HLL Engineer Guide
Introduction and Role Overview
Engineers are responsible for the entire team’s logistics, can change the structure of the map with constructables, are the primary way for friendly tanks to get repairs, can provide intel and area denial with mines and are extremely effective tank hunters… all while being able to hold their own in a firefight.
This skillset naturally also comes with a lot of quirks and complexities that, this being an early access game, are often poorly explained. I wanted to help clear up some of the misinformation about this class as well as providing a useful reference for FNGs and HLL veterans alike, hence the dissertation.
You will probably already know a lot of the information in this guide but it never hurt to be thorough (At least that’s what my Vicar says.). There is also a TLDR section at the bottom for those of you who can’t read. Engineers solve practical problems, for instance: how are you going to stop some mean Panzerkampfwagen from tearing your team a structurally superfluous new be-hind? The answer; use mines, and if that don’t work… use more mines.
Here’s your standard kit each time you spawn:
Weapon – You get the standard Karabiner 98k. The good ol’ reliable bolt action of the German army.
AP Mine – 2x S-Mine Anti-Personnel Mine. These are pretty much the same as their US variant.
AT Mine – 1x Tellermine 43 Anti-Tank Mine. These bad bois are flat, brown and therefore very easy to hide compared to their US counterpart.
Weapon – You get the marvellous M1 Carbine. Arguably one of the better guns in the game with its 15 round magazine.
AP Mine – 2x M2 Anti-Personnel Mine. These are pretty much the same as their German variant.
AT Mine – 1x M1A1 Anti-Tank Mine. Although they are taller and easier to spot than their German counterpart, they are still very effective.
Wrench – This is the most important tool in your loadout. It is used to place nodes, repair stations and defences while within 50 metres of supplies by holding down right click and scrolling to the desired constructable. It is also used to repair vehicles by getting close to a damaged one and holding left click.
Bandages – You get two bandages for when you accidently detonate your own mines or those rare occasions where you aren’t one shot by an enemy.
As an engineer it is important to know what each type of resource does for your team so here’s a breakdown:
This is the most important resource available for your team. Munitions are used for firing the Artillery, AT guns and by the Commander in order to drop supplies, strafing runs and bombing runs. Whenever placing nodes, always ensure you first place munitions if it is available as an active team will almost always use plenty of them and a steady supply will not go amiss.
Munitions costs are as follows:
|Munition Use||Cost Per Use|
|HE Artillery Shell||3 Munitions|
|Smoke Artillery Shell||5 Munitions|
|Anti-Tank Shell||5 Munitions|
|Supply Drop||15 Munitions|
|Strafing Run||25 Munitions|
|Bombing Run||75 Munitions|
Fuel is consumed whenever a tank re-spawns (5 minutes after it was destroyed), however the amount of fuel needed depends on the type of tank that spawns. As a result Fuel often drains in chunks when tanks reappear. Certain maps may need fuel more than others. For example Hurtgen Forest often has very few tanks around due to the difficult terrain so may not need as much per minute as a normal map. Furthermore, all tanks in Sainte-Mère-Église re-spawn immediately after being destroyed, so fuel may end up being used at a much higher rate than usual.
Fuel costs are as follows:
|Tank Type||Fuel Cost|
In the current state of the game, manpower has a very vague role in Hell Let Loose and a lot of misconceptions have arisen from it. This is all subject to change and a possible rework to the system is likely in future.
Many players believe that having manpower causes the respawn timers on Garrisons and Outposts to be quicker, however this is FALSE. Garrisons and Outposts will always respawn in 40 and 20 second waves respectively. Manpower is currently drained whenever a player dies, with the drain amount equating to the class they are playing.
Manpower is only used by the Commander when they activate a manpower ability. Out of these abilities Reinforce is the only one really used, albeit rarely, as it boosts a players value while defending. Due to the fact that players are constantly dying, manpower rarely stays above 0 after the first 15 minutes of play.
