Since more people might be starting to play COH, I'll do some expositories every now and then. Today's review is the Panzergrenadier (abbv. PG), from the Panzer Elite faction. Requires Opposing Fronts.
At a cost of about 250 MP, these would be the cheapest tier 1 infantry COH offers. But don't be fooled by their cost, I reckon they're at most as tough as Grenadiers (Wehrmacht) health-wise, which is pretty decent. Only they come in 3-man squads, which makes them more vulnerable to snipers, since snipers do take down a head per shot which is 1/3 the squad. Damage-wise un-upgraded, ok in the early game, enough to present a threat to a jeep, though they won't massacre jeeps. Which is why one should keep them in the vicinity of your kettenkrads, to prevent clever Allied players from killing them with an early jeep.
They're probably the most multi-purpose infantry units around, since they fight, build and repair all in one neat little package. They may be upgraded with G43s (50mun), which can actually be quite painful (sort of like better rifles) as well as suppress enemy infantry for a munitions cost.
They can also be upgraded with MP44s (75mun), which are basically close-range weapons. These are very good at their job, and were/are abused regularly prior to the first OF patch. They still are very useful now. They don't have to be upgraded with munitions, as PGs pre-equipped with MP44s can be bought from the Panzer Jager Command. PGs upgraded in this fashion excel at close combat and are called Assault Grenadiers or Ass Grens.
And what's the German Army without Panzerschrecks? This is the third weapon upgrade from PGs: the Panzerschreck (75mun). When upgraded with these, PGs are called Tank Busters. Arguably the best infantry wielded anti-tank weapon, they do plenty of damage to any vehicle (including AT guns) and should be a high priority target for any Allied armour. TBs should be used in a mobile fashion, flanking armour and hitting them in the side or rear for the extra damage.
PGs can also use 2 types of grenades (though these have to be researched). The Incendiary Grenade and the Anti-Tank Grenade. The incendiay grenade is, not worth its munitions cost when used against troops in the open, unless one's desperate. However, they're good against infantry in trenches, buildings or big bunches. It does damage over time, and the longer the unit stays on the flaming spot, the more damage it takes duh. In general, Incendiary grenades suck against stuff that runs around, like riflemen. But they aren't bad against MGs or AT-guns since it forces them to move, or die a nice warm death. Forcing these support weapons to move can be a very good thing. This is a good ability for ass grens, since things in buildings or trenches generally beat them in a firefight. Throw in a flame grenade, make them get out, and hose them down with the lethal MP44s. Either that or they burn. Note that however, these abilities have a very very long cooldown, unless there's a Munitions Halftrack nearby, in which case cooldown is almost instant.
The Anti-tank grenade is well, usually not as high a priority on my research list, sometimes not at all. Sure they do damage against tanks, but not that much. I reckon they'd be more useful against light vehicles, which tend to run around more. Not to say that they're useless. With the Tank Buster doctrine, the passive power "double AT efforts" gives it more teeth, since it allows PGs to throw 2 grenades for the price of 1, simultaneously. Again, long cooldown.
There's a research for PGs called "Increased Squad Sizes". As its name suggests, it increases squad size, to 4-man. It's a good upgrade, as it gives the squad more survivability, especially for Tank Busters, who're spending much time getting hit by the tanks and infantry of a player who realizes the importance of Panzerschrecks. Good for ass grens, since they're charging around and well, assaulting stuff. Actually its good in general; the real question is when you need it, which is a matter of priorities really.
A common feature of PGs is the tendency for human players to group them together. This is called "the PG blob". The research "Group Zeal" probably encourages this behaviour. It isn't a very good tactic against experienced players, who will know how to counter it, but against noobs it has a high chance of success in general, since they might panic and do all the wrong things against it. Details on its exact nature and how to beat it will come in a separate article.
Also, PGs repair stuff. This is good, because after a battle, the infantry can be useful, and repair damaged vehicles as well as reinforce the squad from say an Infantry Halftrack. A research: "Super Repair", makes them repair much faster; it's a really good upgrade if you're using plenty of vehicles. Note that units repairing under fire take extra damage.
There are a few other researches pertaining to PGs, but I don't know very much about them and their effectiveness since I haven't used them a lot.
That's the end for the PG unit description.