Land unit guide

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Overview

Since humans live on land, all wars must ultimately concern themselves with land matters. Thus, your army is the central branch of your armed forces. Compared to naval or air forces, most land units are fairly cheap per-brigade, and they do not take as long to build as ships or aircraft. However, unlike naval or air units, land units do tend to require large investments of officers and manpower.

Infantry

The conventional mainstay of an army. Fairly inexpensive, while providing a more solid force than militia units. Special forces and elite units are also part of this category.

Infantry (Inf)

Infantry consist of regular foot soldiers, supported by light anti-tank, artillery, and support weapons. They form the core of most armies.

When in doubt, build more Infantry.

Strengths:

  • Cheap.
  • Good Soft Attack.

Weaknesses:

  • Slow.
  • Eats manpower and officers like little else.

Marine (Mar)

United States Marines approaching Iwo Jima. Source: Wikipedia.

Specially trained and equipped infantry focused on amphibious assaults and river and marsh warfare.

Strengths:

  • Completely removes the penalties for marshes, river crossings, and amphibious assaults. They are also good in jungles.
  • Better Morale than Infantry.
  • Slightly faster than Infantry.
  • A bit tougher than Infantry, will take less losses while attacking.
  • They are much quicker to land from transports in an amphibious assault than other troops.

Weaknesses:

  • More than twice as expensive as Infantry in terms of industry, and 30% more expensive in terms of manpower and officers.
  • Slightly weaker attack compared to Infantry, especially against tanks.

Mountaineer (Mtn)

Norwegian volunteers in the Winter War. Source: Wikipedia.

Specially trained and equipped infantry focused on hill and mountain warfare.

Strengths:

  • Reduced attack and movement penalties for fighting in hills and mountains.
  • Better Morale than Infantry.
  • Slightly faster than Infantry.

Weaknesses:

  • About 80% more expensive than infantry in terms of industry, and 30% more expensive in terms of manpower and officers.
  • Slightly weaker attack compared to Infantry.

Paratrooper (Par)

Specially trained and equipped infantry able to deploy via parachute.

Good for getting troops to an area in a hurry. (And if you are gamey, ninjaing victory points.)

Strengths:

  • Can be paradropped (obviously).
  • Tech reduces supply consumption.
  • Slightly faster than Infantry.
  • Add additional frontage equivalent to one extra province when dropped on top of an enemy unit

Weaknesses:

  • Over 2.7 times the industrial cost of infantry, and 50% more expensive in terms of manpower.
  • Slightly weaker attack compared to Infantry.
  • Separate doctrine among Air doctrines to strike from air
  • Requires expensive in terms of research, production and escort Transport Planes.
  • No support brigades can be attached without losing paradrop ability.
  • When air-dropped, they have a -30% combat penalty applied in the province where they land.

Notes:

  • How to deploy your paratroops

To start a parachute drop, put the paratroops and their transport in the same province. If the plane and the parachutists have enough organisation, you will be able to click on the load into air transports button (next to the ship transport button) when looking at the paratroops unit screen. It’s the paratroops, not the plane, that need 95% + organisation to make the drop. Once loaded, Paratroops will stay with the plane if it moves to a different air base via a rebase or reserve order.

  • Parachute drop delay

There are 2 delays for paras. There is a delay from when you fire the mission order of 24 hours and there is a 166-hour delay that adds on from the moment the paras A) land in the province ordered from(to avoid para jumping provinces), or B)finish combat/combat move/SR delay to the province its ordered from. In other words, keep those paras in the plane for 166 hours and then you will get a perfect 24 hour delay (weather permitting - weather can cause further delay). Once they get to the jump-off point, they need a week to prepare for the opp' (kit, briefings, who's in which 'plane etc.) and 24 hours notice for The Off.

  • They Do not have any special abilities vs fortifications

Garrison (Gar)

Used for guarding things. You'll need to use Strategic Redeployment to do much else due to their slow speed.

Strengths:

  • Low officer requirement.
  • Extremely cheap.
  • Upgraded can defend as well as regular infantry
  • Medium suppression (second only to SS and Police)

Weaknesses:

  • Barely mobile. [1kph]
  • Weak Hard Attack.
  • A bit weaker than regular infantry even while defensive.