Combined with the sparsity of commanders using these abilities, Manpower should be considered as the least important resource type when your team is doing well and you have many tank squads that need fuel, otherwise manpower can be useful if your team is on the ropes and in need of Reinforce to hold a point.
Manpower costs are as follows:
|Manpower Use||Cost Per Use|
|Final Stand||30 Manpower|
When playing an engineer, resource nodes are one of, if not, the most important things you can do to help your team and if done correctly won’t take long to set up and can last all game. Nodes generate a certain amount of resources a minute depending on how far away from the HQ sector they are built. The HQ sector cannot be built in and each sector is made of two 200 metre squares on the map.
Amount of resources generated per minute in each sector:
|2nd||5 Per/Minute||10 Per/Minute|
|3rd||10 Per/Minute||15 Per/Minute|
|4th||15 Per/Minute||20 Per/Minute|
|5th||20 Per/Minute||25 Per/Minute|
Each team is allowed a maximum of 2 of each type of resource node and engineers are given an item limit of 1 of each type of node costing 50 supplies each.
Resource nodes can only be placed in territory that is neutral (Grey), owned by your team (Blue) or in the enemy sector (Red) adjacent to your territory. They cannot be placed in locked enemy territory. Unlike Garrisons and Outposts, nodes will not be destroyed if the enemy captures the sector they are in and can only be removed by a player dismantling them. Bear in mind, any player can dismantle nodes.
Here’s a few tips on how to properly go about building your team’s nodes:
• Always aim to place nodes in the furthest sector possible.
This makes it less likely that they have to be moved throughout the game and will generate the most resources possible. There’s nothing worse than nodes existing only in your first sector generating the very minimum per minute, often causing more harm than good to your team.
In offensive there are a few other points to keep in mind. As the defenders you will start in the 5th sector, so it is wise to get your nodes placed early in either the 4th or 5th sector as they will remain for the rest of the game if not found. As the attackers, your team starts with 1000 of each resource so placing nodes can sometimes be left until you capture the second sector if your team is quick and moved when new sectors are captured.
• Try to hide your nodes.
Placing nodes on a strong point or next to random garrisons is generally a bad idea. It uses valuable resources on the point that could be used for replacement garrisons or defences and will almost certainly be removed by enemies if they capture the point meaning they have to be replaced. Aim to put nodes near the edges of the map away from routes that may be taken to get to a point or hidden behind hedges in places that only a recon squad is likely to venture.
You can put nodes in a strong point if really necessary or if they keep getting found but I would advise against this as a general rule of thumb. In offensive, the defenders should aim to avoid placing nodes on strong points as they are prone to being lost.
Hiding your nodes well as the defending team can allow you to hold for much longer. Attackers don’t need to worry as much about hiding nodes as enemies rarely venture out to the edges of the sector or captured territory so they may be placed near forward garrisons to be moved quicker later in the game.
• Build nodes ASAP.
It goes without saying that the earlier you set up your team’s nodes, the more resources they will generate. Try to place your nodes after the first sector has been captured by either team. If your team captures the middle sector first you should try to get nodes placed in the 4th sector to get 15 per/min.
If the enemy captures first you should instead place them in the middle (3rd) sector to get 10 per/min. Usually placing nodes while the middle sector is neutral is not the best idea as you can move them if your team ends up winning the initial fight.
In offensive, as stated before, defenders should aim to get them up as early as possible as they start with no resources whereas attackers may wait until they at least capture the first or second sector before their resources start to get very low.
• Keep node grouping in mind.
If you are confident that the spot you have for your nodes is unlikely to be found, you can build all 6 of them together but beware that if just one enemy finds them you will lose them all.
In sets of 3 is a useful way of placing them as it reduces the likelihood of them all being removed but it may take time to find two suitable spots. As supplies come in bundles of 100, it can also be good to place them in pairs and scatter them about the sector if you believe they are likely to be found. Generally placing a single node isn’t the best as it an inefficient use of time and supplies.
• Move your nodes when possible.
