British: Balanced/Ranger/Industrial. Britain can create settlers faster than anyone else by building Manors, so their economy can flourish very early on. Britain's card deck supports a stellar naval game (arguably the best of all civs) and a plethora of strong unit upgrades. They have access to unique ranged units, namely the Longbowman and the Congreve Rocket, and they have the best Musketeers as well.
French: Brute/Diplomatic/Spammer. The French start with a native scout right off the bat and their Coureurs gather every resource faster than standard settlers, though they are more expensive to raise. Their Cuirassier unique heavy cavalry are one of the strongest in the game. France's card deck allows for raising up native units quickly and easily to supplement the expensive and powerful regular units.
Portuguese: Industrial/Technical. A difficult faction to play due to the very slow start (they do not have settler shipment cards like everyone else) but they get a free Covered Wagon as they advance each age, allowing Portugal to quickly sprawl across the map and lock down the resources. They have strong light infantry (their unique Cassadors) and Dragoons, and a strong navy. Portugal's deck also gives them a strong coastal defence, and the unique Navigation School card for faster ships.
Dutch: Economist/Technical. Dutch Settlers cost coin instead of food, giving them a slow start, but the Dutch mine gold faster and can build Banks for an infinite steady stream of money. The Dutch card deck emphasizes a focus on strong economics while also allowing for a competent navy.
Germans: Rangers, with a side of Spammer. The Germans receive free Uhlan light cavalry with every Home City shipment, this gives them a lot of mobility and map control. They use Settler Wagons to supplement their settlers and boosting their early economy. With their card deck the Germans can quickly become a military powerhouse with a slew of mercenary shipments and cavalry upgrades.
Russians: Spammer/Turtle. Russian units are cheaper than equivalents in other nations and train in batches, allowing an army to be raised very quickly. The Russian Blockhouse combines the Barracks with the defensive capabilities of an Outpost and can garrison troops, and this also lets them rushdown well. They also have access to an additional Fort compared to other European civilizations. Russia's card deck is geared for Zerg Rush, with cards like Mass Army and Fencing School allowing infantry to be raised even quicker.
Ottomans: Unconventional/Unit Specialist (Artillery). The Ottomans can field artillery earlier than any other civilization (by Age II) and they get two special artillery pieces: Abus Guns and Great Bombards. On the other hand, the rest of their unit roster is limited, especially regarding elite units such as the Spahis and Nizam Fusiliers which are only available through shipments or technologies. Finally, Ottoman Town Centers automatically generate free Settlers.
Swedes: Economist. Their unique House, the Torp, gives them a fantastic early game economy by automatically gathering from nearby natural resources without the use of villagers. Their unit selection is powerful, but specialized, and difficult to access in breadth, often forcing them to rely on hiring Mercenaries to fill gaps. However, they can hire cheaper Mercenaries than other civilizations, and get unique combat bonuses when they use them in the late game.
United States: Diplomatic/Ranger/Unconventional. The Americans focus on gunpowder units like the Regular, the Sharpshooter and the Carbine Cavalry that greatly outrange and outdamage their European counterparts but have lower HP, so watch out for fast-moving troops and artillery. They have no Explorer but they have a General, who builds Forts instead of Town Centers and can lay down Inspiring Flags which speed up building construction and cause friendly troops near it to fight harder. The Home City deck is smaller than Europeans' but you pick a Federal State that grants resources and technologies (like the Politician system the Europeans have) and in addition two unique Federal Cards that cannot be accessed by building a deck regularly, giving the Americans a crucial advantage every time they age up. Instead of Settler Cards, they instead get Immigrant Cards that function similarly to the Consulate system used by the Asian civs. They also have access to unique cards that allow them to recruit specialty foreign units at the Fort, such as Polish Uhlans and Hungarian Hussars.
All Native American civs introduced in The Warchiefs and listed below are Guerilla compared to the European civs. They have Prowler units (Aztec Jaguar Prowler Knights, Iroquois/Haudenosaunee Forest Prowlers and Sioux/Lakota Tashunke Prowlers) that can use stealth and ambush the enemy.
Aztec: Brute Force/Unit Specialist (Infantry). The Aztecs specialize in infantry. Their unique Warrior Priests heal like Medicine Men but have high attack and can dance at fire pits to bestow special effects. They also have the best navy of the native civilizations, and while they cannot match most European and Asian navies, appropriate War Council card play and the Water Dance can make up for it. However, they lack any kind of cavalry or artillery. The Aztec War Council card deck is quite versatile, allowing proper rushdown, boom or turtle strategies.
Iroquois/Haudenosaunee: Balanced/Industrial/Ranger. The Iroquois/Haudenosaunee play the closest to an European civilization, as they have a mixture of artillery and decent infantry and cavalry. They do have a sizable emphasis on ranged combat. Their Travois can build most buildings for free, and their War Chief gives every unit around bonus hitpoints.
Sioux/Lakota: Brute/Unit Specialist (Cavalry). Nearly all of the Sioux/Lakota army is composed by cavalry units, and they are very strong indeed. They do not build houses for population, instead they start with the cap maxed out and Teepees give bonus hitpoints and attack to surrounding units. However, they have mediocre infantry, and no artillery. The Sioux War Council Card deck is geared mainly towards reducing their resource dependency; which comes in handy when considering how costly their cavalry is.
Inca:Turtle/Unit Specialist (Infantry). The Inca possess excellent walls and unique building variants to make it easier to stake out territory, including an armed trading post that can garrison villagers, a fortress that can be built by the War Chief, and a elite barracks that can hold a garrison of military units without taking up population space. Like the Aztecs, their roster consists entirely of infantry. Many of their units have unique Gimmicks, including a shock infantry unit immune to snares that can duck in and out of battle at will, an archer with a stacking poison damage-over-time effect, and a ranged unit whose thrown bolas deal area-damage and slow down whoever it hits. Their deck does have access to quite a few unique cards, most notably the "Tupac Rebellion" card which basically acts like a European Revolution by turning all of their units into a modernized European army.
All Asian civs added in The Asian Dynasties and listed below are Unconventional. In addition to having entirely unique unit rosters, they also have unique gameplay mechanics that cause them to play very differently from the European and Native civs. Whereas European civs use the politician system when they advance up in age, Asian civs need to build Wonders; each Asian civ has five such special buildings, which each provide unique perks like unique active abilities, passive bonuses or even the capacity to raise units.
Chinese: Brute/Spammer. Like the Russians, the Chinese train armies in batches with the added caveat that these "banner armies" are predetermined combinations of two units. While it is easy for the Chinese to quickly raise a large army, doing so can get expensive and the troops tend to be quite weaker than their European counterparts individually. The Chinese even get a higher pop cap, at 220. Chinese War Junks and Fuchuan are actually superior to the European Caravels and Frigates, but again, beware as prices for these powerful naval units can get exorbitant. The Chinese card deck has a number of impressive unique cards like "Confucius Gift", which allows for near-instantaneous shipments and technology unlocks.