Mobile Infantry

Fast, soft units, with lower cost than Armour. This category is unfortunately plagued by two very poor units—the obsolescent Cavalry and the overpriced Mechanized. Motorized, however, is a solid choice for a rapid yet relatively inexpensive unit.

Cavalry (Cav)

Polish cavalry on the move in 1939. Source: Wikipedia.

Horse-mounted soldiers, quickly becoming obsolete at the time of World War II.

Strengths:

  • Cheap (same IC-days as Infantry).
  • Decent Soft Attack.
  • Fast in early years.
  • Uses little/no fuel so can keep going for longer and can keep attacking in poor infrastructure areas
  • Cheapest way to build armour - build cavalry then upgrade
  • Cavalry techs are required before you can research motorised infantry

Weaknesses:

  • Upgrades reduce speed.
  • Hardly any Hard Attack.
  • Completely separate tech tree from Infantry and Militia. Many research levels required to bring it to 1938 level and then it's weaker than infantry.

Motorized (Mot)

Infantry transported by trucks.

Strengths:

  • Fast.
  • Cheap for a fast unit.

Weaknesses:

  • Speed doesn't upgrade as fast as other fast units.
  • Very Soft.
  • Requires high level of Cavalry research to be enabled.
  • High number of upgrades per cycle (4 Infantry + 2 Light Armour + 2 Doctrine), increasing cost.

Mechanized (Mec)

German SdKfz 251 halftrack. Primarily used as armored personnel carriers, halftracks also saw use in a variety of support roles. Source: Wikipedia.

Infantry in armored halftracks or personnel carriers, with tanks as support. Severe cost increases due to massive number of needed upgrades means Mechanized is a very poor choice.

Strengths:

  • Powerful individually. Bane of regular infantry.
  • Fast. Great exploitation and mobile defense unit able to quickly drive into a breakthrough, encircle a part of enemy force and defend there while the front is advancing to squeeze pocketed enemy.
  • Researched together with Light Armor those synergize very well ensuring high speed, good attack value and combined arms bonus.

Weaknesses:

  • Expensive (in fact, more than Light Armor).
  • Speed doesn't upgrade as fast as other fast units.
  • Extremely high number of upgrades per cycle (4 Infantry + 4 Light Armour + 2 Doctrine), increasing cost. In fact, by 1945 (or earlier, with bonuses to production efficiency), Mechanized costs more than Armour!

Elite Units

The latest "Their Finest Hour" expansion introduced elite units for the seven major powers. These units are unique for each country and each has special bonuses. Due to their elite status, each nation is able to build a limited amount of elite units, with a minimum of 6 brigades and a maximum of 4% of total infantry brigades.

Rangers (USA)

This elite infantry unit is reserved for the United States of America.

Strengths:

  • Can paradrop.
  • Higher organization and morale than regular infantry
  • Lightweight
  • Attack bonuses in rough terrains (hills, jungle, forest, woods, night, and urban).

Weaknesses:

  • Higher IC cost, build time, manpower, and officer requirements than regular infantry

Gurkhas (UK)

This elite mountaineer unit is reserved for the United Kingdom and Nepal.

Strengths:

  • Can paradrop.
  • Higher organization and morale than regular mountaineers.
  • Lightweight
  • Attack and movement bonuses for mountain, hills, jungle, forest, and woods.

Weaknesses:

  • Same as mountaineer units.

Red Guard (SU)

This elite infantry unit is reserved for the Soviet Union.

Strengths:

  • Higher organization and morale than regular infantry.
  • Lower manpower requirement than regular infantry.
  • Suppression and toughness bonus.

Weaknesses:

  • Higher IC cost and build time than regular infantry.


Imperial Guard (JAP)

This elite infantry unit is reserved for Japan.

Strengths:

  • Higher organization and morale than regular infantry.
  • Attack and movement bonuses for rough terrains (hills, jungle, forest, woods, night).
  • Amphibious and river-crossing attack bonus.

Weaknesses:

  • Higher officer requirement than regular infantry.
  • Higher IC cost and build time than regular infantry.

Alpins (FRA)

This elite mountaineer unit is reserved for France.

