You are on page 1of 25

Unit Compositions

A little document about land units

1. Unit Performance Values and their meaning
Max Speed
Recovery Rate
Supply use
Trickleback & Exp.Loss
Soft Attack
Hard Attack
Air Attack
Combat Width
Training Time
Equipment numbers
Estimated Production Cost

2. Unit Compositions

2.1 Multiplayer Observation - The Italian "Shark"

2.2 Multiplayer Observation - U.S. Infantry

2.3 Multiplayer Observation - My composition in that game

2.4 The Counter Builds

2.5 Africa Build - Low Supply Armor

2.6 "Large-Tiny Counter"

2.7 "Medium Counter" a.k.a. " New Medium Build"

2.8 Refined build "IMedTest20"

2.9 Final Thoughts on the Medium "Counter" Builds

2.10 "IMedTests" all the little variations

2.11 Cheap Infantry

3. Thoughts on specific Front-Line Units

3.1 Hardness per cost and supply use per unit

3.2 Relative Unit Production Rates

1. Unit Performance Values and their meaning
Before we can go into the nitty gritty of what unit compositions work well, we need to figure out what all the
different values mean and which types of units influences each of these the most. First, a random picture as
illustration of a unit stat sheet:

Universally speaking, higher values are better except for Weight, Supply Use and Combat Width.

Max Speed
Maximum Speed is pretty simple. As it sounds, it is the base maximum speed a unit can go, this value is usually
lower due to terrain and infrastructure modifiers, however certain things increase this such as engineers (which
help with most forms of terrain modifiers).

Base unit speeds are as follows:

Unit Speed
Infantry (any) 4 km/h
Cavalry 6.4 km/h
Motorized 12 km/h
Mechanized I 8 km/h
Mechanized II 10 km/h
Mechanized III 12 km/h
Great War Tank (1918) 8 km/h
Light Armor 1934 10 km/h
Light Armor 1936 12 km/h
Light Armor 1941 14 km/h
Medium Armor 1939 8 km/h
Medium Armor 1941 9 km/h
Medium Armor 1943 10 km/h
Heavy Armor 1934 5 km/h
Heavy Armor 1941/1943 6 km/h
Super-heavy Armor 3.5 km/h

Every unit's speed can be affected by the initial +10% speed bonus of the Mobile Warfare doctrine. Additional
speed bonuses are +10% for Mechanized/Motorized in the Mobile Infantry branch of Mobile Warfare and +10%
for Armor and Armor Variants in Elastic Defense in the Mobile Warfare doctrine. Typical base speed values for
mixed medium tank setups end up being just under 10 km/h.

HP, hitpoints, basically is just how much "meat" your division has. As far as I can figure out it represents how
much strength damage your unit takes during combat (as opposed to organization 'damage'). Infantry and
variants have a lot of this, while armor has very little.

Normal HP values range from 80 to 250.

This is a very important stat. Provided primarily by infantry and derivatives (motorized/mechanized),
organization is your unit's ability to sustain combat. Thus, like so many stats here, it is important to keep it in
the back of your head, but not make it dictate your unit composition.

If you choose to go armored combat, and take the Mobile Warfare doctrine, I will HIGHLY recommend going
Mobile Infantry. Since your armored units need to have Motorized or Mechanized to provide Org and Recovery,
the enormous org bonuses granted by Mobile Infantry is useful in nearly every setup that makes even minor
use of motorized/mechanized units.

Typical organization values are between 25 and 60.

Recovery Rate
Recovery Rate is literally how fast your units will regain organization. Thus, recovery is practically as important
as organization itself. However, since most units that provide recovery are the same units that are good for
organization, namely infantry and motorized/mechanized, these values usually balance each other out
automatically. But it is something you have to keep an eye on at all times.

Typical recovery rate values are between 0.30 and 0.44

To quote the Wiki: “​Reconnaissance. High reconnaissance increases the chances of a unit's side in a battle
picking a combat tactic for the current day of fighting that better counters the enemy's chosen tactic.​”

Recce, affected by only two things: Do you have a recon support battalion yes or no and do you have either
Forward Observers from the Shock&Awe tree of the Superior Firepower doctrine or do you have Infiltration in
Depth of the Grand Battleplan doctrine. Both of these doctrines are at or near the very end of their trees, thus
your recon value is usually equal to your recon batallion's level with values between 1 and 7 with an absolute
maximum of 8 (which I guess can be boosted further by a general with Trickster).

Similar to Recon, Suppression has very few things that affect it. Basically speaking, Cavalry is good for
suppression, providing 2 per cavalry in the unit with most other units as far as I know providing 1. Military
Police provides a 10% modifier to the unit value, thus semi-large cavalry units are most efficient for MP, and
smaller ones more efficient for the spread of them. Either way, this is pretty neglectable and not
How many convoys it takes to ship your unit. Only applies to countries that have to ship their units by sea (USA,
UK, Japan and such). Very closely related to Supply Use, but then without any actual meaning.

Supply use
This is how much supply use your units use, which directly translates to how many units you can have in any
given province. This is especially important for poor supply areas such as Asia, Africa and the deep grey
heartlands of the Soviet Union - particularly when all the infrastructure gets blown up behind you. As a general
rule: Infantry uses very little supply, tanks use a lot of supply, Logistics Company support battalion is

As said, I would recommend researching into logistics company and using it whenever possible. Sure, early on
say Japan vs China, probably not too viable, but for any war of 1940 and especially 1941 onwards there are few
reasons not to include this. It cuts off -10% supply use initially, scaling up to -30% for the 1942 variant. 30% is
HUGE, ESPECIALLY when you are using armor.

Doctrines that affect supply use are found in Grand Battleplan and Mass Assault, though these are -10% and
-20% values and are by themselves not enough reason to take these doctrines.

