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Video Game: Company of Heroes
aka: Companyof Heroes
Division of Heroes would imply too large of a group, and just doesn't have the same ring to it.
Company of Heroes is a Real-Time Strategy PC game set on the Western Front of World War II. It was created by Relic Entertainment, the developers of the Dawn of War series. Relic's next generation engine, dubbed Essence, was introduced with this game, succeeding the aging Impossible Creatures Engine used by Dawn of War. It was ported to the Mac in May 2013 as Company of Heroes Complete: Campaign Edition, which includes every campaign from the original and expansions, as well as skirmishes against the AI.

The campaign follows both Able Company of the 29th Infantry Division and Fox Company of the 101st Airborne Division through the Invasion of Normandy, from the D-Day landings to the closing of the Falaise Pocket. The Band of Brothers TV series has been a major inspiration for the game, even the title comes from a line in the last episode and the last line in the book.

The gameplay builds heavily on Dawn of War's formula (so much so that many consider it the WWII version), focusing on map control and infantry combat. New elements include a third resource, Munitions, that is spent on using special abilities (such as throwing a grenade or calling in an airstrike), instead of the more common Mana Meter. The map is still filled with capturable strategic points, that now control the sector around them. This territory counts as "home terrain" for the owner of the point, which affects several game mechanics. To gain resources, players must capture strategic sectors then ensure a contiguous chain of sectors that leads back to their headquarters. Players can choose one of three specializations for their army, giving them a set of unique units and abilities to unlock with experience points.

A stand-alone expansion called Opposing Fronts was released in September 2007. It features two new armies (The British Commonwealth and the "Panzer Elite"), each with their own campaign, focusing on the Liberation of Caen by the British 2nd Army and Kampfgruppe Lehr's defense of the bridges targeted by Operation Market Garden respectively.

A second expansion, Tales of Valor, mixes up the formula. Rather than adding new sides, the expansion adds new play variations for campaign and multiplayer, most based on controlling one or a few powerful units instead of an army of weaker ones. The multiplayer variations are described in their own section below. The campaigns are "Tiger Ace", which covers a fictionalized version of the Battle of Villers-Bocage from the perspective of the titular Tiger Ace, "Causeway", where several squads from the 82nd Airborne attempt to secure the La Fiere Causeway, and "Falaise Pocket", where the German defenders must delay the Allies from closing the Pocket for as long as possible.

A sequel named Company of Heroes 2 was released on June 25, 2013. Set on the Eastern Front from 1941 onwards, the player takes command of either the Red Army or the Wehrmacht in the midst of Operation Barbarossa, a full scale invasion of the Soviet Union. It received extremely negative reactions from many Russians (The reasons are summed up in this video), to the point that the Russian publisher ceased its distribution.

In the campaign, you follow the wartime experiences of Soviet officer-turned-war correspondent Lev Abramovich Isakovich, who, several years after the end of the war, is languishing in a Siberian labor camp for the contents of his journal, which negatively portray and question the actions of the Soviet Union during the war. Under interrogation by NKVD Colonel Churkin, his former commanding officer, he relives those dark and trying times...

There is also a separate, continuously updated campaign called Theater of War, which covers various battles from all over the Eastern Front that aren't covered in the main campaign. It features co-op scenarios (playable with either other players or an AI partner), solo challenges focusing on certain tactics and strategies, and set-piece battles against the AI. Initially, only the 1941 scenarios are available, with battles from later on available as DLC.

The game uses the newer Essence 3.0 engine, touted as having increased graphical fidelity and new environmental destruction. The infamous "General Winter" will also play a huge role, requiring you to monitor your units' temperature and ensure they don't freeze to death. Players can customize their armies with cosmetic skins for vehicles and up to 3 Intelligence Bulletins that provide bonuses to certain unit types. Commanders replace the first game's Doctrines (with its parts being unlocked with subsequent command points received in your total pool instead of being bought with them) and fulfill the same role, though the player can now choose which Commanders they want to bring to battle. Many are unlocked by reaching a certain level with others being sold as DLC, and most Intelligence Bulletins also require the player to complete certain criteria, like using specific abilities a set amount of times or killing certain unit types using another unit type. Further details can be found here.

The UI was changed, most noticeably allowing all units to be selected from a list on the top-right, as well as displaying their status, and a more intuitive hotkey set using the buttons Q, T, Z and B and those between them. Tech trees were streamlined, with significantly less global upgrades being available for both sides in the game. Points became small areas that capturing units could stand or move around in to take or contest the point instead of being forced to stand right next to it to do so. Weapon crews became significantly more distinct and asymmetrical. Smoke was changed to uniformly block line of sight. Veterancy was changed to be earned by both sides in combat, with units first obtaining an ability from their first veterancy rank and then usually getting passive statistical bonuses for subsequent ranks - in addition to killing units, veterancy experience can be earned from doing and taking damage, with less from the latter. Planes called in from commander abilities may stick around longer than in the first game and provide sight while they fly by, but this further risks them being shot down by anti-air methods. Later patching to the game also enhanced the necessity of cover and positioning to infantry combat by increasing the lethality of the game's small arms, and added a new system for penetrating vehicle armor, with most rounds being less effective at penetrating armor as they travel to varying degrees depending on the gun.

A standalone multiplayer expansion for 2 titled The Western Front Armies was released on June 23, 2014, harking back to the original game's setting with the US Forces and Oberkommando West armies. The US Forces emphasize mobility and versatility, with infantry weapon upgrades being available at base to be bought and picked up for all non-weapon team infantry and vehicle crews may disembark from their vehicles to capture territory, repair their vehicle, run for their lives should their vehicle risk being destroyed or, quite rarely, fight on foot - the US Forces' appropriate drawback is a lack of heavy tanks. The Oberkommando West represent the last major muster of Germany's forces toward the war's end approaching and have hardened and elite infantry at their command backed by similarly rare and advanced support weapons, vehicles and other equipment and their base buildings' equivalents as supply trucks may be set down (permanently) closer to the front to provide different kinds of aid - but they will rely on distinctly good command of these assets as their supply lines are on the ropes, with all territory granting them only 66% of the fuel income that would normally be given to other armies. They lack the ability to build relevant buildings to boost their resource gain on territory, and so instead must rely on scavenging fuel from abandoned weapons and vehicles or using one of their supply trucks to boost either their fuel gain at the cost of munitions - or gain more munitions for less fuel, if one would prefer.


