This Means War - Strategy Guide
submitted by jeansy
Economic Warfare - Dig for victory!
Military industrial complex
No war is won solely on the battlefield, so you'll need to construct a
solid military industrial complex to make any progress. Remember, if you
can out-produce your opponent, you're 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. Look at the amount of minerals stockpiled in your steel mill and
mines and quickly establish how soon you'll need extra resources. Once your
initial perimeter is secure, build several engineers or construction vehicles
and get them started on other 'producer' 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 military situation. Do you need another barracks structure first, or
would a supply depot or 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 you consume. Can you possibly afford to wait a
little longer for that tank squadron? If you can, it might free up valuable
resources to build another factory, which will 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 will pay dividends by improving efficiency and enhancing your war
effort. Don't be afraid to expand your population if you need more factory
workers, and, likewise, make sure your energy levels are always in the green
by building enough oilwells, windmills and solar panels to provide power for
your forces. It's 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 be employed to build roads between your production
centres, making the journey quicker and hopefully avoiding any long tailbacks.
There's 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 room for manoeuvre behind your own lines. Sometimes, it's even worth
designating special military and civilian routes if your traffic becomes
Strategy - The big picture
It's 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 you'll have to weather an initial storm of attacks before you can consider
The 'none shall pass' doctrine is the key to building a solid defence.
Establish a 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
it's easier if you don't 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. It's 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, you're also going to have to go on the offence at some
Commando raids to knock out vital enemy installations can be useful,
particularly if you target production centres. However, beware of over-
extending yourself on these raids, otherwise the only VCs you'll be awarding
will be posthumous ones!
It's usually better to wait behind a secure defensive position, biding your
time and 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 tere, then suddenly launching an all-out offensive at the
weakened remainder. It's usually the infantry who do the brunt of the work in
assaulting enemy bases, but use artillery, mortar and tank units to blow holes
in the enemy line and soften them up first. Then try to pour swarms of infantry
supported by mobile units through the breach you've created. Once inside, target
steel mills, mines, barracks and factories immediately. This will cripple military
production and hamper your enemy's 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, protect yourself from enemy bombing raids by having enough fighters on
standby and ringing your important installations with anti-aircraft guns. However,
don't neglect air power as close support for your ground troops. Helicopters can
be particularly effective in this role.
Above all, don't be afraid to sacrifice individual units as part of the
bigger picture. You won't 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 it's 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 gritty of a conflict. Try experimenting early on with the formations toolbar
and you'll discover that it's by far the best method of commanding your forces.
You'll also find specific formations effective for tackling certain tasks.
The 'thin brown line' 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
'blood' new troops, by substituting greenhorns for veterans in parts of your line
which are particularly hot. You'll 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
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 they're needed most. Even if an attack
looks like it's succeeding, it's always worth pausing, having a quick look and tweaking
your 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 troops' stats and the damage tables and you can work out
exactly what you'll need to perform a specific task. Also note how some units can
only be damaged by certain types of weapon. It's no use pitting heavy infantry
against tanks, for example, because they lack the necessary firepower to stop them.
They're out there, somewhere Scout units are your eyes on the battlefield, and can
provide vital intelligence on enemy movements. Use them to shadow troop deployments,
and if you can sneak one behind enemy lines early on, you'll enjoy advance warnings
and be able to anticipate all his attacks. The more efficient radar and satellite
units will eventually become your 'eyes in the sky', 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
intelligence 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, you'll develop new engine, armour and weapons technology
which will rapidly overwhelm your dated opponents' forces. Persist long enough in
the research line and you'll eventually develop the grooviest and most deathmongous
weapon in the entire game - the ICBM. Happy nuking!