Japanese: Economist/Elitist/Brute Force. Japanese land units are expensive but powerful — Samurai are hands down the best melee infantry in the game. However the Japanese do not gather as normal; they build Shrines which produce a trickle of resources, and this means the Japanese economy is fragile and cannot recover easily from a disaster. In addition, the Japanese get a Daimyo hero unit; the Daimyo is a capable fighter on his own but he also bestows bonuses and can even raise units in the field. Many of their Home City cards can be sent twice, and the Japanese deck features a lot of mercenary shipments and unit upgrades to make their military an unstoppable juggernaut.
Indians: Technical/Unit Specialist (Cavalry). India has a well-balanced army with a diverse range of units, but the cornerstone of the Indian army is war elephants, of which they have multiple varieties. Indian villagers cost wood instead of food, which can leave Indian players playing a delicate balancing act and expanding quickly to fuel their wood binge, but fortunately they get free villagers with every Home City shipment. They cannot slaughter animals for food, instead gaining experience from them in a Sacred Field. The Indian card deck lacks any villager cards, but it still has a few tricks, like The Raj card which changes villager cost from wood to food, completely reworking the Indian economy and letting the civ play more like a conventional European counterpart.
Both African civs added in The African Royals are Diplomatic/Economist. Much like the United States, they select a different Alliance to age up, and the selection remains the same throughout the game. Each Alliance grants unique units and shipments that cost Influence, their unique resource, of which both civilizations have different ways of attaining. They do share the ability to gain Influence at the Livestock Market and can build Granaries (which work like the Japanese Shrine) to increase food output. These allied units (alongside Desert outlaws they can recruit from their Towers) make up for the fact that on their own, the African civilizations have minimal unit rosters.
Ethiopians: Unit Specialist (Infantry). The Ethiopians are primarily an infantry focused civilization, though they do have access to some specialty units such as the Oromo Warrior and the powerful Sebastopol Mortar.
Hausa: Industrial/Unit Specialist (Cavalry). The Hausa gain Influence through the University, and said Influence output can be improved through placing Town Centers, Trading Posts, and Palaces in its proximity. Their military roster primarily focuses on cavalry with limited access to infantry outside of Alliances.
Abbasid Dynasty: Economist/Industrial/Research. The Abbasid playstyle centers on their sole Landmark, the House of Wisdom. The House of Wisdom can be upgraded with different wings to advance through age, contains many unique technologies, and can trigger a Golden Age based on how many structures are built within its influence. Golden Ages speed up resource gather rate, research times, and production. With this unique system, the Abbasids do not need to free up their Villagers in order to advance in Age, allowing them to maintain their economy. However, this does mean that losing the House of Wisdom is catastrophic for them. They are also the only civilization with access to camel units, which excel against other cavalry by reducing their damage output.
Chinese: Balanced/Industrial/Ranger/Research. The Chinese are a flexible civilization that can adapt to any situation via the Dynasty System, which unlocks unique units and technologies. To unlock a Dynasty, they must build both Landmarks for a given Age, which allows them to take both benefits without having to choose one over the other. Their buildings generate Tax Gold whenever resources are dropped off, units are produced, or technologies are researched. They can task Imperial Officials to work on buildings, which allows them to collect additional Tax Gold, increase the quantities of resources that are dropped off, and speed up production and research times. In battle, the Chinese boast advanced siege engines and gunpowder units, such as the Fire Lancer and Nest of Bees. They also have more unique units than any civilization, though a good portion of these are locked based on what Dynasty they are in unless the Spirit Way Landmark has been built.
Delhi Sultanate: Brute/Research/Turtle. The Delhi Sultanate has a unique approach to research. All of their technologies are free, but research incredibly slowly unless Scholars are garrisoned to speed up the research rate. Their infantry units are able to construct defensive structures in the field, and they can eventually field powerful War Elephants to trample their foes into submission.
English: Balanced/Ranger/Turtle. The English are a well-rounded civilization that excels at defensive play and ranged combat and are easy to learn for new players. Their Network of Castles bonus encourages defensive play as their Town Centers, Outposts, Towers, and Keeps grant additional attack speed to nearby units, and not only do their Town Centers have twice the arrows, but their Villagers are armed with bows, making English towns much harder to invade in the early game. Their army boasts more durable Men-at-Arms and one of the best ranged infantry units in the game in the form of the Longbowmen. They also have cheaper Farms that gather faster near Mills, which allows them to better support their economy.
French: Brute/Economist. The French rely primarily on their powerful cavalry, the Royal Knight, which are enhanced by the fact they gain all melee damage technologies for free. All of their unique units are just stronger versions of their generic counterparts. They are more than able to fuel their war machine in a myriad of ways, as they have cheaper economic technologies and drop-off buildings, enhanced trade units, and faster Villager production. As a tradeoff, the French have a more limited unit selection compared to other civilizations.
Holy Roman Empire: Brute/Turtle/Unit Specialist (Infantry). The Holy Roman Empire combines an infantry-focused army with potent religious bonuses. Their infantry such as Landsknechts and Men-at-Arms with Maces are hard hitting and robust. Their Prelates can be used to enhance their early game economy by inspiring Villagers, and can later on be upgraded to inspire military units as well. Their defensive structures have cheaper emplacements and can be further enhanced by garrisoning Relics inside of them.
Mongols: Ranger/Spammer/Unit Specialist (Cavalry). The Mongols excel at hit-and-run military strategies are able to field vast hordes of cavalry due to them always having the maximum population without the need for houses as well as having increased production when near the Ovoo. They not only have access to the best ranged cavalry in the game, they also have early access to melee cavalry. Their buildings are able to pack up and move, allowing them to follow their armies along the march.
Rus: Guerilla/Ranger/Unit Specialist (Cavalry). The Rus primarily rely on their cavalry, having early Knights, Horse Archers, and Warrior Monks. Their economy places great emphasis on hunting and the wilderness, with the Rus gaining further economic boons based on hunting bounties. However, the Rus lack Stone defenses and must make do with stronger Palisades and Wooden Fortresses instead, and they are also lacking in naval options.
Greeks: Balanced/Unit Specialist. The Greeks play most like a faction from Age of Empires II. Their military tends towards Mighty Glacier and their units (human warriors and myth units) are quite well armoured and strong, if a bit slow and expensive. Fortunately their economy is also easy to manage. The weaknesses of the Greek army are their vulnerability to ranged and fast-moving units and their limited access to healing.
Egyptians: Spammer/Ranger, with a side of Guerrilla. The Egyptians build slowly but don't have to do a lot of wood chopping to get their economy up and running. They have the best towers and the best walls, and plentiful access to healing. The Pharaoh can heal allies, smack down myth units and empower buildings at the base to help development (for example, faster unit training at production centres, faster research, faster Favour accumulation for Monuments, etc.), but he is a valuable asset and must be used carefully. Egypt's army favours mobility and range, and quantity over quality. While the units tend to be very cheap, they have to be upgraded individually, as opposed as the other civilizations that upgrade Infantry/Archers/Cavalry by groups.
