioneers. Most opponents, thinking the 88 is down, will rush your defense only to realize that you re-manned it.

          The 88 is not the ultimate killing machine. What it does do is scare your opponent from going in certain areas and into more predictable zones. This allows the rest of your army to completely dominate.

          Take a look at my game against surprise. For positioning, i chose the crossroad near the church because of the red cover around it, and the great line of sight into the graveyard and high munition points. To defend it, i kept my units at the outskirts and for some time i had an MG42 covering it. To keep it, I always had a volks squad and a pioneer squad near it. Throughout the game, my 88 didnt get an enormous number of kills. What it did do was push my enemy into the same damn chokepoint where 3 vet 3 grenadier squads completely tore it up.

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          • #6
            Re: Guide to CoH

            snipers help when kept around an 88, in the direction you suspect an AT or sniper coming from.

            edit - or you can just do what the master said ^^^



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            • #7
              Re: Guide to CoH

              A couple more tips for 88 use...

              - Lay single strands of wire "downrange" from your 88 to increase it's sight range. It's shooting range is much longer then it's sight range( also much longer then anything other then howitzers or callopies), so make sure the sight range on the gun is the same as the shooting range.

              - As Santa said, defend the gun, but don't clump up on it either. The entire doctrine is built around setting up a defense in depth and funneling opponents into kill zones, take advantage of that. Expect to see either WSC units or large quantities of riflemen for units to counter the 88 and either infantry or airborne doctrine so prepare accordingly.

              - Aggressive defense: Santa countered the enemy push into his fuel the best possible way he could, he cut off his enemies fuel. Defensive doctrine doesn't mean "sit back and defend", it means, "I want to play for map control". They really are 2 different things. Denying your enemy map control with defensive doctrine is the same as having the map yourself.

              - Play within the map situation: Santa saw he basically kept surprise to 1 fuel point, so he knew he didn't have to worry about croc's after seeing the early BAR's. Since croc's are the main weakness for defensive doctrine, he was able to tech instead of make units, which I felt gave him the decisive edge. The howitzer was the only surprise in that game, and he handled it well.

              Overall it was a good game, both sides made the same basic amount of mistakes. I bet he wished he had gone something other then infantry as his control got hammered with that howitzer especially considering it wasn't very effective.

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              • #8
                Re: Guide to CoH

                My goodness. This game is already intimidating me...
                My squad-mate Sgt. York has convinced me to get this game, and I have a feeling that it's gonna be far worse on me than TASpring was.
                (An aside: I haven't met anyone here who even knows what this game is. I'm not alone, surely?)
                Anyway, I gotta meet the learning curve up close and personal, I guess. Wish me luck.
                OPS, the bacon is on you.

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                • #9
                  Re: Guide to CoH

                  It's worth it. While few games frustrate me as much as this one, I still feel that this is one of the best strategy games ever made. There are so many little details that are so well done.

                  3) Support game play in a near-simulation environment. Where the focus of play would not be solely on doing what it takes to win, but doing so utilizing real-world combat strategy and tactics rather than leveraging exploits provided to players by the design of the game engine.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Guide to CoH

                    Thanks for the write up Santa. Great tips. Sooo...when are we all going to get a CoH game on?
                    .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Guide to CoH

                      Originally posted by NorCalRoach View Post
                      Thanks for the write up Santa. Great tips. Sooo...when are we all going to get a CoH game on?
                      I'll be on Santa's side!
                      Peace through fear... since 1947!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Guide to CoH

                        Yeah, this has definitely been one of the more frustrating games, but it's so well done that with one successful assault I love it again. It's worse than golf that way.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Guide to CoH

                          Wow, I just realized TG had a CoH forum. This game is hands down the best RTS ever made. I was addicted to it for months after it came out. The single player campaign is top notch.

                          I'm eagerly awaiting the expansion. I got worn out with online play due to the small selection of 1v1 maps and too few viable high level strategies.

                          I will never stop quoting the units.

                          "You think this is kinder party?!..."

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                          • #14
                            Re: Guide to CoH

                            Hey, I got the game, and the guide is really helpful; thanks on that, Santa. CoH is a LOT like TA (or Spring) so I don't feel terribly out of the loop, but I'm terribly clumsy with the controls. It'll be a while before I get to real opponents, I gather.
                            OPS, the bacon is on you.

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