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I play Canada (and so can you!)
Some say that Canada is the worst nation in the game. Others say they're too kind to fight the Cold War. Read on to see why they're wrong.
I've heard one guidemaker say in this game (who will not be named) "people who play Canada are just wrong."
Many new players jump into the game and avoid this nation because few people see the advantages to Canada. They see a lack of seriously heavy tanks like the T-80U (however as of the Vox Populi patch they do get the Chimera tank destroyer, which will be discussed later) and decide that there is nothing to see there.
But the fact of the matter is that Canada cannot be played like the US or the USSR. You cannot simply spawn a number of expensive units and forget about them like you could with said nations. Canadian units however, if microed and used properly (especially their prototypes) can take on- and beat- the Red Bear.
Intro to Canada's strengths, and how their units are meant to be used.
Mentioned earlier is the fact that you cannot simply expect to spam large numbers of units and hope they survive without support. This is true for any nation, but more so for Canada than almost any other. And Canada is not the USSR- they are not a "steamroller" nation. Brute force is not their game (for the most part). Accuracy, experience, and long range is their game.
Your average new player looks at Canada and decides that moving a couple hundred points of heavy tanks toward entrenced Canadian positions is a great idea. You want to know what happens when people try that? This:
Trust me. I've played enough games with Canada to know the fate of many tank rushes by inexperienced Soviet commanders.
That being said, Canada is NOT a rushing or offensive nation like the US or USSR or the UK or any other major player. It is a strongly defensive nation with great infantry, fast transports, superior supporting vehicles, a small-but-good airforce, and exceptional Special Forces.
Canada's Main Strengths
A list of "good" units in the Canadian deck that stand out from the rest, not neccessarily in order.
The Canadian main Special Forces infantry are known as Highlanders. You've probably never seen them before, and with good reason. They're a prototype unit for the Canadians, and they pack a prototype SACLOS missle that's far beyond the capabilities of any other infantry- carried missle in-game. Their main infantry weapon, the C1 SMG, is relatively poor outside of CQC, and their C6 machine-gun is unremarkable at best.
But the best part is their AT weapon, the Eryx missle system with short range (875m!) but with 12 accuracy (which translates to a sixty percent base hit chance before any experience modifiers) and twenty-five AP power, which means it has the same killing power as a TOW-2 missle. In testing, it's shown the ability to one-hit-kill almost anything with an armor rating 13 or lesser. To put this in perspective, it can destroy even the best T-72 models, such as the T-72BI, any T-62 or '55 model, and most '64 models and '80 models. Yes, they do indeed only pack eight of these missles. But time and time again, they've been proven to work well for me if I rush them out ahead of my main force to hold an area against the enemy before my main force arrives.
M113 TUA (TOW-2)
A large part of the defensive power of the Canadians is their TUA, or TOW-2 missle carried in an M113A3. You might ask, "What's the big deal about a TOW-2? I thought the Americans had a TOW Humvee!". The big difference here is that the TUA is armored. Two frontal and side armor may not seem like a lot, but multiple times in testing they've a survived direct hit from T-72s and even heavier tanks. They're normally going to be panicked and in need of repairs afterward but I find this a far better outcome than what might happen to a Humvee that gets hit by a T-72. (A quick note. This means only ONE main gun strike from most PACT tanks. This vehicle will not survive an onslaught. Stick it behind your tanks or other, less valuable vehicles.)
Next up is the famous Air Defense Anti-Tank System prototype, or ADATS. This unit makes up for almost all of Canada's air defense deficiences, boasting an accuracy of 9 (45% base hit rate), a range against helicopters of 3100+ meters, and a range against jets of 2450 meters with an HE power of 5. This unit also does not use radar and is therefore not targetable by SEAD.
Another interesting component of the ADATS is it's ability to be used against ground targets- the only missle AA in W:ALB that can engage both air and ground targets. It retains the accuracy of nine with a range of 2800 meters and an AP power of 25, the same as the Eryx and TOW-2. I would not advise this unit be used in an anti-tank role, unless neccessary, as it does use the old M113 chassis and is poorly armored, and to lose one of these vehicles means losing a very valuable (and scarce) AA unit. But when used in tandem with the TUA and I-TOW (not mentioned here) it can turn a stream of heavy PACT armor into a chokepoint of death.
Some of you might remember this as the "turtle tank" from World of Tanks.
This is THE most heavily armored vehicle ANY NATO army has to offer, and it is single-handedly the most important vehicle in your defenses and offensives. As I said earlier, Canada does not have any heavy "tanks". But the Chimera isn't a tank. It's a tank destroyer according to the game. And it fully deserves that designation. Anything short of a T-80U is going to be afraid of going up against this thing. It has twenty frontal armor, a main gun with an accuracy of 60% base hit chance, and nineteen base AP power.
True, it does only have a rate of fire of six rounds a minute, making it vulnerable to rushes. But for fighting against small numbers of heavy tanks, or anything smaller for that matter, this is probably the best NATO tank for the job. The Chimera's main gun can deal damage to any PACT tank in-game short of a T-80U, while it's heavy frontal armor means that almost any PACT tank has to manuever closer to the Chimera to damage it, as most PACT Kinectic Energy weapons do less than 18 AP damage. And with an accuracy of 12, multiplied by the rank bonus of "hardened" (the least experienced you can get the Chimera), the gun will hit 75.6% of the time, or three out of every four shots. In comparison, the T-80U at "elite" will hit about 66.8% of the time, or two out of every three shots. This matters, because even if a PACT tank can fire faster, it will hardly matter as the Chimera will be able to fire more accurately, eventually panic the other tank, and kill it.
