Boot Camp

Company of Heroes 3 HQ

(Image credit: Sega)

We’ve partnered up with Sega to create Boot Camp, a series of articles and videos that showcase the new features and tactical considerations of Company of Heroes 3.

The Allied armies of World War 2 have typically been the focal point of Company of Heroes, whether it was the American forces of the original game, or the Red Army in the sequel. Company of Heroes 3 offers the most comprehensive depiction of the Allies in action yet, letting you play as not one but two Allied nations, with armies that include soldiers from all over the globe.

The game’s dynamic Italian campaign is a joint operation between British and American forces, and you’ll command soldiers from either side of the Atlantic as you strive to oust the Nazis from Europe’s boot. Both the Brits and the US can recruit a standard selection of troops like riflemen, machine-gunners, and engineers, but these squads wear authentic uniforms and use historically accurate equipment specific to the army they serve in. American machine-gunners, for example, like to suppress enemy soldiers with the Browning 30 cal, whereas their British equivalents rely on the trusty Vickers machine gun. Units also utter colourful calls and responses as you order them around the battlefield, including some impressively baffling slang from the Tommies.

Commandos covering behind barrels.

(Image credit: Sega)

The differences between the two allied forces aren’t merely cosmetic. Both armies feature a wide range of unique units and abilities. In fact, the composition of your forces depends not only on where the soldiers come from, but what type of company they belong to. Every company you recruit in the campaign has its own specialisation, influencing both what it brings to the battle and how it fights.

America leads the charge with two dedicated infantry companies, the Special Forces, and the Airborne. The Special Forces are the vanguard of the Allied invasion, able to deploy small squads of Scout units that can sniff out enemy positions, while crack Commando teams can swiftly eliminate enemy squads using throwing knives and incendiary “Willy Pete” grenades.

The Airborne, meanwhile, is one of the most versatile companies in Company of Heroes 3. Their special ability lets you paradrop fresh squads into the thick of battle, which can be customised on the fly to suit the situation. You can equip Paratroopers with BAR automatic rifles for extra stopping power against enemy infantry, or buff them with bazookas so they can batter German armour. And as the word “Airborne” suggests, these troops can count upon plentiful support from the skies. If your paratroopers find themselves staring down the barrel of a German tank, a quick radio call to a circling P-41 will blow that Panzer to Palermo.

Indian heavy mortar.

(Image credit: Sega)

As for the plucky Brits, they can field one of the most interesting companies in the game, the Indian Artillery company. Alongside units like Royal Engineers and British Commandos, this company can also produce the Heavy Mortar crew, able to barrage enemy positions from halfway across the map. Indian Artillery companies can also deploy Gurkha rifle squads as its special ability. These powerful infantry units can push through the most intense gunfights through sheer willpower, and flush enemy units from cover with their “grenade assault” skill.

Although infantry play a crucial role in the Allied war effort, they are only half the story. Most companies can use vehicles to support their foot-soldiers. Special Forces companies can deploy 4x4s and armoured half-tracks for speedy unit transportation across the battlefield, as well as the M-29 Weasel, a weaponised Santa’s sleigh that zooms around the battlefield delivering machine guns and mortars to your squads (and presumably lumps of coal to the Germans). Then there are dedicated armoured companies that bring serious firepower to the battlefield, like the British Churchill 4 and the Sherman “Whizbang” tank, which can pummel enemy armour with a devastating rocket salvo.

Paratroopers land on the battlefield.

(Image credit: Sega)

And this is only a basic outline of what Allied companies in Company of Heroes 3 can do. As you progress through the campaign, your companies will unlock new abilities and units that can dramatically affect how they fight. You could expand your Airborne company’s paradrop abilities so they deploy tougher units with better equipment, increase their air support powers to facilitate carpet-bombing runs, or plunge skill points into unlocking new units like tanks, lending your squishy infantry some hefty armour support.

So whether you watch baseball or cricket, eat chips or fries, or could or couldn’t care less, Company of Heroes 3 has got you covered. But at the end of the day, it isn’t such superficial differences that define us. It’s our shared desire to kick Hitler right in his Panzershrecks.