Video Game: Company of Heroes aka: Companyof Heroes
Company of Heroes is a Real Time Strategy 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.The campaign follows both Able Company (Infantry/Armored) and Fox Company (Airborne) through a linear series of fifteen missions covering 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.Relic released a stand-alone expansion called Opposing Fronts 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 during 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, all based on controlling one or a few powerful units instead of an army of weaker ones. It is described in its own section below. The campaigns are "Tiger Ace", which covers a fictionalized version of the battle of Villers-Bocage, "Causeway", where the 82nd Airborne attempts to secure the La Fiere Causeway, and "Falaise Pocket", where you delay the Allies from closing the Pocket for as long as possible.Company of Heroes Complete: Campaign Edition for the Mac includes every campaign from the original and expansions, as well as skirmishes against the AI. It is available on the Mac App Store.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. 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 campaign called Theater of War, which covers various battles all over the Eastern Front, including some that take place outside the bounds of Operation Barbarossa. It features co-op scenarios (playable with either other players or an AI partner), solo challenges involving certain tactics and strategies, and set-piece battles against the AI. It will be continually updated with new content.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 and fulfill the same role, though the player can now choose which Commanders they want to bring to battle. All are unlocked by reaching a certain level, 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.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.
This game contains examples of:
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: 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.
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 and moves more quickly, and unlike the King Tiger you won't be too afraid to use it since you can always call in another one 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.
Tank Destroyer Tactics: Unit Specialist, focused on destroying tanks, and getting many upgrades and abilities to that effect, and can call in Hetzers 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 He could either be using the English term for a pulled four-wheel vehicle or the German term for a car has more armor than this rusty can."
Hotchkiss Light Tank taking effective fire: "Another shot!? We're still alive!?"
Anachronic Order: Minor case with 2's campaign, which 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.
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.
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 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.
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: The AI opponents are dumb in the first game. Not exceptionally dumb, but... dumb.
They don't know how to get through barriers if you put them up, 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 enough, the same holds true to any AI allies fighting on your team as well. Especially on maps containing only one crucial bridge your own team tends to block the entire bridge off for your own units, seemingly incapable of moving further ahead and not responding to your directional attack commands either. You can then chose to either end the match (resulting in your defeat) or spend a proud amount of time trying to declutter the whole mess.
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 bridges 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.
It's hardly perfect in the second game as well... for numerous reasons. But the worst point is the AI regularly using Smoke Bombs on your troops in the Kharkov Pursuit for the Case Blue Theatre of War, which do no damage and instead block line of sight... while they have no actual troops anywhere nearby to actually utilize your troops getting temporarily blinded.
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.
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 in 2, whose individual marksmanship with their rifles is equal to that of Conscripts. The German Pioneers are still only just technically capable of defending themselves with their submachine guns, though.
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.
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.
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.
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: Played straight in the first game where infantry will regularly fire full-auto with bipod-equipped MG 42s from the hip when lacking cover to set the bipod upon. Otherwise an Averted Trope as heavy weapons crews must set-up their weapon before firing and anti-tank guns will be killed off after being reduced to one man in the crew since he can't move the gun around himself (as elaborated on in Critical Existence Failure).
Bipod-equipped MG 42s have been fixed in 2 where their users lacking cover will dive to the ground to mount it, but the game's new anti-tank rifles have a similar issue with their users usually firing it while standing up and unmounted without falling over (...at best).
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."
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.
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.
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 at around half the cost of a Grenadier squad, they gain veterancy quickly and they're a six-man squad as opposed to the usual four. 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 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.
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.
Casual Danger Dialog: A Soviet Guards Infantry squad who takes a casualty may have one of the men say the following:
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.
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.
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.
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 in the first game can be upgraded with limited building capabilities, allowing them to fill in for Engineers.
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.
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.
Tanks can have parts damaged as they lose HP, but otherwise will keep fighting to the last hitpoint.
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.
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.
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.
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 this is not stated and was obtained from the game's code), 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.
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 seemingly unending waves of armor that will also crush your base if given half 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 the paratroops can deal with by getting close and then throwing grenades or satchel charges at them) Because they can reinforce anywhere on the map, you can have them easily replace any losses in between attacks without pulling back to your main base and their recoilless rifles can handle armored cars, halftracks and tanks without too much difficulty. 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.
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 German 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 If a shot misses, scatter determines how much it misses by, and it can still damage anything in its path. If the target is big enough, represented by its target size (typically 1 for infantry, higher for vehicles), the shot might still hit it..
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 as they die.
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 the toughest infantry unit in the game and deals out 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.