And lastly, one of the largest, fastest, and yet still-stealthy recon units in-game: the Pathfinders. It's a ten-man squad, larger than most recon squads which are usually five-men, still has Very Good stealth, has the rate of fire and accuracy of a Special Forces squad such as Delta Force, has the ROF buff that comes with SF infantry, (50% higher than shown), and still can do their job: recon.
Yes, their primary weapons are unremarkable and their M72 LAW is a piece of garbage, as we all know. But their ability to fight with other units when neccessary and their survivability is far better than any other recon-squad in-game. PFs are essentially Delta Force mixed with Rangers. They're that good.
How these units work together to make a solid defense.
So, enough of the porn-viewer and blathering on about how awesome these units are. So here's how you make it all work.
So let's say I want to hold a certain sector of the popular map, Trondheim.
And let's say my allies have my back and flanks protected, so I know where the enemy is going to be pushing from.
When the game begins, I rush a pair of Highlanders to hold the buildings on my side of the river in choppers. If the enemy try to rush tanks by the bridge, they'll be greeted by a nasty surprise.
Second, I get the rest of my force mobilized. This is a combination of Chimeras, recon infantry, ADATS, Vandoos and Javelin AA infantry, TUAs, I-TOWs, and Leopard CI tanks acting as meat shields. (This is very important! The Leopards have decent armor, at 11. They'll soak up plenty of damage if the enemy rushes you and have a higher rate of fire than the Chimera. They'll be a great distraction for the enemy while your heavier stuff gets to the killing. Put your Leopards just in front of the Chimeras whenever possible.)
This is the end result of my defensive stack:
A view from the front:
I have enough infantry to assist in the tank killing, and to keep back waves of enemy foot-mobiles. I have 3 ADATS in the field for AA and two Javelin teams. I have the TUAs and the Chimeras. This sort of defense has proven its self many times against pushes, even well-prepped ones. You could say I'm a little light, granted, on recon, (my scout helo is floating out of the picture) and my logistics chopper is not present. Otherwise, I think this is pretty solid if I didn't have to worry about my flanks. Most of the time you will have to, but this is a defense in ideal conditions.
My Canadian deck (and tips for making one)
My deck is a CAT A non-specialized deck. This is most likely how you should make your own, as any era restriction whatsoever will seriously reduce your ability to fight and remove ALL prototype units. Specialized decks have less of an impact, but even Mechanized decks that help with the veterancy of ADATS and Chimeras and such take away certain vehicles like the fast Grizzlys, so I don't bother. This is my deck, you can change yours, of course, to fit your needs or specialize it as you please.... just don't make this a pre-1975 deck. Please.
One card of M35s. One card of CH-147s. At least one FOB. A Grizzly CV. A Leopard CV. Another FOB or a cheaper CV, or this slot can be left empty.
One card of hardened Rifles in M35s. One card of veteran Rifles in Grizzlys. One card of flame thrower infantry in M35s, trained. A card of Hardened Highlanders in CH-135s. A card of veteran Blowpipes in M35s. A card of trained Javelins in Grizzlys. A card of Hardened Vandoos in M35s. A card of Veteran Vandoos in Grizzlys. A card of MAWs in CH-135s.
One card of hardened M109A2s. One card of trained M125s. One card of Hardened ADATS.
Two cards of Hardened Leopard CIs. One card of Hardened Centurion MK11s.
One card of Hardened Ferrets. One card of Hardened CH-136s. One card of Pathfinders in a CH-135. One extra card of infantry recon in a cheaper transport or leave empty.
One card of hardened I-TOWs. One card of hardened TUAs. One card of hardened Chimeras. Either one extra card of I-TOWs or leave blank.
One card of trained CF-18s One card of trained CF-188s. One card of trained Starfighters.
Things you need to watch for.
>Massive tank spams
This deck, or almost any different kind of Canadian deck, will not do well against huge tank spams unless you have sufficient medium tanks of your own. Even then, because of the slow ROF of most Canadian units, do whatever is neccessary to either cut off one end of a push from the rest or slow them down until your guys can deal with them.
You don't get any SEAD in this deck, so watch your planes.
As you have very little AA, make sure to stock up on Javelins and ADATS and fortify your position sufficiently against air attacks. Keep an air superiority fighter circling about just in case the enemy sends a cheap bomber (or bombers) at you, as your air defense lacks range against jets.
I wouldn't use a Canadian deck in a 10v10 or other large scale game unless you're sure of yourself, as the enemy can spam huge numbers of units in these modes that can overwhelm you. Use this in any other mode that's less... spammy.
>Any sort of spam
You get the idea
>Close range fights
Your units do well at range but can suffer a bit close up, keep them back at whatever cost or your Chimeras can get overwhelmed, as their fire-rates are not great.
Side effects of using this deck and conclusion.
When you use this deck,..
>The people you play with assume you're actually Canadian >You notice a dramatic increase in "Canada is OP!" threads on the forums >You start talking in a Canadian accent more and more often >You start saying, "Eh?" at the end of every sentence >You start celebrating Canadian holidays, and take an interest in hockey >You develop a particular disdain for anyone using a USA-only deck >You grow a beard >You make references to how awesome maple syrup is ALL THE ♥♥♥♥ING TIME >You start to appreciate NATO minors >Your win/loss ration goes up
(If you have an idea for another, please let me know!)
Well, it's been an honor to write this guide for NATO's most under appreciated member. If you like the tips, had a laugh, or start using a Canadian deck please let me know or favorite, it really helps me to know people actually get something out of the blood, sweat and tears that come from spending days doing this stuff. I hope to see you guys on the battlefield someday.