Company of Heroes 3 factions and battlegroups guide

Key art containing a trio of soldiers
(Image credit: Sega)

Listen up, maggots! It's briefing time. Company of Heroes 3 has four playable factions, the US Forces, the British Forces, the Wehrmacht, and the Deutsche Afrikakorps. Three of these factions are playable in the game's singleplayer campaigns, while the fourth—the Wehrmacht—is exclusive to multiplayer and skirmishes. Each of these armies has its own strengths and weaknesses, which you'll need to exploit if you don't want to end up sprawled in the dirt crying for mama. 

To help keep your sorry asses alive, I'm giving you an overview of how these factions operate. I'll go over each army's abilities and specialisations, as well as breaking down the battlegroups. What are battlegroups, you ask? Good question! 

What are battlegroups?

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Now pay attention, I'm only going to say this once. Battlegroups are miniature skill-trees that appear in Company of Heroes 3's multiplayer and skirmishes. Every army has three battlegroups, each of which is split into two different sub-groups. As you progress through a skirmish or multiplayer match, you'll accrue Command Points used to unlock abilities within these battlegroups. When you select your first ability, you're stuck with that battlegroup for the rest of the match, so choose wisely. Battlegroups also have four tiers of abilities, and you can only pick one ability from each tier, further refining your faction's playstyle as you go. 

Here's the list of the battlegroups attached to each faction: 

  • US Forces: Airborne Battlegroup, Armored Battlegroup, Special Operations Battlegroup
  • British Forces: Indian Artillery Battlegroup, British Armored Battlegroup, British Air and Sea Battlegroup 
  • Wehrmacht: Mechanized Battlegroup, Breakthrough Battlegroup, Luftwaffe Battlegroup
  • Afrikakorps: Italian Infantry Battlegroup, Italian Combined Arms Battlegroup, Armoured Support Battlegroup 

We clear? Good. Now let's dive into the factions, where you'll learn about their broad strategies, and what each battlegroup progression tree offers. 

US Forces faction

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America's army is a capable fighting force in all departments, but it particularly excels in two areas: aerial supremacy and crack infantry units. The US can access a wide range of air-support abilities from supply drops and reconnaissance aircraft to P-47 rocket strikes and devastating carpet-bombing runs. 

Alongside the standard array of riflemen, engineers, and machine gunners, US Forces can also recruit specialised infantry units like Commandos, who are equipped with both BAR assault rifles and bazookas, making them highly flexible in combat. Paratroopers are an essential component of the US's fighting force. Paradrop abilities let you quickly reinforce your frontline with fresh soldiers, or drop soldiers behind enemy lines to harass your opponent from the rear.

Primary tactics 

Tactical infantry assaults are this faction's strength. Special Forces Commandos can adapt to fight infantry or armour on the fly, while paradrops enable the US Forces to keep the pressure on the frontline. Infantry can also rely on extensive air support to keep German tanks at bay.


You'll be vulnerable to artillery and anti-infantry units. You can field capable armour, but it's generally weaker than that of the Wehrmacht. 


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Aerial Support (Airborne Battlegroup)

This tree is focussed on direct support from aircraft. Unlockable abilities include smoke-bombing runs, rocket strikes, and carpet-bombing.

Paradropped Infantry (Airborne Battlegroup)

With this tree you can paradrop various units into battle, such as rifleman squads, machine gun crews, and anti-tank guns.

Engineering Corp (Armored Battlegroup)

Pick this tree if you want to focus on keeping your vehicles moving. It enables vehicles to auto-repair, and unlocks the M31 Recovery vehicle, letting you restore destroyed vehicles in the field, including wrecked enemy vehicles.

Armoured Doctrine (Armored Battlegroup)

Another vehicle-themed tree, this one provides general vehicle oriented buffs, letting you field more vehicles at a faster rate, while increasing their speed and firepower.