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 backbone infantry unit of the Wehrmacht, Grenadiers (and therefore 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: Incapitated infantry of the Soviets 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.
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 Elite Troops doctrine. It's even more powerful than the regular Tiger tank (which is pretty impressive to begin with), but upon calling it in, all of your income stops. It takes quite a while to unlock it, but if you do, boy is it worth it.
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 page quote. The Riflemen 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."
La Résistance: Partisans are available in one of the campaign missions and also to certain Soviet commanders in multiplayer and Theatre of War. They're light infantry with a variety of weapons, typically 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.
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.
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: The Elefant tank in 2 has a mighty main gun that is extremely long ranged and its armor from the front is the toughest in the game. However, its armor from the back is a fair bit weaker while it moves and turns so slowly that it's usually unable to return fire to any enemies' that flank it and continue to move to its back end.
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!"
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.
"Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Order an Ostruppen squad in 2 attack a Sturmpanzer. To elaborate, it is a tank while the Ostruppen squad do not use anti-tank capable weaponry... and the Sturmpanzer is one of their vehicles to make it the order an extra oddity (the possibilities to allow this include your side having a Sturmpanzer knocked out but intact for the enemy to reclaim it or this is taking place in a custom game that has Germans against Germans).
The German army, being tight on resources, can scavenge from vehicle wrecks in the first game. There is also a repair vehicle based on the Bergetiger that can "resurrect" them.
In 2, both sides can do it - all abandoned vehicles (sometimes happens when a shot would normally destroy the vehicle) can be re-manned by large enough infantry squads. 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 keep a few Combat Engineers/Pioneers nearby to fix it up.
If a heavy weapon's crew dies, it can be re-manned using any infantry squad or even captured by the other side.
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.
Weapon teams in 2 will loudly call out when enemies attacking their flanks. They tend to not sound very confident.
Infantry tend to react similarly with enemy flamethrowers in their midst, sometimes adding something to the effect of "Kill them 'now, anyone!".
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!"
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.
A similar effect happens for Conscripts merging with other infantry squads, 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 maschinengewehr in another.
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.
Pv P 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.
As of 8/14/13, the latest patch for 2 has nerfed the Soviets likely on the basis of player feedback, making the T-34 tanks much weaker in comparison to even a Panzer IV. The underside to this is that Soviet players can no longer win multiplayer matchups unless they follow a very specific build order leading up to SU-85 tank destroyers (which is Difficult, But Awesome when used), and the German AI is significantly overpowered in comp stomp matches.
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.
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 less so, as their buildings are adequately made and mostly consist of tarps and sandbags. Wehrmacht and Panzer Elite buildings, on the other hand, are concrete bunkers that come in crates.
Also justified for the buildings of both the Russians and Germans in 2, which are pretty much sandbagged trenches of varying shapes, sizes and content.
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.
Running Gag: There's a number of lines in 2 yelled out by the Germans entering combat that say the Soviets smell bad.
Salt the Earth: The purpose of a 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.
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.
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 and instead tend to be just a few meters greater than rifles' 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 basic riflemen infantry 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.
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 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.
One to Enemy at the Gates in the first campaign mission in 2, which has a conscript fresh off the boat say 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.
"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.
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.
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 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. Its practically mandatory to use this in infantry combat as it reduces damage and increases suppression resistance - though it also increases vulnerability to grenades.
Take That: The license number on the American Jeep reads 3A5UX5, which translates in letters to EASUXS.
Tank Goodness: Yes. A very large and totally awesome tank unit is potentially available to every faction, while the Germans' are otherwise generally the best.
Technology Levels: Unofficially, all the factions 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.
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 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.
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.
Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: A serious aversion. Flamethrowers are, unrealistically, useless against tanks, but infantry caught by them are literally toast, especially if they're in cover or a building. Though quite effective in the first game, in the second they received a significant buff, being capable of wiping out entire squads very quickly.
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!"
Allied conscripts in the same battle are regularly herded into frontal assaults on fortified positions and pitted against tanks even though they lack anti-armor weapons ("He cannot stop all of you!"). Retreating ones are shown being gunned down by their own side - Order 227 is even a game mechanic in some missions, depicted by a Commissar at your regimental headquarters who will shoot units that retreat to it.
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.
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 Other infantry can and will go prone when suppressed or using certain weapons, which will give them a defensive bonus, but can't be specifically ordered to do so and being suppressed also heavily penalizes their rate of fire, while their Sniper and Maxim machine-gun teams require a level in veterancy in order to sprint.
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.
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 and well-armored. 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, but is even tougher than the Panther, while the Panther is more or less completely lacking in support capability, and focuses on pure killing power.
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.