Strengths:

  • Higher organization and morale than regular mountaineers.
  • Attack and defence bonuses for mountain, hills, and arctic terrain.
  • Same penetration as regular infantry.

Weaknesses:

  • Higher build time than regular mountaineers.

Alpini (ITA)

This elite mountaineer unit is reserved for Italy.

Strengths:

  • Higher organization and morale than regular mountaineers.
  • Attack and defence bonuses for mountain, hills, and arctic terrain.
  • Same penetration as regular infantry.

Weaknesses:

  • Higher build time than regular mountaineers.

Waffen SS (GER)

This elite motorized unit is reserved for Germany.

Strengths:

  • Higher organization and morale than regular motorized infantry.
  • Lighter than regular motorized infantry.
  • Defensiveness, air defence, and suppression bonuses.
  • Urban attack and defence bonus.

Weaknesses:

  • Higher officer requirement than regular motorized infantry.

Armor

Units that fall under Armor are all tanks. These are some of the most powerful land units in the game—and the most expensive.

Light Armor (L Arm)

Type 5 Ke-Ho Light Tank. Source: Wikipedia.

Light tanks, with the focus on speed rather than firepower or armor. Light tanks weighed between about 7 and 20 tons, generally becoming heavier as time progressed.

Strengths:

  • Fastest combat brigade in the game.
  • Cheap for a hard unit.
  • Not as affected by terrain as heavier tanks.

Weaknesses:

  • Attack does not upgrade as well as heavier tanks.

Armor (Arm)

Medium tanks, balancing speed, firepower, and armor. Early medium tanks weighed less than 20 tons, but most medium tanks during the war were closer to 25-30 tons. Post-war, main battle tanks tended to weigh 40-50 tons.

Probably the best all-around hard unit.

Sherman medium tank from World War II, the workhorse of U.S. armoured forces. Source: Wikipedia.

Strengths:

  • Good speed, especially if you don't research Tank Armor.
  • Low softness.
  • Upgrades well—each Tank Gun upgrade gives +1 Soft and Hard Attack.
  • High concentration of power—this also helps save manpower and officers relative to cheaper units.

Weaknesses:

  • Expensive.
  • Heavy penalties in bad terrain.

Heavy Armor (H Arm)

The German Tiger I heavy tank. Source: Wikipedia.

Heavy tanks, too slow to be the best at offensive operations, but boasting heavy guns and armor. Heavy tanks typically weighed between 45 and 70 tons.

If you had infinite IC, this might be the best choice. Practically you're probably better off sticking with Armor and ignoring these entirely.

Strengths:

  • One-for-one the most powerful brigade in the game (even more so than Super Heavy Armor).
  • Upgrades well—each Heavy Tank Gun upgrade gives +1 Soft and +1.25 Hard Attack.
  • Low softness.

Weaknesses:

  • Very expensive.
  • Slow.
  • Very heavy penalties in bad terrain.

Super-Heavy Armor (SH Arm)

American T-28 Super Heavy Tank. Source: Wikipedia.

The largest tanks ever conceived, no super-heavy tank was known conclusively to have seen actual combat. Super-heavy tanks generally weighed over 75 tons.

Unlike other armor, Super-Heavy tanks are support units, and therefore, occupy no frontage in combat.

Strengths:

  • Extreme concentration of force.
  • Upgrades well—each Super-Heavy Tank Gun upgrade gives +1 Soft and +1.25 Hard Attack.
  • Lowest softness in the game.
  • Near-Zero manpower requirement.

Weaknesses:

  • Extremely expensive.
  • Extremely slow.
  • Almost completely ineffective in bad terrain.
  • Need to research all other forms of armor to respectable levels to gain access to.

Artillery

All units under Artillery are support brigades and they include both foot-speed and self-propelled units.

Artillery (Art)

Consisting of large-caliber guns, artillery can bring down accurate and sustained destruction from a distance.

Strengths:

  • Cheap with low manpower requirement.
  • Efficient source of Soft Attack.
  • Makes Infantry divisions it's attached to look stronger for AI often discouraging it from attacking even if numbers of regular infantry in both divisions are the same.
  • Only 2 equipment and 1 doctrine upgrade per cycle, reducing cost (most units have 5-6 per cycle).
  • As a support brigade, doesn't occupy frontage so fights even if there's no space left up front.

