Review: COH “Strategy” Guide by Bradygames

Worst. Guide. Ever.

VERDICT: A piece of crap written by nincompoops who never played an online game ever.

I know, I know — the COH Strategy Guide by Bradygames came out long ago, right around the time COH was released, in September of 2006. That doesn’t change the fact that this “guide” is a mindblowing travesty, a 100-page volume of complete and utter nonsense that has nothing to do with playing this game. It’s so bad, so unbelievably wrong, incorrect, not close to being correct, and just plain terrible that it’s actually funny. And I’m serious on that point — I’ve included some word-for-word excerpts below.

Should Brian Shotton be shot?The emotions I found myself feeling upon reading this guide began with shocked incredulity and ended with rage. That’s right, rage — rage that some fool named Brian Shotton (the author) was actually paid by Bradygames, paid money that would’ve been a thousand times better spent on disaster relief, food charities, or inexpensive hookers. Certainly, Mr. Shotton did not deserve any money for his “strategies.” Indeed, the misstatements and outright errors he makes in the guide grow in size and wrongness with every page turned, so that by the end, each of his mistakes have become shooting offenses. Mr. Shotton should be shot. His body ought to be bullet-riddled by the time you reach the final page, where Shotton’s blighted name appears under the word “credits,” which appears to make no sense given the value of the guide.

I pray none of my fellow Romans have lost any money on this book (it cost $19.99 at the time of release; I was foolish enough to buy it without first skimming it, though mercifully I paid $14.99).

Still — I will proceed with a review of this guide, and I will include some hilarious highlights of Mr. Shotton’s writing. Take for example, this gem: “The Wolverine is a powerful anti-tank weapon, but its open turret makes it particularly susceptible to many enemy attacks such as flamethrowers, small arms fire, grenades, and even mortar attacks.

No wonder that level 1 player sent Flame Pioneers after my M10… But trust me, it gets BETTER. And by better I mean singularly retarded and wrong.

It would be hard to find any factors that can redeem the book, though I suppose it’s worth mentioning that much of the art and concept art that fill the pages are nice-looking. Unfortunately they’re all black-and-white.

The guide also provides incredibly random statistics on weapons like the G43 sniper rifle (carried by Wehrmacht snipers, though it’s the same weapon packed by Panzer Grenadiers in Opposing Fronts). Did you know, dear reader, that the G43 was a copy of the Soviet SVT 40 sniper rifle? Or that this weapon fires 7.92mm rounds, with a muzzle velocity of 775 meters per second and an effective range of 350 meters?

Will knowing this make you a better COH player? Would being able to quote these numbers risk making you sound like a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association? You will find these questions plaguing your mind, assuming you choose, like most of us, to think about why historical statistics on the G43 sniper rifle are taking up space in a COH strategy guide. 

According to this guide, M-10s are vulnerable to flamers because they have open turrets

Anyhow, placing random statistics in the guide is a minor issue compared to the immense number of outrageous statements made.

“In Company of Heroes grenades are best used to disrupt and confuse enemy groups long enough for your troops to storm the location.”
– You mean like flashbangs, right? Wow. How come when I throw a grenade there are dead mans at the other end and no confused mans? Are confused mans supposed to look like retreating mans, except with question marks over their heads instead of exclamation points?

“Sticky Bombs are very powerful and can take out a tank with one or two hits!”
– Just like in Saving Private Ryan, when those guys take the treads of a Tiger with two Stickies, right? Oh wait, Tom Hanks also sprays the vision slit with a Thompson and two dudes drop grenades down the hatch.

(Advice on how to play 1v1s on Angoville) “Due to the wide-open nature of the map, it behooves you to capture the areas with buildings and place Snipers inside the taller buildings…”
– Snipers shoot crazy fast the taller the building, right? I guess they also recite Biblical verse before popping some Kraut in the head.

And so forth. Please, don’t buy this book. And email Bradygames to tell them not to hire stupid morons who don’t know how to play the game, to write strategy guides.

