We are excited to announce that the first preview of the Commander Update is now available!
This time around, we are doing things slightly differently. We are releasing this preview as a Beta, as opposed to a Steam Mod. This will allow for easier iteration, and better quality control between the preview and the final update.
To access the beta:
We will update this preview branch with each new iteration over the coming weeks.
As always, community testing and feedback is essential to help ensure this update is as good as it can possibly be. Please take the time to test these changes and provide your thoughts in the designated feedback threads:
The balance team has also provided a spreadsheet clearly outlining the new vs old Commander lineups.
Luftwaffe Supply Doctrine
Mobile Defense Doctrine
Conscript Support Tactics
Guard Rifle Combined Arms Tactics
Reserve Army Tactics
Soviet Anti-Infantry Tactics
Soviet Industry Tactics
Soviet Shock Army Tactics
Tank Hunter Tactics
Due to the heavy scatter of the shells of the 240mm Barrage, the cost has been adjusted and the first shell will now always land in the center to force units targeted by this ability to move. The shell damage, however, is still not enough to fully destroy items such as howitzers without additional hits.
The cost of Covering Fire has been reduced to better reflect its performance of trading the squad's DPS to force a debuff on another unit.
While Combined Arms is a difficult ability to use, it scaled incredibly well with late game armies thanks to the bonuses that it provides. The bonuses have been reduced. Some items such as the vehicle sight bonuses were removed to force infantry who do gain the sight bonus to scout ahead to make use of the vehicle range bonus.
The CP requirement for Fired Up is being reduced to allow Rifle Company to have a mobility advantage earlier in the match.
Heavy Cavalry Company Smoke Barrage
The price of this ability is being reduced to better reflect its performance in comparison to items such as Stuka Smoke Drop and Cover to Cover.
IR Pathfinder Barrage
Increasing the delay time will make the barrage less deadly to team weapons; currently the ability can knock out guns if they are not immediately moved away. The flares will also appear earlier to give a warning of the incoming artillery barrage.
Pershing is being adjusted to be repaired faster due to its reliance on Rear Echelon squads to repair it. The Pershing is also receiving a slight speed buff once it has received veterancy to retain its role as a mobile heavy tank.
M4A3 Sherman 105mm Dozer
The 105mm variant of the Sherman is receiving a number of improvements to make the unit stand out in the Armor Company Commander. For a unit that was mainly restricted to the short-ranged anti-infantry role, its somewhat weak armor and poor mobility made it perform poorly for its price tag. A barrage ability has also been added to allow the 105mm Sherman to help punch holes in defensive lines prior to assaults.
M4A3 Sherman Calliope
To make it easier to eliminate the Calliope when it is caught out of position, the unit is having its health and armor reduced. The minimum range has also been increased to make it harder to 'shotgun' units with a rapid-fire barrage at short range.
M4A3 Sherman E8
The E8 Sherman is receiving a number of changes that puts it in the range of premium tanks such as the Comet.
M8 Greyhound Canister Shot
Due to the short-range of this ability which exposes the M8 to danger, Canister Shot is having its cost reduced.
Mortar Half-Track WP Shells
P-47 Strafing Run
Has now been adjusted to evenly distribute its damage in a line. Will no longer single out a particular target when attacking an area. Units outside of this line will not be attacked.
Pathfinders (All Variants)
To allow Pathfinders to act as a sniper counter, the unit is receiving an accuracy bonus to all their weapons against hostile snipers. Adjustments to their sight have been made to make weapons recrewed by Pathfinders slightly less potent.
Rangers have had their stock weapons modified to be M1 Garand rifles that have improved performance over the standard Riflemen M1 Garand. While Rangers will still be generally upgraded with M1 Thompsons or Bazookas, the following change does give the squad the ability to fight at range which few USF squads can do effectively without upgrades.
Rear Echelon Rifle Grenades
The Rifle Grenade launcher is being adjusted to force user input from the player rather than being an auto-fire weapon that the opponent must constantly dodge.
The dozer blade has been removed from Reserve Armor due to the effectiveness of the 76mm Sherman.
Rifle Company Advanced Infantry Gear
Given how the flamethrower upgrade takes up the sweeper slot for Rear Echelon and that a second Rear Echelon squad is generally redundant, we are improving the upgrade. This will make Rear Echelon upgraded with the flamethrower more durable against incoming fire.
Rifle Company White Phosphorous Barrage
The cost of the White Phosphorous Barrage is being reduced to match other light artillery abilities such as Wehrmacht Light Artillery Barrage and Recon Support's Butterfly bombs.