This game contains examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo:
    • German Snipers in 2 with a rank in veterancy can shoot an incendiary explosive "B.- Patronen" round that, in addition to killing any one infantryman with one shot, will stun the squad of the recipient, temporarily stopping them from moving or shooting back.note 
    • MG-42 Heavy Machine Gun teams can load incendiary armor-piercing rounds for a short duration, improving their damage and penetration such that they can even damage lighter tanks (if not with the majority of their rounds fired throughout the duration) while its active.
  • A Commander Is You: At the start of every skirmish or multiplayer match, the player must choose one of three doctrines/commanders that give them access to new map abilities, upgrades and units, the choice of which adds new elements to the faction.
    • America (1): Jack of All Trades, has units that are highly flexible and can perform a variety of roles. Has elements of Economist, since they can build a supply yard to reduce unit upkeep.
    • Wehrmacht (1): Elitist Faction, has stronger but more expensive units that are specialized in specific roles, but can't do much outside their intended roles.
      • Defensive Doctrine: a combination of Unit Specialist and Technical focusing on defense. It can easily repel any enemy assault on their base, at least until the enemy gets vehicles that can stand up to machine gun fire, but doesn't offer as much later on in the game.
      • Terror Doctrine: a mix of Brute Force and Technical, focusing on buffing units with abilities, as well as calling in powerful artillery strikes. It is probably best known for its ability to call in a King Tiger, the strongest unit in the game, which can be extremely deadly if supported correctly.
      • Blitzkrieg Doctrine: a combination of Brute Force and Guerilla, depending on how it's used. Many abilities are focused on going on the offense, and it can call in a Tiger (weaker compared to the King Tiger, but it is better at killing infantry, moves more quickly, and can be replaced should it be destroyed). The Guerilla part comes from its ability to call in Stormtroopers, which are more expensive versions of Grenadiers that can be deployed from any unoccupied building in friendly territory and can hide from enemy units.
    • British: Unit Specialist, focusing on defense. Only officers can gain veterancy, but any XP earned by troops near them goes to the officer. In return, the officer confers various effects to the troops within his area of effect. All of their main buildings can pack up and become mobile. While they have the fewest buildings of all the factions - meaning they have to spend the least resources on them - it also makes their bases easier to destroy if an opposing player can reach them. They have lots of powerful defensive emplacements and if they are allowed sufficient time to build up defenses, it can become almost impossible to uproot them. However, they are limited by a lack of armored vehicles and mobility.
      • Royal Canadian Artillery Support: Technical, focusing on calling in artillery strikes and improving their standard artillery units. It also gives the British their only mobile artillery unit. Longest ranged artillery of all factions; don't let them get line of sight on anything important.
      • Royal Commandos Support: Guerrilla and Technical, giving the British access to deadly commando teams and ultra-light tanks that can be deployed by gliders, as well as abilities that reveal the map.
      • Royal Engineers Support: Unit Specialist, focusing on vehicles, which can call in unique variants of the Churchill tank for different situations.
    • Panzer Elite: Poorly named, as they field the fewest actual tanks of any faction. They're really more of a mechanized army, meaning your infantry collaborates with light vehicles or you die. Unit Specialist and Technical, focusing on lighter vehicles with a large variety of different abilities, and have very good mobility. Best used on the offensive, as they have almost no defensive emplacements.
      • Scorched Earth Tactics: Technical, focusing mostly on defensive abilities and a few destructive ones. These consist of things like setting up bombs in buildings and strategic points, and artillery barrages that trigger if an enemy enters an area, and even temporarily disabling strategic points. They can also call in a powerful mobile artillery unit.
      • Luftwaffe Tactics: Technical, with abilities aimed at destroying enemy units and doctrine exclusive units in the form of powerful infantry, artillery, and an AA tank that shreds infantry and light vehicles, but can barely scratch other tanks.
      • Tank Destroyer Tactics: Unit Specialist, focused on anti-tank weaponry and tactics, with many upgrades and abilities to that effect, and can call in Hetzer and Jagdpanther tank destroyers.
    • Wehrmacht/Ostheer (2): Elitist Faction, their infantry squads are smaller but individually stronger, their heavy weapons have smaller crews but shoot faster, and their vehicles are more expensive but also more effective than their Russian counterparts. Their units also tend to be more specialized, though not to the same extent as in the first game.
    • Red Army: Spammer Faction, their units tend to be cheaper and/or larger but are individually weaker than their German counterparts. They're somewhat more versatile, as many of their units have a special ability that grants them additional roles.
    • In 2, you may also select up to three commanders for your multiplayer loadouts, of which you can pick one once you gain a command point. Each has their own set of special abilities (such as air strikes) and unique units (such as Tiger tanks). There is quite a bit of overlap between their abilities, meaning that there'll generally be a commander for every playstyle.
  • Action Girl: Russian sniper teams and vehicle crews may be made up of females in 2, with their own appropriate voice-over.
    Female-crewed T-34/76: I will fuck you up!
  • Agony of the Feet: Numerous lines delivered by infantry units ordered to move in 2's winter maps complain about their feet or note the poor condition of their boots.
    German MG42 Team: My feet are fucking freezing.
  • The Alleged Tank: The commander of the Hotchkiss Light Tank is dismissive of his vehicle, though more over its armor than its driving capabilities.
    Hotchkiss Light Tank: Grandmother's wagon/wagen note  has more armor than this rusty can.
    Hotchkiss Light Tank taking effective fire: Another shot!? We're still alive!?
  • Always Accurate Attack: Soviet mortar teams from 2 all have an ability gained from the first rank of veterancy which will fire a round that will always land exactly wherever you targeted. Excellent against weapon teams, who must be stationary to fire their weapons and require time to pack up if they want to move after deploying.
  • Amusing Injuries: After a Conscript squad from 2 finishes building a sandbag wall, the squad leader may precede reporting it's done with:
    I think Dimitri pulled his groin...
  • Arbitrary Gun Power: Every weapon has a damage stat which isn't shown to the player, with automatic weapons typically getting lower damage per shot to balance out their rate of fire.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted by the Russian Shock Troops of 2. They're the only infantry unit in either game that wears body armour, and correspondingly no other infantry unit is as hardy as them. Well, aside from the German Artillery Field Officer.
  • Anachronic Order: Minor cases with both the original's and sequel's campaigns.
    • The "Invasion of Normandy" campaign starts off with the D-Day beach landings, but the next mission takes place a few hours before during the Airborne drops.
    • 2's campaign starts in the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942, then moves back to 1941 and continues on in chronological order from there. Justified, as all the campaign missions are Lev Isakovich's flashbacks and he remembers Stalingrad most vividly, while the subsequent flashbacks are due to Colonel Churkin's prompting.
  • Anachronism Stew:
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: A voice for German infantry in 2 talks about how he's glad a dead man's dead while out-of-combat. Subverted Trope when an infantryman goes down and another one responds "He was an asshole, but he was our asshole!".
  • And This Is for...:
    • British Infantry Sections can respond to attack orders with "This one's for Shawn!".
    • Destroying the weather-disabled tanks in the fourth campaign mission of 2 may cause your engineers to yell "That was for Aleksei!" in triumph.
  • Anti-Villain Protagonist:
    • Major General Voss and the two Berger brothers, the protagonists of the Panzer Elite campaign in Opposing Fronts.
    • The "Tiger Ace" campaign in Tales of Valor is the origin story for Hauptmann Schultz, the Tiger Ace from the "Invasion of Normandy" campaign, and Major General Voss. It reveals that they were both part of the same Tigergruppe in the past, before Voss was promoted to his own command. The "Tiger Ace" campaign is the last time that Voss sees Shultz, and it mentions his death at the hands of Able Company during the original campaign.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit:
    • There is a fairly restrictive population cap in the first game that increases with the amount of territory the player controls. In addition, some units can only be fielded one or two at a time and some only once per game.
    • In the second game, all players have a fixed population cap of 100, which can't be changed under any circumstances. The limiting factor on army sizes now is Manpower income, which is no longer increased by capturing territory and is reduced if the player's army is large enough. Reinforcing numerous devastated infantry squads at once or replacing an expensive tank while being close to the cap will likely be fairly prohibited by the Manpower income reduction.
  • Artistic License - History: Penal Battalions in 2 are all armed with SVT-40 semi-automatic rifles. As the weapons were in short supply and penal battalions were regularly sent on suicide missions, it's very likely that anyone assigned to a penal battalion will never get to touch a SVT-40.
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • Infantry without orders take cover when engaging enemy forces, leap out of the path of enemy vehicles and (try to) avoid incoming mortar and artillery rounds.
    • The AI is actually smart enough to pull off proper hit-and-run attacks: small groups of soldiers will move in, destroy a single target, and retreat from the inevitable counterattack. As you're marshaling your forces to follow them and wipe them out, another group will attack on the other side of the map. Rinse and repeat if you're not good about figuring out how to stop it. Even worse, if you do follow that first group of soldiers and you're not particularly mindful of your surroundings, you will end up being ambushed and forced to retreat.
    • In 2, the AI can be impressively devious in its maneuvering, skirting the edges of the map to outflank positions or otherwise exploiting the new True Sight fog of war system to infiltrate your lines. Unless you're active in your reconnaissance, the AI will figure out a way through your defenses.
    • Also in 2, the AI will send units to search for your camouflaged units or barrage the area with mortar fire if they camouflage while the AI can see them.
    • The AI really knows how to handle its tanks in 2. They'll attempt to retreat under heavy AT fire and will adjust their position if they see your units moving to hit them in the side or rear, forcing you to attack from multiple angles if you aren't packing enough brute force to attack them head-on.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Contrasting with the above, the AI can be quite dumb at times, primarily in the first game.
    • They don't know how to get through barriers, except on a very broken level of "shoot the sandbags that are in your way until they die" (which will never happen). A broken bridge with tank traps behind it is an impassable barrier for them. Unfortunately, the same applies to those fighting on your team as well.
    • If there is only one way to get to your base, and the other ways been blocked off or destroyed, they will take that way every single time instead of trying to repair the bridge(s) or crush the obstacles and move across them. This allows you to very easily funnel their forces into one area, allowing you to stay static for an entire game.
    • If they get a unit that can be called in from off map, such as Stormtroopers, they will almost never bother with base-produced units and focus entirely on the off-map units, even if this results in massive failure on their part (Matches in which the AI did nothing but call in Stormtroopers have been known to occur).
    • The AI doesn't understand how the territory system works, and will often capture points that are far ahead of their own lines and completely useless to them.
    • While infantry taking cover on their own can be very good and useful, there are still frequent moments when maybe just one suicidal soldier will stay standing between cover and enemy fire even after you've ordered the rest of the squad to get behind it successfully (naturally, he will be killed in action first). Additionally, troops may run away from a single piece of cover and spread out which can be good considering enemy indirect fire... other times, a man will do so and strangely put himself close to an enemy squad bristling with sub-machine guns, or more illogically yet, a tank facing him.
    • Retreating squads will stand about if their retreat path gets unexpectedly blocked (usually simultaneously by terrain and a vehicle in the way) because they can't double back to find another route.
    • A bug can happen when ordering suppressed or pinned squads to retreat - rather than trying to run away immediately like you'll usually see them do in response, they stand about the area for a little while rather than retreating immediately, costing the player more losses or even the entire squad.
    • It's hardly perfect in the second game as well. In the "Kharkov Pursuit" scenario in the "Case Blue" Theater of War campaign, they regularly use Smoke Bombs on your troops, which does no damage and only blocks line of sight... while they have no units anywhere nearby to actually take advantage of this.
  • A-Team Firing:
    • American Engineers and Wehrmacht Pioneers have pitiful accuracy with their submachine guns from long range (0.10), which goes up to 0.20 at medium range and 0.30 at close range (by comparison, basic rifles are 0.35 at long range, 0.55 at medium range, and 0.75 at close range). Moving cuts their already low accuracy by 85%! - leading to you watching your Engineers pursuing and attacking an infantry squad running away and yelling at them to actually hit something even if they are practically at spitting distance to their target.
      • It's not all bad, though: thanks to their submachine guns, Engineers and Pioneers are much better at suppressing enemy infantry while your rifle squads circle around to flank them.
      • Averted Trope for the Russian Combat Engineers and German Pioneers in 2, the former whose individual marksmanship with their rifles is equal to that of Conscripts, the latter being a less-effective but still usable assault squad when they slip by and get next to non-close-combat infantry.
    • Joked in 2 when Conscripts receive a PPSh-41 upgrade.
    Conscripts: PPShs are here! Now even Yuri can hit something.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking:
    • The German Artillery Field Officer of 2 is but one man in his 4-man squad, but he has the distinction of the being the absolutely toughest single infantry unit in the game, even more so than Shock Troopers wearing steel body armor. He also provides slightly more DPS with his pistol than the rifle-wielding Grenadiers in his squad.
    • Played With for the American officers in Western Front Armies, which are purchased to advance in tier. The Lieutenant and Captain are combat squads armed with a Thompson sub-machine gun for close combat in addition to a Browning Automatic Rifle and Bazooka, respectively. They also gain experience from other units nearby, which can quickly advance them through veterancy ranks to become terrors. On the other hand, the final tier Major is a poor combat unit whose usefulness relies on his support abilities.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The King Tiger is a massive and incredibly tough tank with a gun that can obliterate anything. Unfortunately, it's so slow that the only way to get anything killed by it to stand still and take shots. Particularly vulnerable to American Rangers, Airborne with Recoilless Rifles and Riflemen with Sticky Bombs (close in with Riflemen, toss Sticky Bomb, run away. Repeat until tank is dead.). It also comes incredibly late in the game (its pretty much the last thing you can unlock when using the Terror Doctrine), and can only be used once per match (which means: once gone, its gone for good).
      • The fastest way to kill a King Tiger (a One-Hit Kill that has a good chance of destroying the wreck as well, in fact) is to rig up bridges with explosives, then detonating them as the tank crosses over the bridge. Smarter players will avoid bridges like the plague of course, though this may force them through other, also less favorable terrain, such as the "Open"-type anti-cover, which increases damage taken by all units and significantly hinders their mobility. Also, it's worth remembering that mines have a very good chance of inflicting Critical damage, which can damage a tank's tracks or engine, further reducing mobility, if not practically immobilizing the vehicle. A pair of Calliopes to the rear of a King Tiger will also kill it instantly if most of the rockets hit.