Base values for supply use are as follows (front-line units only). All units are at 1941 spec (could this be

Unit Base Supply Use

Infantry/Mountaineers 0.07
Paratroopers/Marines 0.06
Towed Artillery 0.20
Towed AT 0.10
Towed AA 0.10
Towed Rocket Artillery 0.20
Cavalry 0.12
Motorized 0.11
Mechanized (Mechanized I) 0.14
Motorized Rocket Artillery 0.28
Light Tank 0.20
Medium Tank 0.22
Heavy Tank 0.30
Super-Heavy Tank 0.40
Light SP-Artillery 0.40
Medium SP-Artillery 0.44
Heavy SP-Artillery 0.60
Super-Heavy SP-Artillery 0.80
Light Tank Destroyer (SP-AT) 0.20
Medium Tank Destroyer (SP-AT) 0.22
Heavy Tank Destroyer (SP-AT) 0.30
Super-Heavy Tank Destroyer (SP-AT) 0.40
Light SP-AA 0.10
Medium SP-AA 0.10
Heavy SP-AA 0.10
Super-Heavy SP-AA 0.10
Affected only by the Maintenance Battalion, Reliability is a modifier to the base reliability of a vehicle (such as
the effect of a tank designer). This applies to vehicles only. As far as I can tell it affects mostly during attrition,
and doesn't appear to have the same combat effects as reliability does for ships.

In the unit stat overview, only the bonus from the maintenance battalion is listed, starting at 25% and maxing
out at 40%.

For example: Your non-tank designer vehicle has 80% reliability, maintenance company increases this by 25%
(80*1.25=100) resulting in 100% reliability. You upgrade your vehicle to have say 72% reliability (72*1.25=90)
resulting in 90% reliability. Personally I use this support battalion purely so I can upgrade vehicles to my heart's
content and not have to worry too much about reliability. You can bring down the base reliability of your
vehicle to 64% and with the maintenance company end up at 80%, as if you hadn't changed a thing.

All vehicles have a base reliability of 80%. Tank designers can add 5% to the base reliability, resulting in an 84%
reliable vehicle (80*1.05=84). It is worthy to note that ALL tank designer benefits are calculated this way and
add a % of the base value rather than straight-up % numbers, though for the other values this would be more

Trickleback & Exp.Loss

Trickeback and Exp.Loss only change with the use of a Field Hospital battalion. Starting at +20% trickleback and
-10% exp.loss up to +50% and -40%. This one is pretty self-explanatory, Trickleback is how many casualties are
returned to your manpower pool and exp.loss is how much experience is lost when these casualties are
replaced by fresh men. This makes the field hospital extremely important for nations with a low manpower

Soft Attack
The bread and butter for any armor, Soft Attack represents a unit's ability to deal DAMAGE. Pew pew dakka
dakka. As a general rule: Infantry has very low soft attack, tanks have pretty low soft attack, artillery and SPG
units have insanely high soft attacks. Most people, and especially the AI, build an army consisting 90-100% of
infantry, infantry is very soft and thus soft attack is one of the very most important stats you look at.

The amount of actual damage that is transferred to the target unit is determined by a unit's hardness value.
More on this towards the end, but as a quick little intro, tanks have high hardness, infantry have no hardness
and tank variants and motorized/mechanized have something in between.

Hard Attack
Hard attack represents a unit's ability to deal hard damage, which is only really relevant against tanks and
mechanized. Funnily enough, the units that have high hardness, tanks, also have high hard attack. Thus
balancing out soft attack with hardness is really tricky, but if you perceive the need for a higher hard attack,
hardness comes naturally. Line Anti-Tank guns are the only real exception to this being infantry-manned.

Air Attack
Represents a unit's ability to shoot at planes. Notice a lot of planes? Shoot at them! Problem solved. Nah but
seriously I did a little research into this and I came up with a few conclusions. First of all:

▪ Support AA (Support battalion) is more cost-effective than line-AA for air-attack purposes
▪ Support AA or Line-AA is the most cost-effective (production-wise) AA when you take the researches
for this
▪ If you do not take these researches or not as many, contemporary Light Tank SP-AA is most
When looking strictly at anti-air, the Light-Tank AA is the best AA tank-derivative straight-up. Light Tank SP-AA providing 32.0 air attack,
medium 22.0, heavy 17.0 and super-heavy 50.0. I am not sure why this is, and feel it MIGHT be an oversight of paradox. Either way, what
this means is that unless you are trying really hard for something specific (i.e. armor and hardness) there is literally no reason to take any
tank version other than Light SP-AA and MAYBE Super-Heavy.

So apparently somewhere between when I made this document a few days ago and today they changed this
and Medium SP-AA and Heavy SP-AA now actually have comparable air attack stats to the Light SP-AA!!!
Sneaky buggers. Light SP-AA still has 32 air attack, medium also has 32, and heavy has 33. Super-Heavy has 50.

Tank derivative AA values are not affected by the Anti-Air research in the Artillery Research tree, making them
very cost-effective as far as research is concerned even for infantry units, as without the up-to-date AA
researches completed the (contemporary) vehicles are also more cost-effective production wise.

This value represents a unit's ability to not break under attack. Think of it as a sponge soaking up damage that
would otherwise have gone to a unit's organization. This value is provided primarily by Infantry and derivatives.
For armored units, this alone makes motorized or mechanized indispensible as without it your units are simply
unable to defend.

This value is affected by Superior Firepower's Mobile Defense, providing +20% for Infantry & Mot/Mech as well
as Grand Battleplan's Prepared Defense providing +10% for Infantry & Mot/Mech. Other doctrines do not
provide straight-up defensive bonuses. Support Equipment researches are important for both Defense and
Breakthrough for both Infantry and Motorized/Mechanized. The lack of defensive upgrades for tanks is one of
the reasons they are a poor choice for defense.

Typical defense values range from 100 to 700, with 10-width heavy tanks setting the bar at 100, and a 30-width
infantry block providing 600.

Unit Defense
Infantry 40.8
Mountaineer/Marines/Paratroopers 38.0
Towed Artillery 15.0
Towed AT 4.0
Towed AA 4.0
Towed Rocket Artillery 15.0
Cavalry 36.7
Motorized 40.8
Mechanized (Mechanized I) 72.0
Motorized Rocket Artillery 15.0
Light Tank 6.0
Medium Tank 7.0
Heavy Tank 8.0
Super-Heavy Tank 10.0
Light SP-Artillery 7.0
Medium SP-Artillery 6.0
Heavy SP-Artillery 6.0
Super-Heavy SP-Artillery 7.0
Light Tank Destroyer (SP-AT) 7.0
Medium Tank Destroyer (SP-AT) 6.0
Heavy Tank Destroyer (SP-AT) 6.0
Super-Heavy Tank Destroyer (SP-AT) 7.0
Light SP-AA 3.5
Medium SP-AA 2.5
Heavy SP-AA 2.0
Super-Heavy SP-AA 3.5
Breakthrough is the offensive counterpart to Defense. While I still have to do a little more research into this, a
value of 150 appears adequate and typical, and breakthrough is less relevant than defense for the typical player
as you want to hold the ground that you take, having enemies bleed off their organization on the attack and
counter-attacking to maintain momentum in a push.