Air Resupply Operation
The following change to this ability gives the player more control of where the items will land.
Assault is being adjusted to match other infantry combat boosts. The accuracy bonus is being reduced in exchange for received accuracy. The cost of the ability is also being increased due to the recon planes which no other infantry combat boost has.
The N0.77 WP grenade is having its range increased to match other DOT smoke grenades.
The extra grenade range at veterancy is being reduced. Similar to Panzergrenadiers, the extra range made the gammon bomb too potent, particularly against team weapons, even when suppressed.
Concentrated Fire Operation
Concentrated Fire Operation has been modified to be somewhat similar to Railway Artillery with the first shell being pin-point. However, unlike Railway Artillery, 25 pounder shell will now saturate the target area rather than additional super heavy shells.
Hold the Line
Hold the Line is being adjusted to be cheaper due to the very expensive nature of the Commander's existing abilities. Additional planes now come in slower to a maximum of two per sector and the rocket plane now will only attack vehicles.
Improved Fortifications has been modified to provide different bonuses for the emplacements. These changes will give Mortar Emplacements and 17 Pounders new abilities that do not impact their survivability against direct attacks, but allow them to debilitate/force away certain unit types that are within range.
The Land Mattress has been adjusted to be more mobile on the battlefield, which should make escaping off-maps easier. The white phosphorous barrage cost has also been reduced to match its performance.
M3 Resupply Halftrack
The M3 Halftrack is having its CP requirement reduced to better match its performance and timing. The weapon rack restriction has also been removed to incentivize the use of the half-track. Furthermore, with the recent change to the weapons that the M3 can drop, we are changing it so only the owning player's units can receive weapon upgrades.
To give the British players an option of going for a heavier Sapper squad early on with its commander, Recovery Sappers are now available from the start of the match.
Tank Hunter Infantry Section
Tank Hunter Infantry Sections have been adjusted to be better against vehicles by not being dependant on cover for their AT weapons. Their veterancy has also been adjusted to be geared towards fighting vehicles.
The following change will make the rockets of the Hawker more reliable. Currently the Hawkers overshoot their targets by a considerable margin. The Hawker cannons have also been improved to cause more damage to infantry given how there is only one AI plane in the ability.
Vickers K Light Machien Gun
To differentiate this weapon from the Bren Light Machine Gun, the Vickers K is being tuned to a weapon capable of fighting at medium and short-range that can also be fired on the move.
105mm Artillery Barrage
Since off-map abilities cannot be targeted in the base sector, the amount of munitions needed to escalate the ability is being reduced by a significant margin - previously the increase was due to the fact it could destroy the entire USF base. The number of shells will be lower than the old values, but it will be easier to max out the artillery barrage.
280mm Rocket Barrage
The following change should allow the rocket barrage from Feuerstorm to destroy stationary team weapons. Previously, there were times it could fail to kill howitzers as the projectiles only had penetration on their AOE, but not on direct-hits.
Buildable 20mm Flak Emplacement
With the removal of Artillery Flares from the Special Operations Commander, the Command Panther is receiving a flare ability to somewhat compensate for its loss.
Early Warning Flare Traps
The deployment time of Early Warning Flare traps is being reduced to make using the ability less time consuming.
The repair rate of Emergency Repairs is being reduced while the duration is being increased to make the repairs take longer, but restore the same amount of hit points. The ability restored hit points too quickly and got vehicles back into the fray after an incredibly short period of time, in comparison to most other repair abilities.
For the Fatherland
The duration of For the Fatherland is being increased while the combat speed bonus is being removed to match other infantry combat boosts.
Heavy Fortification and Field Defenses
The following change was done to give more options to players in terms of their field defenses and to allow the Fortifications commander to retain all its defensive options, while gaining another ability in the form of 'For the Fatherland'.
Incendiary Munitions for Le.IG
The cost of the incendiary rounds are being reduced to be a more viable option when compared with the standard HE barrage.
The change puts the King Tiger's pintle on-par with other vehicles.
The following change will make the Opel Blitz more vulnerable to attack from infantry units and machine guns when caught out of position.
The gun health of the Pak 43 is being increased to make the weapon more difficult to destroy, though the weapon will still be vulnerable to decrewing. Penetration has also been increased to match other heavy ATGs.
To improve their effectiveness in the early-game, without making them stronger in the mid-late game or adjusting their cost, Panzerfusiliers are having their rifles adjusted. The following changes will make their starting rifles almost on-par with Volksgrenadier rifles at shorter ranges while their total DPS should still be the same, even with G43 Rifles.