    • The Elefant tank destroyer in 2 has an extremely long-ranged and hard-hitting main gun and has very good armor on the front. However, it's expensive, only available to certain commanders, its rear armor is a fair bit weaker, and it moves and turns so slowly that it's usually unable to return fire on any flanking enemies.
  • Badass:
    • The American Airborne squad have this response to being ordered to attack a tank without anti-armor weaponry:
    Fire your rifles, we can distract them at least!
    • In 2, Soviet Guardsmen deliver a few lines befitting their badassery:
    (When upgraded with light machine guns) With DPs, the fascists will die even faster!
    (When ordered to retreat to HQ) I will take my chances with the commissar.
  • Badass Bandolier: Worn by heavy-machine gun teams. Illogically, they wear them even in winter maps when the constantly-falling snow and occasional fierce blizzards would ruin the ammunition belt pretty quickly. Good thing they don't have to actually worry about their machine-gun's ammo then!
  • Badass Boast: Many units can deliver one, depending on the circumstances. Here's a couple:
    Who believes in the bogeyman?
    When you're as cold as steel, the rain has no effect.
  • Badass Cape: Soviet Guardsmen wear bulky but somewhat practical-looking (at least for winter) capes. Strangely, they don't provide any protection whatsoever against the cold on winter maps, and you have to wonder why they'd want to wear them during the summer heat.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: In the very last cutscene of 2's campaign, Colonel Churkin kills Isakovich's executioner just as he's about to kill Isakovich.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The German soldiers in the original "Invasion of Normandy" campaign speak accent-free German like native speakers. However, the subtitles aren't an exact translation of what they say.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Victory often comes at the cost of an 80% casualty rate.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation:
    • In the French version, the AT-button in the gameplay menu is translated as Anti-Tank.
    • In the very beginning of the British campaign, where several soldiers invent fibs about Major Blackmore gunning down a whole squad of Germans, before bayoneting the remains, "while he didn't even loose his pipe [his trademark pipe that he always has in his mouth]". In the German version, it was translated as "Dudelsack (bagpipe)" rather than "Pfeife (pipe)".
  • BFG: Infantry squads in both games can either be upgraded with or pick up LMGs and rocket launchers, which are wielded by a single member of the squad. 2 adds anti-tank rifles.
    Panzergrenadier (picking up abandoned PTRS rifle): Fuck, that's a big rifle. 14.5 millimeter! Scheiße.
  • Blood Knight: A voice for German infantry in 2 seems to have this mindset toward his job, saying stuff like how he prefers to be an infantryman instead of being in a tank because he wants to see that particular look you get from a man whose gut you put a bullet in when by a tank out of combat, and yelling out "There are quite a few of them! Gooood." in combat with infantry.
    • Said voice got promoted to the squad leader for the Oberkommando West's Jaeger Light Infantry unit. He's more or less exactly the same otherwise.
    "Walking around...when do we get to the shooting?"
    "Retreat? But we still have ammo left!"
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Medium anti-tank guns. They are fragile, ungainly, and could get carted off by the enemy to boot. That doesn't matter, because they will save your bacon against enemy armor.
    • The same applies to mortars, which seem completely useless until you have to break an infantry rush.
    • Plain old riflemen will almost always be useful to have around (if only to screen for other more vulnerable/valuable units), especially with a few upgrades.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • Units' weapons require reloading, but they never run out of ammunition to reload with. It gets awkward when that works for weapons which were captured from the enemy.
    • One unit literally has a bottomless magazine - the M2 heavy machine gun on the unlockable British Staghound in Tales of Valor never has to stop firing, ever.
  • Boxed Crook: Penal Battalion squads in 2. While more expensive than Conscripts, their SVT-40 semiautomatic rifles make them much more effective against infantry, they can be upgraded to use a flamethrower that's effective against infantry and destroying/clearing out buildings, and their Satchel Charge ability can heavily damage buildings and armored vehicles while simply tearing apart anything else (though its expensive and has a longer fuse than other thrown explosives).
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Some of the Stop Poking Me lines.
    American Paratrooper: If you click me one more fucking time...
    American Paratrooper: Airborne, time to kick the shit out of Player 1.
    German soldier: Go back to the main menu, and try out the tutorial.
    British vehicle commander: Gunner, point the turret up at the camera in the sky!
  • Butt Monkey:
    • Duffy, an unseen member of a British infantry squad who constantly pisses off his squadmates. For example, when a squad captures a fuel point, one will immediately and forcibly remind Duffy to extinguish his ciga-fucking-rette. If you click on a squad while it's raining, one will rudely ask Duffy if he is in need of a rubber ducky. These are just the nice examples.
      • Upon garrisoning a church, a British infantry section says (from memory): "A church, eh? Be interesting to see if Duffy catches fire."
    • And Corporal Degnan.
    • There's also Conrad in the American infantry, who can't seem to tie his fucking laces.
    • To a lesser extent, the Panzer Elite grenadiers have a soldier called Deinhardt. Click on the unit in the rain, and the commander will announce that he ordered the rain especially for him.
    • The Russians in 2 have Yuri, who's the butt of his comrades' jokes as a Conscript and a source of annoyance to his squad leader as a Shock Trooper or Guardsman. He, or someone with the same name, was also executed in the campaign for "abandoning his post" to save the main character.
    • 2 has a German soldier in the mortar unit named Steiner. Click the unit, and someone might gleefully announce that his lips froze to the tube in winter time.
  • Canucks with Chinooks:
    • In the original game, Canadians (actually recolored American troops) help save Able Company's bacon in the final mission.
    • In Opposing Fronts, the British Artillery comes with stereotypical Canadian Accents (English-Canadian for the 25 Pounder Howitzers; French-Canadian for the Priest SPGs) and in the third mission, British Commandos work with a fictional Canadian regiment to secure an airfield.
  • Call Back: The idle chatter among German troops in 2 has a number of allusions to the first game, including some Leaning on the Fourth Wall lines like Americans complaining about Pioneer spam.
  • Cannon Fodder:
    • Osttruppen serve this role for the Germans in 2. They're not terribly effective combatants; two Osttruppen squads will lose to a single Conscript squad on even terms, in fact. They don't have any grenades, die in droves, can't fire on the move and are lousy shots. They do, however, have three redeeming features: they're cheap as chips to call in at around half the cost of a Grenadier squad, they gain veterancy quickly and they're a six-man squad as opposed to the Germans' usual four-man squads. They'll hold their own if they have a fortified position, but that's it. Don't expect them to be of much use in an assault except as shields for your regular infantry.
    • Conscripts, especially in the first mission of 2's campaign, where they're going up against tanks and HMGs without so much as a rifle in most cases. Outside of that, the Conscripts' advantages (aside from some commander-specific abilities) are their Molotov Cocktail ability, their ability to instantly reinforce other infantry squads with their own members, the "Oorah!" ability to move quickly to move to cover, flank or help utilize their grenades, and the fact they reinforce at a lower cost rather than the squad having any noticeable advantages in combat over other infantry aside from numbers.
    • The squad leader of Penal Battalion squads encourage you to use them this way, though such a strategy with them would be much more prohibitive.
    Need a suicide squad?
  • The Captain:
    • Captain MacKay of Able Company.
    • In multiplayer and skirmishes, British Captains.
    • Lev Isakovich from 2 becomes one partway through the campaign, though he gets dropped back down to Lieutenant after Stalingrad.
    • US Forces Captains in Western Front Armies.
  • Car Fu:
    • Heavier vehicles (e.g., not motorbikes or Jeeps) can run over infantry, although it doesn't happen often since most infantrymen will fling themselves out of the way, unless they're suppressed by heavy fire or by the Churchill's Tank Shock ability.
    • The Sherman's mine flail gibs infantry on contact when activated, making it a sometimes effective infantry killer, though the .50 cal machinegun usually does a good enough job.
    • In the second game, both versions of the T-34 can ram other vehicles. This usually immobilizes and stuns the crews of both the T-34 and the target, leaving both vulnerable.
  • Catch Phrase: Soviet Conscripts not only have an ability called "Oorah!" which speeds them up while active, their in-combat dialogue makes use of the term very frequently as well. Lampshaded by the MG-42 HMG team who can yell out "What the fuck does 'Oorah' mean!?"
  • Casual Danger Dialog: A Soviet Guards Infantry squad who takes a casualty may have one of the men say the following:
    Shit, he owed me money!
  • Chunky Salsa Rule: An infantryman that takes much more damage than they have health tends to die outright instead of being critically wounded. In the first game, this prevents them from being retrieved by a medic station, while in the second, they cannot provide line of sight for a brief period.
  • Civil Warcraft:
    • Averted in the first game, even in multiplayer and Skirmish. In addition, factions also cannot fight other factions on the same side (Americans and British, Wehrmacht and Panzer Elite).
    • Averted for 2's campaign, but possible in custom multiplayer and offline matches.
  • Clown Car Base:
    • Played straight in the first game, as an infinite number of men and vehicles can stream out of that tiny barracks tent or garage, as long as you have enough resources. The same applies to reinforcing from halftracks and forward HQs.
    • Played with in the second game. Any units "produced" by a building actually arrive from outside the map, but you can keep reinforcing squads from the same tiny command post or halftrack for the entire battle without running out, as long as you have enough Manpower available.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Nary a battle will go without cursing. 2 tends to have even more!
  • Cold Sniper: Every single one of them, when not being shot at.
    American Sniper: I am a rock. I am a stone.
    American Sniper: One shot, one kill.
    American Sniper: Heart or head, either way, Gerry's dead.
    American Sniper: Who believes in the bogeyman?
    • The literal interpretation is averted in 2 - snipers don't get cold even in the middle of a raging blizzard.
  • Colonel Badass: The German Artillery Field Officer of 2, who is apparently a lieutenant colonel as he says in some of his responses. The Bad Ass part is by him personally being the most durable infantry soldier in the entire game and doing a bit more DPS with his Luger pistol than the rifles of Germany's baseline Grenadier infantry.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu:
  • Conspicuously Selective Perception: Snipers become briefly visible after firing a shot. Tanks that have them in their line of sight will begin to traverse the turret towards them, then return to their original position when the sniper turns invisible again. They will never attempt to search for the sniper unless ordered to.
  • Cosmetic Award:
    • Each campaign mission in the first game and its expansions has a bonus objective that is rewarded with a purely cosmetic medal appearing in a sub-menu. Getting some of these are the hardest parts of the game.
    • 2 has cosmetic awards for nearly everything, from simply completing a campaign mission on a given difficulty to winning despite losing twice or more as many soldiers than the enemy. These accompany Steam achievements, with over 400 of them. Hope you aren't addicted to 100% Completion.
  • Cosmetically Different Sides: Averted. The factions' units vary in just about every way even with comparable units, right down to basic rifle infantry. The only uniform similarity is the barbed wire, tank traps, mines and sandbag defenses the first game's factions can set up - the second game went as far as making barbed wire the only thing that works the same for both factions.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Played With.
    • Anti-tank weapons like Panzershrecks and AT guns can kill infantry, but since they deal very little splash damage, they need a direct hit, which is a rare occurrence. If they do connect, though, the luckless infantryman is usually gibbed in one shot.
    • Basic infantry have limited building capabilities or can be upgraded with them, allowing them to fill in for the basic worker units.
    • Infantry with anti-tank weapons will still have some soldiers with standard small arms, letting them retain some effectiveness against other infantry.
    • Most units can be upgraded with special equipment after purchase, like additional M Gs for tanks and anti-tank weapons for some infantry squads.
    • Most tanks and assault guns have at least 1 machine gun for anti-infantry work, and some can be upgraded to get more.
    • All the basic worker units have guns and can be upgraded with flamethrowers.
    • Any infantry unit can change roles just by picking up a discarded special weapon, like LMGs or anti-tank rifles. Squads can also mix and match their special weapons, making them effective against both infantry and vehicles.
    • Most heavy weapon teams come with at least three people: two to operate the weapon, and one extra to act as a replacement if one of the other two bites it and to shoot back at enemies while the heavy weapon is setting/packing up.
      • In 2, the weapon teams number in fours (Germany) or sixes (Soviets).
    • Played straight with the non-standard Sherman variants.
      • The Sherman Crocodile cannot fire its main gun, despite Real Life examples being able to do so and being depicted graphically as having both a flamethrower and a cannon in the turret.
      • The Sherman Calliope, for balance reasons, cannot fire its main gun (though it was capable of doing so in earlier patches).
      • The British Sherman Firefly has one of the longest ranges of any tank and can easily take out almost any vehicle, but has absolutely no provisions for infantry defense except a mostly cosmetic coaxial machine gun.
    • The KV-8 flamethrower tank in 2 can swap to its main cannon to attack other tanks... though said main cannon is very, very poor in performance.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Played With.
    • Tanks can have parts damaged as they lose HP, but otherwise will keep fighting to the last hitpoint.
      • Further toward Averted Trope in 2, with vehicles possibly being abandoned by the crew when its health runs out but remains intact enough for an infantry squad to reclaim it (though the vehicle will need to be repaired quickly to not die instantly to anything which can damage it).
    • Members of infantry squads have individual hitpoints, meaning a nearly destroyed squad can still have all its members while another has lost most of them. However, the individual squad members don't get penalized from being damaged.
    • It epically happens for AT and AA guns, as well as artillery, if they drop to one crew member. Since they'd logically and realistically be incapable of moving around the gun by themselves, the game instantly kills the last member. It's very noticeable when using a sniper against them.
      • That silliness has been fixed in 2. When a weapon team can no longer transport the weapon, the last man "retreats" off-map, the unit effectively dead.
    • Happens to all weapon teams if their weapon is destroyed without killing all of the crew. The game will instantly kill any surviving crew members. 2 has the survivors retreat off-map instead.
  • Cut Scene: In-engine scenes at the beginning and end of missions, animated 2D art with narration between them, like Relic's earlier Homeworld series.
  • Damage Is Fire
  • Darker and Edgier: 2 tends to be more brutal overall than the first game, both in cutscenes and actual gameplay.
    • The campaign for instance shows the callousness and the We Have Reserves nature of the Soviet forces as seen by the officers who performs actions straight out of Enemy at the Gates.
  • Deadpan Snarker: This gem from 2:
    Penal Battalion under fire: Yes, they are shooting at us comrade obvious!
  • Despair Event Horizon: Implied with Wolfgang, if his brother Aldrich dies. However, the Panzer Elite campaign ends then, so nothing really comes out of it.
  • Destructive Savior: When you get to sling around artillery in cities, this trope comes into full effect. The "quick" way of clearing Cherbourg will live up to the narrator's comments after the mission about essentially destroying the town to take it. That being said, when taken into consideration with the deformable terrain, it's hard not to try bombing the German positions literally flat with the offshore batteries if you've accrued enough Munitions.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Played With in 2.
    • Most units have specific lines for attacking and being attacked by vehicles captured from their side, sometimes displaying disbelief about it.
