Wargame: AirLand Battle

Wargame: AirLand Battle

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Your first AirLand Battle NATO-Deck.
By Sithis
A guide to making a well rounded deck for beginners, that is easy to handle yet competitive.
Hello everybody and welcome to this guide.

The aim of this guide is to provide new players with a deck that is easy to control and at the same time can compete in any game-mode.

It will not be „TH3 B3S7 1337 D3CK!!1!“ and will probably not include all your favourite units if you are an experienced player, but I want to provide new players with a foundation on which to built with their own experiences.

I will give a short explanation of the role of every unit, so that you know how to use and what to do with them, but for more in depth mechanic tutorials have a look at Russo´s videos, which are also available in the guide section.

At this point I want to thank everybody from 7Sam including Russo, Hazed, Protoman, Castor, Theory, Super and all the others, because learning is always easiest when done as a group.

When building this deck dont select a Bonus, they restrict you in different ways and make it a lot harder. Not something you want when just starting out.
You then add unitcards to an empty deck. Some units can be bought at a higher skill level (veterancy), but you will get fewer of them in your deck per unitcard. Feel free to experiment with how many units you need versus at what skill level you need them. However you can recognize what skill level I recommend when looking at the number of units that are available per card that I put into every units description.

I will introduce the units in the following manner:
Number of cards recommendedx number of units that are available per card name of the unit

for example

2x 2 Challenger 1
The best protected tank in the game. Get 2 cards on veteran for a total of 4 tanks. When you deploy them protect them very well.
When attacking let Marder1 eat the fire instead.
When defending retreat them with the "Reverse" button, if they take to much fire. They will still score hits thanks to their very good stabilizer.

Logistic covers resupply and command units.

(any Nation)
Take one from the nation of your choice. It really doesnt matter which. As soon as you got one in your deck It will be placed automatically at the start of every game.
It is the one unit that can only be bought at round start, so keep the one that you have.

Eight of these will be just enough to drive back and forth between your FOB and your troops to keep them supplied and repaired. They are the only armored supply units and since you get so few of them it really helps if they survive a mortarround.

4 M577
This is your primary Command vehicle (CV). Placing a CV in a control zone will generate points that will enable you to buy more units. These units are expensive and should be protected heavily at all times.
The M577 is a good choice for your primary CV since its lightly armoured, but still cheap. Making it affordable, but enabling you to move it out of the way in case of direct mortar fire that would otherwise kill a lighter CV. For one card in your deck you can deploy 4, which should be enough for almost any game.

Infantry is even more important now than it was in WEE. On a lot of maps they can now easily play a bigger role than tanks and there is an Infantry unit to fullfill almost any role. Buildings and woods are their natural territory.

8 ATGM Milan F2
The best ATGM Infantry available in a full NATO deck. The Swedes are the only NATO country that has better ATGM, but those are only available in a Sweden only deck. They cant really defend themselves against Infantry, but they will kíll even the heaviest tanks. For best effect put them in a building. Also bring them in in the faster VAB transport vehicles. Rushing them into a forward building at round start and giving them proper support is often a gamechanger.

8 USMarines
Amongst the best units when it comes to fighting Infantry. Per Squad you get 15 instead of the usual 10 and thats a big advantage. They are not as reliable against tanks so use them to push or hold against enemy infantry. Get them in their LAV-25 it drives 150km/h on roads and has a huge autocannon. These guys are your spearhead. drive them to some houses about half way down the map at roundstart. The only thing they wont kill with ease are enemy tanks and for those you bring the Milan F2.

8 Assault Engineers
They are amazing against enemy Infantry as long as they get to deploy their napalm rocketlauncher. It only really comes into use in the woods, but when it does its deadly against Infantry.

2x 12 Jäger
Some standart Infantry. Most nations feature some low cost, but well rounded Infantry. The Jäger are best use in defence shooting over open ground from woodlines and buildings with their 7.62 rifles. They also carry a nice short range AT weapon.
Under Support you find AAA and Artillery.
AAA is even more important than in WEE since Aircraft now play a huge role. If you deploy enough Infrared guided AAA you can completely stop enemy air operations and Radar guided AAA is very nice for taking out enemy air units.
Infrared AAA has a better range against helicopters and Radar guided has better range against Fixed wing aircraft, howerver they are still both able to shoot down any air unit and an Infrared AAA net is just easier to maintain since they cant be shot by AntiRadar Aircraft.
Artillery on the other hand is not as important anymore. It can still destroy light vehicles, but Infantry is now a lot more resistant to artillery strikes unless you use very heavy artillery. However all Artillery is still invaluable to stun and panic the enemy.

2x 4 M48A1 Charparral
Your Main AntiAir. It shoots Infrared Missles instead of Radarguided ones, so Anti-Radar planes cant snipe it. Use them in pairs of two just behind your frontline and keep them resupplied. Move them around every time they fired, so the enemy cant put artillery on them.