Radio Silence is receiving significant adjustments. Its speed bonus is being limited to only acivate when units are out of combat, as well as changes to cooldown and duration. We still want to maintain the ability's purpose of hiding units from the mini-map as it fits with the commander theme and provides a different sort of effect compared to most other abilities. We do want to add counterplay, however, with the ability now giving a warning to all players when the ability activates.
The boosts to hostile squads near a unit that has been affected by Forced Retreat is being removed. This better reflects the ability's high cost and will make it easier to use this ability.
Due to the high cost of Sturmpioneer which leads to only a maximum of two squads being produced at best, the flamethrower is losing its exclusive nature. Players can now choose either to go with the flamethrower for anti-cover and anti-garrison work, or the Panzerschreck to deter vehicles.
While being decrewed when reloading is an interesting mechanic, it led to the Sturmtiger being abandoned in very odd circumstances. Whether it be from stray artillery shells, direct-fire shells flying past the target and hitting the Sturmtiger in the background, one often ended up losing the veterancy of the Sturmtiger to things that were not due to the fault of the player. The mechanic is being removed to match the Churchill AVRE which does not suffer this issue.
Valiant Assault is having its offensive power reduced to reduce the power of veterancy infantry under its influence. To compensate, squads will be more difficult to hit when the ability is active.
Zeroing Artillery has been adjusted to be cheaper which should see the ability used more. Like other overwatch abilities that track their targets, however, there will now be a warning on the mini-map of the area that it covers.
251 Mobile Observation Post
Mobile Observation Post is receiving slight improvements to make it harder to detect the 251 and improve flare usage.
Assault and Hold
Assault and Hold is having its offensive power reduced to lower the power of veterancy infantry under its influence. To compensate, squads will be more difficult to hit when the ability is active.
The Assault Officer is having its reinforce cost reduced to better reflect the squad's lack of combat power for its timing when compared to other officer squads. The squad is also gaining increased vision radius to provide support without needing to be on the front-line.
To encourage the use of this ability which requires fuel, a reload bonus is being added to allow vehicles to make an aggressive push.
Command Panzer IV
The Command Panzer IV is receiving a smoke shell to allow it to support an assault or cover a retreat. The CP requirement has also been removed to allow the Command Tank to arrive when the Support Armor Korp or the Heavy Panzer Korp has been built. The Command Panzer IV has also received two new veteran 1 abilities to replace Blitzkrieg for this test. One of the two will be decided as the final ability at a later date.
The following changes will make the bunkers more efficient as platforms to rally a defense around and as repair stations.
Counter Attack Tactics
To promote this ability's use, Counter Attack Tactics will now allow squads to decapture territory quickly. This will make the ability more potent in the later stages of the game when most territory points are under player control.
Forward Resupply Station
Grenadier Jeager Light Infantry Package
Given the frailness of Grenadiers who rely on fighting at range, the G43 upgrade was often a downgrade to the unit, especially in late game scenarios against most infantry squads. To compensate for this weakness, the Jeager Light Infantry Package will now provide a survivability boost to Grenadiers and also give them a standard Grenade for offensive and defensive use.
Hulldown is being adjusted to no longer require infantry. This will make the ability easier to use as a tank can find a good position to set-up without needing to wait for an infantry squad.
JU-87 Suppression Loiter
The JU-87 Anti-Infantry suppression strafe is having its cost reduced due to its mediocre anti-infantry damage and reliance on a single plane unlike most other loiters.
Luftwaffe Field Officer
Mortar Halftrack Incendiary
The cost of this ability is being reduced to better match its performance when compared with the standard mortar barrage.
With the recent changes to Osttruppen, they no longer require their LMG being restricted behind the final tier upgrade.
Panzer Grenadier Support Package
The initial cost of the upgrade is being reduced because two of the three abilities provided already require additional munitions to function. Rudimentary Repair is also seeing a boost to make repairing somewhat viable and worth the cost of pulling the Panzer Grenadier squad from the frontline.
Panzer Tactician is gaining a slight delay to its activation to make it slightly harder to instantly block line of sight against anti-vehicle weapons.
Due to the late CP timing of the Puma which is geared to fight vehicles, its build-time is being reduced to allow it to arrive onto the battlefield sooner.
The number of squads it can grant is being lowered. In exchange, Relief Infantry will provide other boosts such as improvements to build-times and reinforcement speed. Cost and CP requirements have also been adjusted to reflect these changes.