    • Conversely, there is no unique ambient chatter for captured enemy vehicles, which can lead to Russian soldiers talking about a captured German halftrack as though it was the Lend-Lease American halftrack normally available to them, though there is relevant combat dialogue for such situations.
  • Disconnected By Death: At the end of "Operation Windsor" in the British campaign, a Royal Scots Engineer calls 3rd Battalion to tell them Hill 112 is under attack. He stops talking and the scene cuts to the engineer slumped over facing the camera, framed in shadow, with his radio in front of him as 3rd Battalion asks for him to respond. For extra deadness points, the engineer gets shot a few more times, with the bullets piercing through his radio as well.
  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe:
    • Major Blackmore in Opposing Fronts has one.
    • Used by the Assault Support Doctrine German Commander and the DLC Anti-Infantry Tactics Soviet Commander in 2.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Applies to the American Airborne and Ranger squads.
    • Both are infantry squads obtained from a doctrine tree, have the Fire Up ability to speed themselves up and ignore suppression at the cost of tiring themselves out when the ability ends, are classed as special infantry to make them less susceptible to small-arms (the Rangers are somewhat tougher note ), and both can throw frag grenades when the ability is researched from the Barracks.
      • The Airborne can throw Satchel Charges to destroy buildings, can be dropped anywhere the player has line of sight and can reinforce anywhere - at an extra Manpower cost and a lengthened reinforcement time. Rangers start out with Bazookas, which are good against lighter vehicles. Thus, the Airborne are a bit better against infantry as they have more rifles, while the Rangers are better at destroying light armor. They really become distinct after they get their weapon upgrades - the Rangers' Thompson SMGs will tear through enemy infantry in close combat and they can still use their Bazookas against vehicles in a pinch, while the Airborne's Recoilless Rifles are one of the best anti-tank weapons available for the American side and they can still use their rifles against infantry if need be.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Moving hurts accuracy, and a number of units cannot fire unless stopped (and may have to set-up while stopped before they can fire). The penalty is particularly harsh to the American Engineers and German Pioneers.
    • The Panzergrenadier unit from 2 used to uniquely have no penalty for firing while moving (though this was later removed), letting them freely run about the battlefield hounding heavy weapon teams or dodging indirect fire.
  • Driven to Suicide: Colonel Churkin at the end of 2's campaign.
  • Dummied Out: This song, sung by the crew of Tiger "205" from Tales of Valor's "Tiger Ace" campaign.
  • Easy Level Trick: The "Mortain Counter Attack" mission in the "Invasion of Normandy" campaign requires you to hold at least three of four different capture points spread out across the map while the enemy attacks with waves of armor that will also crush your base if given a chance. In theory, some sort of balanced force rushing between each hot spot as needed might be able to pull it off. Or you can pick the Airborne Company and drop some paratroopers near each point. Aside from the 88s (which they can deal with by getting close and then throwing grenades/satchel charges), their recoilless rifles can handle the vehicles without too much difficulty and they don't need to retreat to base or have a halftrack/Field HQ nearby to replenish their losses. Drop two squads at each of the four locations, another pair at your base, and you've got a defensive force that will take considerable effort to dislodge. This primarily works because the enemy never seems to deploy heavy machine gun squads, the one hard counter to paratroops.
  • Easy Logistics: The game's munition and fuel resources are gained by capturing and holding territory which must be connected next to at least one of your other territories to deliver you their resources - the former are required to use most special abilities (from throwing a grenade to using specialized ammunition to laying down mines) and upgrading units with advanced equipment, the latter is needed to build vehicles and base buildings. However, units' base attacks will never run out of ammunition to fire and none of the advanced equipment, vehicles or buildings require more of their resource to continue functioning.
    Our Tiger, she drinks fuel like it's beer.
    She weighs double their tanks, our fat Tiger.
  • Enemy Exchange Program:
    • Special weapons drop when the squad carrying them loses too many members to continue holding on to them, and can be picked up by any infantry unit.
    • If a heavy weapon's crew dies without the weapon itself being destroyed, it can be captured using any infantry squad with enough members alive.
    • In 2, all abandoned vehicles (sometimes happens when a shot would normally destroy the vehicle) can be captured in much the same way as heavy weapons. They retain all the damage they had before the crew abandoned them, though, which means they're generally very close to dying again and could have engine damage and/or a destroyed main gun. Make sure to bring a few Combat Engineers/Pioneers nearby to fix it up.
  • The Engineer: All the engineers in the game are at least Support Engineers, and all can be Combat Engineers.
    • American Engineers, Russian Combat Engineers and Wehrmacht/Ostheer Pioneers are initially ineffective in combat, but can be equipped with a flamethrower, making them big threats to any infantry they can get close enough to. They are also demolitions experts.
    • The British Infantry Section can build a number of structures and are also your mainline infantry, and the British Sappers - made for making powerful defences and repairing - are only slightly less effective in combat and can even be more cost-efficient, as outlined by Violent Glaswegian lower on the page.
    • All Panzer Elite infantry can construct structures and repair.
    • The Oberkommando West's engineers are the Sturmpioneers, by far the most powerful and expensive engineer unit in the games - their StG44es aren't any good from far away, but they'll tear up pretty much all other basic infantry units at mid and close range.
    • The U.S. Forces' Rear Echelon Troop unit is initially probably the worst of the lot, being liable to lose out against just about all other combat infantry units at the start, but do same some advantages going for them - they have a Volley Fire ability that will suppress enemy squads in coordination with other allied fire, they will (completely uniquely) shoot out rifle grenades while garrisoned in a Fighting Position, and can benefit from buying from the U.S. Forces' weapon racks like other infantry units.
  • Externally Validated Prophecy: A humorous line from 2 has a German soldier Shout-Out Oprah's memetic car giveaway with sturmgewehrs ("We should all have sturmgewehrs, you get a sturmgewehr, YOU GET A STURMGEWEHR, EVERYONE GETS STURMGEWEHRS!"). While funny on its own, the sentiment pretty much actually was adopted into modern infantry equipment.
  • Every Bullet Is a Tracer: And if it's a sniper's bullets, it leaves a smoke trail through the air too.
  • Everything Fades: Played With. Destroyed vehicles leave wrecks that can either be used for cover or salvaged for resources. Dead soldiers fade, while wounded soldiers linger on the battlefield for the medics to pick up in the first game, or to provide visibility in the second.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Worn by the DLC Lightning War Doctrine German Commander in 2.
  • Faction Calculus:
    • USA (Subversive) vs. Wehrmacht (Powerhouse).
    • Commonwealth (Balanced - in a very defensive sense) vs. Panzer Elite (Cannons).
    • The Eastern Front mod adds Russians (Horde) and Ostheer (not released yet).
    • In 2, Red Army (Subversive) vs. Wehrmacht/Ostheer (Powerhouse).
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Flamethrowers are, unrealistically, useless against tanks, but infantry caught by them are literally toast, especially if they're in cover or a building. Though already quite effective in the first game, in the second they received a significant buff, being capable of wiping out entire squads very quickly. Flamethrower vehicles in particular will annihilate infantry squads in the space of a few seconds.
  • Foreign Cuss Word: Averted Trope in 2... because everyone freely swears in both their native language and English.
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • The domain of light vehicles for any faction. Sustained MG fire can punch through their armor, but the vehicles can easily move out of their firing arc and outflank them. Anti-tank weaponry, however, can take them out in just one or two hits.
    • The British Tetrarch (dropped in by glider) in Opposing Fronts.
    • The Russian T-70 in 2 is fast and has decent firepower, but is quite fragile for a tank, though it's still immune to small arms fire.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Played With.
    • Feel free to have your infantry move in directly in front of supporting rifle and machine gun fire, it won't hit them. Be more wary about doing the same while mortars and artillery are firing on the position they're at.
    • Don't put vehicles between a friendly AT weapon of any kind and an enemy. If they miss the enemy, they might hit your vehicle instead.
  • Gag Penis: The boast of a German infantryman while out-of-combat in 2.
    My rifle, a pistol, two knives, three grenades, and my dick. I'm always well-armed.
  • Gallows Humor: In classic Russian Humor-style, the Russian announcer has numerous lines which unironically notes the Soviet Union's lack of care for the individual soldier.
  • Game Mod: Most notably the Eastern Front mod, which adds the Reds with Rockets to the first game.
  • Garrisonable Structures: All infantry can garrison buildings, which provide a massive cover bonus and keeps them from freezing in the second game. In the first game, some can even be upgraded into field barracks that can produce and reinforce infantry units. Beware flamethrowers and high explosives.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • The Panzer Elite's Marder III packs a vehicle-killing BFG and is practically an anti-tank sniper. On the other hand, it dies very, very easily: although it is frontally immune to small-arms fire, it can be killed relatively easily by flanking it with submachinegun-toting infantry, making it the only armored vehicle vulnerable to them.
    • In Tales of Valor, the Wehrmacht Geschützwagen is basically their equivalent of the above-mentioned Marder III.
    • American Engineers, Russian Combat Engineers and Wehrmacht/Ostheer Pioneers can get flamethrowers, which, while short ranged compared to most other weapons, essentially melts enemy infantry, even doing bonus damage against the hardier infantry types in the game. However, it's being wielded by a fragile builder/repair unit, and the flamethrower upgrade makes them easier to suppress as well. Combat involving flamethrower squads tends to be rather one-sided either way.
    • The Russian SU-76 in 2 is currently the only non-light vehicle that's not completely immune to HMG fire, at least on its flanks. It's decent against other vehicles, though, and comes with an artillery barrage ability that can really mess up infantry squads.
  • Guide Dangit:
    • The specific unit stats in both games aren't revealed to players, forcing them to either learn through trial and error or look the stats up online or in the game files. Most veterancy bonuses also aren't revealed in the first game, though the second one does.
    • It's not mentioned anywhere in the first game that most units shoot faster and more accurately the closer they are to their target.
    • There are three factors that determine whether a unit hits its target: accuracy, scatter and target size. The first one is straightforward, but the other two mean that a shot can still hit the target even if it technically counts as a missnote .
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: To encourage keeping your units alive, they will sometimes make reports to you over their field radios as they are all killed. Such distress calls can range from Cessation Of Communications (in that case, your aide-de-camp will inform you that due to the lack of signs of life, the entire squad is presumed dead), over Lost In Transmission, to an Apocalyptic Log. It is pretty damn depressing to lose units that way, hearing as some attempt to stay calm and formal as they make their report as they are shot and killed, while others beg for rescue or retreat orders as they die.
  • Hero Unit:
    • The Snipers, the Wehrmacht Officer, and the British Lieutenants, Captain and Command Tanks in the first game follow certain traits of this trope.
      • The Snipers are expensive and are one man in a game that uses squads; have long-ranged, accurate and powerful attacks against infantry; a larger amount of health then most other single infantry units, a powerful "Camouflage" stealth ability; and can be more then worth their cost if controlled well, used for scouting, and retreated when outmatched - though they are ineffective against vehicles and won't exactly curbstomp other infantry. In 2, the Russians use sniper teams consisting of a sniper and a spotter, though this is still smaller than any other infantry squad. German snipers remain lonely - and appropriately grim.
      • The Wehrmacht Officer can be used to speed up a building's production rate, has other useful abilities, is a single soldier and has more health than the average infantryman too, but is an inefficient combatant.
      • The British Lieutenants and Command Tanks provide powerful passive buffs to infantry and tanks, respectively, that are close enough to them. The Lieutenant can take more sniper shots then other infantry - but both are otherwise unimpressive in combat (Command Tanks only have a dummy main gun and two machine guns). The Captain is similar to the Lieutenant, but provides different buffs, and in an entire sector. All of these British units are expensive compared to other choices and are worthless against vehicles. They are also the only British units that can gain veterancy.
    • The Germans of 2 can call-in a Panzer IV Command Tank with certain commanders, which grants defensive bonuses to allied units in an allied sector. However, it's packing a short 75mm gun that's only really useful against infantry, though it can take on tanks if used carefully.
    • The German Artillery Field Officer in 2 is escorted by 3 Grenadiers, but he's personally the toughest infantry unit in the game (his Grenadier retinue is more average) and deals out a bit more DPS with his pistol than his rifle-toting bodyguards. He can also call in artillery smoke barrages, make nearby units shoot faster and more accurately and target an area for a barrage from all artillery units in range regardless of their cooldown.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Some out-of-combat dialogue for Grenadier squads' in 2 has phrases which can be inferred to be said by the same individual. Said Grenadier apparently was hoping to be an artilleryman instead because he's quite good at mathematics, used to teach math, and took a job as an accountant after he got married.
    • Another voice for out-of-combat dialogue claims he ran a bordello before the war.
    Yes really, a whorehouse. The mayor was one of our best customers too, until we called in his credit.
  • High-Class Glass: 2 has the Jaeger Infantry Doctrine German Commander wear this.
  • Hollywood Healing: Wounded soldiers in the first game become perfectly healthy the second the number of the basic infantry squad of their faction of them are together in a medic station. They forget all any special training and become basic riflemen, however.
    • Except for the Wehrmacht, who can have four Volksgrenadiers (essentially conscripts) go down and be taken to a medic station, and then spawn as the later tier backbone infantry unit of the Wehrmacht, Grenadiers (which are better trained and more effective).
  • Homing Boulders: Whether a projectile hits or misses is determined as it's being fired. This being WWII, it usually isn't noticeable, but it can result in the slower projectiles, like those fired by Panzershrecks, curving midflight to hit a moving enemy, sometimes even changing altitude.
  • I Can Still Fight: Incapacitated Russian infantry in 2 can occasionally be heard saying:
    I can still shoot! Someone give me a gun...
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Colonel Churkin states this a lot throughout 2's campaign. Isakovich doesn't agree with the "Had To" bit, which is why he's in the labor camp. Colonel Churkin is eventually convinced otherwise by Isakovich, and decides to set him free.
  • Hell Is That Noise: You can hear indirect fire shoot through the air or vehicles driving around in the fog of war. Might not be so bad if you're prepared to deal with their sources. If not, sweating is probable.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Infantry flamethrowers have a drawback in 2 - the flamethrower can explode from being shot up and damage all other infantry near the explosion, which are usually the wielder's squadmates.
  • Infinity+1 Sword:
    • The King Tiger, which takes forever to get access to, requires you to select the Wehrmacht Terror Doctrine and can only be called in once per game. It will also destroy everything in sight and has enough armor strapped on to it to withstand more direct hits from 17 pounder guns than almost any other Axis unit.
    • Similarly, the Jagdpanther tank destroyer. It wouldn't be inaccurate to apply all the above remarks to it.
