Updated: May 25
Just as in WW2, the rifleman is the backbone of your in-game fighting force. Though highly underrated, the simple ability to drop ammo boxes effectively doubles the armament and, therefore, the killing power of your teammates. That said, the primary function of the rifleman in Hell Let Loose is to provide low-cost, accurate fire at a distance. Let's go over the loadouts and then talk rifleman tips and tactics.
Default Rifleman Loadouts
Both the U.S. and German riflemen are equipped with 1 ammo box, 2 high-explosive ("HE") grenades, 2 first-aid bandages, and, of course, rifles.
The U.S. rifle is the 8-shot, semi-automatic M1 Garand (or simply the "Garand"). The German rifle is the 5-round, bolt-action Karabiner 98k (a.k.a. the "KAR98" or "K98"). Both weapons are loaded using stripper clips. Though the default load-outs for the U.S. and German riflemen are fairly balanced, there are some key differences you need to know:
1) The Garand has a much higher rate of fire than the more powerful KAR98.
2) The German grenade can be thrown farther than the U.S. grenade.
The U.S. grenade can be thrown about 40 meters, while the German "potato masher" can be thrown 45 meters.
1) Dial in Your Mouse Settings Dialing in your mouse settings can improve your shooting. For most FPS games, there are two settings for mouse sensitivity. There is general mouse sensitivity (GMS), which is related to gross character movements and cursor actions, and ADS (or "Aim Down Sights"). It is important to find your personal, ideal settings. Typically, players tend to like "quick," "smooth" movement (not "jumpy" or "shaky") for general mouse sensitivity but prefer tighter control with ADS. Here are some common settings to try. Fast and Loose:
GMS = 60, ADS = 50 or higher
GMS = 30, ADS = 20
GMS = 20, ADS = 15 or lower
To adjust your mouse settings, open Hell Let Loose (or press the escape key if in-game). At the main screen, click "OPTIONS" then "CONTROLS." On the controls page, you will see two sliders. Adjust the sliders as needed but do so in small increments over several games until your have found your ideal mouse settings.
2) Use Smart Drops
Riflemen earn 5 support points (see HLL XP Charts) for each ammo box they place. However, dropping ammo boxes just for support points can limit your scoring potential and hurt your team. A "smart drop" is a useful drop. Consider the following:
Drop ammo near the action
Drop ammo in the middle of friendly troop concentrations
Advertise your drop
Dropping ammo where your teammates can get to it increases your squad's scoring potential and improves your team's odds of winning the match. In either case, a smart drop means more XP for you, in addition to the 5 support points you earn for dropping ammo. However, to make sure your ammo gets used, advertise your drop.
As soon as you drop ammo, tell your squad. Next, use "local" comms to let everyone around you know that there is extra ammo available. And be specific about the location of your ammo box. A smart drop is an ammo box placed near highly recognizable features or landmarks (ex: a grain silo, a destroyed vehicle, a big tree, a crater, etc.).
3) Know Your Gear
Only one ammo box is allowed on the map per rifleman. However, an ammo box may be dropped for every rifleman on your team.
You and your teammates may resupply once per ammo box. A maximum of five players may resupply from a single box.
With some exceptions (ex: engineers), players may resupply as many times as there are individual ammo boxes.
1) Cover Your Buddy
The accuracy and firepower of the U.S. and German riflesmake these weapons ideal for covering friendly troop movements and relieving pinned teammates. For example, when crossing open terrain or an exposed area (e.g. a marsh or a break in a hedgerow), the rifleman should take up a good covered and/or concealed position and provide overwatch for teammates, especially those with close-quarters weapons. Once across, the team can then take up similar positions and cover the rifleman's crossing. If teammates are fired upon and subsequently pinned while crossing, the rifleman is perfectly situated to counter that fire. Teammates should rely on the rifleman and keep moving until they have crossed or until they have found cover and/or concealment.
From a covered and/or concealed position, accurate fire provides better cover than rate of fire.
2) Be Resource Savvy
When the heat is on but the enemy is between 50 to 150 meters away, it may be tactically sound for unit or team members in high-costroles to deploy as riflemen. Riflemen cost 2 manpower when lost. An engineer, for example, costs 8.
Teammates in higher-cost roles should not redeploy into lower-cost roles unless resources are in abundance. Redeploying costs manpower. Teammates should only switch to lower-cost roles once killed. Every effort should be made to preserve resources.
3) Daisy-chaining for the Fight
Daisy-chaining for the fight takes advantage of the HLL's ammo box mechanics. For example, each rifleman has two HE grenades. As a rifleman, each time you resupply from an ammo box, you get two more grenades. If three other riflemen daisy-chain ammo boxes alongside yours, you will have up to 10 grenades to throw in your single deployment.
As mentioned, there are map limits on specialty items for certain roles (ex: a single engineer may only place a total of 6 AP mines and 4 AT mines). There are not limits on grenades. Squad leaders, assault, and medics, for example, can have as many smoke grenades as there are individual ammo boxes. This is also true with rockets for anti-tank soldiers.
In this game mechanics test for ammo boxes, members of the HLLTC were able to place seven U.S. ammo boxes, one for each U.S. soldier deployed as a rifleman. We then tested the ammo resupply mechanic. A single rifleman was able to resupply just once from each box but from all seven boxes placed. Together with the rifleman's 2 default grenades, that's a total of 16 grenades available to throw in just one deployment.