Combat Support (Special Operations Battlegroup)

Here you'll find abilities that support your infantry units.  It unlocks rapid deployment of M-29 'Weasel' vehicles that can spawn heavy-infantry weapons like machine gun crews and mortars. It also lets you field the M-4A1 Sherman 'Whizbang' Tank, equipped with medium-range rockets. The P-47 Strafing Run ability will also make quick work of enemy infantry and light vehicles. 

Combat Operations (Special Operations Battlegroup) 

This tree is all about spec-ops tactics, letting you deploy Commando Squads, drop smoke artillery and raiding flares, as well as speeding up your ability to capture control points, quickly giving you a leg up and ensuring you'll generate resources quickly.

British Forces faction

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Since the invention of the longbow, the Brits have enjoyed a long and proud history of fighting their enemies from as far away as possible. So it's little surprise that the British Forces in Company of Heroes 3 specialise in artillery bombardments. The Brits have access to unique units like Indian Heavy Mortar Crews, BL5.5 Artillery Emplacements, M1 Pack Howitzers, and the Bishop Self-Propelled Artillery Platform. These long-range weapons let them soften up their opponents from afar, before assaulting enemy positions with tough infantry units like Royal Commandos and British Gurkha Rifles, who can flush enemies from cover with their grenade assault ability. 

Primary tactics 

Long-range suppression of enemy forces is where this faction shines. Focus on pummelling enemy positions with artillery, then using aggressive infantry units to mop up the stragglers 


Artillery units are generally slow to deploy and pack up, making them vulnerable to flanking manoeuvres and ambushes.


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Infantry Assault (Indian Artillery Battlegroup)

This tree boosts the attack, defence, and reinforcement capabilities of infantry, and enables quick deployment of powerful Gurkha Rifle Sections.

Artillery Support (Indian Artillery Battlegroup)

Here you can unlock rapid deployment of specialised artillery units like the Indian Heavy Mortar and BL5.5 Artillery emplacement. Unlockable abilities enable longer barrages and artillery overwatch of all captured sectors on the map.

Heavy Armour Support (British Armored Battlegroup)

If you like your tanks, this one's for you.  This tree boosts general tank capabilities, and unlocks rapid deployment of the Crusader AA Medium Tank, and the formidable Churchill 'Black Prince' Heavy Tank.

Field Support and Logistics (British Armored Battlegroup)

With this tree you can boost your army's repair and recon abilities. Unlockable abilities make engineers cheaper, let you construct the Forward Repair Assembly for quicker vehicle patch-ups, and enables Recon Artillery that reveals an area of the map and automatically strike any units inside it.

Royal Navy Support (British Air and Sea Battlegroup)

This support-themed tree lets you call in recon flares and artillery strikes from off-map, while the Naval Blockade ability temporarily prevents enemies from snagging capture points.

Royal Air Force (British Air and Sea Battlegroup)

Get the drop on your enemy from above with this tree. It lets you paradrop in Royal Commandos for quick frontline reinforcement, and also lets you call in incendiary bombing runs, and Hawker Typhoons to loiter above an area while firing rockets at hostile units.

Wehrmacht faction

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Like the US, the Wehrmacht is a capable fighting force in all areas, but where the Americans lead with air-supported infantry, armoured vehicles form the backbone of the Wehrmacht's fighting force. This includes familiar German tanks like the Panzer IV and the Tiger Heavy Tank, but also anti-infantry vehicles like the 8-Rad Armoured Car, and the Wibelwind Flakpanzer. The latter is technically an anti-air gun, but is equally effective at holding the line against enemy infantry. 

But the Wehrmacht isn't all about armour. The Germans also field powerful infantry units like Jager Squads and Stoßtruppen units, the latter of which are strong enough to wield an MG42 on the move. 

Primary tactics 

Combined arms assaults are this faction's speciality. You'll want to use tanks and other armoured units to terrorise enemy forces, with support from powerful infantry squads.


Watch out from assaults from above, as you'll be vulnerable to British artillery and American air supremacy. 


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Mechanized Armour (Mechanized Battlegroup)

This tree enables rapid deployment of powerful armoured units, like the Panther Heavy Tank and 8-Rad Armoured car. It also includes the Raid Package ability, letting light vehicles capture territory.