Tanks (NOT tank variants) have by far the most breakthrough, which is further enhanced by a very large
amount through the mobile warfare doctrine but can also be increased by several other doctrines. The
following values are for tanks with the Mobile Warfare doctrine through Mobile Infantry and Modern Blitzkrieg,
all models being of 1941 technology. Basically, do not take the values literally, but do pay attention to the
differences between them. Infantry has weapons 3 and support equipment 4 (1942 models).

Typical unit breakthrough values are anywhere from 80-100 early on to 150-600 later on with armored units.

Unit Breakthrough
Infantry 6.0
Mountaineer/Marines (1939 model) 7.1
Paratroopers 5.6
Towed Artillery 7.0
Towed AT 0.0
Towed AA 1.0
Towed Rocket Artillery 12.0
Cavalry 5.4
Motorized 6.0
Mechanized (Mechanized I) 10.8
Motorized Rocket Artillery 12.0
Light Tank 64.4
Medium Tank 71.4
Heavy Tank 72.8
Super-Heavy Tank 103.6
Light SP-Artillery 4.2
Medium SP-Artillery 3.6
Heavy SP-Artillery 3.6
Super-Heavy SP-Artillery 4.2
Light Tank Destroyer (SP-AT) 2.1
Medium Tank Destroyer (SP-AT) 1.8
Heavy Tank Destroyer (SP-AT) 1.8
Super-Heavy Tank Destroyer (SP-AT) 2.1
Light SP-AA 4.2
Medium SP-AA 3.0
Heavy SP-AA 2.4
Super-Heavy SP-AA 4.2
Armor is a value that is only relevant if you have enough of it. And when it becomes relevant, boy does it ever!
When you have armor that the enemy units cannot pierce, you take 50% less damage, 50% less organization
loss AND you deal 50% more organization loss to the units you are facing, this bonus is applied to your entire
division. Thus, armor alone can make a unit work, even if on paper it seems hopelessly outclassed. Armor
values are one of the things that develop extremely quickly between armored vehicles.

Unit Armor
Great War Tank 5.0
Light Tank 1934 10.0
Light Tank 1936 15.0
Light Tank 1941 30.0
Medium Tank 1939 60.0
Medium Tank 1941 80.0
Medium Tank 1943 90.0
Heavy Tank 1934 70.0
Heavy Tank 1941 110.0
Heavy Tank 1943 130.0
Super-Heavy Tank 145.0
Light Tank 1941 SP-AT 30.0
Light Tank 1941 SP-Art 25.0
Light Tank 1941 SP-AA 35.0
Medium 1941 SP-AT 80.0
Medium 1941 SP-Art 50.0
Medium 1941 SP-AA 50.0
Heavy 1941 SP-AT 110.0
Heavy 1941 SP-Art 68.0
Heavy 1941 SP-AA 68.0
Super-Heavy SP-AT 145.0
Super-Heavy SP-Art 100.0
Super-Heavy SP-AA 100.0
Modern Tank 130.0
Mechanized I 10.0
Mechanized II 15.0
Mechanized III 20.0

Typical armor values for an entire armored unit are between 20 and 50. As with the 10-width heavy-tank only
example at the start you can push this quite far and eventually reach into the 80's, though this is extremely
expensive to do. Most tactics around armor become much more expensive to accomplish after Infantry
Anti-Tank becomes researchable starting in 1942. Thus it is important to think about the future before this year
rolls around, or worry about ending the war before Christmas ;)

On its own piercing is meaningless. All piercing does is deny the enemy the bonuses armor could provide him.
Units with the highest piercing are tank destroyers followed by regular tanks. Although infantry anti-tank
provides a good piercing buff to all infantry units it will prove insufficient if you are facing a clever enemy in
multiplayer, as the piercing bonus is based on a %-value and will thus have a limited impact on actual stats.

A common tactic is to include a Tank Destroyer (usually heavy) into infantry units to provide them with both
armor and piercing, meaning that if an enemy unit does not have piercing, you will gain an armor bonus, and if
the enemy unit has armor, you have sufficient piercing to deal with it. This is a relatively expensive but
potentially extremely worthwhile thing to do, as your entire unit benefits.
As far as I could figure out, initiative is literally reinforce rate and planning speed and nothing more. It is
affected only by the signal company, and seems to have very little tangible impact on battles other than the
planning bonuses.

Affected only by the Engineer Company support battalion, Entrenchment affects entrenchment somehow,
probably how much and how fast a unit gets entrenched. Very similar to Recon, Reliability and Initiative, there
are very few things that affect this value, and it is universal regardless of which line units you employ.

While Field Marshalls with the “Defensive Doctrine” also affect maximum entrenchment this is not represented
in this stat.

Combat Width
This value will break your mind when you get into the thick of designing units. Literally combat width is how
much "space" the unit takes on the battlefield, thus you can have more small units in combat and only a few
large ones. A typical fight has 80 combat width, thus you could fit 8 units of 10, 4 units of 20, 2 units of 40 or if
you're really crazy one unit of 80.

The most common tactic around combat width is the Field Marshall's special skill, Offensive Doctrine, which
reduces the combat width of all units under his command by 10%. This means you can create units of 11, 22
and 44 combat width respectively and have them all act as if they are 10, 20 and 40 combat width.

Each combat width range is representative of an approach to the game. When you make many units of 10-11
combat width, you increase the density of support battalions on the field, effectively increasing your entire
army's effectiveness at no additional cost of combat width. Making units of 20-22 combat width is the
"balanced" method, though I personally have little love for it other than covering a spread frontline and limiting
supply use. The 40-44 combat width, most commonly 44, aims to get the most out of its line units, this is the
method I personally prefer to use. As an example, in a 44 width unit, you can include a single tank destroyer
unit which is 2 combat width. This provides adequate piercing to the entire unit where needed and provides it
to the entire unit, if you want to do the same to 22 combat width units, you end up with twice as many tank
destroyers as you really need and if you make two versions, one with and one without, some units will always
come up short in combat and spreading them evenly over the battlefield is very, very hard to accomplish.

