Creator of the Highlight (Artist) - RitaRush
Guten Tag, sehr geehrte Damen und Herren. It has been a while since I created my last guide. Now it is time again to give you another A++ quality guide (because what else if not A++ guides my dearest readers deserve ?).
As the title says, the topic of this guide is the Feuersturm Doctrine and its utilisation and usefulness in the 1v1 environment. Do note though that it will not address faction basics but rather describes a new playstyle with a rarely used non-meta commander. This guide is for all players, in particular for those who want to try something new without being doomed to lose the match from zero-minute mark.
The doctrine and the build order covered in this guide is only useful on some maps while it will not fare well on others. The approach presented here will particularly struggle on rural maps with only a few garrisons. On these it is recommended to use more commonly employed commanders like the Special Operations Doctrine. Do not worry, I will tell you where and where not to use this build order in the maps section of a guide. So, let us get started.
This doctrine is not overly attractive to many and the reason is quite simple: It does not contain any overly powerful units that are featured in other doctrines (for example Command Panther from Special Operations or Panzerfussiliers from the Breakthrough Doctrine). Yet, it complements OKW’s core army in departments where it is lacking (clearing garrisons in the early game, good infantry support assault gun and off-map artillery strike). And given that OKW is already strong enough in other departments with its stock options, the player can make use of a well-rounded set of tools throughout the game, rather than relying on single overpowered units with a limited window of opportunity.
## 0CP- Flammenwerfer 35
The stats are the same as those for the Ostheer flamethrower but there is one difference – you can equip the best early game infantry, the mighty Sturmpioneers with it instead of squishy pioneers. The best ability in this doctrine as it allows you to clear garrisons without spending a lot of munitions on incendiary grenades.
When you upgrade Sturmpioneers with this flamethrower, you turn them into one of the best infantry units in game if used properly. Simply put, they out-DPS most units in the open at short to mid-range with their three Sturmgewehrs while flamethrower “cooks” anything hiding behind cover or in a garrison. This puts enemy infantry into a lose-lose situation once you successfully closed in because if they stay in cover, the Flammenwerfer 35 will burn them and if they stay clear of cover, three Sturmgewehrs (with support of the flamethrower) will finish the job.
We will talk about using Sturmpioneers with Flammenwerfer 35 in the early-mid game to their fullest later when I describe the whole OKW early game army composition.
## 0CP - Volksgrenadier Assault Package
We will not use this ability in our strategy. StG upgrade fits much better into our army composition because Volksgrenadiers bleed less and scale better into the late game with StG upgrade.
Incendiary grenade is also better than normal one because it both harms the squad and denies the cover. And if you need some smoke, then it is a better idea to buy a le.IG 18 than to waste the fighting potential of a single Volksgrenadier squad. Once you acquire le.IG 18, you get also access to cheap incendiary barrage ability.
Allows le.IG 18s to fire 5 incendiary rounds into the target area; molotov damage over time, moderate scatter when fired in the FOW. 35 munitions. Shares the same cooldown with "normal" explosive rounds.
Not the workhorse of the doctrine but still a nice ability similar to Soviet Incendiary Barrage (weaker but much cheaper version).Just remember that you need a le.IG 18 light howitzer in order to use this ability.
For mere 35 munitions (only 5 munitions more than Volksgrenadiers incendiary grenades), this ability is very cost-efficient in the right hands. To use its potential to its fullest stick to these tips:
Do not use it as a support fire during mid/close range fights as you risk that your men will be caught in a hellfire as well.
*Use it before frontal assault to soften positions - either against team weapons to force them to relocate or behind an AT gun wall - the AT gun crewmen will either die because of the frontal (tank) assault or burn to death while reversing.
Use it during long range engagements as a cover denial, forcing enemy's squad to abandon advantageous position and lose essential DPS while repositioning.
*Use it against squads and machine guns in well-protected garrisons when the Sturmpioneers with a flamethrower are unable to close in or would take severe loses doing so.
*Use it against Emplacements. First (normal explosive) barrage will force the Emplacement to brace itself and the second (incendiary) barrage will destroy it.
I recommend you to only use this ability when you need to soften enemy's position before an attack. When you plan a full scale assault it is advised to use the Rocket Barrage, or use both the Rocket Barrage and the le.IG 18 Incendiary Rounds to create a massive chaos.