Mechanized Support (Mechanized Battlegroup)

Here you'll unlock rapid deployment of Stoßtruppen units and Wibelwind Flakpanzer, while letting you suppress infantry with off-map artillery barrages.

Assault Forces (Breakthrough Battlegroup)

With this tree you'll unlock access to smoke and incendiary bombing runs, letting you charge in under cover or wipe out large forces that are grouped together. The Breakthrough ability, meanwhile, speeds up territory capture.

Armoured Offensive (Breakthrough Battlegroup)

An ultra-aggressive tree, it lets you take advantage of Blitzkrieg tactics, increasing the speed of vehicles and vehicle manufacturing, and enabling rapid deployment of the Panzer IV Medium Tank and Tiger Heavy Tank.

Luftwaffe Air-to-Ground Support (Luftwaffe Battlegroup)

Here you can unlock some nasty Stuka strafing runs and fragmentation bombing runs, as well as using your air support to get a better view of the battlefield. For some extra help in a pinch, you can drop Fallschirmjager Squads onto the map from above. 

Luftwaffe field support (Luftwaffe Battlegroup)

This tree enables construction of the handy Flak 36 Anti-Tank Guns, while the Infantry Reserves ability reduces cost of all infantry units. Like the other tree, you can also paradrop a unit, specifically the Fallschirmpioneer Squad

Afrikakorps faction

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The Afrikakorps is even more tank-centric than the Wehrmacht. Rommel's mechanised army has access to most of the same armoured units as the Wehrmacht, but adds unique units like the Flammpanzer III, which can incinerate infantry units with an attached flamethrower. Afrikakorps soldiers are also capable engineers, able to repair vehicles on the fly and salvage fuel from wrecks. But its secret weapon is the 18-ton Recovery Half-track, used to restore destroyed tanks and other vehicles into fighting condition.

Unlike the Wehrmacht, this faction isn't exclusively German, able to field unique Italian units like Bersaglieri Sharpshooters and Guastatori Squads, who use smoke grenades and gas-masks to conduct surprise assaults on enemy positions. 

Primary tactics

This faction loves an armoured assault, using armoured units and extensive repair abilities to roll over enemy positions and make quick, deadly attacks. In more open maps, where vehicles can let rip, it really excels. 


Given the abundance of tanks in its roster, the Afrikakorps is vulnerable to anti-tank weapons, and you'll want to watch out for those devastating artillery strikes.  


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Field Engineering (Italian Infantry Battlegroup)

This tree grants rapid deployment of punchy Guastatori Squads, while also letting your Guastatori and Panzerpioneers build defensive fortifications and lay traps.

Defensive Warfare (Italian Infantry Battlegroup)

Here you'll get access to the L6/40 Light Tank Combat Group, giving you a pair of quick armoured vehicles. It also grants light and heavy artillery barrages, and lets you drop propaganda leaflets onto enemy positions, forcing the targeted units to retreat. 

Combined Arms (Italian Combined Arms Battlegroup)

Built around Bersaglieri Sharpshooters, this battlegroup tree enables rapid deployment of Bersaglieri, and lets you increase their squad size and outfit them with light machine guns.

Italian armour (Italian Combined Arms Battlegroup)

Here you'll get access to more light tanks—the Carro Armato Light Tank and Semovente Assault Gun—while reducing the cost of light armour. You can also get some assistance from above with artillery cover and strafing runs. 

Support and airpower (Armored Support Battlegroup)

With the Panzer Storm ability, this tree increases the speed of all vehicles and beefs up their defensive capabilities by making them immune to engine criticals while it's active. It also lets your units salvage fuel from wrecks, and grants limited air support, including Stuka dive-bombing runs.

Armoured Warfare (Armored Support Battlegroup)

This tree enhances the Afrikakorps' armoured speciality, enabling rapid deployment of Flammpanzer III and Command Panzer IV Medium Tank. It also improves penetration of tank fire and makes mounted machine guns more efficient.