ATG Lesson 1 : Rifles & SMGs

rifles & smgsWelcome to Advanced Tactics Gold College. I am planning to give a number of lessons that will help the novice player with his strategy and tactics. Probably most of these lessons will also be usefull to more experienced players since I regularly note that even experienced players sometimes miss important things. I will start this ATG college course of with a discussion of the different types of equipment and troops available to you. Today we will start easy and discuss rifles and submachineguns (SMGs).

Rifles and SMGs are the 2 variants of basic infantry that are available to all regimes. They can come come in level I,II,III and IV variants. Both requiring the same “Rifle/SMG II/III/IV” research fields. It is only if you start a game in stone-age mode that you still have to research a seperate “SMG Infantry” research field before you can produce any SMGs, in all other cases Rifle and SMG are immediately producable upon starting a new game.

Rifles are more versatile then SMGs and can be used in any landscape type. However if you know that a lot of the fighting is going to take place in close quarters like urban and forest terrain you are advised to produce SMGs instead of Rifle. SMGs are only 10% more expensive to produce, but they give 25% combat bonus attacking and defending in forest, fortification and urban landscapes.

You should use rifles and SMGs in defense only, unless you can mix them with some more offensive equipment like for example mortars or tanks. The thing is that the offensive attack value of these infantry types versus other infantry is 13. Their defensive attack value is 26. That means you need to attack at 2:1 odds if the enemy is not entrenched. And finding an unentrenched enemy is highly unlikely! except in the desert plains. Rifle and SMG both have an entrenchment increase of 40 per round and get auto entrenchment in almost all landscape types.

Lets say you face enemy infantry with 100 entrenchment points. That means that in combat their hitpoints will be doubled. If you just attack with infantry versus such an entrenched enemy infantry position you would need at least 4:1 odds. The same enemy, for example well entrenched inside a town can easily get 200 entrenchment points, which would require any infantry-only attack to have at least 8:1 odds to have a chance to succeed.

These odds, especially in towns and fortifications, give the defender the option to make it impossible for the offensive side to take a hex with infantry. Simply by putting so many defending infantry into a hex that the enemy will run into attack stack problems to execute the attack. If for example the defending side has 70 infantry in a town with 200 entrenchment then the attacking side should attack with at least 8 times more troops…. 560 infantry. The problem however is that even when the attacker can attack from all 6 sides the land attack stack maximum is still only 250. So the attacker cannot really make his numbers count. The only options left for an attacker is to either attack a few turns repeatedly with overstacked attacks and suffer horrendous casualties or to lay siege. We will get back to this when we discuss artillery.

So be warned and use infantry defensively! They may be weak but when well entrenched they can pose a formidable obstacle.

A noteworthy exception is adding infantry to offensive tank units. It does not help that much in offensive power as the infantry will at best act as cannonfodder, but it does help to protect your tanks from any possible counter attacks in the enemies turn.

If you got the oil and the raw resources you might consider mobilizing your infantry by building trains, trucks or halftracks for them. All can carry 20 infantry a piece. This way you can get quickly get a defensive unit to the place where it needs to be.

Thats it for today. I hope you have enjoyed this lesson! In the next lesson I will turn to machineguns & mortars.

Best regards,

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2 Responses to ATG Lesson 1 : Rifles & SMGs

  1. mllange says:

    Nice lesson, Vic, and congratulations on a terrific game. I had an ‘intuitive’ sense of some of these things from playing many scenarios over time, but definitely learned the ‘nuts & bolts’ much better by taking the time to read the article. Keep ’em coming!

  2. FlyingNutcase says:


    I’ve just browsed the first six lessons. Really nice work and a good intro to the game units and tactics. I’ve played around with AT but not got into it seriously. But the passion evident in your postings keeps bringing me back. :-)

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