Surprisingly the Incendiary Rounds deal good input damage both against soldiers and garrisons. Often a single explosive shell isn't capable to destroy a garrison, yet a single incendiary shell is. Use the Incendiary Round to surprise your enemy by killing his squad in a severely damage, yet seeming safe building.
Manpower cost = 300
Fuel cost= 90
Population cap = 10
This unit role is misunderstood by the majority of coh2 community. It is not a tank. It is not a OpieOP Churchill Crocodile that laughs at AT guns. Do not use it like that. It is an infantry support vehicle and does its job very well. If you put a Hetzer behind Volksgrenadiers upgraded with Sturmgewehrs you will have a formidable anti-infantry force. Volkgrenadiers can go toe-to-toe with any Allied infantry that is in the open and beat any moving infantry without major problems. The Hetzer will force every infantry it encounters to abandon cover/garrison and start moving, unless they want to get roasted by the flames. The Hetzer’s pintle-mount machine gun and flamethrower together with the firepower of the STGs should be enough to deter any close-quarter-combat infantry from charging.
I usually call in a Hetzer later, after my first tank rolls out. This order is advantageous because I have already strong anti-infantry force but I need a medium tank that can challenge other mediums first.
Manpower cost = 200
Fuel cost = 50
High speed, but limited maneuverability and light armor, 240 health. Can reinforce nearby infantry and carry two squads. Range 20 aura that reduce reload by 35% and reduces ability recharge by 75% for all non-team weapon infantry.
It is not recommended to use this unit because it does not fit into the Build Order and the reward (a bit faster reinforcement, lesser retreats) is not worth the risk (big amount of micro required to keep both Luchs and Opel Blitz alive while also microing your infantry.
A normal off-map artillery strike with a moderate delay. Useful against static howitzers, emplacements, heavy machines guns in brick garrisons or as a support tool in a full-scale assault.
It is always worth it to use it on static on-map howitzers like Soviet ml-20 as it destroys them without any problems. This means you are trading your 200 munitions for enemy’s 600 manpower.
The barrage also destroys emplacements – if you can bypass the brace. Getting around the brace is not as hard as it might seem. First threaten the emplacement either with a tank or throw an incendiary grenade on it, wait until British player braces the emplacement and the brace wears off. Then you will have one minute to get line of sight on the emplacement and call-in a Rocket Barrage while brace is on cooldown.
Another use of the Rocket Barrage is support of a full-scale assault in the late game. First, prepare your forces to attack, then get some line of sight on your opponent’s AT-gun wall and call in a Rocket Barrage on said guns. Then push in with your tanks and infantry as the AT guns must be either repositioned or are finished off by the Rocket Barrage. I like to call-in the Rocket Barrage slightly behind the AT-gun wall so your opponent cannot move AT guns backwards, only forwards – right into your incoming forces. This will put your opponent into a nasty lose-lose situation.
You can also use the Rocket Barrage on lone capping squads, on units/heavy machine guns in garrisons or on retreating squads but that is not recommended. The Rocket Barrage has a rather long delay and your opponent will have plenty of time to move his squad away from the barrage circle. Also calling in a barrage on retreating squads for a wipe is really hard to pull off and usually fails and that is 200 munitions down the drain.
Use the Rocket Barrage in conjunction with le.IG 18 Incendiary Rounds to create massive chaos among enemy ranks.
The commander shines on urban maps and thus we will veto those maps, where garrisons aren't important. If you end up playing on a map which is not featured below then chose another, more traditional, commander instead.
Here is a list of 1v1 maps. Veto some of these in order to help yourself.
*Road to Kharkov
*Crossing in the Woods
Our capping plan is almost always the same – secure important locations with first and second Sturmpioneer, wait for Volksgrenadiers and Flamethrower upgrade and creep forward to important location. Down below is a common colour pattern used for every map capture order.
It is advised to start the second phase once your second Volkgrenadier squad reaches the assaulting Sturmpioneers do. But sometimes, when the enemy is occupying a key garrison or is in an entrenched position, it is better to wait for the Flamethrower upgrade and start the second phase once you are able to clear garrisons.
