Economic Warfare - Dig for victory!
Military industrial complex
No war is won solely on the battlefield, so youТll need to construct a solid
industrial complex to make any progress. Remember, if you can out-produce your
opponent, youТre already halfway to defeating him, and your economic efforts
should always be focused towards complementing your military strategy.
The fundamental component of your economic policy should be to develop a
flourishing mineral industry, which will fuel all those groovy military units.
at the amount of minerals stockpiled in your steel mill and mines and quickly
establish how soon youТll need extra resources. Once your initial perimeter is
secure, build several engineers or construction vehicles and get them started on
other СproducerТ units as soon as possible.
If mineral resources are tight, build more mines and look to be flexible in your
production strategy. Learn to make priority decisions in response to the
situation. Do you need another barracks structure first, or would a supply depot
factory be more useful in the long term? Bear in mind that construction units
operate at three different speeds, and the faster you build, the more minerals
consume. Can you possibly afford to wait a little longer for that tank squadron?
you can, it might free up valuable resources to build another factory, which
effectively double your production of that unit.
The Home Front - Careless talk costs lives
On the home front, remember that your civilian population also has an important
role to play. Keeping your civilians well supplied with farms and agro units
pay dividends by improving efficiency and enhancing your war effort. DonТt be
afraid to expand your population if you need more factory workers, and,
make sure your energy levels are always in the green by building enough oil
wells, windmills and solar panels to provide power for your forces.
ItТs also worth taking a bit of time to ensure that your infrastructure is well
organised. Have an initial look at the lie of the land and work out the optimum
placement for your factory units using terrain modifiers. Build as many dump
trucks as you can to ensure that your steel mill never runs dry; they can also
employed to build roads between your production centres, making the journey
quicker and hopefully avoiding any long tailbacks.
ThereТs nothing worse than having your base clogged up, a confused mass of
vehicles and men trying to get past each other, so always try to leave enough
for manoeuvre behind your own lines. Sometimes, itТs even worth designating
special military and civilian routes if your traffic becomes especially heavy.
Strategy - The big picture
ItТs always easier to fight a defensive action than an attacking one, and at the
beginning of each territory the opposition are usually numerically superior, so
youТll have to weather an initial storm of attacks before you can consider any
The Сnone shall passТ doctrine is the key to building a solid defence. Establish
perimeter early on and never allow enemy units to get past it and chip away at
your structures. They take a long time to rebuild or repair and itТs easier if
donТt allow them to come under fire in the first place. Next, concentrate your
forces and establish fire zones where you can bring all of your guns to bear
simultaneously. ItТs great fun watching an enemy attack being chopped to pieces
by plenty of support fire before it can even get off a single shot. When in
defensive mode, dig in and make use of natural features to break up enemy
advances, and when bunkers, gun turrets and walls become available, place them
carefully and your base will become virtually impregnable.
However, since in most scenarios you can only win by destroying the enemy
command centre, youТre also going to have to go on the offence at some point.
Commando raids to knock out vital enemy installations can be useful,
if you target production centres. However, beware of over-extending yourself on
these raids, otherwise the only VCs youТll be awarding will be posthumous ones!
ItТs usually better to wait behind a secure defensive position, biding your time
soaking up opposition pressure until you can build an overwhelming assault force
which will rampage through the enemy stronghold in one decisive stroke. Try
thinking innovatively when on the attack - for example, the feint is sometimes a
good strategy, provoking enemy defences along one part of his line and drawing
troops there, then suddenly launching an all-out offensive at the weakened
ItТs usually the infantry who do the brunt of the work in assaulting enemy
but use artillery, mortar and tank units to blow holes in the enemy line and
them up first. Then try to pour swarms of infantry supported by mobile units
through the breach youТve created. Once inside, target steel mills, mines,
and factories immediately. This will cripple military production and hamper your
enemyТs ability to defend himself.
Later on, when air power becomes available, you can use bombers supported by
fighters and jets to enact your own version of the Blitz, and, again, production
centres and military installations should be your primary targets. Likewise,
yourself from enemy bombing raids by having enough fighters on standby and
ringing your important installations with anti-aircraft guns. However, donТt
neglect air power as close support for your ground troops. Helicopters can be
particularly effective in this role.
Above all, donТt be afraid to sacrifice individual units as part of the bigger
picture. You wonТt be able to win without sustaining casualties somewhere along
the line. However, if your men are going to fall in the line of duty, make sure
for a specific purpose.
Tactics - The nitty gritty of warfare
Not a refreshing breath mint, but the way to achieve success in the real nitty
of a conflict. Try experimenting early on with the formations toolbar and youТll
discover that itТs by far the best method of commanding your forces. YouТll also
find specific formations effective for tackling certain tasks. The Сthin brown
is a Wellingtonian tactic which works especially well when used defensively.
Deploy your units in a double line to face an enemy advance and watch as their
overlapping fields of fire decimate attacking units with ease.
The more kills your individual troops make, the higher their ranks rise. This is
useful in two ways. Not only do they become both better shots and harder to hit,
but they also enable you to command multiple units, a valuable asset when
dealing with larger bodies of troops. Apply the principle of rotation to СbloodТ
new troops, by substituting greenhorns for veterans in parts of your line which
particularly hot. YouТll find that veteran troops will out-perform their line
counterparts every time.
In general, units are more vulnerable when moving forward, so beware of
unsupported advances and try to cover every movement you make with supporting
fire. Mobility is a great advantage, and when trucks, APCs and RAVs become
available, use them to shift your grunts and artillery around the battlefield at
speed, to exploit enemy weaknesses.
Perhaps your greatest tactical asset, though, is the variable speed function. It
allows you to stick the game on pause, evaluate your position and then re-deploy
your forces according to where theyТre needed most. Even if an attack looks like
itТs succeeding, itТs always worth pausing, having a quick look and tweaking
assault to deliver maximum possible carnage.
Top tips for the Armchair General
Know your enemy
Each of the opposing generals have their own different methods and styles, but
there is, in fact, a better way to know your enemy. This Means War is a game
where exhaustive study of the manual really does reap rich rewards. Pay close
attention to your troopsТ stats and the damage tables and you can work out
what youТll need to perform a specific task. Also note how some units can only
damaged by certain types of weapon. ItТs no use pitting heavy infantry against
tanks, for example, because they lack the necessary firepower to stop them.
TheyТre out there, somewhere
Scout units are your eyes on the battlefield, and can provide vital intelligence
enemy movements. Use them to shadow troop deployments, and if you can sneak
one behind enemy lines early on, youТll enjoy advance warnings and be able to
anticipate all his attacks. The more efficient radar and satellite units will
eventually become your Сeyes in the skyТ, but the guiding principle remains:
forewarned is forearmed.
Spying and research - The secret war
Finally, pay close attention to the secret war. Investing resources in
gathering will sway enemy units over to your side, and sabotage is particularly
useful in hampering enemy production schedules without directly risking your
own forces. However, nothing is more irritating than having your structures
damaged by enemy sabotage, so ramp up your counter-intelligence spending if
this happens on a regular basis.
Research centres are vital installations, and if you can plough enough resources
into research, youТll develop new engine, armour and weapons technology which
will rapidly overwhelm your dated opponentsТ forces. Persist long enough in the
research line and youТll eventually develop the grooviest and most deathmongous
weapon in the entire game - the ICBM. Happy nuking!