    • The original Tiger Ace, which was replaced by the King Tiger in Opposing Fronts, was basically as good as a Vet 3 Tiger without having to pay for the veterancy upgrades, and even though you only got one at a time, it could be replaced if lost. Not only that, but both versions of the Tiger I tank in the game are surprisingly fast. Having the Tiger Ace replaced by the King Tiger was arguably a downgrade.
    • The American M26 Pershing. They're the heaviest tanks available to the Allies in the first game and are almost equal to a Tiger I. If properly supported, they can even take on a King Tiger or Jagdpanther and win.
    • The Tiger Ace in 2 is only available with the DLC-exclusive Elite Troops commander. It's a Tiger tank immediately at full veterancy; and so it has a high fire-rate, mobility, accuracy, in addition to having an anti-tank Target Weakpoint ability, a higher sight-range, and very lethal machine-guns not normally available to Tiger tanks... but decreases your income while it is deployed. It takes quite a while to unlock it, but if you do, boy is it worth it. It used to instead have double the health and damage of a Tiger tank with the speed-boost Blitzkrieg ability while completely stopping all income when used (even when destroyed), but that was changed because it was a Game Breaker.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Snipers can One-Hit Kill most infantry with a single shot, thanks to their high Arbitrary Gun Power.
  • Intrepid Reporter: In 2, Lev Isakovich after Stalingrad, complete with remarks about how the Soviet people need to know the truth.
  • It's Raining Men:
    • The American Airborne. They can drop anywhere, reinforce anywhere, and have a powerful satchel charge, a power-up ability and very fast-firing recoilless rifles. This makes them an excellent multipurpose unit for hunting down tanks and damaging field structures. The recoilless rifles are so effective that the Airborne's success can depend simply on holding out until they arrive.
    • The British Royal Commandos drop from the skies in friggin' kamikazeing gliders. There are few things as joyful as landing one of those babies in an unexpected place right behind a bunker or some Pioneers...
      • The Commandos can also drop light tanks via glider! The Light Tank Mk VII (A17) aka "Tetrarch", to be precise. They're nowhere near a match for other tanks, but still quite punchy by themselves, and finding a trigger-happy Tetrarch or two backed up by Paras or Commandos in your back yard is an extremely unpleasant surprise indeed. Micromanaged correctly, they can drive around enemy tanks too fast for their turrets to keep up.
  • "Join the Army," They Said: Not really an example of the trope itself, but the American Engineer squad does mention the trope name and provides the former page quote. The various basic infantry squads also frequently lament their expectations of the army being totally wrong.
    Volksgrenadier: If I'd known how much walking I'd have to do, I'd have joined the Navy.
  • Kill It with Fire: Infantry and tanks with flamethrowers. Works best against infantry, buildings and infantry in buildings. Burn 'em out of their holes! Russian Conscripts can also be upgraded to throw Molotov Cocktails.
  • Land Mine Goes Click: Played With. Land mines don't, but Booby Traps do.
  • La Résistance: In 2, Partisans are available in one campaign mission and some Theater of War missions, as well as a call-in unit for certain Soviet commanders in multiplayer and Theater of War. They're light infantry with a variety of weapons, typically stolen MG42s, anti-tank rifles or Panzerschrecks.
  • Last Words: Individual infantry squad members can have some when they get killed.
    Grenadier: Nein! Nein! Not like this...
    • Sometimes the words fit the way they die, which can get pretty horrifying...
    Conscript (burning to death): Oh god please kill me! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD KILL ME!
    • Vehicles being knocked out also like to cry out against fate in 2.
  • Leaked Experience: Unique to the Panzer Elite faction, half of any experience their units earn is also granted to nearby Panzer Elite units. This is not mentioned anywhere in-game.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Tiger and the M26 Pershing. Both can move around rather quickly, can wreak havoc on infantry and tanks alike and can still take a beating.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The series' combat uses percentages and odds - general things will happen according to these percentages, but miracles and outliers are far from impossible.
    • With the advent of planes in 2 that can fly around more times subsequently at once from being called in temporarily, players can find they've shot down the enemy's plane and prevented their attack only for the plane to land on and likely wipe out their units elsewhere...or the plane they called in gets shot down without doing much and then lands on their own units.
  • Ludicrous Gibs:
  • Macross Missile Massacre:
    • The Sherman Calliope fires a semi-discriminate spread of artillery rockets. A lot of them. The spread template gets bigger the farther it shoots, so firing on the enemy base from across the map won't destroy any buildings, but it is absolutely devastating to any exposed units. And you can have two of them!
    • To a lesser extent, the Nebelwerfer rocket artillery. While each one can only shoot six rockets, they can be fielded in large quantities.
    • In 2, the Russians have their trademark Katyusha rocket artillery, while the Germans get the armored Panzerwerfer.
  • Magikarp Power: The Volksgrenadier unit of the Oberkommando West in The Western Front Armies. Initially, it is the least impressive basic rifle infantry squad among the factions, lacking a range it particularly excels in over the others, leaving the unit largely a meatshield to screen and scout for other units that will serve as the real teeth for combat. However, it can reach a 5th rank of veterancy like any other Oberkommando West unit and be upgraded to have a Panzershreck, a weapon that when regularly used against enemy vehicles will quickly turn the unit from just a cheap meatshield into an exceptional meatshield with an above-average sight range that also is armed to threaten even tanks.
  • Mauve Shirt: The "Invasion of Normandy" campaign's opening cutscene introduces you to a boat of American soldiers about to land on Omaha Beach. A sergeant gives their orders and reassures the other men in the boat. They land and eventually all get killed trying to reach the safe(ish) dirt mound in front of the German-entrenched cliffs. Then, the game cuts to another boat and the cinematic graphics change to the in-game graphics, showing you the first soldiers you'll be commanding for the campaign.
    • Bonus points for the sergeant realizing that he is the only one alive on the beach and dropping to his knees before getting gunned down.
  • Mercy Kill: Incapacitated soldiers in 2 may sometimes beg someone to kill them to end their suffering.
    • Players are also capable of ordering units to shoot at incapacitated-yet-conscious infantry to finish them off. The tutorial advises this, saying they still grant the enemy vision.
  • Mighty Glacier: Heavy vehicles in general tend to be slow, but very tough and hard-hitting.
  • Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: If you keep clicking on your units enough, they will become annoyed and start to insult you.
    American Artillery Commander: We're FUCKED, crew! Command is DRUNK again!
    American Infantryman: SARGE?! ARE YOU HIGH?!
    German Artillery Commander: Ignoring kommandant! He appears to be the victim of some sort of enemy nerve gas!
    German Tank Commander: I think we should put in for a new kommandant - this one seems to have lost his marbles.
  • Molotov Cocktail: An ability requiring an upgrade for Soviet Conscripts in 2 which burns an area it's thrown onto, damaging infantry. It is especially useful at killing or driving out enemies in buildings and attacking static weapon teams.
  • More Dakka:
    • Suppression weapons in general rely on having a high rate of fire, but they don't do a lot of damage to their targets if they're behind any kind of cover.
    • Anti-infantry upgrades for infantry squads usually give more of this than what they had before, though the Browning Automatic Rifle upgrade for American Rifleman squads is especially worth mentioning, since it gives the squad the ability to temporarily quickly suppress and pin enemy infantry, essentially making the squad a mobile machine gun team for the duration.
    • The Panzer Elite can choose whether veterancy bonuses will increase their defense or offense—a Flak 36 with three offensive upgrades is something to fear.
  • New Meat: Referenced to with some of the "squad remanned to full strength" lines.
    Hey, new guy! Don't fuck up!
    Yeah, yeah, you'll do, fall in line...
    Airborne! Welcome to France!
    Welcome to the squad. We shit together!
    Get the replacements up front ASAP. I don't want any of our lads to buy it.
    Great, more old farts from the stomach battalion! note 
  • Nicknaming the Enemy: The soldiers tend to use the historical nicknames.
    • Germans are referred to as "Jerry", "Jerries", "Krauts" or "Huns", while Americans are called "Yanks", "Yankees" or "cowboys".
    • In 2, Russians are called "Ivan", "Bolsheviks" or just "Rus". In turn, the Soviets refer to the Germans as "Fritz" or "Fascists".
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Played straight in Company of Heroes, but averted in Opposing Fronts and Tales of Valor. The Germans lack a storyline campaign in 2 as well, but they do have their own set of missions in Theater of War.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: For rescuing a valuable officer, fending off a German attack with armored units in the process, the instigator of the rescue, Yuri, gets a bullet in the head for his troubles, and the rest of the unit that participated gets executed.
  • No One Gets Left Behind:
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Order an Ostruppen squad in 2 to attack a Sturmpanzer. To elaborate, it's a heavily-armored assault gun while the Ostruppen squad don't come with anti-tank capable weaponry... and the Sturmpanzer is one of their vehicles, making the order even odder (this can only happen if the Sturmpanzer is abandoned by its crew and captured by the enemy, or if it's a German vs German custom Skirmish battle).
  • No Recycling: Averted. The Wehrmacht (1) and Oberkommando West (Western Front Armies), being tight on resources, can scavenge from vehicle wrecks. There is also a repair vehicle based on the Bergetiger available to the Panzer Elite that can "resurrect" them.
  • No Sell: Armored vehicles tend be amused by getting shot at with small-arms. Users of said small-arms tend to wonder you're thinking when you order them to attack said armored vehicles.
  • No Swastikas: Anything that could have a swastika on them are replaced by Iron Crosses instead. Also, the word "Nazi" isn't even mentioned anywhere in the game at all, being replaced by other terms like "Kraut" (by Americans) and "Jerry" (by the British, although the Americans sometimes use it too).
    • Especially Egregious in 2. During the attack on the Reichstag - in the heart of Nazi Germany - there isn't a single swastika banner in sight.
  • Nothing Personal: Sergeant Pozharsky says this just before he executes Ania.
  • Not Using the Z Word: The Germans are never referred to as "Nazis" in the first game, while a few lines from Soviet units in 2 call their German adversaries Nazis.
  • Oh Crap:
    • Weapon teams in 2 will loudly call out when enemies attacking their flanks. They tend to not sound very confident.
    • All foot-soldiers in 2 will similarly call out incoming grenades.
    • Infantry tend to react similarly with enemy flamethrowers in their midst, sometimes adding something to the effect of "Kill them now, anyone!".
    • Infantry also tend to not take it well when attacked by armored vehicles, especially heavy ones.
    • Destroyed vehicles are usually accompanied by the crew calling out that their vehicle "...is fucked!". While low on health, the vehicle's commander tends to respond to move orders with noticeable fear and anxiety.
    Hotchkiss Light Tank: Drive! I don't care where, just drive!
    • This is the general reaction of American tanks if they get attacked by a Tiger.
    Pershing under fire! IT'S A TIGER!
    • In general, tank commanders tend not to sound confident when under attack by anti-tank weapons.
    Sherman: Shit! Kraut squad has a Panzershreck!
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Typically explosives or sniper shots, though sufficiently tough infantry can sometimes shrug even those off.
    • Flamethrowers have a small chance of instantly killing infantry in its area of effect regardless of their health.
    • Vehicles can be instantly destroyed by destroying a bridge while they're on it. 2 adds breaking the ice under them with explosives or the vehicle's own weight.
  • Orphaned Punchline: Soviet infantry squads out-of-combat can be overheard saying this punchline to a presumed filthy joke.
    And then, her sister walks in...
  • Pinned Down: One of the major gameplay elements of infantry combat. See Standard Status Effect below.
  • Possession Implies Mastery: Any squad may take a special or heavy weapon lying around on the battlefield and will use them without any problems, even when the weapon comes from an opposing faction and is particularly rare even for the faction that uses them.
    • Worsened in 2, where vehicles and tanks of all kinds can be re-manned by any infantry squad...
    • A similar effect happens for Conscripts merging with other infantry squads and weapon teams, despite being poorly-trained troops that logically probably shouldn't be relied on for crewing your larger weapons.
  • Poirot Speak: German units talk like this when the player plays as them in both games, but not when against them in the first game's campaign. Same thing for the Russians in 2. In 2, they also frequently will use the same subject in both languages, such as German troops referring to a machine gun as such in one line and as a maschinengewehr in another.
  • The Purge:
    • The Real Life event in the Red Army is subtly implied by a line from the Russian announcer when you're winning, where he'll say "You appear suited for command!", implying you're an untested leader as many of the Russians' would have been as a result of The Purge.
    • Colonel Churkin found out that he was going to be killed in the next purge, which influenced his decision to hear Isakovich out and eventually set him free.
  • PvP Balanced: The game doesn't make many glaringly weird concessions in the name of balance, which makes the ones that are pretty noticeable.
    • The Recon upgrade for the British Infantry Section. It gives a speed boost, removes the slow down when in enemy territory and even allows you to spend munitions for the squad member equipped with a scoped rifle to make a single sniper shot... but the upgrade also reduces the squad's damage and accuracy, even the marksman's.
    • If you try to order an Airborne squad to toss a satchel charge onto a bridge, they will automatically throw AWAY from the bridge, to the point where a charge will fly out of the side of the arm of the thrower. It makes sense from a balance perspective but it's so poorly done it can be painful.
    • PTRS-41 anti-tank rifles are highly inaccurate against infantry, when they would probably just be overkill in practice.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: A Conscript squad leader when embarking a vehicle during combat:
    Get. In. The. Vehicle!
  • Read the Freaking Manual: Inverted in 2, as a Panzergrenadier squad leader complains about a squadmate's reluctance to shoot a Panzershreck from a building.
    Panzergrenadier: I know it's technically impossible to shoot a Panzerschreck from an enclosed position. Don't read the fucking manual next time, and you won't care so much!
  • Real Time with Pause: Practically required on the higher difficulty settings, especially in missions where a whole lot of stuff is going in every corner of the map. Unfortunately, it's impossible to pause at all in multiplayer, which becomes problematic when a long session requires bathroom breaks.
  • Redemption Demotion: The Tiger in the eighth mission of 2's campaign isn't as powerful after you capture it. Justified, since the Soviet crew isn't familiar with how it works.
  • Redemption Equals Death: The Penal Battalions' purpose according to their squad leader (While probably not as explicitly stated by their own chain of command, pretty much Truth in Television in action), who occasionally responds to the squad taking casualties in this manner.
    He has been redeemed in blood, brothers!
    Everyone deserves a chance at redemption!
    The state now forgives him!
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: Inverted. Many of the game mechanics are borrowed from or refined versions of those featured in Dawn of War, a game set in space. So, it's Recycled IN WORLD WAR II!
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Averted, the British Captain is armed with a Webley revolver, but his accuracy and damage with it is rather low. In fact, he will actually lose 1 on 1 to the Luger-wielding German Officer.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction:
    • Justified for the Commonwealth from Opposing Fronts, as their buildings are actually vehicle-based command posts that can relocate as necessary. The Americans to a lesser extent, as their buildings are mostly made of tarps and sandbags. Wehrmacht and Panzer Elite buildings, on the other hand, are concrete bunkers that come in crates.
    • Justified for the buildings of both the Russians and Germans in 2, which are pretty much sandbagged trenches of varying shapes, sizes and content.
  • Roses are Red, Violets are Blue...