Norse: Spammer/Brute. The Norse gather resources mobile Ox Carts, and all their warriors can construct buildings and gain Favour when they fight; being able to replenish themselves at the frontline is a big advantages and gives the Norse a daring, aggressive playstyle. But they are poor at defending their own holdings — their walls and towers are weak and they have few ranged options. Norse armies feature human warriors with very high attack power, Hersir heroes that can be produced in numbers and powerful myth units.
Chinese (Tale of the Dragon): Spammer/Technical. The Chinese focus on a booming economy and fast generation of units in large numbers. The Chinese garner Favour through Gardens that can also generate other resources. The Chinese army is primarily composed of cavalry, but the eight Immortals are their heroes and their best anti-myth units. On top of that, the Monk can heal your wounded units and convert enemy units to his side. However Chinese units are highly specialised and pound-for-pound not as strong as other cultures due to limited unit-enhancing technologies.
The Empire: While more dignified than most examples, they're Spammer. Probably justified, as humans and elves are simply less physically strong than the monstrous creatures they face. They have area-of-effect buffs, experienced units get auras that raise their companions' stats, some of their units can be trained in more than one kind of building, and barracks can be upgraded to build two units simultaneously.
The Beasts: Brute/Elitist. They have the strongest melee units, but their cost is rather high.
The Fallen: Generalist/Balanced. They lack melee units, but their ranged ones are pretty durable. Have a little bit of Technical mixed in, as some of their units' attacks have a special effect on the unit they hit, not to mention some rather gimmicky special abilities, like reducing sight range for all enemy units on the map, or Void Walker's ability to temporarily shapeshift into any other unit, gaining all of its abilities.
Imperial Navy: Balanced/Generalist. Very wide selection of ships with different options and armaments, from escorts to battleships. No real signature playstyle, but mid-range encounters are preferred, and they are rather slow but decently armoured.
Adeptus Astartes: Elite. Expensive ships with tons of armour even on the sides and aft, and excel at boarding actions as they are glorified transports for the famous Space Marines. However their gunnery is subpar and they will be outnumbered in any given engagement.
Adeptus Mechanicus: Ranger. As the custodians of the Imperium's high technology, Mechanicus ships are modified versions of Imperial Navy ships with superior firepower and speed. They cannot be relied upon to survive close range exchanges due to lack of troops.
Chaos: Balanced/Ranger. Chaos forces use twisted parodies of outdated ships that no longer see action in the Imperial Navy. Armour and firepower is relatively lacking and so is quality gunnery, so lances and strike aircraft at longer ranges are the order of the day.
Aeldari Corsairs: Technical. A masterful commander who understands their fleets will bring out the potential of this faction. With powerful forward-facing weapons and high speed, the ships can make devastating fly-by attacks, but this has to be weighed against their fragility. Using holofields in lieu of standard shields means ships must stay moving to ensure their protection.
Asuryani: Elitist/Technical. Like the Corsairs, the Asuryani have fragile ships with great speed and maneuverability and advanced weapons, but they have superior armour to Corsair equivalents. They only field the smaller classes of ships and are limited to battlecruisers; they rarely stray from their mighty Craftworlds and have little need for lumbering battleships.
Drukhari: Guerrilla. Drukhari ships have paper-thin armour and no shields, and are slow by Aeldari standards. They rely on shadowfields to stay hidden while moving to avoid fire. They have some of the most withering firepower of any faction and boarding parties of vicious warriors. Drukhari approach a target undetected, utterly crush it and hopefully disappear before facing retaliation.
Orks: Brute. Did you expect any different? Strong hulls, effective boarders, packing a lot of dakka and mercifully cheap ships as well. Ork gunnery leaves much to be desired so effective range and accuracy is very low. Discipline is also poor, and you can expect krew and their kaptans to mutiny the moment the battle starts going badly.
Necrons: Elitist/Turtle. Necrons have slow and outrageously expensive ships, but you get what you pay for. Necron ships are tough, very tough, and they regenerate hulls too. They have powerful (but slow firing) weapons and great morale.
Tyranids: Spammer. Tyranids employ large numbers of Living Ships that are naturally stealthy, and often literally eat other ships alive. They eschew traditional firepower in favour of swarming enemy crews with chittering horrors, and are almost unrivalled in boarding actions. However they have a glaring weakness in the synapse ship, which causes a loss of coherency in the rest of the fleet if destroyed.
T'au Protectors: Ranger. The T'au Empire's modern frontline fleets, packing lots of railguns and seeker missiles for exceptional precision firepower at extraordinary ranges. However they are slow and vulnerable in boarding actions, so an enemy who can reach them is a grave threat. They can employ Kroot and Demiurg auxilliaries.
T'au Merchant: Turtle. Older T'au ships from before the post-Damocles Gulf modernisation project. They are slower but tougher ships with more focus on launch bays and carriers than concentrated firepower, so air superiority is not much of an issue. Like the Protectors, they can make use of Kroot and Demiurg auxilliaries.
The sequel, Battlezone II, has the radically different Scion Army and International Space Defense Force. The ISDF is Brute/Balanced; their ships are typically powerful and cheaper than comparable Scion units. Additionally, the ISDF can build up their base much faster than Scions can. The Scions are Elitist with elements of Guerilla — their units are expensive but adaptable courtesy of their ability to morph tanks between combat and assault modes. Scion heavy units are often overspecialized but very good at what they do.
Battlezone II's GameMods add further unique factions. Forgotten Enemies adds the Hadean Crown, which are Elitist/Brute. Their units start out weak, but their factories can be upgraded to make the units absurdly powerful and durable. Fleshstorm adds the Swarm, an Expy of WH40K Tyranids — Swarm is entirely Spammer with some Guerilla elements. Their units are absurdly cheap and weak at low levels, but their units do not drop any scrap biometal — the game's building resource — allowing for Swarm units to simply grind down enemies. Fleshstorm also introduces the Phaer Ran, which are a combination of Elitist/Brute Force/Specialist — Phaer Ran units are geared specifically to kill Swarm units. Their bases are mobile, their units are strong and simple, and they tend to rely on fire and air-burst weapons.
Purity: Brute. Purity units can gain tremendously powerful perks in either attack or defence, and Purity gain a powerful bonus when fighting aliens at Level 3. Offence get perks like bonuses against certain units and bonus strength for unused movement points — so if your unit is parked right next to the enemy when they attack, they'll wallop it. Defence perks render Purity cities as nigh-untouchable. However, they need to specialise in either attack or defence, not both, and they lack the technical features and fancy tricks of the other armies. Purity tend to use heavy tanks and exosuits for battles, leading up to the LEV-Destroyer, a massive floating fortress bristling with guns.