Regardless of all of the above, your units should have a width of 10, 20 or 40 if you play normally or with
generals. If you get a Field Marshall with Offensive Doctrine, you can create units of 11, 22 or 44 combat width
to make full use of your resources.

Manpower represents how many men your division employs. Simply put: More men in the division = more men
on the battlefield = bigger casualty numbers. Typically you want to keep this number as low as possible, but at
no point should this be your main aim as it is hard to impossible to balance out. As a general rule, line-artillery
units and armor take 500 men per unit in your division, infantry takes 1000 and motorized/mechanized take

Training Time
There are two versions of training time, 120 and 180. 120 is basically "I only have Infantry in my unit" and 180 is
"I have some kind of tank in my unit". I would assume this is a time listed in days, but since Armor = 180,
Infantry = 120, you just have to take this value as it is.
Equipment numbers
Below the manpower cost and training time are all the individual numbers of vehicles and other equipment you
would require to produce this division template. It is here that you can make a good estimate of how to
distribute your overall production.

For example: A single medium tank unit is 50 tanks, a single medium SP-Artillery (SPG) unit is 20 vehicles. Thus
to create an equal 1-to-1 production ratio of SPGs to MTs you need to have 5 lines of SPGs (5x20 = 100
vehicles) and 2 of medium tanks (2x50 = 100). Also as an example, looking at this list can also tell you that
perhaps you have to remove certain specialized vehicles to simplify production.

Hardness is the ratio of damage you take. If your unit has 43%
hardness (as per example image) you take 57% soft attack and
43% hard attack (Paradox has some rounding issues here). For
example, if you are being attacked by a unit with 1000 soft
attack and 200 hard attack, you will receive (1000 * 0.57) +
(200 * 0.43) = 656 damage. Since most units in both
singleplayer and multiplayer are both soft-attack oriented and soft themselves, having a unit with a high
hardness is important. Hell, even if their focus is on hard attack, they will almost always have more soft attack
than hard attack in their army and having as high a hardness as possible is important.

Estimated Production Cost

The estimated production cost lists the minimum and
maximum estimated production cost of a unit (the
difference is usually determined by the potential
efficiency of production lines). These values represent the overall production cost in industrial capacity of your
unit, and do not represent the material requirements (such as Oil, Tungsten and Steel) of each division.
Naturally a lower cost is better.

Production cost is directly proportional to equipment numbers. For example: 1 Medium Tank SP-Art costs as
much to make as 1 Medium Tank proper. However, since each Medium Tank contingent has 50 vehicles and
each SP-Art one has 20, the SP-Art one is far cheaper to produce per front-line unit (exaggerated by the fact
artillery has 3 combat width to the tanks' 2). Despite this you would still require tanks for the complete lack of
breakthrough on Medium SP-Artillery and Motorized for the Defense and Organization as well as Recovery.
Subsequently this moves around the armor, hardness, organization, recovery rate, defense, breakthrough, soft
attack and production cost values around quite wildly, and finding a balance is really tough. At the end of the
day, you must make certain concessions and decide which stats you value more than others. This may also be
heavily influenced on the player's nation and industrial capacity as well as resource disposition.

2. Unit Compositions
Now, many people have been asking the question of what to use as a unit composition. They often recite that
they are told having a combat width of 20 is important, but they do not know much else. Hopefully with all the
above, you now have a far better understanding of what each value represents and which units provide the
most of each value. We can now start thinking about unit compositions. I will cover a few compositions in this
chapter. Most are of my own making, but some are not. I am going to start with two unit compositions I have
seen people use in multiplayer, these people were identified as min-maxers and this is the one thing that
spurred me on to go as far in-depth into the subject of unit composition as I have.

Both of the unit compositions taken from others, this being the first, were from the same game. One guy
played Italy, the other USA. The Italian player on his own conquered France, all of Africa and was impervious to
Soviet attacks for years on end until the western allies, funnily enough, bailed him out. The USA player landed
on China, beat the living hell out of the Japanese player, landed on the Japanese homelands, and was the
primary instigator in beating back the Russians. While the French player in this game also made a valiant effort,
his build was nowhere near as refined and it appears that his was a product of circumstance rather than
premeditated thought.

2.1 Multiplayer Observation - The Italian "Shark"

The Italian Shark featured Mountaineers as the main body. The reasons for this is that while they have less HP
and Defense than regular infantry, they have higher Organization, Recovery Rate, Breakthrough and Soft Attack
values AS WELL as providing bonuses for fighting in mountains. Featuring a very respectable soft attack,
enormous defense with very high organization and average recovery, this unit held the alps barely breaking a
sweat. The maximum cost of this unit was ~3263 making it not only effective, but also very cheap. The inclusion
of a single heavy tank destroyer provided the whole unit with 5% hardness, good piercing and decent armor
(though the armor value is below what it should be, suspected is still early model heavy tanks). The unit you
see in the image was in use in 1943. He also had an alternative build, which was identical but without the heavy
TD, one imagines this was an effort to reduce cost, particularly later in the war when resources became scarce.
2.2 Multiplayer Observation - U.S. Infantry

This is the composition used by the U.S. player in the same game as the Italian "Shark". It is a far more
aggressive build, featuring double the Tank Destroyers, far more artillery and some marines for the river and
amphibious bonuses. It trades cost, defense, organization, recovery rate and HP for pure soft-attack. The
double TDs increased hardness to 10% (5% per TD, I checked and this goes up to 15%, after which you get
diminishing returns resulting in 18%, 21%, etc).

As ridiculous as this unit looks, with very poor organization, breakthrough and recovery rate, it proved
absolutely devastating. What this composition showed me was that a very high soft attack value could offset a
low breakthrough and low organization. I suspect that with the still good defensive value and very high soft
attack this unit might not has been as effective at attacking so much as being impossible to break when the
enemy is attacking it, resulting in steady land grabs that do not get reversed.
2.3 Multiplayer Observation - My composition in that game

At the time of this multiplayer game, I had no real idea what I was doing. I attempted to emulate it slightly,
from hear-say of the USA player. The common saying from the other guys was "Don't hate the build, but design
a counter instead", which was of course not going to happen in a single game. The reason I include this image
primarily is to show you just how ineffective a make-shift counter is, not helped by my neglect of certain
technologies (such as recon and engineers). As for line AT, it has a hard time keeping up with piercing at times,
and it has no added value besides pure piercing and hard attack. As a result I am not a fan of it.

