Advanced Tip: Crushing pinned infantry

Tank treads for the loss.

Tank treads for the loss.

One of the first things a new COH player wonders is, “why can’t my tanks just crush infantry?” You know, C&C-style, where you hold ALT, click your mouse on the other side of some men, and your tank rolls right over those fools with a nice big SQUISH. Well, if you think about it, COH is an infantry-centered game with far more infantry-based gameplay mechanics than tank-based ones. Infantry in COH are smart (relative to infantry in many other RTS games, anyway) and they automatically move out of the way when an enemy tank comes charging in. Unless of course, they can’t move out of the way, because they’re pinned. This is probably one of the best reasons to land a strafing run atop a whole crowd of squads when a tank is nearby; the pinning effect prevents the men from firing any AT weapons. The tank is free to simply charge right over the squads. You can achieve a similar effect with Wehrmacht MG42 fire, or Nebelwerfer barrages, or Infantry HT fire; crawling, suppressed infantry can be crushed as well.

Remember: When trying to crush pinned units, don’t click ON them, click to move your tank just behind them. Your tanks still have a tendency to avoid driving over enemy troops when you give them a new move order far behind the enemy.

Check out this timely YouTube video. It’s from a team game I played with one of my buddies — his Cromwell command tank gets caught flat-footed by multiple Panzergrenadiers packing panzershrecks, so he calls for air support. My P-47 doesn’t kill any PGs, but allows my friend to slam the Cromwell into some poor Krauts, killing 5 PGs and forcing the group to retreat.

One thing you’ll notice is the last PG to die (captured in the screenshot at the start of the post). He is killed after his squad was ordered to retreat; the Cromwell was in his way and kept moving, despite his attempt to keep running. Tanks in COH can crush unpinned and unsuppressed troops in numerous circumstances — squads caught between a tank and an obstacle like a house, Paratroopers landing on TOP of vehicles and dying, Sherman mine flails instantly gibbing squads, etc. That’s a topic that will be explored down the road, when I have screenshots and/or videos showing how such effects can be consistently achieved.

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