Tanks are one of the most difficult unit types to deal with in Company of Heroes 2 because they can only be damaged by units powerful enough to penetrate heavy armor. Don’t expect to attack tanks with overwhelming numbers of infantry unless you wish to lose the infantry. Instead, realize that while both you and your opponent have tanks, the deciding factors will be the units you choose to support your tank in the field and the use of abilities during combat.
1. Combined Arms
No matter how strong of a position you have on the battlefield, combined arms is always an option for countering tanks. Infantry can be useful for damaging a tank’s engine, anti-tank guns can deal steady damage at long range, and tanks of your own can go in for the finishing blow. Coordinating an attack or defense using these three unit types requires that you consider the area where you intend to fight so that you can position your anti-tank guns and infantry optimally. Make use of TrueSight by hiding your infantry behind buildings, hedges, or walls, so enemy tanks do not realize they’re moving into an ambush. Place your anti-tank guns a far distance behind the front line so that they can attack without the risk of a counterattack. When using vehicles of your own in this situation, try to stay reasonably close to your infantry and anti-tank guns so that all of the unit types can engage an enemy simultaneously.
2. Tank Destroyers
Unlike the combined arms approach, tank destroyers do not require your constant attention and control to perform effectively against enemy tanks. Instead, the Soviet SU-85 and German StuG can rely on their long range, high damage, and good ability to penetrate enemy tank armor. These vehicles were especially designed for anti-tank combat and they’re best used behind your main line, well-supported by infantry. At a tactical level, the trick to using Tank Destroyers is making sure they can strike enemy tanks while remaining out of range of enemy units. Concentrate fire on one tank at a time rather than spreading your firepower against an dwriting building
3. Rear Hits
Vehicle armor is always weaker on the rear. The problem is how often are you able to take advantage of this, given that enemy vehicles are often facing their targets? To achieve rear hits easily, attack an enemy tank from multiple different directions at once, restricting its ability to escape and heal. You can also use the circle strafe technique with faster tanks to continuously rotate around slower tanks without giving them an opportunity to fire. Circle strafing is ideal for a tank with a turret when it encounters a fixed-gun tank, like the StuG or SU-85.
4. Sink them!
The destructible frozen lakes and rivers on winter maps in Company of Heroes 2 are especially treacherous for tanks. Mortars, artillery, and tank cannons targeted at the ice around a vehicle may destroy it and cause the vehicle to be destroyed instantly. Use a weaker vehicle of your own as bait to lead enemy tanks out onto the ice while you direct heavy fire at the area. The Conscript squad’s Anti-tank Grenade and the Grenadier squad’s Panzerfaust both damage engines, meaning they’re exceptional for delaying an enemy tank attempting to escape. As the Soviets, you can even plant demolition charges with Combat Engineers to blow holes in the ice when you see a German tank approaching.
Be sure to use the full spectrum of abilities available to your units and the commander you choose to fight tanks. Mines laid by Combat Engineers and Pioneers are wonderful for damaging the engines of tanks to limit their mobility – construct these when you have excess Munitions. If you wish to use a powerful artillery ability on a tank, the best time is when it’s being repaired because your opponent won’t be paying as much attention to it. A Stuka Bombing Run or a Railroad Artillery Barrage can decimate tanks if you’re able to strike a target that cannot rapidly move away. Unique Soviet abilities like the Guards Rifle Infantry’s Button Fire and the T-34’s ramming maneuver can turn the tide of a close engagement between tanks in an offensive sense, while German abilities like the smoke launchers provided to vehicles by the Panzer Tactician commander ability are more defensive and must be something you look out for when playing as the Soviets.
Get tutorial videos with complete coverage of the Campaign, Theater of War, Multiplayer Strategies, sortable statistic tables and interviews with game developers in the complete Prima eGuide for Company of Heroes 2.