Weaknesses:

  • Speed of regular infantry. Attaching to special forces will slow them down.
  • 30% higher supply usage than infantry.
  • No combat value on its own, only useful attached to infantry, and mostly when this infantry already occupies whole frontage.
  • Major obstacle during amphibious attacks and combat in mountains. Shouldn't be attached to Marines or Mountaineers.

Rocket Artillery (R Art)

German Nebelwerfer 42 rocket launcher. Source: Wikipedia.

Rocket artillery uses rockets instead of guns. In real life, rocket artillery can lay down more ordnance in a short burst than conventional tube artillery, but cannot match its accuracy or sustained rate of fire.

Very similar to Artillery, but a bit more offense-oriented. Note that the rocket techs use Rocket theory, not Artillery, but the units use Artillery Practical.

Strengths:

  • Cheaper than Artillery.
  • Faster than Artillery.
  • Upgrades better than Artillery.
  • No research levels pre-1936 unlike Artillery so much easier to research and less increases to cost from upgrades.

Weaknesses:

  • No Hard Attack upgrades.
  • Higher consumption than Artillery.
  • Upgrades start later than Artillery.

Self-Propelled Artillery (SP Art)

Russian ISU-152 assault gun. Nicknamed "Zveroboy" ("Beast-slayer") for its effectiveness against German tanks (though this is not modeled in-game). Source: Wikipedia.

Artillery on wheels or treads to increase its mobility.

Strengths:

  • Extremely fast. In fact, if you skip armor upgrades, you can make it the second-fastest land unit in the game (behind Self-Propelled Rocket Artillery).
  • Morale can be upgraded, unlike Artillery.
  • Upgrades with Armor so synergizes well with it.

Weaknesses:

  • Costs a lot.
  • Somewhat high number of upgrades per cycle (2 Artillery + 3 Armour + 2 Doctrine), increasing cost.
  • Almost 2.7 times as expensive as Artillery.

Self-Propelled Rocket Artillery (SP R Art)

Russian BM-13 Katyusha multiple rocket launchers firing in the Battle of Berlin. Source: Wikipedia.

To Self-Propelled Artillery as Rocket Artillery is to Artillery.

Strengths:

  • Cheaper than Self-Propelled Artillery.
  • Faster than Self-Propelled Artillery.
  • Upgrades better than Self-Propelled Artillery.

Weaknesses:

  • No Hard Attack upgrades.
  • Higher consumption than Self-Propelled Artillery.
  • Upgrades start later than Self-Propelled Artillery.

Direct Fire

All units under Direct Fire are support brigades and they include both foot-speed and self-propelled units.

Anti Tank (AT)

Like Artillery, but with Hard Attack.

Strengths:

  • Cheap.
  • Efficient source of Hard Attack.
  • Only 2 equipment and 1 doctrine upgrade per cycle, reducing cost (most units have 5-6 per cycle).

Weaknesses:

  • Slow.
  • Hardly any Soft Attack.
  • Majority of units in the game are Soft targets so Hard attack against them isn't useful.
  • Minimum of -40% combat penalty in all terrain (except Urban, -35%). Thus, it is mostly restricted in effectiveness to defensive roles.

Tank Destroyer (TD)

American M18 Hellcat tank destroyer, fastest tracked armored vehicle of WWII with a top speed of up to 60 mph (95 kph). Source: Wikipedia.

AT on treads.

Strengths:

  • Low softness.
  • Good source of Hard Attack.
  • Cheapest source of Hardness in the game allowing to "harden" softer units effectively.

Weaknesses:

  • Low Soft Attack and Toughness.
  • Three times as expensive as Anti Tank in terms of industry.
  • High number of upgrades per cycle (2 AT + 4 Armour + 2 Doctrine), increasing cost.
  • Only moderate speed (5), only slightly faster than cavalry(unless you skip Armor upgrades, in which case it can be quite speedy).
  • Uses a lot of fuel

Anti Air (AA)

FlaK 18 anti-aircraft gun, also known as the "88" due to its caliber in millimeters. Source: Wikipedia.

