The Multiplayer mode of Company of Heroes 2 differs from that of many real-time strategy (RTS) games in its greater emphasis on map control than base defense. The successful player will be aggressive in capturing territory from the very beginning of a match and always aim to hold at least half of the map. The Eastern Front is famous for its harsh winters, and these have found their way into the game through icy rivers and lakes, blizzards, and deep snow.
Pattern of Multiplayer Games
In the early game you don’t need to worry about defending your base or attacking your opponent at the very start. You need to secure the resources needed for your strategy and play as offensively or defensively as your strategy requires. If your strategy relies on early aggression, focus on attacking your opponent’s cut-off points and force decisive engagements in which you ought to have the advantage due to your strategy. If you’re aiming for conservative early play to facilitate fast-teching or the construction of a combined arms force, try to harass your opponent in diverse areas of the map to avoid being pulled into decisive engagements.
If you have less than half the map, you’ll have a resource disadvantage that will lead to your facing superior enemy forces. This doesn’t mean you absolutely need to hold half of the map for the entire game, but if you don’t, you need a good reason for it. For example, you might intend to place two Fuel Caches on sectors near your base and defend a third of the map until your Fuel advantage allows you to retake the map with early breakthrough units. Alternatively, you might decide that it’s more important to deprive your opponent of resources than to hold most of the resources yourself: If you control only a quarter of the map but also control your opponent’s cut-off points, you’ll have a resource advantage.
The mid game is defined by the use and countering of light vehicles and combined arms forces. Depending on your strategy, you’ll either want to invest in early vehicles yourself or in counters to them; in terms of resources, early vehicle production will limit your Fuel while vehicle counters will draw on your Manpower or Munitions (for example, AT guns cost only Manpower while Panzerschrecks, Panzerfausts, and AT grenades cost Munitions. This is also when you’ll often begin building more specialized units to supplement your force of versatile units. One or two Mortars or Snipers would not be strange, and it’s much safer to do this now than earlier when you’re still establishing map control or later when you’ll often be spending your resources on tanks or other vehicles.
The late game begins with the arrival of heavy tanks and artillery on the battlefield. Battles become more decisive because vehicles cannot Retreat and are not easily replaced. While resources are still important for replenishing infantry, rebuilding units that you’ve lost, and using Commander abilities, Victory Points become the primary sites of battles. Whoever has units that complement each other better in battle has the advantage at this stage of the game, because the focus turns from harassing points to creating and destroying fortified positions using combined arms.
Winter can be advantageous for you if you plan ahead to keep your units warm and consider how you want to behave during blizzards, depending on the composition of your army. For example, if you rely on long-range, less mobile units, you’ll want to scout ahead more than usual during blizzards. By contrast, if your army consists of versatile assault units, you should be as aggressive as you can without allowing units to freeze because your infantry will be able flank HMGs that would normally suppress them if they had sight and your tanks will be able to bypass the fire arcs of AT guns unharmed.
- Heavy weapons like tank cannons, artillery, and Mortars can break holes in the ice, causing units to fall into the freezing water and perish, as well as making the area impassable for other units.
- Use Attack Ground and target the ice beneath enemy tanks. Normal attacks targeting tanks will sometimes cause the ice to collapse as well.
- The Soviet Incendiary Artillery commander ability and the German Mortar Half-track’s Incendiary Barrage are both excellent against enemy vehicles crossing ice.
- Vehicles can provide cover to infantry, which is useful in open field fights and especially useful during blizzards, as infantry squad temperature stabilizes while they’re in cover. This means a builder unit like a Combat Engineer or Pioneer squad can repair a tank during a blizzard without suffering any hypothermia casualties.
- Want to know if there’s a squad hiding in deep snow or behind a building, waiting for you? Look at the snow for any tracks. This can tell you whether to expect a Sniper or a Conscript squad, infantry or vehicles. Note that tracks are covered over during blizzards.