    Random German infantryman, out of combat: ...I'm stuck on the Eastern Front, and so are fucking you!
  • RPG Elements: You gain XP as you play the game and you spend it to unlock special units and abilities. The Americans and the Panzer Elite in the first game, as well as the Russians and Germans in the second also have their troops gain XP, and become more deadly when leveled up. The Commonwealth only has their officers gain XP.
  • Rugged Scar: The DLC Elite Troops Doctrine German Commander for 2 has a long scar going down under his eye to his chin on his face, possibly of the dueling scar practice.
  • Running Gag:
    • There's a number of lines in 2 yelled out by the Germans entering combat that say the Soviets smell bad.
    • Soviet Combat Engineers with flamethrowers have lines where they say their kills with it smell like pork, or saying after combat "That smell? It is not pork." The Ostheer's Pioneer squad leader upgraded with flamethrowers have a line upon killing infantry with it worded as if he agrees that it does smell like pork.
  • Salt the Earth:
    • The purpose of the second campaign mission in 2, where the player must hold off the assaulting Germans while destroying anything useful (like trucks or houses that can serve as winter quarters) that can't be evacuated.
    • It's also the point of the "Indirect Fire" Theater of War scenario, where the player must use Katyushas to flatten anything that might be useful.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Russian sniper teams and tank crews are occasionally made up of women. The former has an icon of the sniper's face that clearly indicates their gender, but since tanks have an icon of, well, a tank, the latter doesn't indicate as such until you click on them and hear their response.
  • Selective Historical Armory: Very apparent, whether in the name of Rule of Cool or asymmetrical gameplay. Most notably, the games include the Flakpanzer IV "Ostwind" tank as readily available in the base tiers for at least one German faction when only 44 were ever produced in real life.
  • Sergeant Rock: The squad leader of the American Rifleman squad in the first game plays this trope so very straight. There are other squad leaders for units that can be considered this trope as well, but they don't compare to how boisterously the Riflemen squad leader does it.
    (upon being selected) Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: Most of the weapons in the game are shorter ranged than their real life counterparts, with only the largest maps in the game even going out of rifle range - certainly an Acceptable Break from Reality to make the game more visceral. The AI regularly abuses this, keeping their units just barely out of the range of your own.
    • Mortars generally have to be positioned so close to the front-line that the enemy can see and fire at them with some steps toward them. Not quite as bad for the bigger artillery pieces, though any of them should be able to cover the entire map even from a corner.
    • Tanks are in a similar boat, having firing ranges much shorter than would be realistic, instead tending to be just a few meters greater than a rifle's, compared to the hundreds of metres many of them could hit accurately at. The best tank's main gun's range in the series is the Elefant in 2, having a bit under 3 times the range of rifles, when the difference would more likely be at least over 10 times.
    • All but the basic infantry/engineers have firing ranges longer than their sight range. It's helpful to have a spotter of some sort when making an advance.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Doing so is a very good idea, as your opponent gets recycled soldiers for free in the first game or free healing in the second game if you don't.
    • Your units will never engage medics automatically, so you have to actually tell them to yourself. Consequently, this means American and German machine gun nests cannot be used to kill medics.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • The Volksgrenadier squad leader frequently berates his squad by derogatorily comparing them to children or old men. The history of the units not made explicit in-game, these insults refer to how the Volksgrenadiers were conscripts commonly made up of boys too young and men too old to normally be considered fit for military service.
    • The Panzergrenadier squad leader in both games sometimes refers to his squad as Schützen, which was what the Panzergrenadiers were called before they were renamed in 1942. It also serves to characterize him as an experienced solder to stick to that.
    • The prisoners rescued during the Poznan Citadel mission are all Penal Battalion squads. While the reason for this isn't explicitly stated, liberated Red Army units were normally assigned to penal battalions.
    • The bulletins of 2 contain historical tactical information of the unit(s) they apply for, and occasionally some tidbits.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The opening cutscene to the "Invasion of Normandy" campaign is clearly one to the opening battle in Saving Private Ryan, complete with shots of being behind the shoulders of a German machinegun team in a bunker cutting down the Americans.
    • The Stop Poking Me lines for a few units ask what your major malfunction is.
    • In the "Market Garden" campaign, a couple of German soldiers are watching the paratroops covering the skies, and one comments "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe..." and then mentions all the battles he's been in.
    • The first mission of 2's campaign has several to Enemy at the Gates. A conscript fresh off the boat says he doesn't have a weapon while being herded into combat. He soon picks one up from a fallen soldier while charging a fortified German line. In addition, around half of the allied Conscripts in the battle lack rifles.
    • The largest multiplayer map in 2 is titled City 17. Considering that it's also an Eastern European community under a totalitarian regime, it's rather fitting.
    • The Grenadier or Guard squads in 2 will occasionally react to losing squad members with this line.
  • Standard Status Effects:
    • "Suppressed", which results from being shot at too much or big explosions. When under this effect, infantry drop to the ground and crawl slowly, their fire less effective. Some special abilities allow a unit to break it and either charge or retreat.
    • "Pinned" is the same but more - they all freeze completely and worse yet, can't shoot back, use abilities or capture points. Best to retreat them once this happens, because the unit has been rendered useless in every way save from providing sight.
    • British Bren-toting infantry and Russian Guards Infantry squads with DP machine guns can inflict the "Buttoned" condition on enemy vehicles, essentially forcing them to sit inactive as their vision slits are smashed by fast and accurate fire.
    • The Wehrmacht Blitzkrieg Doctrine's Assault ability and the Americans' T17 armored car can both inflict the "Stunned" condition, the former against infantry and the latter against vehicles. In 2, the German Sniper and StuG III Ausf.G's veterancy abilities let them do the same to infantry and vehicles, respectively, and taking AT fire can sometimes stun a vehicle's crew.
  • Smoke Out: Smoke grenades and mortar shells are available to several units. Their capabilities vary in the first game (mostly severely reducing the accuracy of fire passing through the smoke cloud) and uniformly acts to block line-of-sight in the second game. In addition, vehicles in 2 emit smoke for a short while after being destroyed, which also obscures line-of-sight.
  • Stop Poking Me: Every single unit has multiple lines if the player keeps clicking them. They often break the fourth wall and insult the player for annoying them. Done to a lesser degree in 2.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: A lot, and why you should use as much artillery as you possibly can.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Averted. Infantry being attacked by some really scary stuff will be quickly destroyed, Suppressed or Pinned - even taking enough basic rifle fire can suppress or pin them (though highly rare and requiring the unit have constant reinforcements yet never getting wiped out, and it's much more likely the enemy will choose to deal with the source of reinforcement first before your unit gets pinned).
    • Infantry units under attack from explosives, airstrikes or flame weapons will usually dive to the ground and stay there for about a second before getting back up.
    • Units also tend to comment on being attacked by something that can't really hurt them.
      Sherman: Hah! What does that moron motorcyclist think he's trying to do?!
      Panther: Heh heh... they're scratching your paint job, Helmut!
  • Support Power: Depending on which doctrine/commander you choose, or what the campaign decides to give you. Anything from off-map artillery to paratrooper drops to close air support. Others may be granted specifically to your units or buildings.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: The Volkgrenadiers' squad leader from the first game and the Conscripts' squad leader in the second game have numerous lines where they express frustration with their squad's (in)competence.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: All infantry can be retreated back to base, regardless of circumstances, and gain a slight defense and speed buff while retreating to cover for the fact that you can't control them. As reinforcing a squad is many times cheaper in terms of resources than calling in a new squad, and (with the exception of the Wehrmacht in the first game) veterancy bonuses are lost when the squad is lost, you will want to make sure that at least one soldier from your squad makes it back to HQ. An interesting effect is that for certain units, it buffs enemy snipers' accuracy against them.
  • Take Cover: One of the first RTS games to do so, via the innovative "cover dots" that allow the player to preview troop placement and facing. It's practically mandatory to use this in infantry combat as it reduces damage and increases suppression resistance - though it also tends to increase vulnerability to grenades and other explosives since they tend to be bunched up to use it, and flamethrower will do more damage against units in cover(in the first game)/ignore cover(in the second game.
  • Take That: The license number on the American Jeep reads 3A5UX5, which translates in letters to EASUXS.
  • Tank Goodness: Yes. Each faction has access to their own set of armor, which tend to have a basic all-purpose vehicle and several specialist vehicles. In addition, each faction has a doctrine/commander with a heavier and more powerful vehicle that can be called in once enough XP is earned to unlock it.
  • Technology Levels:
    • Unofficially, all the factions of the first game have roughly five "tiers". Tier one is usually basic infantry and a scout vehicle, tier two is support infantry and anti-tank, tier three breaks out the light armor, and at tier four the tanks start coming out. Tier five, which technically doesn't count, refers to the late-game superunits like Sherman Fireflies, Panther Battlegroups, and call-ins like Tigers and Pershings. Note that there's a lot of variation here: Wehrmacht anti-tank assets begin at Tier Two, while Americans don't get them until Tier Three. Note also that it's not mandatory and in fact not recommended to go through the tiers in order; it's common to see players jump ahead to Tier Three to get out their light armor for a fast attack, and then back-tech to Tier Two in order to get defensive units to hold the ground they've just taken.
    • In 2, Soviet base buildings have two for early tier - one for mobile light forces and another for heavy weapon teams - and two for late tier; one for frontline vehicles and the other long-ranged support vehicles. Their starting building gives them basic engineers and infantry. The Germans instead start with an engineer-producing building and then have tiers for long-ranged anti-personnel infantry and weapon teams, light vehicles with assault/anti-tank infantry and anti-tank guns, medium tanks, and lastly heavy tanks with mechanized artillery.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Mainly Not Playing Fair With Resources. The normal AI doesn't cheat (much), but the Hard AI cheats heavily and the Expert AI cheats so heavily that a normal human in a straight up fight, without exploiting the AI's Artificial Stupidity, will never, ever win against them. They just have too many resources (around quadruple the player's for Expert AIs) and thus too many forces.
    • The All-Seeing A.I. is employed full force in the first game. Off-map artillery strikes cannot be launched in areas covered by fog of war, a requirement for the player. Also, enemy mortars will be the bane of your infantry, as they always seem to know where they are, regardless if you haven't encountered other enemy units in the last few minutes.
  • The Unseen: The various main and supporting characters when in normal gameplay. And Corporal Degnan.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Played With.
    • The Germans generally act and talk like normal human beings and banter just like the Allied troops in both games. A pretty notable moment showing this is a cutscene in the "Cherbourg" mission of the "Invasion of Normandy" campaign, which shows German infantry cowering in buildings while battleship shells rain down, one of them having lost it and begging for the bombardment to stop.
    • Clicking on units rapidly, or plain getting them killed will play this trope straight. It's much easier to show than to explain, so here's a video.
    • Played straight with Stormtrooper squads, who generally make remarks about being the elite of the German military and tend to berate the regular Wehrmacht soldiers. What else would you expect from the Waffen SS?
  • Units Not to Scale: Averted, all units and structures are scaled realistically. The production buildings are all a bit too small to realistically hold more than one or two squads worth of troops, but that's another trope entirely.
  • U.S. Army Rangers: Can be used when playing an American Infantry Company.
  • Veteran Unit: The first game contained various systems for the concept depending on the faction - the American units gain it from killing units in combat (and have global upgrades that will let Riflemen gain experience in this way faster), the British's veterancy is contained in its officer units that are the only ones who can gain veterancy, from killing enemy units or more likely from allied units killing enemy units while being within the officer's aura, Wehrmacht must purchase ranks of it for all units of specific categories with individual global upgrades, and Panzer Elite units gain it from killing enemy units (or being nearby an allied unit that kills enemy units) at which they will spend the veterancy rank on an offensive or defensive bonus.
    • The second game made veterancy uniform between the factions - units gain veterancy from killing enemy units, damaging enemies, or taking damage. They first gain an ability from the first rank of veterancy and then (almost entirely) gain passive stat bonuses or improvements to their abilities from subsequent ranks.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Played with the British Sappers, whose accents are clearly Scottish - but they're Combat Engineers, less violent than standard infantry, right? Wrong. When compared to the Infantry Section, the Infantry Section costs much more (450 manpower) than the Sappers (320 manpower), has only 5 more hitpoints per member and an extra squad member, and they both have the same rifles which they are equally skilled at using; therefore, the Infantry Section gets 65 hitpoints at 90 manpower each while the Sappers get 60 hitpoints for 80 manpower each; for a 1/12 increase in health per member, the Infantry Section gets to cost 1/8 more per member. If they didn't have different upgrades, Sappers would probably be the troops to use for plain More Dakka.
  • Worthy Opponent: Hauptmann Schultz, the Tiger Ace in the "Invasion of Normandy" campaign.
  • War Is Glorious: The Conscripts' squad leader attempts to evoke this for his squad, though he's somewhat inconsistent.
    Conscript squad, fully reinforced: Your predecessor died a hero!
    Conscript squad, ordered to attack: They will know they are fighting real men!
  • War Is Hell:
  • What the Hell, Player?: Units usually note the tactical incompetence of sending their small-caliber anti-personnel weapons against armored vehicles immune to such weapons. They also don't like being repeatedly clicked on.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Ania and her Polish partisans in the "Behind Enemy Lines" mission in 2 are shot dead by the Red Army after giving them a German informant, out of fears that Poland would oppose the Soviet Union after Germany is defeated.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Played With. All units always have their basic abilities, but some abilities are locked until the appropriate upgrade is researched. For example, American Riflemen squads can't throw grenades until you spend manpower and fuel to truck them to the front. Perhaps the most extreme example of this is that Panzer Elite infantry need every single upgrade available to... sprint.
    • Russian Conscripts in 2 require a specific commander to be chosen before they can learn how to lie down prone on the ground to avoid enemy fire and they're the only unit that can do so on commandnote , while their Sniper and Maxim machine-gun teams require a level in veterancy in order to sprint and Penal Battalions require two levels of veterancy to be able to yell Oorah! for temporarily moving faster.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: You don't need to have Worker Units harvesting them, but you'd better control as many points on the map as possible if you want to win.

