Engineers vs Infantry

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bk917
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
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Engineers vs Infantry

Post by bk917 » Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:32 pm

Is there much benefit to buying regular infantry instead of engineers?

For the US, Engineers cost 1 less command point, and 5 less requisition points.

Regular infantry has a bit better attack against mechanized forces (5-9 instead of 2-7 - which is surprising to me - and a weaker attack against infantry (12 vs 10-16).

The regular infantry has a higher defense factor against infantry (12 vs 10), but the engineer has a variety of other skills.

Does it make sense to go heavy on engineers at the expense of infantry as a general matter?

cutydt02
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Re: Engineers vs Infantry

Post by cutydt02 » Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:22 am

Just treat them as cheap and alive arty (or meatshield if you want). Useful to deal with bunkers, mines or well dugged in targets. But they rather slow to keep up with my main force, equip them transport will negate their benefit of low cost cp. Buying one or two should be good, at least to deal with some “surprise” moments (if you keep back up cp).
Heavy inf is ultra defensive unit, i just buy one just for my flexible core. Paratroopers are the same but attack unit, will be much more useful if they have a free air transport at deployment phase.

Hubbfrosch
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Re: Engineers vs Infantry

Post by Hubbfrosch » Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:21 am

I had 6 engineers during the Blitzkrieg- campaign. It worked nicely to have many units to cover big parts of a map. But in the Panzerkrieg / Endsieg campaign I am using only 2 engineers. Engineers are too slow and if you give them transports, the cost advantage is gone. The engineer skills seem more like a gimmick. In 2,5 campaigns I built 1 bridge out of curiosity and maybe 3 minefields. I cleared minefields mostly for the experience points.

Celeborn
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Re: Engineers vs Infantry

Post by Celeborn » Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:58 pm

It's important to think about the special abilities of each unit in evaluating overall value. Unlike regular infantry Engineers can destroy infrastructure (esp bridges), put down pontoon bridges, lay mines, accelerate entrenchment of adjacent units and eliminate mines without loss. BUT they are the quintessential dish-it-out-but-can't-take-it units in combat...never rely on them to hold a position.

GabeKnight
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Re: Engineers vs Infantry

Post by GabeKnight » Sun Mar 07, 2021 9:06 pm

With their slow speed and general vulnerability, to really put engineers into good use you have to plan ahead: Where to lay mines or build a bridge. As they are miserable in defense, it's unpractical to field too many of them in a scen - one or two are usually enough IMO.

Additionally they are great (AI) arty magnets, cheap to replace and excellent in removing entrenchment.

prestidigitation
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Re: Engineers vs Infantry

Post by prestidigitation » Mon Mar 08, 2021 4:49 pm

Engineers are great in 65%+ cover where their 10-16 combat power is +2 over the infantry 12 which makes up for their -2 on defense. Everywhere else they’re extremely vulnerable. On heavily urban maps (Stalingrad anyone?) they are monstrously powerful but these are few and far between.

On bigger maps they are far too slow off road, so any sort of fast moving armored formation will need to mechanize or at least motorize them. In snow or mud their already low speed becomes intolerable.

They’re an incredible asset to a fast moving armored formation thanks to their ability to clear 7 entrenchment from an enemy unit. This permits seizing one or two tile towns with heavily fortified defenders in two turns with the first turn to approach and some prep bombardment and the second to attack and wipe them out.

Their combat power against armor is abysmal which heavily impacts both the effectiveness of reaction fire in doing damage. In 50%+ cover with good attacker combat modifier reductions and a supporting ATG infantry with minimal entrenchment can generally be expected to defeat or seriously damage an attacking armored unit. An engineer in the same scenario will probably lose and will definitely take more damage.

Mines are extremely valuable and I often use them to cover vulnerable flanks. You’re essentially paying 20cp to deny the enemy access to a tile for however long it takes them to bring up an engineer/pay the troll toll to attack through it. This frees up front line units to move to other positions.

Pontoons are often helpful. There are several scenarios that become substantially easier if you lay a pontoon or two.

Because much of the game involves either roads through mostly clear terrain or high cover but roadless forest/jungle, I tend to mostly bring infantry with a leavening of engineers. In my current max difficulty Soviet campaign I’ve found the following rifle formation works very well: 3x infantry, 1x engineer, 1x AA, 1x light AT, 1x dual purpose ART/AT, 1x heavy siege gun, 1x heavy armor. Standard infantry is generally better in forests and difficult terrain and is always better against armor, but engineers can really save your bacon in the right terrain.

By contrast I can rarely justify heavy infantry outside of a single motorized one in the armored force and a floating one I sometimes use on defensive scenarios. I’ve also started bringing a light tank 😨 alongside my usual two mediums and a recon car for the armor! It turns out having a high speed double move unit that largely ignores terrain is extremely nice for cutting off enemies or hunting down runners. If the medium armor provides the shock action, the light armor provides the chase and exploitation power.

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