Supremacy: Technical. Supremacy units gain combat bonuses for being adjacent to each other, hence unit placement and organisation of units is very important. They also gain bonuses for flanking. They get free roads between colonies and orbital coverage over any Firaxite source, even one in enemy territory. Supremacy make use of unmanned battle robots and combat aircraft, as well as drones. Also has elements of Ranger, with the SABR unique unit having the longest range of any artillery and the Supremacy upgrades to Ranger and Missile Rover units also offering increased range.
Harmony: Guerilla/Spammer. Harmony units are weaker than Purity and Supremacy, but Harmony troops are capable of healing and fighting better in miasma; miasma can be used offensively or defensively, with provisions for covering both you and your enemy's territory in the stuff. They can also gain movement point bonuses, learn to ignore difficult terrain for fast travel, or learn to move after attacking. Harmony civs also find an easier time taming and befriending native alien life, using them as auxiliaries, mounts for cavalry, and eventually bio-augmenting their troops with alien DNA and breeding their own xeno bioweapons.
INTEGR — Easier to make diplomatic agreements with other factions. Diplomat.
Civilization IV: Fall From Heaven gets complicated, being a highly ambitious mod for an already-complex 4X game. This is thus a very general outline. If a faction plays vastly differently depending on the leader chosen, this will be noted.
Bannor: Spammer/Brute Force
Calabim: Under Flauros, Extreme Elitist/Economist/Unit Specialist (vampires). Under Alexis, Balanced/Brute Force; "balanced" in this case means that she likes to spam weak units and then promote the survivors. Decius is a Pariah.
Clan of Embers: Extreme Spammer (they make their units twice as fast as everyone else!)/Generalist. Sheelba leans more toward a Brute Force approach, while Jonas Endain is more of an Industrialist (population production). Due to a particular emergent gimmick, the Clan is powerfully Industrialist when paired with Runes of Kilmorph religion.
Doviello: Charadon is a Balanced/Brute Force Pariah; anything he can do, Sheelba can do better. Under Mahala, Balanced/Gimmick, with almost no reliance on infrastructure and the ability to cheaply upgrade their forces in the field.
Elohim: Technical, with a focus on defense and access to an Enemy Exchange Program (letting them do a variety of things).
Grigori: Generalist with a few special elite units (Adventurers).
Hippus: Unit Specialist (cavalry). Rhoanna is an Economist and Industrialist (pop production), Tasunke is more inclined to Brute Force.
Infernals and Mercurians are gimmick factions, being summoned by other factions after gamestart and fuelled by the deaths of units of their appropriate alignment. Infernals are Technical, while Mercurians are more Brute Force.
Scrin — Spammer although overlaps with Elitist late game
Like Zero Hour, subfactions in the Kane's Wrath expansion to Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars lean towards Unit Specialist, although one typically leans towards Brute and the other Guerilla to some degree or other.
Allied Forces — Guerrilla/Elitist, then turns to Technical
Soviet Bloc — Brute with elements of Spammer
Yuri's Forces — Gimmick and Pariah, some consider it a Game Breaker faction (mind controlling base defenses! ARRRGH)
Empire of the Rising Sun — Balanced, with elements of gimmick and spammer, as most of their units transform to fill in weaknesses, but none really excel at any role.
Red Alert 2: New World Order:
Allies — Balanced/Generalist
Soviets — Brute, with the "elemental wheel" of fire, ice and lightning weapons at their command. Also Unit Specialists to some extent, as they have a huge variety of tanks for any purpose — resource gathering is done by a tank, their MCV is a tank, there is a tank for anti-tank combat, one for sieges, two for anti-infantry (one with a chaingun, one with a flamethrower), another with a tesla weapon, a nuclear-armed tank, a super-heavy "special unit" tank, a "mobile fortress" tank (...that can carry other tanks onboard) and finally an anti-air tank (which is nigh-useless), to the point of redundancy. Of course, this makes them somewhat disadvantaged against opponents with well-developed armor-piercing weaponry, but their infantry is not terribly disadvantaged either, so there is always an alternate method of attack available.
Third Power — Elitists. Single units of this faction are all gargantuan, expensive monstrosities, and by far not as slow and cumbersome as their size and armor would make one expect.
Asian Alliance — Spammer with Technical elements (most of their units have a secondary function that needs to be triggered manually). Also Unit Specialists to some extent, with a huge focus on base defense and navy, and terrible ground and air forces.
CDF — Pariah; all of their units are re-purposed civilian/neutral units with abyssimal stats in direct confrontation, but their ability to interact with the civilian/neutral buildings and units pre-placed on a skirmish map makes for... interesting strategic possibilities.
Brotherhood — Guerrilla/Ranger. Their usual strategy revolves around either ranged attacks followed by a retreat into stealth mode, or by stealthy suicide attacks. However, their units are not exceptionally fast, relying only on their burrowing and stealth tactics to evade counterattacks. Technical to some extent, as far as their technology and resource acquisition goes, which requires quite abit of micro-management to be efficient.
Forgotten/Mutants — A weird combination of Guerrilla, unit specialist and possibly pariah; they are to mutated wildlife what ts. Their vehicles are equally abyssimal, however their infantry easily passes for Elitist (all of them being enhanced by some form of mutation, although in some cases, the enhancement hashe CDF is to resident civilian population, which comes in handy on some map vast drawbacks and using it effectively is somewhat of a gambit). Unit specialists because anything but their weak vehicle selection is associated with the settings' resident Green Rocks.
Black Guard — Game Breaker, though you never get to play them, only AGAINST them.
Except for the Zombie, which is probably the worst infantry unit in the game. It's slow, has no ranged attack and has very little HP. On the other hand, it is the match to the other sides' attack dog (which are purely anti-infantry), and in that role it actually excels, as it cannot be killed with bullets (which infantry usually uses).
United States of America — Generalist/Spammer. The American army is highly flexible, with individual units being able to perform in a variety of different roles. American infantry tend to be more numerous than the Wehrmacht, but not as effective in a straight fight and usually need to rely on upgrades and abilities to get an edge. Similarly, American vehicles tend to lack the armour and raw firepower of the Germans, but tend to be faster and capable of various support tasks. Has traits of Economist, as units tend to be relatively cheap and easy to replenish, and can build a supply yard to drive costs of units even further down.
Airborne Company — Technical. This American doctrine focuses on rapid deployment, using paratroopers, supply drops and air support.
Infantry Company — Spammer/Unit Specialist, focusing on infantry. This doctrine focuses on production of infantry which are cheap, versatile and effective in numbers. Also allows the use of artillery support.
Armor Company — Brute/Unit Specialist, focusing on armour. This doctrine focus on production of armour, and allows production of the Sherman Calliope and the very powerful M26 Persching.