6 M727 I-Hawk
This is Radar AAA amazing at shooting down jets, but not so good for taking down choppers. If you tell it to hold fire it will turn off its radar making it invisible for Antiradar Aircraft.
Solution: Have it on quick-select and turn its missle off. As soon as you see enemy Aircraft or Helicopters incoming turn it back on.

2 M110A2 RA
This is artillery. The really big guns. Half way through the round you can think about placing two of them next to your FOB. From their they can kill lightvehicles and infantry in the open as long as they get corrected shot. Dont use them to much since they eat your supplies like its nothing. Concentrate on enemy AA, CVs, making smoke for your assaults, firesupport and ATGM Infantry.
Tanks are the kings of the open field. With their armor and heavy guns very little can stand up to them on open ground and live. Remember though that the enemy knows this as well and will field various units dedicated to destroying your tanks. Especially anything hidden somewhere with ATGMs can cause real trouble.

4 Challenger 1
The best protected tank in the game. Get 2 cards on veteran for a total of 4 tanks. When you deploy them protect them very well.
When attacking let other units eat the fire instead.
When defending retreat them with the "Reverse" button, if they take to much fire. They will still score hits thanks to their very good stabilizer.

2x 8 Cheftain Mk.10
Not as good as the Challenger, but a lot cheaper. It got very good frontarmor for its price and its nice to have a cheap cannon available to hold a position.
Recon is one of the most important aspects of Wargame. If you dont see your enemy, but he can see you, you have already lost the game. Remember recon Infantry only works when dismounted.

12 BGS
If bought in trucks they only cost 11. With their low cost and high availabilty they are the perfect recon to put all over the place. You can place several everywhere along the frontline and still have enough money and enough available in your deck to get more.

4 Fernspäher
They are more expensive and you only get 4, but they are a lot harder to find for your enemy. Bring them in if you need Recon somwhere where nobody else is able to go.

You can see here its possible to walk Fernspäher around and right next to the enemy if you order them to hold fire on all weapons.

6 FV791 Ferret Mk.2
Recon Infantry is often not able to keep up with an armored charge. In this case you can drive a Ferret up with you tanks so you dont loose your recon advantage.
In Vehicles you can find Tankhunters, IFVs and Flame thrower vehicles.
The most important ones beeing ATGM Tankhunters and they are the only ones you need for now.

These are your main tank killers. Have them out of sight somewhere behind your main force and bring them up to take out the enemies heavy vehicles.

2x 4 Jaguar 2
This is your tankhunter. It carries a lot of ATGM and some light armor. Have it protect behind your tanks and move it up to take out the tanks of your opponent.

16 Zippo
Its a big flamethrower what more do you want? Got some infantry in buildings. Expect a closerange Infantryassault? Kill it with fire.

Helicopters can be very usefull, but are almost helpless against AAA.
They can fullfill a variety of roles, but all of them require a lot of multitasking.
In this deck they will only be used to delay the enemy at roundstart. Nothing else. When your US Marines in their LAV-25 reach their position the helicopters will have fullfilled their obligation and/or be dead.
If you want to dive deeper into helicopter experiment with your Cobra and see what you can achieve. If you dont make a lot of kills with that Cobra their is no point buying a more expensive one.

4 AH-1S cobra
This is the cheapest Cobra. Why the cheapest? Because it doesnt have ATGMs. Why not bring ATGMS? Because it doesnt need them. This helicopter is intended to fly to the center of the map at roundstart, stun the enemy convoy/engage enemy helicopters and defend that position until your US Marines and ATGM Milan arrive. Nothing that requires an ATGM to be killed is fast enough to be of any concern. So there is really no point in bringing something that is worse at its job and costs more. Get them on the highest veterancy available. The quicker and more precise he shoots his rockets the better.

2 OH-58 C/S
Buy all two of these at roundstart. The Cobra is pretty ineffektive against enemy helicopters doing the same as him and helpless against enemy jets. Bring the OH-58 to deal with any airunits getting in your Cobras way and provide AA until your incredibly slow ground AA units can take over.
Here we go the big new category of AirLand Battle.
Since its an all new category very different to all the other categories ill go over the most important stats first:

It enables your plane to evade enemy fire, but even the best countermeasures dont protect you 100% of the time eventually you will get hit.

Every Aircraft even the F117 can be seen, but depending on how tight the enemies AAA defence is an aircraft with good stealth might be spotted to late for the AAA to be able to get a missle off, while an aircraft with bad stealth will be shot at 7 or 8 times in the same situation.

Spend as little time in enemy airspace as possible, but there is another reason why Speed is important and thats formations.