The right time to start the second phase may vary a bit for each map so I will explain it better under each map. Also do note that ideal capping plan may not be achievable every time so feel free to adapt a bit. The general rule always remain - win first fights with superior Sturmpioneers, secure key locations and creep forward with your whole army once you upgrade Flamethrower (or once you force your enemy to retreat).
Make attack WHILE the Flamethower upgrade is being acquired. You will confuse your enemy because this way he will not know that you have a flamethrower unit. He may refuse to abandon garrison early on and lose his squad. Also your opponent won't be able to burst down the squad with Flamethrower because he won't know which Sturmpioneer squad of those 2 is upgrading the Flamethrower.
Focus on the right side with your Sturmpioneers. First Sturmpioneer will secure key garrisons on your side whereas the second one will capture the fuel and hides in bushes nearby - for a nasty surprise. First Volksgrenadiers will try to capture the left side. Do not pick unfavourable fights there, rather wait for third Volksgrenadiers.
Once you obtain flamethrower push forward with 2 Sturmpioneers and Second (green) Volksgrenadiers in order to secure enemy's cut off garrison and second VP.
Third (purple) Volksgrenadiers can be sent either to left or right side, following and intercepting enemy's movements.
Follow the Map Capture Order. Secure key buildings in the middle with your Sturmpioneers and capture territory on your side with your first Volksgrenadiers. Once the town square is seized, push to enemy’s cut-off with your main army (if you are having problems to seize town square, wait for the Flamethrower upgrade). If your enemy stays on defence task you third (purple) Volkgrenadiers to help the assault. If enemy plans to make a counterattack on your fuel then send your third Volksgrenadiers to help the first Volksgrenadiers in holding your side.
Stick to Map Capture Order Picture and you will be fine. Just remember that seizing the garrison is always a priority. Only capture strategic points near the garrison when you are sure that no threat is nearby.
Same drill as always: Secure the church and the middle with the Sturmpioneers, capture your part of map with first Volksgrenadiers and push towards enemy’s cut off once you upgrade the flamethrower. If the situation is critical then the third Volkgrenadiers should help your main forces. Otherwise they will capture enemy’s fuel.
Everything is explained in the Map Capture Order Image. The second phase begins once you upgrade the flamethrower. Do note that capping orders vary a bit for each site so go through them carefully. Remember the basic rule – securing key garrisons is the priority and capturing nearby tiles comes second.
Everything is explained in the Map Capture Order Image. The second phase begins once you upgrade the flamethrower. Do note that capping orders vary a bit for each site so go through them carefully. Remember the basic rule – securing key garrisons is the priority and capturing nearby tiles comes second.
The strategy is the same as before: secure key locations, wait for flamethrower upgrade and creep towards enemy’s key garrisons. Remember that your end goal is more important than capturing a strategic point in your way. You can always capture it afterwards.
I recommend that you choose this commander from the beginning of the match, so that you may use the Flammenwerfer 35 to its fullest.
We will use the same core build and map capture order against all Allied factions. I call it 3 S - seize, secure and strike. First, the 2 Sturmpioneers will seize important garrisons and locations. Then key locations will be secured and important strategic points will be captured by Volksgrenadiers. At last, once the flamethrower is upgraded, the whole army will strike towards key enemy's location like a fuel or cut-off. This part of the early game is more thoroughly explained in the Map Capture Orders section.
Remember, you are playing your early game with a goal. You have an advantage in army strength so use it to its fullest. Always pick fights only when you are sure that you can will win them and you will achieve something by winning them. Be agressive and do not let your enemy breath. Successful early game is half of a win.
The play with Sturmpioneers is the most important part of the early game. You want to minimize the damage taken. Always try to use the environment (sightblockers, shotblockers) to your advantage. Ambush, flank and surprise your enemy with Sturmpioneers. Occupy a squad with Volkgrenadiers and in a meanwhile ambush it with a Sturmpioneer from behind. Never charge with Sturmpioneers through the open ground. They are your strongest early game unit and you want them to keep on the battlefield as long as you can. If they get harmed too soon you will have to retreat them or even buy a medkit for them, which will delay your flamethrower upgrade.
With Volksgrenadiers it is much easier. Keep them at long range in a cover when picking a fight and you will be fine. Try to use Volkgrenadiers as a bait while you are setting an ambush with your Sturmpioneers.