"Operation" Tropes:

Tales of Valor brings in three new gameplay modes, including:
  • Stonewall, where up to four players must fight off hordes of AI controlled units from a defensive position.
  • Assault, which is essentially Relic's take on the popular Defense of the Ancients scenario in War Craft III, where each side has a massive fortified base with hordes of AI controlled creeps, with the players each taking control of a powerful "hero" character and attempt to assist the AI creeps in breaking through the enemy base and destroying a central building.
  • Panzerkrieg (literally, "armored war"), in which two teams of up to three players each choose from a selection of three different tanks and then duke it out over a specially designed map, supported by plenty of expendable infantry, a plethora of off-map support and numerous special abilities available to the tanks themselves.


Panzerkrieg tropes:

  • Jack of All Stats: The M4 Sherman and the Panzer IV both serve as your "all-rounder" tank choices in Panzerkrieg (for the Allies and Axis respectively), having decent speed, a decent gun and decent armour, but nothing overly exciting.
  • Fragile Speedster: The M18 Hellcat tank destroyer and Hotchkiss light tank (Allied and Axis respectively). Both of these tanks are faster but flimsier than the other choices and are also Glass Cannons. The Hellcat can get powerful upgrades for its shells and also an ambush ability that allows it to fire one high damage shot, while the Hotchkiss has multiple upgrades for its gun and can be fitted with the "Walking Stuka", which is a quartet of frames on the tank's sides from which powerful rockets can be launched.
  • Mighty Glacier: The Churchill and Panther tanks (Allied and Axis respectively). Both are slow but powerful. The Churchill has a short range and requires its abilities (purchased with XP from either getting killed or killing the enemy) to really come into its own, while the Panther is more or less completely lacking in support capability, and focuses on pure killing power.