2.4 The Counter Builds

After seeing how ineffective my own build was, and the even more disastrous attempt at a counter-tank-build
which ended up with a massive FIVE supply use dying of thirst in the African desert (I prefer not to talk about it,
PTSD sets in), I decided to take a hard look at what I could use as a counter build specifically to the Italian and
USA builds above. It is clear that little could be done to make a more effective infantry-artillery combination
than what these guys have build, basically you just trade specific values when moving anything around. So
instead I set out some goals:

▪ Have as high a hardness in the unit as possible

▪ Maintain a good defensive value
▪ Trying to keep as low a supply use as possible
▪ Having a very high soft attack value
▪ No less than 150 breakthrough
▪ 44 combat width
▪ Try to keep cost down

I came up with several designs. My most successful was a combination of 5 to 7 motorized, 9 to 12 Medium
SPGs and 1 to 3 medium tanks. Having tried many little variations thereof, I settled on two designs on 44 width.
I also designed a special armored "low supply use" build for use in Africa, to provide the same generic bonuses
on as low a supply use as possible. This is the result:
2.5 Africa Build - Low Supply Armor

One of the things you notice very early on is that you NEED the Motorized to maintain Organization, Recovery
and Defense. Specifically for the Africa build, I noticed that it was key to keep a relatively high number of
Motorized on account of their far lower supply use than any type of armor. One of the goals in this build was to
keep a combat width of 20, considering your main Field Marshall is likely occupied on other fronts and the
low-supply build is a sideshow.

The high numbers of Motorized result in the low hardness of 27%, but also a reasonable cost of 3101. More
importantly with a -30% on supply use, this entire unit only consumes 1.40 supply, which is a very low amount
of any armored formation. The 40 SPG to 50 MT ratio provides easy production, with the SPGs providing what
soft attack this unit has and the tanks providing what breakthrough it has. The high organization, VERY high
recovery and low supply use mean that this unit can maintain effectiveness for a long time in the desert, so
that even if it lacks direct impact in combat, it has the mobility and sustainability for long offensives across
barren wastelands and flanking larger, more supply-intensive enemy formations. It is designed to be build in
numbers and being mobile. I do believe this is an excellent unit for use in Africa.
2.6 "Large-Tiny Counter"

My second counter-build. This was at a time when I was still not entirely sure what I needed. This provides very
interesting perspectives and thus I want to share it with you. This is the Large-Tiny Counter, an enlarged,
refined version of a 20 combat-width "Tiny Counter" build I made. The goal was to provide hardness, soft
attack at a cheap a cost as possible, thus the choice for light tanks. As it later turned out, Medium Tanks are far
better value-for-money and even straight-up cheaper to produce than light tanks. Regardless, Motorized was
included to maintain the speed of the unit thinking if I am going to use primarily tanks, might as well make use
of the speed!

The Light Tank destroyer was required to provide sufficient piercing to pierce the armor of the Italian Shark and
U.S. Infantry divisions as shown above. While insufficient for dedicated armor units, this was never meant to
fight or counter those, and thus it was sufficient. It was also at this time that I discovered the effectiveness of
the "Mobile Infantry" tree in the Mobile Warfare Doctrine over Blitzkrieg. Since Blitzkrieg provides very few
bonuses for anything other than proper, dedicated armor, it had little value. Mobile Infantry, on the other
hand, provides enormous organization bonuses for Motorized units, and still provides a decent bonus for the
armored units.
2.7 "Medium Counter" a.k.a. " New Medium Build"

The logical step was to exchange the light tanks for medium tanks. The primary downside to this was the
inability to start producing the vehicles early on, however since the cost of light tanks was so high (note the
previous unit was 5951 cost, this unit is 6186) medium tanks seemed like a logical step. One of the great thing
switching to medium tanks was the ability to delete the tank destroyer. Medium tanks as a unit already provide
enough piercing on their own making a tank destroyer unnecessary. Additionally medium tanks provide many
other benefits such as better Soft Attack and Breakthrough, at the cost of top speed. But since outright speed
was never the goal, and this is the only real trade-off, there is no problem with this as the speed it was left with
was still very, VERY fast.

At this point I tested both Mobile Warfare and Superior Firepower as doctrines for this build and concluded
that while Superior Firepower yielded slightly higher Soft Attack, Mobile Warfare yielded higher everything
else. And since 'everything else' is quite a lot, I decided to go with that, most notably the Organization gap was
pretty big because of the "Mobile Infantry" branch in the Mobile Warfare doctrine tree. Additionally the Mobile
Warfare provides each division with a higher top speed thanks to raising the maximum speed of all armored
vehicles by a whopping 20%!

However, the result of this was that

one has to make a choice at the start
of the game. Go with Superior
Firepower for Infantry builds, or go
with Mobile Warfare for armored
builds. Undoubtedly Superior
Firepower is far more versatile, but
simultaneously if you are going all-out
for an Armored-SPG build, Mobile
Warfare is the way to go. Since these
units will make up almost the entire if
not straight-up the entire army it is
still very valid to ponder on which type
of build to go. Each has their pros and
cons, though without a shadow of a
doubt both will beat the living !%*($
out of unprepared players and AI. As can be seen on the picture inserted, where I tested an early Medium tank
build against the Soviet AI. When I tried the Large-Tiny Counter as the soviets, I capitulated AI Germany within
2 1/2 months of their war declaration in one giant non-stop offensive.
2.8 Refined build "IMedTest20"

At this point I started to create many many little variants of the build. I tried every little combination, trading
one motorized for one tank, no tanks, less SPGs, everything. I ended up liking the #20 variant most, though I
still have minor doubts to this day with the inability to test it properly. Compared to the previous build I
changed 1 Motorized and 2 Armor for 2 Medium SPGs. This results in lower breakthrough, less Org and
Recovery Rate (though compared to previous units still very high), less defense and well.... less everything
really, for the trade-off of a lower cost and significantly higher soft attack. Please note that this soft attack
value is with highly upgraded SPG units, and the true value is closer to 1000-1100.

My current goal is to test the true effectiveness of Breakthrough and testing the true defensiveness value of
Soft Attack (though I have little doubt on the latter). It may still be worth it to exchange one SPG unit for one
Medium Tank unit, despite the additional cost, just for the additional ~80 breakthrough it provides which
represents a huge amount on the current numbers.