Instead, how about asking Surprise, Sepha and Golradier or some other great players to write the strategy guide? I can edit it and drink wine, while Brian Shotton can write the crappy singleplayer walkthrough, which is the one thing this guide does competently.

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17 Responses to Review: COH “Strategy” Guide by Bradygames

  1. SPARTAN VI says:

    Hilarious! 😀

    Well written Corky.

  2. Alex says:

    Hey, do you know if there’s any good/recommended strategy articles on the net? Yes, google find many, but how do I know if they are any good 😮

  3. If you are interested in “good” COH strategy articles and advice, the best place to go is Gamereplays.org, which we refer to here as GR.org.

    Goto http://www.gamereplays.org and click on the Company of Heroes portal, or just google “Company of Heroes + Gamereplays.”

    Not only do all the best COH players post here and write articles and upload replays, there is a wide range of players who can give you advice or play with you/mentor you.

  4. Bill says:

    You seem to have a hidden motive behind this blog. Did Bradygames or the author wrong you in some way? Dude, if the examples you gave are the worst from the guide then you need to get a life. Seriously.

  5. Jaeger_II says:

    Well, for $20, a guide should have content that isn’t available for free at X many fansites.

    A long time ago, I remember buying the guide for Stronghold: Crusader when it first came out. It wasn’t in store, so I had to order it; took two weeks. Like this one, it had nice pictures, but nothing else that I wouldn’t learn from playing the tutorial. The singleplayer campaign parts were the only “okay” pieces. His review just highlights a trend that Bradygames seems to follow.

  6. @ Bill… What? I’m just confused. What hidden motive could I possibly have? I spent $15 on a guide that turned out to be a piece of shit, why not go online and bash it? Instead I should just sit in silence? This is America. Free speech, son. As for your second comment, it makes no sense. Yes, those are the choicest bits from the guide. It sucks. You don’t make sense. You don’t like this blog, GTFO. No one forces you to come here.

    To be fair, there have been some good Bradygames guides, as well. Their guide for the PSP port of Final Fantasy Tactics is great… a few typos but otherwise a great guide with great info, great organization and great art. Maybe it depends on the type of game… certainly the quality of their authors varies WIDELY.

  7. Moose says:

    While I enjoyed the slant of the review I feel obligated to point one thing out…

    The author listed on the cover is Bart Farkas not Brian Shotton as you mentioned.

    Oh the irony…

  8. I’ll be jiggered. Bart Farkas is INDEED the SOB responsible for this disasterpiece. That being said, Brian Shotton is listed in the back as editor, so he shall be spared none of my wrath.

    Good catch!!

  9. UnLimiTeD says:

    Maybe this guide was written based on the Alpha.
    Just thinking… M10s being vulnerable to small arms fire…
    Snipers shooting faster in Buildings…
    http://video.google.de/videosearch?q=CoH+Sniper+bug&emb=0#

    Seems pretty much like it.

  10. I f*cking hope it was written during the alpha. That would make it slightly less outrageous (why publish guides based on alpha builds?). Either way, someone should’ve been fired over this and yet my heart tells me no one was.

    As for your other point, lol, if I recall correctly, Snipers ARE supposed to fire slightly faster when garrisoned — SLIGHTLY. That video is ridiculous.

  11. Katzenkrimis says:

    hey, that’s some funny shit. nice work. i love slamming crap like this too.

    letter bombs.

    after reading this, though, i came up with a great new strategy. i’m gonna do a base rush with 6 kettens off the start. then slam him with 3 funkwagons from the north, booby trap his headquarters, and lay tank traps to counter his strafing runs.

    beat that, Bart.

  12. SegmentNext says:

    @ Alex
    Nice article http://segmentnext.com/index.php/2009/06/06/company-of-heroes-tactics-and-strategy-guide/
    We have just posted a half part of it, full guide will be made with community contributions in comments. Thats how we are supposed to do it right ? If any thing you find worthy enough add it 🙂

  13. sandrar says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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