Assault tropes:

  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The "Officer" hero, who provides bonuses to both AI creeps and friendly heroes around him while also being a decent combatant himself.
  • Cold Sniper: The "Sniper" is practically identical to those in the normal game.
  • Combat Medic: The "Medic" packs a sub-machine gun and is anything but combat incapable.
  • The Engineer: The "Engineer" who, rather than building defenses as you might expect, is equipped with a powerful "Satchel Charge" which creates a huge explosion when it goes off. However, that's pretty much all the "Engineer" offers, as he's not that great in combat and is unnecessary for taking out enemy structures as the small-arms the heroes carry rip right through them, even though the Axis ones are made of concrete.
  • Fragile Speedster: The "Recon". Unlike the other heroes, which are individuals on foot, the "Recon" hero is actually two guys in a Jeep (Allied) or 2 guys in a motorcycle with a sidecar (Axis), with the second guy manning a machine gun. Needless to say, they're blazing fast and serve as a hard counter to the "Sniper".
  • Jack of All Stats: The "Commando", in theory, anyway. He's actually just a generally inferior version of the "Heavy Weapons Guy" below, having less health and a weaker attack, but being no faster, though he does have two versions of the "Sprint" ability.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The "Heavy Weapons Guy", despite packing a light machine gun and being tougher than any of the other heroes, is not any slower than them (except for the "Recon") and also has a "Sprint" ability, which increases his speed. This one veers very close to Game Breaker territory.


Stonewall tropes:


Beat HazardCreator/THQCostume Quest
Comix ZoneCreator/SegaThe Conduit
Commander KeenSteamCondemned
City of HeroesUsefulNotes/Apple MacintoshCounter-Strike
Temporary PlatformImageSource/Video GamesNo Swastikas
CommandosReal-Time StrategyConquest Frontier Wars

alternative title(s): Company Of Heroes
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