RO2 Anti-Tank

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Overview

The Anti-tank trooper in RO2 has one of the hardest roles – taking on enemy armour. Armed with the German PZB 784(R) or Russian PTRS-1941 anti-material rifles and German HHL3 AT-Grenade or Russian RPG40 AT-Grenade anti-tank grenades. Satchel Charges are added to the loadout on achieving veteran status.

History

Traditionally, when faced by mobile armour, infantry have called in artillery or support from friendly armour to engage and destroy enemy tanks. However, by the time of the Battle for Stalingrad both German and Russian had squads of soldiers dedicated to attacking tanks. Large caliber anti-material rifles were available to both sides, and although effective against poorly armoured tanks, troop transports and soft skinned vehicles, their effectiveness against more advanced tanks was becoming doubtful unless hitting weak spots such as tracks, engines, transmission systems, turret traversing gear and optics.

In addition a range of anti tank grenades were developed. With either high explosive or shaped charge designs, there were certainly more effective against many tanks, but came with the added danger that the soldier (dependent on design) had to get within a few yards, or even run right up to the target to use the grenade.

Improvised anti-tank weapons were prevalent in Stalingrad including sticky bombs and Molotov cocktails, although these are not yet modled in RO2. Neither is the German Panzerfaust - a revolutionary lightweight, shaped charge, single shot anti tank projectile introduced after the Battle for Stalingrad which made it possible for every infantryman to become a tank hunter.

Gameplay

Whilst the Anti-tank soldiers weapons are effective against infantry, and every body in the capture zone counts, the reason for being on the battlefield is to neutralise enemy tanks – everything else is a distraction. That said, the Anti-tank soldier is more likely to be the target of infantrymen than tanks. Situational awareness and sense of purpose are essential.

Tactics

There are two main methods for Anti-tank troopers to eliminate tanks – at range with his rifle, or up close with grenades or satchel charges. The heavy loadout of equipment makes for a difficult time traversing the battlefield, so consider dropping either rifle or AT grenades, dependent on your chosen approach.

If there is plenty of cover, and well organised comrades (particularly squad leaders offering the cover of smoke) getting up close and throwing grenades is certainly the quickest way to neutralise an enemy tank. Until in position, keep your sidearm equipped to deal with troublesome infantrymen and once in range, throwing a grenade or satchel charge onto the engine deck behind the turret will usually score a kill.

Attacking tanks with the anti material rifle is certainly less harrowing, but a greater challenge as it is very common for rounds to ricochet off sloped armour, or fail to penetrate. Targeting tracks and the turret ring where the turret meets the tank body will reduce the tanks effectiveness, as will hitting the engine deck if an elevated position can be found, but the most effective method for neutralising the tank is to aim for the main gun ammunition bins, which vary from tank to tank.

The large muzzle flash and booming report of the rifle will always attract enemy infantry, so be ready to resort to your side arm in CQC situations and make sure you know where ammo dumps are – the limited loadout will have you running for resupply unless your aim is superb.

Equipment

Axis

Allies