Defensive Doctrine — Technical/Unit Specialist. This doctrines allows the Wehrmacht player to upgrade their base buildings with self-defence machine guns, and allows infantry to reinforce from bunkers, which makes the difference in holding the line or keeping an advance going. It also unlocks the Flak 88, a deadly anti-tank piece.
Blitzkrieg Doctrine — A rare mix of Brute and Guerilla. The Blitzkrieg doctrine is offensively minded, and allows you access to Tiger I tanks and Stormtroopers. The Tiger I is a powerful heavy tank effective against both enemy infantry and armour, while Stormtroopers are essentially upgraded versions of Grenadiers which can be called in from any unoccupied building in friendly territory and can camouflage themselves to lay ambushes.
Terror Doctrine — Technical. A doctrine centered on psychological warfare and raw destructive power, most of the Terror Doctrine's abilities are focused on providing Status Buffs to your own units and debuffs to enemy units, as well as powerful artillery and V1 rocket strikes. However, it's probably best known for the ultimate Terror ability to build one King Tiger super-heavy tank, which is the single strongest unit in the whole game and capable of fending off two or even three Allied tanks single-handedly, but is slow, vulnerable if not properly supported by other Wehrmacht forces, and cannot be replaced if destroyed.
Panzer Elite — Ranger/Technical. A dizzying assortment of light vehicles forms the backbone of the Panzer Elite army, ranging from troop transports and scouts to tank-hunter half-tracks and self-propelled artillery pieces. The infantry are the cream of the crop of the German military, well-trained and armed to the teeth with the finest weapons the German war machine can produce, including the MP44, the FG42 and the Panzerschreck. The trade-off is a limited roster of armour and a complete lack of defensive structures, ensuring that the Panzer Elite is the army for anyone who believes that the best defence is a good offence.
Scorched Earth Tactics — Technical. Emphasising the cunning and occasionally underhanded tactics employed by Panzergrenadiers and SS during the closing stages of the war, this tactic adds a few area-denial options and dirty tricks including the ability to Booby Trap buildings and strategic points, as well as the ability to temporarily disable the latter, and the ability to construct impassable roadblocks ideal for funnelling enemy forces into kill-zones. Doesn't sound like much, but through this doctrine, the Panzer Elite can place limits on the opposing player's expansion and force them to spend precious time and resources consolidating what territorial gains he can make, giving you the momentum and putting them at a serious disadvantage. Also unlocks the Hummel, the Panzer Elite's only artillery piece. Scorched Earth Kettenkrads gain the ability to lay down Booby Traps.
Luftwaffe Tactics — Brute. This gives the Panzer Elite a lot of nifty new toys including an AA tank which shreds infantry and light vehicles, the dreaded Flak 88 (representing one of the few options for a Panzer Elite defensive structure), the elite Fallschirmjäger squads armed with deadly automatic weapons and able to be called in anywhere on the map, and of course, a bombing run from Henschel ground-attack aircraft. Luftwaffe Kettenkrads gain the ability to camouflage themselves, making them ideal for scouting and sneaky grabs at strategic points deep behind enemy lines.
Tank Destroyer Tactics — Unit Specialist, focusing on anti-armour weaponry. Truly an American Armor Company's worst nightmare, this doctrine gives almost every unit a plethora of armour-killing weapons, letting the Pazner Elite contend with armoured forces. Tank Destroyer Kettenkrads can perform field repairs, helping you keep your fleet of tank destroyers and half-tracks in continuous operation.
British Commonwealth — Balanced/Brute/Turtle. The British have a fairly versatile force, favouring neither infantry or armour, but an undeniable cornerstone of any British army is the creation and maintenance of a formidable "front line" of static defences, some of which are the cheapest and most powerful available to any faction. British troops don't gain Veterancy like the other factions, instead relying on "hero" units like the Lieutenant and the Captain to gather Veterancy on behalf of the troops around them and in turn grant them a Status Buff which lets them fight elite units on equal terms. Finally, the British base is made up of mobile command trucks which can move and deploy anywhere on the map, making them difficult to pin down. If the Panzer Elite say that the best defence is a good offence, the British beg to differ.
Royal Artillery Support — Technical. This support doctrine grants the British 25-Pounder howitzer defensive structure a number of new abilities, turning your 25-Pounder howitzers into some of the most powerful units on the field, and also grants the British their only mobile artillery piece, the M7 Priest.
Royal Commando Support — Guerilla. This support focuses on rapid deployment and covert operations, and adds offensive flavour to the otherwise very strongly defensive-natured British. Gliders can be called in to deploy squads of elite Commandos and even a light tank, the Tetrarch, anywhere on the map, who can then be made to strike at enemy buildings, capture points, ambush enemy units, or support advances by your regular forces. Commando Support also offers a few special misdirection and information gathering abilities.
Royal Engineers Support — Unit Specialist/Turtle, focusing on static defences. This support doctrine builds on what the British do best: hunker down and hold firm where other armies would shatter. It also allows the deployment of three different variants of the Churchill, a heavily-armoured British tank.
The Eastern Front mod adds the Soviets and the Ostheer. Mirroring the real life Red Army's development in the war, the Soviets are a rather weak Spammer faction in the game's initial stages but a Soviet player who manages to survive to the late-game will watch their force gradually transition into an Elitist/Spammer; their Doctrines are Propaganda War (infantry and artillery specialist), Urban War (Guerilla) and Breakthrough War (Brute/armour specialist). The Ostheer are much like the Eldar of Dawn of War: a Technical force comprising a number of fairly powerful specialist units which are highly effective in their element but painfully weak if caught out of place; their doctrines are Support Army Group (Technical in a subversive sense), Elite Army Group (Elitist) and Fortress Army Group (Technical in a defensive sense). The two factions play off each other in the style of Linear Ostheer, Quadratic Soviets.
Far East War mod brings in the National Revolutionary Army and Imperial Japanese Army into the mix, the Chinese NRA being a spam faction where the IJA are a more Elitist baseline.
Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, and Sisters Of Battle are the Balanced/Generalist. Chaos also incorporate guerrilla elements.
In the sequel, Space Marines are Elitist/Balanced while Chaos Space Marines are Elitist with a touch of Gimmick, as they rely heavily on their Cultist units to repair mechanical units, provide Worship effects or ranged support/melee whenever needed.
Imperial Guard: Ranger/Technical/Spammer. They have excellent ranged abilities, including by far the longest-ranged and otherwise best artillery in the game, and quite good mobility thanks to their tunneling ability. Technical in that they have some great special abilities, but their base units are very weak.
In the sequel, Imperial Guard are a primarily a Brute Force faction but with a mix of different qualities and several unique Gimmicks that would make them something of a Specialist.
Necrons: Brute; they use only one resource and gain a cumulating bonus in construction time in place of the other, lending to them a "rolling thunder" playstyle which has them start off pretty slow, but can become quite powerful in the late game.
Tau: Rangers, with some guerrilla elements.