To use medical crates to their fullest, move multiple wounded squads really close to them and then order the squads to heal themselves. This way only one medical crate is spent, yet all squads are healed. Therefore try to always heal your squads in bunches, so you can upgrade StGs sooner.
** AGAINST SOVIETS **
Against Tier 0 (Conscripts)
The strength of forces is slightly in your favour this time. Stick to everything said before and you will be fine. It is not a bad idea to acquire a Rakketenwerfer before the Luchs because some Soviet players like to add the Clown car into their "Conscript spam" build order.
Against Tier 1 (Penal Battalions)
The hardest early game match-up. Penal Battalions beat your Volkgrenadiers at all ranges, provided that the cover is equal. The Sturmpioneers can only defeat Penal Battalions if they ambush them and burst them down at mid-close range. Baiting and perfect environment play is a must against Soviets.
There is still a single advantage for OKW against Soviets -the Super Early game. You will have a minute of opportunity at the beginning of match until the Soviet player builds Tier 1 and starts training Penal Battalions. Put this time into a good use and be super aggressive with your 2 Sturmpioneers – even more aggressive than usual. The more ground you seize before the fights begins the less you will have to grab afterwards.
The Rakketen is a must against Soviets. You cannot risk losing all what you have gained in the early game to the Clown Car. I build the Rakketen after 3rd Volkgrenadiers. Never put the Rakettenwerfer into a garrison or you will risk losing it to dangerous flamethrower present in the Clown Car.
Against tier 2 (Maxims)
The key when facing the Maxims is to occupy the Maxim with Volkgrenadiers while Sturmpioneers flank the Maxim from behind. The general game plan remains the same but it is not advised to start the “strike phase” until the flamethrower is upgraded because you will have a hard time breaking through Soviet defensive line without it. Once you upgrade the Flamethrower, Maxims will become more of a nuisance than a real threat.
The Rakketenwerfer should be acquired after the Luchs. There is no need to call it any sooner this time.
** AGAINST USF **
The strength of forces is very similar in this match up. Stick to everything said before and you will be fine. Just remember to acquire a Rakketenwerfer if you see the Lieutenant to soft-counter inevitable M20.
** AGAINST UKF **
Heads down the easiest Early Game match up. The general game plan remains the same but it is not advised to start the “strike phase” until the flamethrower is upgraded because you will have a hard time breaking through British defensive line without it. On the other hand the game will turn into your favour the minute the flamethrower is acquired.
All core British units need to stand still in a cover/garrison to outperform yours. The moment you cut the distance with Sturmpioneers you will put your enemy into a lose-lose situation. If the Infantry Section or the Vickers stays in cover, the flamethrower will burn it to ashes. If it moves, the firepower of StG’s will make an Emmental of it.
The Rakketenwerfer should be only acquired if the British player sends an Universal Carrier to break your formation. Otherwise it may wait until the Luchs is acquired.
The Mid Game is when you acquire the Luchs and things start going on. With a good utilisation of your army you can easily snowball the game into your victory. But it is not as easy as it seems. The enemy will most likely field some kind of a counter against your Luchs and will try to destroy it. That is why an important Luchs play is the one of the most important parts of the Mid Game. However, you should not neglect your others units as well. Keep an eye on all of them and you will be fine.
Many players, including me, have a tendency to pursuit anything they see with the Luchs, especially enemy's light vehicles (M3 or m20). But this is not the optimal approach. Often a reckless dive results into a dead Luchs because it ran into a simple trap. If you lose the Luchs during the dive, you would be 60 fuel behind and your opponent would still be able to harass you with his light vehicle. If both vehicles die, you would be "only" 40 fuel behind. Compared to what you gain by successful dive it is not really worth, because enemy's light vehicle is already hard-countered by the presence of a Luchs and it must always back up when it encounters Luchs. That's why I recommend you stick to my tips in order to use the Luchs to its full potential without losing it within first 3 minutes.
Generally you want to keep the Luchs on the flanks, so you can easily win any infantry engagements occuring there or force any harassing squads to retreat. Most players do not have their primary AT on a flank, so this is another plus. And if you constantly move your Luchs from one map location to another then your enemy will hardly utilise his AT gun.