Always try to use your aircraft in formation:
Have them fly close together so the enemy AAA can not concentrate their full fire on every aircraft. Have an AntiRadar aircraft fly first. They usually have good ECM and Stealth and can therefore tank a lot of fire plus they identify and kill Radar AAA.
Just behind have some Groundattack Aircraft that take out know AAA positions and your intendet target.
You can further protect them against enemy fighters by sending out a fighter escort with them.

Before we come to my recommendations for your first deck I want to introduce the different roles fighters can fullfill in this game:

Air Superiority
Basically any fighter that carries AA missles. Good examples on NATO are the Tomcat and F15 Eagle. If you choose to use Air superiority fighters go with expensive ones with high veterancy.

Anti Radar
These planes usually have a good survivability and carry Anti Radar missles. You can send them out even without spotting enemy AAA. They will identify and kill RadarAAA on their own. Just be sure to Evac them if you notice to much IR AAA or enemy fighters.

Napalm bombers.
Some Aircraft carry Napalm bombs. Napalm is extremely efficient when it comes to blocking roads or getting infantry out of buildings.

AP Bombers
Cluster bombs with AP power kill light vehicles like AAA and do some damage to heavier vehicles. Infantry however will not even get a scratch.

AGM Ground Attack
A lot of planes carry Air-Ground Missles. They are extremely good for killing vehicles even heavy tanks.

HE Ground Attack
They either carry rocket pots or bombs that deal HE damage. They do a lot of damage against infantry and light vehicles and stun the surviving troops similar to an artillery strike.

And now for your first deck:

1 EF-111A Raven
The best AntiRadar plane for NATO. Send one over the map at round start while all his AAA is fast moving to punch a hole into his AAA defence even before its deployed.
You should also spearhead every bombing run with it.

2 F-16A Fightimg Falcon
No ECM and poor stealth make this plane very vulnerable. So be careful. However it carries two huge 1000kg bombs. They kill all Infantry in buildings, light vehicles, helicopters and stun even the heaviest tanks. They are pure anti everything. Get one at roundstart, but dont engage in Air to Air combat. when your Cobra stuns the enemy convoy throw the bomb on the stuned convoy. This alone will kill half your enemies army. After this initial deployment its best to only use the F-16 with a Raven in front.

2x 2 J35D Draken II
A very cheap fighter. It wont win any head to head engagements, but is perfect for hunting helicopters that try get behind your back. Enemy bombers and Antiradar planes that enter your airspace can also be brought down by 2 or 3 of these. Just be careful no to follow your target over enemy AA.

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The privileged capitalist Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:10pm 
worked first try
MONSTER ZERO Apr 3, 2015 @ 9:33pm 
Thanks for this, pretty good info. As far as AAA goes, i personally rate the Gepard quite highly for AAA, can fire on the move, and at ground units too which is very handy for mobility warfare and as a versatile unit to accompany an armoured attack. Probably worth mentioning also that the Hawk only has 3 missiles and needs to be well supplied, especially if its firing at swarms of transport helicopters and cheap migs/yaks etc. Cheers
Dante2112 Jan 30, 2015 @ 7:09pm 
Thanks for posting these guides. Well done.
tacoshy Jan 1, 2015 @ 5:41am 
some parts are usefull but for alot of parts i have to disagree.

1. you need 2 FOB espacially with the high ammo cost of the Milan. 1 Fob will last max about 20 minutes.

2. as locistic Unit use the german MAN Kati 6x6 not the HMTT. The sole reason is they both got the same stats just that the MAN Kati 6x6 cost only 30 pts (5pts less).

3. Use a command vehicle for 100 points it cheaper so you can call them in soon and durign deployment you have more points leftover for comabt units. Also 4 CV arent enough in any good battle.

i got 20 more points in a list which are basically wrong even for new player...
trogd0r Jun 20, 2014 @ 9:28am 
i've never found much use with drakens against a half-way awake player, you will get swatted out of the sky by any interceptor with a mid-range missile. better to get f-15a's and/or some kind of AT plane to actually put some dents in tank armor, 1k bombs usually just stun heavy tanks and inflict nearzero damage.
Mitchell Jun 17, 2014 @ 11:39pm 
Amazing guide my friend
Sithis  [author] Dec 30, 2013 @ 2:51am 
Just updated the guide. This deck works with the current version of the game and units were chosen with all past updates in mind.
Felix Mortem Sep 2, 2013 @ 3:14pm 
This guide is rather outdated now, just a heads up.
Sithis  [author] Aug 1, 2013 @ 6:06am 
Yes I know have been thinking about taking the guides down, because Eugene is currently in the business of fixing everything that wasnt broken.
Lemieux Aug 1, 2013 @ 4:31am 
Sorry... but I disagree with A LOT of this guide. Also, it's kinda outdated :p