Dark Eldar: Guerrilla/Ranger.
Tyranids: Spammers and Gimmick faction; small units get buffs when paired with big ones. Units have lower population costs.
Dwaves: Generalist/Industrial, and the only playable faction. In terms of combat and non-combat roles, they can do nearly any labor in the game, and have access to a variety of weapons, but no cavalry. Access to the best weapon-grade materials in the game, and able to engineer whatever insane mechanisms the player can devise.
Humans: Generalist, with a side order of Diplomat. Most likely to be friendly with the playable faction. On the military side, they're second-best in terms of metal usage, can use cavalry and a wide variety of weapons.
Elves: Ranger. Attitude problems aside, they tend to be friendly to dwarves unless the player provokes them. Wooden equipment makes them a joke in melee, but their wooden arrows are deadly. Also have access to a variety of exotic mounts that provide a few Elite troops.
Goblins: Spammer, with some additional Brute and Guerrilla units. One of the two Hardcoded Hostility factions, their thieves are tougher than kobolds but vulnerable to traps, and they'll eventually send ambushes and sieges. Their sieges are mostly cannon fodder with an assortment of equipment, and tend to break and run after a few casualties. Elite units in the form of exotic cavalry and Brutes in the form of trolls.
Kobolds: Guerilla, and a heaping helping of Pariah. The weakest faction in terms of size and military ability, only sending thieves and the occasional ambush. Their only redeeming quality is being naturally capable of avoiding traps.
Ardent Mages: Research/Technical. Their pain magic makes their warriors more effective when wounded, can out-research any other faction, and can activate temporary production boosters to increase the output of city tiles or power of nearby units.
Broken Lords: Elite/Economist. Expensive units with extreme combat prowess. They cannot regenerate health after combat and do not use food to grow population (as they're suits of Animated Armor), but can instantly heal after combat and build new citizens on demand with Dust, the game's currency. Their combat gimmick is a Life Drain power.
Cultists of the Eternal End: Spammer/Espionage. They have only one, well-built up city and have fairly weak units, but can convert minor races to join their cause and will then periodically receive free units.
Drakken: Generalist/Diplomat. They can force ceasefires on other players, ending wars. They have bonuses to influence production to make more comprehensive treaties, and have balanced units.
Roving Clans: Actual Pacifist Ranger/Economist. Their units are weak but extremely mobile and focus on hit-and-run tactics. Unmatched Dust production and they own the markets, giving them a cut of every transaction other empires make. They can hire mercenaries with twice the normal health and engage in False Flag Attacks as they cannot declare war (it's bad for business!).
Vaulters: Research/Loyal. Well defended scientific cities with a natural resistance to Auriga's collapsing climate.
Wild Walkers: Ranger/Industrial. Heavy focus on ranged attacks and get far more industrial output from forests than other empires.
Amoeba: Diplomat. Huge boosts to happiness, trade, and weapon power based on how many allies they have. Their ancient nature gives them knowledge of the galaxy right from the start of a game.
Automatons: Elite/Industrial/Loyal. Unmatched industrial prowess as they can use ships in orbit to aid construction, can build up vast planetary populations, and are naturally optimistic, at the cost of expensive maintenance and small fleets.
Horatio: Elite/Technical/Economist. Densely populated worlds and powerful Hero Unit bonuses, but expensive ships due to the Price of Beauty
Lumeris (ESII): Spammer/Balanced/Economist. As space mafiaso types cornering out the Dust market, they use Dust instead of influence when negotiating with minor factions. Rather than colonise planets, they can simply buy them immediately. Their warships are quite balanced but because of the huge economic bonuses they get, producing them in quantity isn't much issue.
Pilgrims: Loyal/Diplomat/Economist. They can trade with non-allied races, have naturally talented Hero Units, optimistic and loyal population and boosts to weapons when in an alliance, but have weak ships. Their Homeworld Evacuation ability lets them expand at astonishing speeds.
Riftborn (ESII): Balanced/Ranger/Generalist/Gimmick. As sentient time constructs from another dimension, the Riftborn don't need food and they can create Singularities which give a system a kind of bonus, making them quite versatile. Their ships have less health than other factions but lots of firepower, and their Carrier class is exceptionally good.
Sheredyn: Brute/Economist. Their special ability makes retreats enemy retreats impossible, they have extremely well armored ships and boosts to money production, but Honor Before Reason causes them to become unhappy if they break a deal and The Spartan Way makes luxury goods less effective.
Sophons: Research/Ranger. Huge science bonuses which are magnified when taxes are raised, fast ships and great sensors, but are pathetic combatants and unskilled laborers.
Sowers: Brute/Industrial. They can colonize any world without having to research it and can convert food into industry, but are poor researchers and have slow ships.
Umbral Choir (ESII): Espionage/Guerrilla/Gimmick. Starts with cloak, and can cloak anything, systems and behemoths included. Doesn't colonize like usual factions, instead utilize hacking to establish sanctuaries on colonizable planets, other factions' planet included, which feeds resources into their sole home system. Relies on installing sleepers on enemy systems and eventually kidnap them to make 2nd tier population. Assimilated minor factions don't give pops, but add their traits to Umbral pops.
Unfallen (ESII): Elitist/Economist/Pacifist. These gentle, beautiful tree people give and receive considerable bonuses from alliances and from being at peace with everybody, making them the best race in the game for peaceful, diplomatic games. Their ships are resilient but weak on the offence, and they can only colonise neighbouring systems due to how their Vines system works.
United Empire: Brute/Industrial/Economic. Strong ships, a massive boost to industry when their taxes are raised, and have a boost to money production.
Vaulters: Research/Loyal/Guerrilla (ESII). Very well defended planets with strong science produciton and can produce a Portal Network between their worlds, but have poor population growth. The 2nd game also gives them ability to become privateers right from the start instead of needing a Tier 4 military technology to unlock it.
Vodyani (ESII): Elitist/Technical/Loyalist/Gimmick. The Vodyani like on arkships rather than planets and their population grows slowly. Arkships are powerful as warships but exposing one to battle is always a risk, and their dedicated warships are highly specialised. They can secure a permanent alliance with a minor faction through brainwashing.
Beta: Balanced\Generalist\Ranger — the time-worn, lived-in spacefarers; well-balanced and able to create strong defenses while still able to meet the enemy with a strong offense at the same time.
Humans: Elitist\Technical\Unit Specialist\Turtle — the most advanced faction; specializing in the deployment of combined arms forces, each unit type playing on the strength of the others while counteracting their weaknesses. Rely a lot on defense.
Goo: Spammer\Brute\Guerrilla — relying on the tried-and-true Zerg Rush, the Goo is definitely one the most unconventional factions ever imagined. The Goo has no conventional infrastructure or economy, instead each new Goo unit is created by dividing larger Goo into smaller Goo at the cost of health points.