Whenever you capture a new sector, if you have time you should try to move as many nodes further up if you can, especially if they are only in the 2nd or 3rd sector. It does take a little time to get to and disassemble placed nodes, but it can definitely be worth it to your team.
It may also be easier to preemptively move to a new spot for nodes when you are sure your team is going to capture a new sector to save time.
• Make sure you’re placing the right nodes.
You should always aim to get your Munitions and Fuel nodes built first and as far forward as you can as they are the most useful. This can be easily done too if you are pressed for time by having your support run with you to a good spot, placing supplies and simply building two nodes before rejoining the fight.
• Protect your nodes.
Placing a few AP (Anti-Personnel) mines around your nodes when you build them is usually a wise move. It’s like leaving a little gift for the next guy who finds them, only for that gift to be made of dog poo and knives. This can prevent your precious nodes being destroyed when stumbled upon and can increase their longevity in risque places.
Building all your team’s nodes:
Although each engineer can only place one type of each node, it is possible to set up all six as just one squad. Find a suitable location and have your squad leader place down a spawn point for yourself and the support player to deploy at.
Have the support place their supplies and redeploy to get another set of supplies whilst you build your first two nodes. Once your first two nodes are placed have the support place more supplies and place your final node.
You should then switch roles with your support player and have them build their 3 nodes while you place supplies. This is a very useful technique as it means that just one squad has to deal with node building and it gets done quickly and efficiently, of course you can mix up your placement location as you see fit.
When tanks get damaged on the front line it is important for them to receive repairs as soon as possible. Repairing tanks can only be done by Anti-Tank and you guessed it, Engineers. Ideally engineers should be the first to get to tanks in need as AT players are usually off chasing a Sherman stuck in a random ditch.
To best support tanks you should attempt to keep track of where your friendly tanks are so you can reach them if needed. You can tell a tank is damaged if it is sparking or has smoke coming out, but sometimes a damaged tank will not show these signs and may need to be approached to check for minor damage. A dead engineer is no use to a tracked Tiger, so when repairing get close and get low to avoid getting killed by an opportunistic player hiding in a bush.
There are a few misconceptions regarding repairing tanks. One such myth is that turning the engine of the tank off will placate its machine spirit and thus increase the rate of repair. After testing this on each tank, it seems that the repair rate of a tank with it’s engine on is the same as when the engine is off.
The main purpose turning the engine off serves in the current state of HLL is to hide the engine sound from the enemy so that damaged tanks won’t get destroyed whilst being repaired. Therefore it should be left on if a quick getaway may be needed. Another less common myth is that Engineers can repair faster than Anti-Tank players, however this is false and both will repair at the same rate for each tank.
Repair Stations are an incredibly useful way of repairing tanks and alleviating some of the pressure to repair from Engie and AT players. You can build one repair station repair station per engineer for 100 supplies and you can disassemble them to move them if need be. The repair station will repair any tank within 20 metres of it at double the rate of a player and can stack with the repair effect from players and other repair stations.
Many hands make light work, so repairing with another player or near a repair station will get the job done much quicker. The ideal place to build a repair station is somewhere in cover close to the front line. This means tanks do not have to travel far back to get emergency repairs and can more easily defend a point if they are less reliant on players actively repairing them.
Below is a detailed table regarding the speed at which repairs will take place:
|Tank Type||Player||Repair Station||Player + Repair Station|
|Tiger||0.266% per second||0.533% per second||0.8% per second|
|Panther||0.33% per second||0.66% per second||1% per second|
|Sherman||0.443% per second||0.89% per second||1.33% per second|
|Panzer||0.443% per second||0.89% per second||1.33% per second|
|Stuart||0.53% per second||1.06% per second||1.59% per second|
Alongside your ability to place nodes you can also place a multitude of defences that can be used in a variety of ways.
Cost and item limit of each defence type:
|Defence Type||Supply Cost||Item Limit|
|Barbed Wire (Short)||15 Supplies||8|
|Barbed Wire (Long)||30 Supplies||4|
|Belgian Gate||15 Supplies||2|
This comes in Short and Long variations. These can be used to block off areas where the enemy may push in from such as the top of trenches or entrances to a strong point. This can slow down the enemy and force them to reveal themselves more when making a push. However it is fairly easy to avoid barbed wire by jumping before you reach it or in a lot of cases, simply walking around it.
