In-depth: Suppression and pinning

Suppressed troops take less damage from certain weapons.

Suppressed troops take less damage from certain weapons.

Ordering your infantry around in COH seems pretty familiar to any other RTS you’ve ever played until THUMP-THUMP-RATTLE! Your mans just ran into heavy MG fire and are now suddenly squirming around on the ground, reduced to a crawl and firing their weapons much more slowly. Another few MG bursts and your brave boys are suddenly cradling their heads and making unhelpful statements such as “We’re fucking toast! We’re pinned like ants!” and “Can’t see shit from here!” and my personal favorite, “Jesus, this dirt tastes like crap!”

The infantry suppression/pinning mechanic is unique to COH and really contributes to the game’s sense of authenticity. “We were all pinned down,” remembered Sgt. George Pope, interviewed in Steven Ambrose’s Citizen Soldiers. “I see guys turning their heads, I felt like doing that myself. It was flat as a floor. There wasn’t a blade of grass you could hide under. I’m yelling ‘Shoot, you sons of bitches!’ That was a tough time.”

Pinned troops can take no actions at all, save crawl very, very slowly.

Pinned troops can take no actions at all, save crawl very, very slowly.

But exactly what happens in RTS terms when infantry gets suppressed or pinned? Why do MGs, normally so devastating to infantry, take sooooo long to kill a pinned squad? Well, with a little help from COH-Stats, we’ll explore precisely how COH resolves these questions, and you may learn something that ups your game, whether you’re on the delivering or receiving end of MG fire.

The answers are simple. Heavy MGs (MG42, American .30 cal, British Vickers) do 50% less damage to suppressed units and 75% less damage to pinned units. Heavy MGs are also 75% less accurate when firing on pinned units. The amount of suppression done by any weapon to already suppressed or pinned units drops to a fraction of normal.

This is great for flanking maneuvers, you know a bait squad will last a long time under MG fire once suppressed or pinned. If you’ve pinned a squad, you know you’ll need to bring other units in to eliminate that squad.

Remember: Tanks are able easily crush suppressed or pinned infantry, because they can’t automatically move out of the way.

Infantry weapons
– All types of Rifles still do work fine against suppressed/pinned troops, though they suffer a 25% reduction in accuracy against PINNED troops only
– Sniper rifles are completely unaffected
– MP40s suffer a 25% accuracy reduction against suppressed units, followed by 75% reductions in both accuracy and damage against pinned units
– MP44s and FG42s (carried by Fallschirmjaegers) function normally against suppressed units, but suffer a 50% reduction in accuracy and a 75% reduction in damage against pinned units
– BARs do 60% less less damage to pinned units and 75% less damage to pinned units; they also get a 75% accuracy reduction against pinned units
– Thompsons are fuckin’ sweet, their damage and accuracy is completely unaffected by a unit’s suppression/pin status, hurray for the bonuses that come with the 100 MUN price tag!
– British Sten guns (carried by Commandoes) are the same, they have no penalties against suppressed or pinned troops
– Flamethrowers of all types for all armies have no penalties (including vehicle-mounted flamers, which are not listed below because they’re covered here)
– Mortars do 25% less damage against pinned units, nothing else
– Grenades, mines and demo charges do a nasty 25% EXTRA damage to suppressed units, and have no penalties of any kind

NOTE: It’s clear Relic feels Axis players are far less likely to have their troops suppressed or pinned, given how one-sided the above penalties are.

Vehicle weapons
– Tank cannons act normally against suppressed units, but suffer 50% reduction in accuracy and damage vs. pinned units (note veterancy for some units like the American Croc increases damage and accuracy against suppressed/pinned units, according to Relic patch notes)
– Quad .50 cal suffers a 25% accuracy reduction against suppressed units, followed by 75% reductions in both accuracy and damage against pinned units
– Calliope rockets do a sick 25% EXTRA damage against suppressed units, though they are 50% less accurate and do 50% less damage when it comes to pinned units

So to recap: Don’t expect MGs to kill off suppressed or pinned units. Use regular infantry weapons instead, such as rifles and SMGs. Allied players in particular should remember their SMGs do brutal full damage to helpless suppressed/pinned Axis troops. All players should remember grenades put extra hurt on suppressed troops.

You can find COH-Stat’s entire suppressed/pinned target table here (it hasn’t been moved to the new XML-based site yet).

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One Response to In-depth: Suppression and pinning

  1. […] up under heavy MG fire and are free to move around. This makes them take normal damage (remember suppressed and pinned squads take much less damage than normal from most weapons, especially MGs), so you’ll often lose men if you hit Fire Up! […]

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