Nontheless, with a hardness of 40%, cost of 5200 and fully developed soft attack value of 1320 while
maintaining good organization, recovery rate, HP, defense, breakthrough, armor, piercing, supply use and
speed, this unit has proven it's worth.
2.9 Final Thoughts on the Medium "Counter" Builds

Resources/Early Production
The final thing is that some nations may struggle to trade for sufficient Tungsten, however the main goal of this
build is to get all of your stuff out pre-war or early-war. You cannot start building this unit composition in the
middle of a war. You must drop pretty much every other production and end up with something like 5-6
factories producing infantry equipment while you have 50 producing Tanks and SPGs. The main trick you can
use for this is to produce a large stockpile of Motorized early on. Since Motorized is early technology and you
will need a lot of it regardless, it would allow you to focus more production on tanks later.

Motorized will never go out of style. While you could exchange them for Mechanized, doing so is EXTREMELY
expensive and the benefits are primarily Organization, Defense and Hardness (Motorized has 10% base
hardness and brings down the whole unit, Mechanized has 50% to 70% depending on the model, M-SPGs have
55% hardness). Personally I do not see too much value in doing this until you can properly afford it and the
benefits are truly valuable, typically around 1942-1943 to offset the additional piercing of Infantry Anti-Tank
weapons, where the additional armor of Mechanized has the most value. Though the whole idea of this build is
to have won the war by then and be in a commanding position, allowing you all the factories, resources and
time to switch over your Motorized to Mechanized as you please.

One of the things that you can do with this build is upgrade your units. You can use the army experience you
gain to dump 5 upgrades into your SPG's guns, giving you significantly more soft attack at no cost whatsoever
except some short-term production efficiency (and since it is a variant the efficiency loss is only 10% of the
original efficiency). If you include the maintenance units you can go +5 gun every time and not care about the
loss of reliability as this battalion will catch up the slack you create.

Other good upgrades are armor and guns for the regular tanks to provide additional gaps for awesomeness as
well as some more soft attack, but this is definitely secondary priority.

Overall cost
While still lacking breakthrough, particularly for a tank unit, it was in an effort to keep the cost down. Medium
SP-Artillery is very, very cheap as it turns out, cheap by armored standards anyway. Taking up 3 combat width
for only 20 vehicles is a very far cry for the equivalent 75 medium tanks to fill the same width. While I believe
the 3 (150) medium tank units would have more breakthrough and be a lot more effective in the attack, the
expensive nature of this meant I steered away from it, perhaps one can make both with and without high
numbers of tanks...

Either way, while none of these builds will ever be as cheap as the infantry artillery spam, they should be more
effective particularly when it comes to mobility. At a cost of 5185 compared to the most expensive, the USA's
3943, it is not bad at all. Costing only 25% more than the infantry build but a good 20% less than the "New
Medium Build" which came in on 6186 (and THAT is how expensive tanks really are!). Comparing this to the
Italian Shark build which cost 3263, it is quite clear that one additional Heavy TD in the US build really bumped
up the price. As with tanks, the additional price is what you pay to have equal capabilities to the infantry build,
but with 40-45% hardness and a mobility of between 8.0 and 9.9 km/h. Unfortunately as far as cost is
concerned, to get the most out of either of these builds you require a doctrine that is largely incompatible with
the other, so you still must choose.

On the subject of overall cost I cannot see a single way to keep a unit as effective as the "IMedTest20" for a
cheaper price. It simply cannot be done. The most expensive part of the unit are the medium tanks, but these
are critical in providing what little breakthrough the unit has. A unit without medium tanks and only
motorized/SPGs has between 75 and 88 breakthrough, which is just abysmal even by infantry standards.

2.10 "IMedTests" all the little variations

Type Soft Hard AA Def Brkthr Armor Pierc Width
NewMed 1150.9 85.2 0.0 409.0 295.0 43.4 42.1 44
Test2 (Upgr) 1368.8 99.2 0.0 264.8 349.6 50.0 43.9 44
Test6 (Upgr) 1350.5 82.2 0.0 298.6 284.2 47.5 42.0 44
Test7 (Upgr) 1332.2 65.2 0.0 332.4 218.8 45.0 40.0 44
Test9 (Upgr) 1425.4 62.7 0.0 256.8 210.4 47.6 40.0 43
Test11 1495.2 28.2 0.0 289.6 77.2 34.9 7.4 44
Test12 1290.8 53.2 0.0 366.2 84.1 31.8 45.8 44
Test13 1295.6 31.2 0.0 400.0 88.0 30.9 7.8 44
Test14 1490.4 50.2 0.0 255.8 73.3 36.0 45.5 44
Test15 1384.0 50.7 0.0 290.6 75.7 34.3 45.7 43
Test16 1290.8 53.2 0.0 366.2 84.1 31.8 45.8 44
Test17 1391.0 54.7 32.0 294.1 79.9 34.5 46.3 44
Test18 1414.1 49.7 32.0 294.1 149.2 45.1 38.7 44
Test19 1407.1 45.7 0.0 290.6 145.0 45.0 37.9 43
Test20 1313.9 48.2 0.0 366.2 153.4 42.4 38.1 44
Test21 (U-td) 1309.0 85.4 0.0 333.4 149.2 45.0 55.0 44