Towed anti-aircraft guns provide protection against aircraft, and can also be used against armor in a pinch.

Only land unit with any significant Air Attack (but even then only marginally so).

Strengths:

  • Best Air Attack and Air Defense of any land unit.
  • Cheap.
  • Only 2 equipment and 1 doctrine upgrade per cycle, reducing cost (most units have 5-6 per cycle).

Weaknesses:

  • Slow.
  • Weak Hard Attack.
  • Very weak Soft Attack.

Motorized Anti Air (MotAA)

Motorised Anti-Aircraft guns provide protection against enemy aircraft and can be used against enemy armor but not to a full extent.

Best Air Attack and Air Defense of any land unit.

Strengths:

  • Best Air Attack and Air Defense of any land unit.
  • Cheap.
  • A KPH of 8, making it ideal for motorised divisions.

Weaknesses:

  • Weak Hard Attack.
  • Very weak Soft Attack.

Support

Engineer (Eng)

Equipped with construction and demolition equipment, engineers build bridges, clear paths through trees, and breach fortifications, clearing the way for other units.

Strengths:

  • Fast and soft unit, which is rare.
  • Gives bonuses against forts, including Marines attacking a coastal fort.
  • Allows for faster digging in, also useful for Marines.
  • Reduces terrain penalties. Tanks attacking across a river seriously benefit from Eng brigades.
  • Only 3 upgrades per cycle, reducing cost (most units have 5-6 per cycle).

Weaknesses:

  • Virtually no combat ability.
  • Speed does not upgrade.
  • Bonuses are heavily diluted among the brigades in a division (the terrain modifier is the average of all brigades).

Armored Car (AC)

An M-8 "Greyhound" armored scout car of the US Army passes under the Arc de Triomphe after the liberation of Paris in August 1944. Source: Wikipedia.

Light wheeled vehicles with enough armor to stop small-caliber rounds.

Strengths:

  • Fast and fairly cheap.
  • Easy and quick research from nothing to 1938 standards. Shares research with Light Armor, own techs have 3 years "step" (1938->1941->1944).
  • Decent Soft Attack.
  • Can increase softness of other fast units if you're looking for Combined Arms. Perfect companion for Armored divisions.
  • Support, doesn't occupy frontage allowing it to continue fighting even if tanks take up all the space up front.
  • In the absence of enemy resistance, single brigades provide quick exploitation.

Weaknesses:

  • Speed doesn't upgrade as fast as other fast units.
  • Hardly any Hard Attack.

None

Militia (Mil)

Raised quickly from any bodies available and sent to the front with minimal training, militia are used when one cannot afford the time and expense of producing regular infantry, or simply wants to have as many boots on the ground as possible as quickly as possible.

An interesting alternative to Infantry as a main line unit, especially in early years.

Strengths:

  • Extremely cheap.
  • Extremely low officer requirement.
  • Low supply and fuel consumption, at least in early years.
  • Lower frontage allowing to bring more Militia units to fight at once along with their support brigades.

Weaknesses:

  • Weak individually.
  • Very slow.
  • Poor Organization.
  • Very poor Morale.
  • Upgrades poorly.
  • Separate technology tree from Infantry

Police (Pol)

Strengths:

  • Low cost
  • Support brigade for Garrisons
  • In occupied territory (before annexation) reduces revolt risk

Weaknesses:

  • Close to 0 combat value
  • Doesn't work in annexed territory.

Other Units

Partisan (Par)

Soviet partisans in Belarus, 1943. Source: Wikipedia.

Strengths:

  • You get them for free.
  • Doesn't use fuel and supplies.

Weaknesses:

  • Chronic lack of combat skills.
  • You can't build them.

Headquarters (HQ)

You've got to have HQs. They start out very slow, but you can improve their speed with the Mobile Warfare tech. They have very little offensive capability, though with upgrades they are fairly durable.

Strengths:

  • A command structure gives bonuses to units.
  • Does not need to be constructed directly.
  • With speed upgrades, can be used as a mid-speed soft unit.

Weaknesses:

  • Very little Soft and Hard Attack.
  • Large number of upgrades (8 per cycle), increasing supply and fuel consumption.