Greetings my fellow commanders!
It has been a long time since I uploaded an article here. I guess when life is full of non-stop schoolwork one finds very little time to engage in creative work like writing a game article. Recently, I have been actively participating in the CoH 2 forums as I did not really approve of the December Balance Patch that was released on 19th December 2017. As someone who plays the Axis forces quite often, I utilize half-track vehicles frequently. Both the Wehrmacht and OKW have access to half-tracks even though their variants differ in their roles. Let me introduce you to these vehicles!
[OKW] Sd.Kfz.251/17 FlaK Half-Track
Before the December Balance Patch (DBP), this vehicle performed poorly and was more of a liability to the OKW. Now, with the recent buffs to its set-up time and other stats, this vehicle has become a valuable asset. Actually, the Panzer II Luchs has received many nerfs and it has become less attractive to produce this once-dependable light tank. However, there is no need to worry as this FlaK half-track serves as a reliable suppression platform that can deal massive damage to the enemy under the right conditions.
[OKW] Sd.Kfz.251/20 Uhu with Infrared Searchlight
Some people choose not to produce this vehicle as it offers zero direct combat abilities. It doesn’t even have the uniquely OKW aspect of 5 veterancy levels. Even so, I would strongly recommend producing this if you have an artillery-heavy army in a team game as this can help you detect key enemy targets. Also, this vehicle allows you to perform reconnaissance duties from a safe distance without endangering your troops because you can place this behind a building and the infrared will go through any obstacle.
[OKW] Sd.Kfz.251 “Stuka zu Fuss”
Stuka zu Fuss is a potent artillery weapon IF you know how to use it. Whereas the Panzerwerfer 42 and Katyusha barrage a wide area in a scattered manner, the Walking Stuka drops its rockets in a straight line, which can be detrimental if you know the enemy’s retreat path. Still, each rocket packs a punch so even if only one hits the enemy, you can damage him quite a bit. Like all half-tracks, the Stuka is fragile so always keep an eye out for approaching enemy units.
[WM] Sd.Kfz.251 Armoured Personnel Carrier
Wehrmacht suffers a lot from having only 4 men per squad. Grenadiers, Panzergrenadiers, MG 42 teams, GrW 34 teams, and PaK 40 teams can lose men easily and need to retreat often to prevent squad wipes. However, retreating means that you give up hard-won territory to the enemy. This vehicle helps you stay near the frontlines longer and can transport upto 2 squads, thereby improving their responsiveness.
[WM] Sd.Kfz.4/1 15cm Panzerwerfer 42
Rocket artillery has the potential to wipe out a large army group in a single volley. This half-track is different from the Walking Stuka in that its firing method is scattered and individual rockets do less damage. I suggest using this weapons platform with an Artillery Field Officer to maximize the number of volleys.
As of now, the German half-tracks do not exactly perform on the level that I would like them to perform. First of all, the Armoured Personnel Carrier needs to be more durable so that it is almost immune to infantry small arms and should have more powerful MGs to act as a mobile machinegun platform. Moreover, this vehicle should become a staple for OKW as well so that OKW can better reinforce troops on the battlefield.
In addition, the Panzerwerfer 42 needs to have more damage per rocket and the barrage cooldowns for both the Panzerwerfer and the Stuka zu Fuss need to be reduced. Also, it makes little sense to give the same HP to the Panzerwerfer 42 and the Stuka as the Katyusha because the former two are armoured half-tracks whereas the latter is an unarmoured truck.
Also, there should be more variants based on the 251 model like the one shown below:
I ask all of you to participate more on the CoH 2 forums so that this community can grow and mature over the years. This game still has a lot of potential to bring balance and to make things more fun and memorable. I’ll focus on another topic at a later time! Cheers!