To properly utilise barbed wire you can also place it in locations enemies may choose to take cover, so that they are forced into exposure if attempting to push onto a point. You can also use it to funnel enemies into a tighter space by leaving purposeful gaps and placing them at angles. If you want to be very creative, barbed wire can’t be driven through by tanks, so a well placed piece of wire can slow down and hinder the movement of a tank. Although they may often be able to drive over the wire, it can sometimes lead to them getting stuck or exposing angles they wish to avoid allowing for an opportunistic AT shot to their weak points.
It does take some time to demolish them so be sure when you place them, but keep in mind it’s the same for the enemy and they will rarely be bothered enough to remove it once placed. Generally it seems barbed wire inside a strong point does very little and can hinder your allies, so it should really be used outside of the point to stop them before they get close.
These can be used to provide cover near choke points or otherwise open terrain, allowing teammates to set up near them with less risk of being hit. They can also be placed in areas where teammates move through, like nearby a garrison, that have enemies overlooking it to provide cover for newly spawned teammates from the peppering fire of an MG.
You should aim to place your sandbags in places that will receive the most use as you only get two of them, especially when defending a strongpoint for an extended period. They can also be used well in conjunction with barbed wire to maximise their effectiveness.
Hedgehogs / Belgian Gates:
Ally Engineers are able to place up to three hedgehogs. These can be used to block off roads from tanks and prevent them from advancing to areas where they may threaten your team. Usually one is enough to cover a road or field entrance but a few more may be needed to cover a junction.
The Germans can instead build two Belgian gates. These are wide steel barricades that can fully block off a road but also used to fill gaps in walls. Both tank traps are quite effective at holding back tanks but be careful where you place them as they also work on your own tanks.
While effective tank traps, Belgian gates are also the single best constructable for blocking off routes to enemy infantry. Both of these constructable can also be utilised to give height elevation to look over walls and hedges or climb onto otherwise inaccessible spots.
Instead of grenades, Engineers get two AP mines each time they spawn. These can be placed on the ground and will trigger when an enemy steps on them. A good way to use these is to put them in areas where enemies must pass through such as doorways and hedge gaps. They also combo well with your own defences if placed behind or near them.
If placed correctly you can obscure them from people which reduces the chance of each mine being spotted, increasing the chance you blow and unexpecting soldier to pieces. Fortunately for you, friendlies cannot set your mines off.
Each engineer can have up to 6 AP mines placed at once, to replenish your mines you may either redeploy or get more from ammo boxes dropped by riflemen. If you exceed your mine placement limit the oldest one will be removed when you place your newest.
One of the most useful parts of your Engineer kit is your AT mines. If a tank drives over them, it will instantly destroy them. Each Engie spawns with one and can place up to four AT mines out at a time, replenishing via ammo boxes or redeploying.
Tank mines can be used while tank hunting which will be covered in the next section, but otherwise can be placed on roads and in field entrances to catch out unsuspecting drivers.
To maximise your ability to take down tanks, you should aim to place AT mines around corners or over ridges where the tank will not see them. If done properly you can even place mines to be hardly visible from the road, but bear in mind the road textures render up close and may be visible to members of a tank from far away.
It may give some insight into were tanks must travel on each map to try playing a few games as a tanker and learning the routes they take, this way you can find areas where tanks are forced to venture and leave one waiting for them. But don’t worry, they won’t kill friendly tanks. It is often best to only have three AT mines placed around the map at a time, keeping your fourth for hunting tanks.
This way you have a high chance of catching an unsuspecting crew off guard and also have the means to deal with tanks that you stumble upon.
A few things you should keep in mind while placing defences are how effective they will be and whether they will be useful for long. Due to the shifting nature of a HLL fight your defences may be very useful defending a point but may not see use if a new point is taken. It takes a while to remove and replace defences so make sure they are in the right spot when you place them.