Heroes of Might and Magic: Despite the changes in towns from one game to another, the most famous factions tend to follow these rules.
Castle/Haven: Elitist in III, Balanced from IV onwards, with a strong focus on Life Magic. Their Knight predecessors in I and II were Spammer/Brute — less magic than the non-barbarian factions and relatively cheap units with few to no special abilities.
Necropolis: Spammer/Technical. Lower tier units tend to be weak but numerous (Skeletons especially), while higher tier units are frail but with killer abilities, like Vampires. In Heroes VI, they became Elitist/Technical, since Necromancy cannot create troops anymore.
Dungeon/Asylum: Elitist. Few powerful units, that always include the ever powerful Black Dragon. When the Dungeon is dark elf-themed (V and VI), it becomes Elitist/Guerrilla.
Stronghold: Brute. A bit of Spammer in III, since they can access their tier 7 creature earlier than other factions. In IV and V, their heroes can't use magic at all.
Tower/Academy: Technical. Weak units, powerful magic. A touch of Elitist in III — their upgraded tier 6 and 7 units are often considered the best of their respective tiers, but balanced by their slow growth and immense price.
Inferno: Their identity in III was not very well defined, mostly Balanced/Brute. V and onward made them a Spammer faction thanks to their Gating special, which lets them call in temporary reinforcements on mass.
H5 and 7 Fortress: Balanced/Game Breaker. Solid units, and access to normal magic and special rune magic.
Conflux: Spammer/Game Breaker. Phoenixes and Firebirds have double the growth of other tier 7s and are fairly cheap (balanced by being "weaker", but Conflux balance is a bit of a mess). Their tier 1, 2, and 6 are pretty good as well. Additionally, three of their units are immune to Fire magic - one of which being the fastest creature in the game (Phoenixes again) so if they get Armageddon, they can safely cast it every combat.
Sanctuary: Ranger, taking over for the absence of Sylvan in VI.
Homeworld series: the series tends to mix several kinds of factions into one... and what kind of faction each one looks like depends on the situation.
Bentusi — Game Breaker, only this time, they have a usable fighter unit.
Hiigarans — Generalist/Balanced, they are more effective when deploying a mixed force. While their ships have various particular rolls to fulfill, they also have more general applicability that lets them be flexible, and have a slightly higher typical durability, though also a slightly higher cost.
Vaygr — Generalist/Spammer/Specialist, they are most effective when deploying a mixed force designed around a primary unit, which tend to be smaller, cheaper, and faster on average than Hiigaran ships though with less durability and flexibility.
Master of Magic races (Note: Enemy Exchange Program is in full force, and other races' cities can be captured; additionally, the schools of magic you focus on and the spells you research can have more effect on how you play than your race — eg. almost anyone can be Elitist by focusing on summons or Technical by focusing on utility spells.)
High Men: Balanced/Generalist with Elitist/Technical tendencies
High Elves: Elitist/Ranger/Economist (mana)
Klackons: Brute Force/Loyal when the capital is Klackon/Economist/Industrialist. Pariah/Lethal Joke Faction due to poor loyalty of enslaved races and lacking research capability.
Lizardmen: Spammer/Ranger/Technical (swimmers). Pariah/Lethal Joke Faction due to lacking building and research capability (seeing a pattern?).
Nomads: Ranger/Economist (trade income bonus)
Orcs: Balanced/Generalist in theory. In practice, Spammer/Economist/Industrialist with a Master of None military, and generally a pariah as a starting race (but beloved as a slave race).
Beastmen: Generalist/Economist (mana generation)
Draconians: Elitist/Technical (flying units)/Economist (mana generation)
Dark Elves: Balancednote An odd example in that, because they're so Elite that even their cheap Spearmen are powerful early-game units, it's possible to play them as either a Spammer army or as classic Elitists/Ranger/Economist (mana generation).
Trolls: Extreme Brute Force/Elitist. They share the research and building weakness of the Pariah factions, but are considered a high-tier race due to raw power alone.
Human Mercenaries: Balanced/Ranger. The Humans have troops with moderate stats across the board and access to a generously varied arsenal of weapons and armour, and by far the most expansive armoury of ranged weapons: longbows, handguns, blunderbusses, long rifles, hell even their dedicated melee fighters can use pistols and crossbows as secondary weapons. Marksmen are the best non-Hero ranged troops in the whole game, and with the magical support of their Warlock and the raw power of their Ogre Mercenary Legendary unit, they can be a potent force despite their modest stats. They don't quite excel in any particular area like the other factions do however, and their ranged game is certainly stronger than their melee.
Skaven: Guerilla. Skaven units invariably have lots of movement and attack points, letting them run far and attack several times a turn. They also have the best climbing and jumping skills, letting them easily navigate alternate paths and flank enemies. However, they also have by far the lowest HP, so they die easily and they have the lowest morale too, so they rout quickly after only a few casualties. With the Skaven, you need to learn how to duck and weave around buildings, striking at isolated individuals and avoiding large battles in the streets or being targeted by skirmishers in the open. Their Legendary unit, the Rat Ogre, is extremely powerful but difficult to control.
Sisters of Sigmar: Brute. Between their high HP, heavy armour, excellent morale and ability to cast all sorts of nasty buffing and support spells to make them even more killy in melee, these Magic Knight ladies will just stroll up to your guys and bludgeon them to death with massive hammers and maces while laughing off everything you hit them with. Fortunately they're slow as molasses, not very mobile and often screwed if their opponent blocks their movement, employs hit 'n' run tactics, or catches them in a killzone. The Sisters are effectively a Crutch Character: powerful individually, but limited by design to simple tactics that would get the other factions killed quickly.
Cult of the Possessed: Technical/Gimmick. Cult troops have great offence, above-average mobility, spellcasting ability, and the potential to gain various random Chaos mutations which can either grant exceptionally powerful bonuses to your troops, or leave them crippled and ineffective (for example, a mutation that replaces your arm with a Blade Below the Shoulder can manifest on your top melee fighter, or your top archer and thus leave him unable to hold bows any more). Unfortunately, their leader is a Squishy Wizard who starts out with one weak spell and can't hold his own in melee, and their entry-level troops all invariably have terrible defence. The Cult are Difficult, but Awesome, potentially very powerful but unpredictable and at times counter-intuitive.
Witch Hunters: Balanced/Brute. A more close-combat oriented, Glass Cannon take on the Mercenaries faction, with plenty of units defined by their superb striking power in melee. Flagellants cannot wear armour but they are fearless and with their hefty two-handed weapons they can crump most henchmen in only two hits. Their Legendary unit, the Executioner, is the frailest of the game but offensively one of the most powerful, able to set enemies on fire and equip nearly any melee weapon. Their Heroes are more balanced, competent at range or in melee without really excelling at either.