To make it more difficult to enter areas being protected by Sector Artillery, the delay of the first shell being launched when a target has been sighted is being reduced.
Vehicle detection is having its cost reduced to match other mini-map detection abilities.
Strategic Bombing Run
To give the StuG E more utility, the unit is gaining a smoke barrage to cover assaults. An anti-infantry machine gun can also be added to provide additional firepower.
Stuka Incendiary Bombing Run
The Incendiary Bombing Run is being adjusted to be more lethal against infantry by increasing how fast the damage will accumulate when one is standing in the flames.
The Tiger is receiving a CP reduction along with the majority of other heavy tanks. The unit is also regaining some of its scatter bonus at veterancy that was removed in a previous patch to improve its AI performance.
The following change puts the Tiger Ace's cost on-par with other super heavy tanks such as the King Tiger.
Vehicle Crew Repair
The 120mm is having its reload time for barrages reduced. Previously, they were too high when combined with the slow shell speed due to the high-angle arc. We are also giving this unit a new veterancy 1 ability to differentiate from the PM-41 82mm Mortar which reinforces its role as a heavier artillery piece.
152mm Howitizer Strike
Advanced Fortifications is having a defensive bunker added to the ability to improve the defensive options of the Soviet Army.
Airborne Guards are having their Assault Package adjusted to offer a different playstyle and be viable to their LMG upgrade. The changes reinforce their role as ambushers with a large number of abilities to aid them during combat.
Armored Vehicle Detection
This ability has received a major change to promote its use. By allowing tank guns to track vehicle targets for a short period of time, it should allow Soviets to maintain line of sight on vehicles for additional follow-up shots.
Assault Guards have been heavily adjusted to be a standalone unit that does not require an M5 to bring the squad to the battlefield. They will now have two upgrade paths they can choose from to fulfill certain battlefield roles. Their abilities and veterancy has also been adjusted to make the unit stand out from other units in the Soviet army.
The B4-203mm is receiving changes to how the unit functions. The damage has been reduced, in exchange for being able to fire more shells into the target area. This will make the unit more effective at barraging defensive lines, and less reliant on RNG of the first shell.
Conscript Assault Package
Conscripts are gaining another submachine gun to their PPSh-41 upgrade to reinforce their role as cheap close-quarter combat troops, rather than having an equal mix of rifles and SMGs.
Conscript Repair Package
Conscript Repair Package is being renamed and adjusted to allow Penals to repair vehicles. This should make this commander ability more useful for Penal Battalion builds.
Fear Propaganda has been adjusted to make the start of the ability more reliable with a guaranteed chance of a slow.
For the Motherland
IL-2 Rocket Run
Given the high damage of this ability, we are lowering the penetration of the ability to make the ability less potent - particularly against the heaviest tanks that have limited mobility. Players will now need to set up the rocket run to hit the rear of hostile vehicles to deal high amounts of damage.
IL-2 Sturmovik Strafing Run
The Advanced Warfare Commander Strafe is being adjusted to provide reliable damage within a target area. Cost has been adjusted to reflect the ability's power, and its potency against soft targets.
The IS-2, like other heavy tanks, is seeing its CP requirement reduced. Furthermore, its experience requirements are being lowered to be closer with the veterancy requirements of other heavy tanks.
KV-1 Heavy Tank
The damage reduction of the KV-1 is being removed to increase the amount of time needed to repair this potent vehicle. Health has been moved back up to compensate. Population has also been adjusted to reflect the unit's power and durability. The change to hull down ensures that the KV-1 will still require 8 shots to be killed off by most tank guns.
M2HB Team Call-In
To give the ML-20 some utility, the unit is receiving a Creeping Smoke Barrage that will not share a cooldown with the main barrage. This will give Soviet players the ability to block LOS from long-range and give the ML-20 some use when the primary barrage is on cooldown.
PMD-6 Light Anti-Tank Mines
Rapid Conscription is being adjusted. The number of squads it can grant is being lowered. In exchange, Rapid Conscription will provide other boosts such as improvements to build-times and reinforcement speed. Cost and CP requirements have also been adjusted to reflect these changes.
The following change puts Shock Troops inline with other Red Army elites.
The following change is to delay the SVT Rifles to put this upgrade's timing on par with other weapon upgrades.
ZIS-6 Cargo Truck
The ZIS-6 Truck has been added to the Soviet faction as their version of the Ostheer Opel Blitz Supply Truck. This unit will allow select Soviet commanders to generate resources over-time, so as long as the truck is protected.