All defences can be stood upon to get to higher places, especially hedgehogs and Belgian gates, so you can try to utilise them to climb on top of buildings or to peek over hedges. When defending on offensive it can sometimes be wise to switch off engineer and let others place their defences if you run out, as it’s likely you will use them earlier on and may lose the point where they are placed.
Now for the most fun part of Engineer, at least for myself, Tank Hunting. There’s no better feeling that tracking down a Tiger sat in a field without any infantry support, sneaking up on him and ripping him a new ♥♥♥♥ with an AT mine. It’s all about the thrill of the hunt.
After all, what’s more dangerous than hunting a 30 tonne metal beast that has the capacity to knock a hole through a building, real hunters hunt something that can fight back. Sure a cowardly AT player can sit back and snipe Stuarts from the safety of their Pak 40s, or pop up from behind a hedge every now and then to put a rocket into the side of a Panther, but don’t you want to be the guy who bested the minds of three idiots in a warmachine?
You need to be fast, cunning and primed if you want to get the kill, but most of all be prepared to die at least 10 times while you do it.
The basic premise is simple, locate the tank, get near the tank, blow up the tank. Usually it is a good idea to take a wide flank around the back when trying to get close as the gunner and driver will be less likely to see you, the real challenge comes from avoiding and dealing with anyone in the tank commander seat.
If you approach with your mine out and the commander sees you, it’s more likely than not that they will pop out, pop you and hop back in so keep your weapon ready. It is often worth checking how many players the tank crews of the other teams have to predict if a commander will be present. Tiger crewmen will appear on the top of the tank when they get out and other tanks appear at the side so know where they will spring from, but if they do get out you should be able to kill them.
What’s more, killing a crewman will cause the tank to be less manned, so even if you die the effectiveness of that tank will be damaged. If you do manage to kill a crewman that bails out the others will probably try too, or drive off before you can mine them.
When going for a tank, you can use a few tactics to get close such as smokes or teammate distractions, the best of these comes from AT teammates who can make any tank scramble if they spot one with their launcher out, so coordinate with others while you go for it. In most cases there will come a point when you are running behind a tank for hundreds of metres as it repositions, but be patient, your time will come.
It is important to know how best to kill each type of tank with an AT mine, but it varies between which side you are on as well as context and tank type. The German tank mine is much more flat, like a pancake, and is easier to place underneath a tank, therefore in most cases a stationary Sherman or Stuart can be destroyed by placing a tank mine as far underneath the hull as possible then shooting the mine to detonate it if they aren’t moving. Sometimes you will die doing this but at least you take yourself out rather than letting someone else get points for your death. The US tank mine is taller like a cake, so it can be hard to place beneath a stationary tank. That being said, you shouldn’t have trouble getting it underneath a Panther or the back of a Panzer, but Tigers are a different story.
Unless part of a Tiger is suspended in the air you cannot get a mine close enough under the hull to kill it through detonation, this means a tactic of prediction and baiting must be used to get it to roll over your mine. A few ways to do this are through guessing which way it will move and placing it in front or behind to catch it once it starts up. Another is to place the mine to the side of the tracks and attempt to bait the tank into turning on the spot onto it via distraction.
If the tank is moving slowly enough, such as in a street or advancing, you can stand off to the side and place the mine from a small distance for it to roll onto. This also works if the crew members are searching for mines as you can sometimes place them close enough in time for the tank to be unable to stop or not spot them due to close proximity.
Either way patience and timing is key to taking moving tanks out. Usually tanks that are at a distance or moving quickly are better left to AT players as that is where they shine, but remember you can take out tanks in one hit if you are fast enough. Tank hunting always works best when you communicate with your squad members, much like the rest of the game, so don’t be afraid to give a few tank kills to your AT if you can’t deal with the tank yourself.
Every tank hunting situation has a different context, so be prepared to improvise and use your Engineer street smarts to take out those big dumb metal boxes.