The Undead: Brute/Gimmick. The Undead feature units with high strength and fearless, with very weak troops but extremely deadly Hero units. Their Heroes are often as powerful as the Legendary units of other factions, capable of causing fear or terror while being immune to fear themselves. Meanwhile, their Zombies are expendable (they don't dent morale when they die) but they're limited to one-handed weapons, slow-moving and very likely to die permanently if they fall in battle. Only the powerful leaders can wear armour or use ranged weapons, so in a protracted battle the Undead can expect heavy casualties. Mechanically unusual, the Undead need the most planning to use.
Pirates/Outlanders: Balanced/Generalist. They come with moderate numbers. They usually use modern guns, but some of them use melee weapons.
Tribes: Spammer. They are very numerous, but they can only use neolithic weapons like bows, clubs or spears. Most of them don't wear armor.
Mechanoids: Elitist/Specialist. They have thick armor and advanced weaponry like charge lance or minigun, but they usually come with small numbers. Mechanoid faction has three units, and they distinctly have advantages and weaknesses.
Spartan Federation — Elitist/Brute — those morale bonuses stack up quickly.
Gaia's Stepdaughters — Gimmick (planet empathy), with a splash of Technical thanks to their inherent combat penalties.
Lord's Believers — Brute/Espionage.
University of Planet — Researchers
Morgan Industries — Economists
Peacekeeping Forces — Diplomats/Loyal/Generalist. Interestingly, the "Diplomat" aspect still works in multiplayer, since the way it manifests (as a bonus in votes for Planetary Governornote Giving the power to propose resolutions and Supreme Leadernote The condition for diplomatic victory) doesnt affect ordinary day-to-day diplomacy.
Human Hive — Spammers/Industrial/Loyal
Cybernetic Consciousness — Researchers/Gimmick (stealing tech through offensive war)
Data Angels — Espionage
Free Drones — Spammers/Industrial/Loyal
Cult of Planet — Gimmick/brute force (militant planet empathy). Considered to be a pariah faction, thanks to serious infrastructure building disadvantages.
Nautilus Pirates — Balanced/Gimmick (naval power). Often considered a Game-Breaker, due to the advantages of early sea bases.
Manifold Caretakers — Gimmick/Brute (Aliens with defence/ecological bonus), with a tendency to be Game Breakers in multiplayer.
Manifold Usurpers — Gimmick/Brute (Aliens with offence/growth bonus), with a tendency to be Game Breakers in multiplayer.
Among Co-op Commanders, Raynor is Spammer/Ranger/Generalist, Swann is Elitist/Turtle, Nova is Elitist/Guerilla/Technical, Han and Horner are Spammer (Han's units)/Elitist (Horner's units)/Unit Specialist (on air force), Tychus is ELITIST/Technical/Gimmick and Mengsk is Spammer (Troopers)/Elitist (Elite Guard)/Economical
Zerg — Guerrilla/Spammer
Among Co-op Commanders, Kerrigan and Abathur are both Balanced/Generalist (and Gimmick for Abathur), Zagara is Spammer/Brute/Unit Specialist (ground attacks only ground, air attacks only air), Stukov is SPAMMER/Brute/Generalist, Dehaka is Elitist/Gimmick and Stetmann is Spammer/Technical/Gimmick/Pariah (Stetelites are not exactly popular).
Protoss — Brute/Elitist/Technical.
Among Co-op Commanders, Artanis is Balanced/Brute, Vorazun is Elitist/Guerilla/Technical, Karax is Elitist/Industrial/Turtle, Alarak is Spammer/Technical, Fenix is Elitist/Technical/Gimmick, and Zeratul is Elitist/Game Breaker.
United Federation Of Planets: Balanced/Generalist with some elements of Technical. All factions rely pretty extensively on special abilities, but Federation ships mostly have abilities that are consistently useful throughout the game throughout every tier.
Klingon Empire: Brute, also Pariah in that they can commandeer enemy ships more easily than other factions.
Romulan Star Empire: Guerrilla/Technical. Their ships have the least hull and only average weapons, but ALL their ships can cloak, and they are the only faction that has a method of being able to use weapons while cloaked. They also have some of the most potent special abilities in the game when used correctly.
Cardassian Union: Mostly Balanced/Generalist with some minor elements of Guerrilla and Technical.
Borg: Starts out as Spammer, then makes an unusual switch to Elite bordering on game-breaker. Their lower tier units are pretty weak and expendable, but their higher tier ships are some of the toughest in the game and are much more powerful than their equivalents on the other factions. Tactical Fusion Cubes are extremely powerful, but their expensive and slow speed somewhat compensate for their sheer power. The game-breaking part is when Borg Diamonds (spellcasters) and transwarp hubs (think stargates) enter the fray, and suddenly the tactical fusion cubes become capable of raiding any point on the map instantly (transwarp hub) and while being invunerable (borg diamond spell "shield re-modulation").
Species 8472: Elite/Brute Force with a twist of Economist; while other factions need particular resources to build their ships (Klingons in particular will hurt pretty bad if they don't get their hands on significant amounts of Latinum) Species 8472 will take ANY resource and convert it into Bio-Matter, the only major resource they need.
Galactic Empire — Brute/Spammer: In space battles, capital ships can replace destroyed TIE squadrons as long as that ship survives battle. AT-AT's are powerful and can produce Stormtroopers.
Rebel Alliance — Balanced/Guerrilla: Can preform raids with a small detachments to cause trouble on Imperial worlds. And can steal data to purchase better units by using C-3PO and R2-D2.
Zann Consortium — Elite/Technical/Gimmick: Powerful units with nasty surprises while corrupting worlds. Corruption allows for many purposes from black markets for purchasing upgrades to sending out slaves to fight. Arguably a Game Breaker.
Warlords Battlecry: As of Battlecry 3. It should be noted that heroes can change their factions' gameplay significantly, and all sides can be considered Brute Force when they get dragons and titans. The listed types are the basic faction styles that are seen for most of the game.
Humans — Generalist/Elitist, and a huge Pariah (due to having almost no anti-air defense), prior to being split into two in WBC3. Since their split:
Empire — Balanced/Diplomat (Can recruit other races' units.)
Knights — Elitist/Specialist (Cavalry)
Barbarians — Spammer/Ranger
High Elves — Balanced/Ranger
Wood Elves — Guerilla/Ranger
Dwarves — Elitist
Daemons — Elitist/Brute
Fey — Spammer/Ranger with elements of Elitist (Units start out very weak but inexpensive and fast, then become very strong once fully upgraded.)
Orcs — Brute/Spammer with elements of Technical
Minotaurs — Brute/Elitist, were originally a Pariah before finally getting reliable anti-air defense in WBC3.
Dark Elves — Guerilla/Technical
Dark Dwarves — Brute/Specialist (Siege Weapons) with elements of Spammer (Thanks to firebombs) and Elitist (with golems)
Undead — Spammer/Elitist (Units upgrade to stronger units allowing them to get high tier units with zero build time, but at high cost.)