Type Speed HP Org Recov Weight Supp Manp Hrdns MxCst

NewMed 9.4 193.8 42.9 0.44 19.5 3.54 16.2k 41% ~6190
Test2 9.4 97.0 23.9 0.39 20.2 4.01 12.9k 52% ~6460
Test6 (Upgr) 9.4 120.0 28.5 0.40 19.7 3.93 13.6k 48% ~6036
Test7 (Upgr) 9.4 143.0 33.0 0.40 19.2 3.85 14.3k 44% ~5610
Test9 (Upgr) 9.4 93.6 23.2 0.37 19.0 4.01 12.4k 49% ~5420
Test11 9.4 115.2 27.1 0.37 18.5 4.08 13.1k 43% ~4605
Test12 9.4 164.6 36.8 0.41 18.5 3.76 15k 40% ~4835
Test13 9.4 189.0 42.2 0.42 18.2 3.70 15.7k 36% ~4760
Test14 9.4 90.8 21.4 0.36 18.7 4.15 12.4k 47% ~4680
Test15 9.4 115.2 27.1 0.38 18.2 3.92 13.1k 44% ~4645
Test16 9.4 164.6 36.8 0.41 18.5 3.76 15k 40% ~4835
Test17 9.4 115.8 25.9 0.38 19.2 3.99 13.6k 44% ~4825
Test18 9.4 117.2 26.7 0.38 19.5 4.00 13.6k 45% ~5175
Test19 9.4 116.6 28.0 0.38 18.5 3.93 13.1k 45% ~4995
Test20 9.4 166.0 37.6 0.41 18.7 3.78 15k 40% ~5185
Test21 (U-td) 9.4 140.8 31.3 0.40 19.2 3.89 14.1k 44% ~5292
Unit Motorized M-SPG MT L-TD L-AA
NMed 7x (380) 8x (160) 3x (380) - -
Test2 3x (160) 10x (200) 4x (200) - -
Test6 4x (230) 10x (200) 3x (150) - -
Test7 5x (280) 10x (200) 2x (100) - -
Test9 3x (180) 11x (220) 2x (100) - -
Test11 4x (230) 12x (240) - - -
Test12 6x (330) 10x (200) - 1x (30) -
Test13 7x (380) 10x (200) - - -
Test14 3x (180) 12x (240) - 1x (30) -
Test15 4x (230) 11x (220) - 1x (30) -
Test16 6x (330) 10x (200) - 1x (30) -
Test17 4x (230) 11x (220) - 1x (30) 1x (15)
Test18 4x (230) 11x (220) 1x (50) - 1x (15)
Test19 4x (230) 11x (220) 1x (50) - -
Test20 6x (330) 10x (200) 1x (50) - -
Test21 5x (280) 10x (200) 1x (50) 1x M-TD (24)

2.11 Cheap Infantry

Probably a bit unfortunate that this turned out to be the last chapter, but nonetheless it is the more commonly
applicable build that I thought about for minors. The idea behind this unit is to take the "standard" infantry
type of builds, Infantry in combination with Artillery, and include the cheapest armor I could possibly find,
which were Light Tank Destroyers (1936 or 1941 models). The goal being to provide an armor bonus against the
majority of AI and maybe even player builds while providing piercing to beat up any armor that may be
encountered along the way, including even my "New Medium Build" with 45.6 armor. Important to note is that
like with anti-air and artillery, SP-AT does NOT benefit from AT gun upgrades under the Artillery research tab.

The first conclusion I drew from this is that there is no cheaper form of armor to integrate into a unit than a
Light Tank Destroyer with a staggering cost of only 300 per stack, 3 times as much as Infantry and about twice
as much as Artillery, it is half the cost of what a regular light tank unit would cost in its place. Additionally it has
the bonus of providing piercing, which would make it annul most the enemy's armor early on as it provides a
very respectable amount of piercing.

When I tried this live as Hungary at one point, it is important to note that this does NOT work with the 1934
light tank models. You MUST have at least 1936 light tank tech. Even normal infantry without the infantry AT
weapons upgrade have enough piercing to pierce a 1934 light tank TD's armor. The 10.0 to 15.0 armor
difference is massive and without providing the armor bonus in at least a good portion of your fights it is a very
expensive way to achieve absolutely nothing. However, when this works out and you get the armor bonus it
works out brilliantly and you can steamroll anything.

2.12 Medium AA for Piercing

While looking again into building a counter for the USA build specifically, I noticed that my original IMedTest20
did not have sufficient piercing to get through the there exact 40.0 armor available. Looking for cost-effective
or at least semi-cost-effective ways to make this work I noticed that somewhere very sneakily Paradox buffed
the Medium-AA, so it can actually shoot at planes now. So while I could make the excuse that I took it for the
anti-air, I did actually like that it gave a little bit of cost-effective piercing adding the last 1.2 piercing stats into
the composition to push it over 40. A regular medium tank unit by comparison gives 1.8 piercing, only 0.5
more. Considering the cost difference of 560 vs 156 this seems like a bit of a nobrainer.

Why AA over TD, I can hear you asking. Simple, mah friend (I am not your friend buddy, I am not your buddy
pal!), AA has a bit more of the stuff I like to have. Compared to Medium TD the AA unit has less defense, more
breakthrough, more soft attack, less organization, much improved supply use and last but not least it’s about
half the price. While most of these differences are very minor (e.g. 0.01 org, 3.0 def, 1.8 breakthrough, 3.1 soft
attack) the cost and the ability to actually shoot planes is important to me. I do not ever really plan on building
an air force as such, so shooting at planes becomes a little bit more relevant. But at the end of the day what
does it is the cost picture. 312 for the TD and 156 for the AA. This cost can only be justified if the enemy invests
in armor such that you can no longer deal with it in a cost-effective way. Oh yeah, and on top of all this SP-AA
has 1 combat width and TDs have 2.

I always looked for a way to integrate some type of AA into my units. Being a big fan of self-propelled AA, I
never quite found a way to justify having it, both logistics and costs wise. That said seeing as how they buffed
the Medium and Heavy versions of SP-AA, it now makes a lot more sense. Light SP-AA only gives 0.6 piercing,
medium gives 1.2. This is where Medium-AA really starts to make sense as it covers 66% of the piercing
capabilities of Medium Tanks whereas Light SP-AA only covers 33%.
3. Thoughts on specific Front-Line Units
Included after this you will find some graphs of theorycrafting I did, particularly with regards to production
costs and rates. For now, I want to go over certain front-line battalions and share my thoughts for anybody

Infantry / Mountaineers + Marines

Infantry is your bread and butter, you start with it, and most people keep using it because they do not know
any better. Mountaineers and Marines are far better, because not only do they add more value overall, they
also have terrain modifiers for both combat and movement. Regular Infantry is good when you want to be as
cheap as possible, but at the end of the day using Mountaineers is the way to go. You do not need the overkill
on defense which infantry gives you, and instead the additional Org, Recovery and Breakthrough are very

Line Artillery
It is ridiculous how good "Superior Firepower" makes this. When you upgrade your Line Arty with specific line
bonuses this stuff just blows everything up. With minimal org loss on the defense thanks to the infantry, and
minimal org loss on the attack thanks to the soft attack, this thing can be unstoppable. Even when you know
nothing about builds and do not aim to be a min-maxer of any sort you have to include at least some line
artillery in your infantry units - and most people probably already do.