In the central map location do not engage enemy’s infantry with Luchs alone. Try rather using it as a supporting source of DPS during infantry fights. This way you will utilise the raw firepower to its fullest without having to worry about enemy’s light vehicles, because a Volkgrenadier is nearby to dispatch panzerfaust at any reckless vehicle.
Never leave the Luchs unsupported. Clever mines in Luch’s retreat path, hidden Rakketenwerfers and a Volksgrenadier squad can easily create a death-trap for any vehicle that tries to pursue the annoying Luchs. However, if you leave your Luchs unprotected and enemy makes a dive for it then you are in a big trouble.
If the Luchs survives into the Late Game then keep it behind the mainline, for example to cover your cut-off, fuel or victory point from lone capping infantry. The Luchs is not a good main battle tank anymore, thus it is wise to always disengage a fight with it once enemy’s tanks show up.
If you have not already, then acquire the first and the second Rakketenwerfer right after the Luchs. The Rakketenwerfers are a must to protect your Luchs and your army from any reckless light vehicles (American Stuart, British Armoured Car or Soviet T70).
Then you have 3 build order options to choose from. The first option is to go all-in with Mechanized HQ vehicle spam and the other 2 are variants of Schwer HQ build order. I will give you insight into all of them, but in the end it is up to you to choose one of them, according to the current battlefield conditions.
This one is an all-in strategy because you do not have any late-game. You will either succeed with your Luchs spam and completely force your opponent from the map or die trying. At a first glance this may look like madness, but surprisingly this strategy is very strong against certain build orders or players that are not enough prepared for the Luchs spam.
** Strong against **
Weak players, who are already losing hard after the first Luchs hits the field.
Russian players, who went Tier 1 Penal spam or Snipers. It is generally known that Soviet Tier 1 is weak against light vehicles so why not to use this to your advantage.
USF players, who went Lieutenant + m20 and are already falling behind. If they cannot get Stuart in time, there is nothing what can stop the Luchs spam.
UKF players, who did not pick Special Weapons Regiment. British faction has problems against light vehicles from its nature, because they lack snares.
** Weak against **
Good players, who are prepared for the first Luchs and will most likely also properly respond to any new light vehicle.
Russian players, who went Conscript spam or Tier 2 Maxim spam. There is no point obtaining additional light vehicles, when you know that your opponent can easily upgrade AT grenades and buy Zis AT guns.
USF players, who went Captain + Stuart. It makes no sense to acquire additional light vehicles when your opponent is already prepared to counter them.
Some UKF players, who are too scared of light vehicles and already invested they resources into Armored Car and Pounder AT guns or requisitioned Infantry Anti-tank section. Against these it is wiser to abuse their weaknesses in AI departments by getting 4th Volkgrenadier squad or quickly teching for Schwer HQ and Obersoldaten.
6.Adapt to Battlefield Conditions
Our plan with this strategy is simple. Apply constant pressure at your enemy and gain valuable territories with your army while you wait for the second Luchs. Just do not be too aggressive with the Luchs, so your opponent does not invest too many resources into his AT department.
Once the second Luchs hits the field make a full scale assault with your army. If there is an AT gun then the Luchses must flank the AT gun and burst it down. Otherwise they should accompany your forces to out-power his army and secure the flanks. Rakettenwerfers should accompany your main forces too, to scare any light vehicle that tries to threaten your Luchses.
After you push the enemy off the map I recommend you to acquire a Puma and two HMG 34s to defend gained territories. Without fuel your enemy will not have big chances to push your strong army off the map. Any gained fuel should be used to build more light vehicles (Luchses if he starts spamming infantry, second Puma if you want to tackle his medium tank or Stuka zu Fuss when he starts building weapon teams and AT gun walls). Eventually your enemy will either surrender or quickly loses because of the VP drain.
You may also want to build Battlegruppe HQ for munition-free healing once you do not know what to do with manpower and fuel.
Beware! Only go for this strategy if you are at least 75 % sure that you will seize almost the whole map or wipe some squads with 2 Luchses. If you fail to snowball your mid-game advantage into victory then there is little hope for you, because you have no late-game vehicles (or will get them too late).
The conservative strategies compared to the Mechanized HQ Luchs spam. If you do not know which strategy to choose, then I recommend you stick with this one.
