Basic Tip: Panzer Elite unit preservation

Ouch!This is a simple enough piece of advice, one that you could say applies to all factions in this game. But the Panzer Elite suffers particularly from unit losses because of their 3-man squads and extremely high reinforcement cost. Compare their basic infantry, Panzer Grenadiers, which cost 45 MP to reinforce, to Riflemen (27 MP) and British Tommies (35 MP). Low-health squads with as few men as Panzer Grenadiers have are particularly susceptible to focus fire, area-of-effect weapons and flame attacks. And of course, as you all know, grenades REALLY hurt. A single grenade can kill a moving (gets negative cover penalty) 4-man Fallschirmjager squad with 75% or higher health. I’ve had it happen to me and it’s absolutely demoralizing.

So what can you do? Well, the G43 upgrade is pretty devastating against Riflemen. You can pretty much counter Rifles throughout the game by utilizing massed G43 PGs. Their long range allows them to find green cover and stay in it, while Rifles must close to at least medium range to be effective. This gives you plenty of time to retreat, which means longer lifespans for your squads, which means more vetted squads in the late game. You can also consider sticking near-dead squads into your Infantry Halftrack, which makes them impervious to ordinary fire. Remember units in your HT remain highly vulnerable to area-of-effect weapons like grenades and flamers. Snipers can also shoot men inside the HT.

If you’re facing American snipers or if you must use aggressive units like the MP44-toting Assault Grenadiers, you’d better get Increased Squad Sizes pretty quick or you’ll lose too many battles (which means losing too much territory).  Grenades are fairly clutch weapons if you and your opponent are equally good, but one grenade can end your game. They always do more damage than the maximum health of your squad members, so one grenade can be fatal to an entire squad, as I said earlier. Early on, a lack of BARs means you need to watch out for grenades. The first grenade, the one that’s thrown before you’re aware he got grenades, is almost always the deadliest.

Once you know grenades are in play, you should lodge that piece of information in your brain and watch for the tell-tale Rifle squad closing in, running out of cover — he’s going for a grenade. Of course there’s also the obvious wind-up animation, but this is often difficult to see in a pitched fight with a ton of units. Suddenly there’s that deadly red 0.6 seconds timer floating over a ton of your dudes and you just know you’re screwed. In this case it’s best to retreat, as trying to move your men will simply apply a moving negative cover penalty to them. At least retreating gives you a 25% damage reduction, which means you’ve got a good chance of saving at least one member of all your squads.

I can’t overstate the impact of losing a battle with the Panzer Elite vs. the Americans. They’ll outcap all your shit, and you’ll take forever to recap it, by which time their waves of infantry will have regrouped. To add insult to injury, a Jeep will easily own a Kettenrad into infinity because of the weird pathfinding issue that continues to cause Kettenrad drivers to always give Jeeps the right of way, despite the dinky little machine gun blazing away at them.

For the record, I feel the balance between PE and Americans is quite good right now. Maybe the extra veterancy can be toned down a little bit, especially the amount given by researching grenades, stickies and BARs. Other than that (and it’s a minor point anyway), I feel the matchup is very fair — as a longtime American player and novice PE player.

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4 Responses to Basic Tip: Panzer Elite unit preservation

  1. Logabob says:

    very nice, although I think there is a type where instead of saying “machine gun” you just say machine in the 5th paragraph.

    It’s kind of strange, maybe I was seeing things but I distinctly remember a sniper sniping more than one guy when I had 2 squads in an HT; it was totally uncool.

    Do you think you’ll post anything for Wehr or Ami? Or (oh god) the Brits? I don’t have the beta so it would be interesting to hear if the Brits are still uber campy in 1v1’s with the new balance changes.

  2. I don’t really play as Wehr or Brits, but down the road I will. There will be more U.S.-related posts as well, it’s just that I’ve been concentrating on lots and lots of PE stuff in the beta so far.

    Are the Brits still campy… that depends on the player. They don’t have to be campy to be effective but yes, I still fight lots of turtling Brits.

    I believe one idea strongly under consideration by Relic is making Tommies NO LONGER able to build trenches. Tommies can build sandbags instead, and Sappers can build trenches. Commandos would not be able to build anything.

    Fixed typo thanks!

  3. Logabob says:

    Very interesting; no tommie trenches? See, early game trenches are annoying but they don’t seem abusive; I thought the problem was with early game emplacements (i.e. mortar pit urg). Further, the only time trenches ever seemed to be bitchy was when they were spammed around emplacements, and at that point there are plenty of sappers…

    I dunno. Maybe i iz n00b.

  4. Weapons of the Military…

    […]Basic Tip: Panzer Elite unit preservation « Rifles Ready![…]…

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