Make sure to notify your squad leader and teammates when you are going for a tank so that they can help distract, cover you from infantry and quite importantly, prevent you from being team killed by an AT or Tank player (This happens 50% of the time anyway.). Good luck and happy hunting.
Working with Teammates
When you are an Engie, it is important to know which classes work well with you in which situations, so here’s a few of the major players.
These guys are your bestest friends. These guys are everyone’s best friends. Without them you can get any of your stuff done. Make sure you treat your support like a brother or you’ll be as useless as a solo tanker. Whenever the squad leader isn’t using them or their supplies, you should try to get them to drop you some so that you can build defences and repair stations.
When you go to build nodes make sure your support knows what to do or teach them on the fly so that you can both help the team to the best of your abilities. If you ain’t utilising your support buddy, you are a pathetic waste of an Engie.
Your squad leader is always important to keep in mind, in lots of cases they will inform you if your team’s tanks need repairs, or will show you where defences would be most useful. They are also extremely important for the quick building of nodes, if they run off to the side of a map and place an outpost, both you and the support player can deploy on it to get nodes built quickly, reducing your time away from the frontlines. Always make sure your squad leader knows exactly what you are doing to avoid confusion with other squads and so that they can pull you back if situations change.
Players who take the rifleman role are the unsung heroes of HLL. If you work with one, you can place four AP and two AT mines out each life by resupplying at their ammo crate. Therefore they come in extremely handy when hunting tanks as they can protect you from infantry and bailed crew members, but also give you the ability to get another mine out if you miss or have already used it.
Unfortunately during my testing I found that rifleman players actually are not real and are a collective hallucination of the HLL community.
I know these guys are massive scaredy cats when it comes to killing tanks but you should try coordinate as much as you can with your AT when in comes to tank hunting. They are much more capable of hitting tanks that are at range or moving quickly, but unless they get good accurate hits they will be unlikely to take down a tank without being targeted by infantry and the crew members.
If a tank seems a bit too much for one of you, the other can distract it while the other flanks, or in some cases the AT can take out the tracks of more heavily armoured tanks so that you can catch up and stick a mine under them. Your defences, especially sandbags can also be extremely useful if placed around and AT gun to prevent infantry taking out the gunner or loader whilst they engage a tank.
Getting XP as Engineer is not as difficult as most classes, but it’s not as easy as Squad Lead, Commander or Support. If you want to gain XP efficiently while still benefiting your team you should aim to do the following.
Building a node will get you 25XP so you should always aim to get all 3 of your nodes built each game in a good location.
Your repair station will also net you a solid 25XP, so try to get that built once you find a good spot where the tanks can easily reach it.
Each time you kill a tank you will get XP equivalent to its fuel cost (detailed earlier), so you should attempt to at least kill one tank per game to keep your average up. If you do this each game you can net around 500XP per match on average with some variance based on how many tanks you take out and if you play your class well.
Building as engineer takes a little time and dismantling takes a little longer so make sure to find secure locations for your nodes and repair station so that you don’t have to keep rebuilding them. Moving your repair station can be useful in a lot of games, but for nodes you should aim to keep them in the same spot as long as they are generating enough resources to support your team.
- Don’t act dumb.
- Munitions > Fuel, Manpower
- Don’t build nodes on strong points or close to garrisons.
- Nodes far away = More resources generated.
- Repair tanks fast.
- Build defences to help not hinder.
- Place presents all around for your enemy, I heard they love stepping on AP mines.
- Put mine under tank, shoot, kill.
- Be nice to your support.
- Build nodes and kill tanks for XP.
- By the time the fighting starts, your job should be done.
- If you only read this section you have made me cry IRL.
Hopefully this guide helps both experienced and new players to better understand the role of Engineer.
A massive thanks to Pombear, Waffleslapp and rrroberttt with help making and testing the details in this guide.
Now get out there and pull some big brain plays outta’ your helmet you glorious oiled up engine fiddlers!
Thanks for coming to my TED talk, sorry if it bored you.