I put these 2 strategies together because they are more of a variation of a single strategy than 2 completely different ones. The first focuses on Panther and Hetzer combo while the other one focuses on fast Panzer 4. But at first, let take a look at their common build order.
Stick to everything I have told you already in the early and mid game phase and you will be fine. Be more conservative, hold what you have gained and pick favourable fights as before. You cannot afford to lose any units right now (especially not the Luchs), because it will take some time until you get your first medium tank. Use hidden Rakketenwerfs to protect the Luchs from any vehicles. The Hmg 34 should be used to either secure important location or to suppress enemy forces during infantry fights.
You enter the late-mid game when you set up the Schwer HQ. To set it up properly please take a look at Cookiez 'n' Creem OKW Truck Placement Guide.
Once the Schwer HQ is set up I recommend you to acquire one or two Obersoldaten squads (depending on your manpower reserves) to strengthen your long range infantry department. They synergize well with close range oriented Sturmpioneers like Volksgrenadiers did in the early game. Also you want to add some long range oriented infantry into the army roster because closing in becomes risky in the late game when tanks and explosive shells are everywhere.
Using Obersoldaten is not a rocket science. A-move them into battlefield to avoid unwanted encounters and always stick to green cover or garrison.
Once you stockpile 140 fuel in the biggest question arise. Should you acquire a Panzer 4 or wait another two minutes for a Panther? Generally I would wait for Panther because Panther is in a great spot now and it counters any Allied medium tank while also being useful against infantry. Another fact is that Panther and Hetzer synergize together much better than Panzer 4 and Jagdpanzer 4. After the Hetzer I usually build the Battlegruppe HQ, upgrade medics and wait for the Kingtiger.
However, there is still a case when you want to pick the Panzer 4 over the Panther. The Panzer 4 has better AI and is also useful against other medium tanks. If you are winning the game, I recommend you to go Panzer 4 to apply even bigger pressure at your opponent and finish the game right there. After the Panzer 4 I would acquire Jagdpanzer 4 to supplement your AT department and then wait for the Kingtiger.
There is not much to be said about the late-game. You already know how to use all Feuersturm related units to their fullest and you most likely also know how to use core OKW tanks because you are a diehard OKW fan. Therefore, I will give you tips I have found the most useful during my own late game.
Be conservative with your play. Not only OKW veterancy is better than Allied, but also there is nothing what can stop fully built OKW army. If you preserve your infantry forces, Panther, Hetzer and also requisition the Kingtiger, there is nothing what can stop you.
Do not forget to secure flanks as well. I have seen many OKW players who focus on spearhead assaults but eventually lose the game because they do not pay enough attention to VPs on the flanks. You should have at least single anti infantry tank and 2 Rakketenwers, so use them on the flank while your main army occupies enemy’s main forces in the middle.
Do not overextend with your tanks. Your tanks are too expensive to be wasted away. Only pursue enemy’s tanks when you know that you will destroy his tank and your will escape. If you are not sure, then do not dive.
Mine win games. Do not forget to place some mines on important locations while you engineers are not busy fighting or repairing your tanks. You will be surprised how many times a single mine can turn the most sophisticated plan into an utter failure.
Pay attention to your infantry. Your tanks are only as good as your support infantry is. Some OKW players only focus at their tanks and forget about their infantry all together. Then they often lose the game, because the tanks alone cannot guarantee territory integrity.
Adapt to your opponent’s build order. If you see that he is investing resources into Tank destroyers then build a Jagtpanzer 4 before the Kingtiger. If your enemy builds a static howitzer, acquire a kubelwagen, an expendable scout, to spot for your off-map artillery barrage.
I want to especially thank to pigsoup, who gave me the helping hand when I needed it most and pushed me forward when I doubted.
Then to RitaRush, the author of the Guide Highlight, who surely spent 1 minute drawing the circle and then 2 additional hours carving the Hetzer from the circle
Another thanks goes to my big mug of coffee and to U2 band, because without them I would never find the energy to finish the guide in a single Sunday night.
Last but not least I want to give one big thank to the great coh2 community, that kept me motivated, to our balance team, that brought fresh wind into the game, and to all my dearest readers, who are the biggest reason why I have started writing in a first place.
Without any of you the guide would never be able to make it,
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