Line Anti-Air / Anti-Tank

These two are just bad value. I took a specific look at Support AA and it was better value straight-up and does
not take combat width. As for Anti-Tank, I would recommend including tank destroyers instead when possible.
Tank Destroyers, any type really, provide more combat stats than towed AT guns do and provide armor on top
of that. While expensive, it is a much-needed rest on required research (with AT guns you HAVE to keep
up-to-date techs going or they will lose effectiveness).

Tanks are very expensive, provide no org, no recovery rate, no defense, very little HP and marginal soft attack.
Opposed to this they are basically the only things that provide you with hardness and armor. On their own
tanks will never be good and even the AI mixes them with Motorized units. While it is a shame of the armor
and hardness, you need the Motorized to provide the unit with organization and recovery rate, only then will
you truly be able to use the armor to its full potential. Light tanks are surprisingly expensive, Medium Tanks are
the best value-for-money while Heavy Tanks have the best possibility of maintaining an armor bonus in the late
game all the while having a rather light research tree. Choose your poison!

Self-Propelled Guns / Self-Propelled Artillery

This is the tank equivalent of towed Artillery. It takes about twice the supply and costs about 75% more than
regular line artillery. What you get is a unit with armor, hardness and speed. The soft attack values of SP-Arty is
usually a bit worse than that of line artillery, but most of this is down to just how overpowered Superior
Firepower is (or can be). Thus I feel less shame in running pure SP-Arty than I do pure line artillery. Unlike Line
Artillery, these units have less other combat stats (in particular organization and defense) while not providing
the usual armor bonus of breakthrough and thus they rely more heavily on the remaining units in the division
and cannot be operated on their own.

Self-Propelled Anti-Tank / Tank Destroyers

The Light SP-AT or Light Tank Destroyers as mentioned are the single cheapest way to integrate armor (and
some hardness) into a unit. The Heavy Tank Destroyer is arguably the most value because of the lack of
diminishing returns when a singular unit is included, providing enormous armor, piercing and a flat +5%
hardness! The Medium version is very much left out, and the biggest argument for making Medium Tank
Destroyers is because your technology would be geared towards them (for example, in my Medium builds I
would not want to include Light or Heavy TDs and I would already have up-to-date Medium Tanks researched).
The supply use of Tank Destroyers is also the shared lowest of all armored units, being equal to that of regular
tanks which of course suffer in the category of production costs and production rates. What LT TDs and HT TDs
give you is very interesting and by all means you should tinker with these in certain builds!
Literally Motorized is really fast infantry. They share stats closest to regular infantry rather than Mountaineers
or Marines. However, it is your only option if you want to maintain the speed of an armored unit. On their own
Motorized has 10% hardness, so it is not all bad news. While they will drastically decrease your unit's hardness
as a result, they do not take away as much as they could have SO YOU'LL JUST HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT OKAY! It is
your only option!

While significantly better than Motorized, providing twice the stats in some areas and far better Hardness
(50-70%) and far better armor, Mechanized is also MORE than twice as expensive as Motorized. As a result
Motorized remains viable all the way to the late game. Personally I find the sheer cost of switching Motorized
over to Mechanized suffocating, and it does not allow army expansion as you switch over the majority of your
production to accommodate this. As a result, I find myself only getting Mechanized when I have spare
production capacity or if my front-lines are already nicely filled with armored units. The only other main reason
to getting Mechanized would be manpower issues - as Mechanized provides much better stats per employed
soldier in the unit.

Super-Heavy Tanks
Trollmode engaged? Seriously, the supply use alone makes these things nearly unusable in larger numbers.
However, because of the nature of the game, they do have no issues whatsoever crossing bridges! Jokes aside,
Super-Heavy Tanks are funky, very late-game and their main value is in providing monstrous armor and
unrivalled hardness (a whopping 95%!). Thus even though they are very expensive, 1500 cost per stack
(compared to say 100 for infantry), very little of this cost is wasted where hardness is concerned. When you are
trying to achieve the maximum hardness for each IC invested, Super-Heavy Tanks are the best value you can
get short of some Tank Destroyer units, which obviously have their own limitations. Regardless, because of how
late this technology comes around, there is no viable tactic to using them and it really is a thing that you use
just for fun.

3.1 Hardness per cost and supply use per unit

Unit Hardness Cost Wasted Cost Supply Use*
Artillery 0% 144 per stack - 0.14
Infantry 0% 100 per stack - 0.05
Mountaineer 0% 140 per stack - 0.05
Motorized 10% 225 per stack 202.5 0.09
Mechanized II 60% 600 per stack 240 0.09
LT3 70% 600 per stack 180 0.14
MT2 80% 650 per stack 130 0.15
HT2 90% 1080 per stack 108 0.21
LT3 SPG 40% 240 per stack 144 0.28
MT2 SPG 55% 260 per stack 117 0.30
HT2 SPG 70% 432 per stack 129.6 0.42
LT3 TD 70% 300 per stack 90 0.14
MT2 TD 80% 312 per stack 62.4 0.15
HT2 TD 90% 540 per stack 54 0.21
SH Tank 95% 1500 per stack 75 0.28
SH SPG 80% 600 per stack 120 0.56
SH TD 95% 700 per stack 35 0.28

*Values are while using Logistics Company 3 (iirc it was level 3 anyway)
3.2 Relative Unit Production Rates
Vehicle Time (10% efficiency line)
LT 3 / LT SPG 3 / LT TD 3 10.15/week
LT AA 3 8.47/week
MT 2 - all variants SPG TD AA 7.77/week
HT 2 - All variants SPG TD AA 3.76/week
SH Tank - All variants SPG TD AA 1.00/week
Motorized 39.9/week
Mechanized 1 9.94/week
Improved Arty / Rocket Arty 24.92/week
Improved AT / Improved AA 20.00/week
Weapons III 99.75/week
Weapons II 133.00/week
Weapons I 200.00/week
Basic Weapons 333.00/week

The short version of all this is the following:

Per vehicle, Medium Tanks take about 30% longer to build than Light Tanks.
Per unit in a division you require between 20-25% more Light Tanks than Medium Tanks.

Per Division you pay roughly 8% more to have an identical Medium Tank build as opposed to a Light Tank build.

Per Division, a Medium Tank variant has about +32% more soft attack and +137% more armor than a Light Tank

Thus using soft attack as a benchmark it can be concluded a Medium Tank build is 22% more cost-effective
than a Light Tank one. The only true downsides are speed and supply use.