Riflemen, even with BARs, can have a hard time standing up to Axis infantry armed with G43 rifles, FG42s and of course, MP44s (the most common SMG in the game). BARs are great weapons, but have a hard time chipping through tough, mid-game units like vetted Grenadiers, Stormtroopers, and G43/MP44 Panzer Grenadiers. Bring in Fallschirmjaegers and Knight’s Cross Holders and you got yourself something I like to call “a problem.”
In the late game, Axis players often have multiple squads of elite, anti-infantry troops with full or nearly full veterancy. Vanilla Rifles are owned outright, sometimes faster than you can hit retreat. The G43’s slowing ability combined with Axis SMG troops is simply murder. You really must preserve Rifle veterancy to have any chance in a straight infantry firefight against these troops.
But Airborne players DO have one equalizer — the Strafing Run. I’m not talking about the occasional Strafing Runs which mow down every man in its path. I’m talking about the nerfed, beta Strafe which primarily pins enemy soldiers, maybe killing one or two in the process. The video below shows what I’m talking about: careful use of air support that forces enemy squads to choose one of two very bad options: 1.) wait for the suppression/pin to wear off and eat grenades and focused BAR fire, or 2.) retreat, running past a shooting gallery of BARs.
As you can see in the clip, the Strafing Run did practically no damage to the enemy squads, however it pinned all three. This was a 2v2 game where I was the Airborne player. The Wehrmacht player immediately spams the retreat button, which results in his Stormtroopers being instantly cut down, because their position requires them to retreat through my three BAR Rifles. The PE player, noticing the fate of the Storms, crawls his Fallschirmjaegers away, hoping to recover from the pin in time to retreat down a different path. The grenade forces him to retreat from his current position, and both squads are eaten alive by a hail of BAR fire.
This is the absolute best way to eliminate very powerful enemy squads, and it earns your Riflemen a lot of veterancy, to boot. It should be noted the PE player complained that I was a “noob Strafe spammer,” which struck me as being particularly amusing. Strafing Runs are still good, they just require a little more combined arms to wipe out whole squads.