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Video Game / Steel Division Normandy 44

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Steel Division: Normandy 44 is a Real-Time Strategy game set on the Western Front of World War II, developed by Eugen Systems and published by Paradox Interactive. Building upon the core gameplay of their earlier Wargame entries (such as Wargame: Red Dragon), Normandy 44 works in much the same way; players build 'decks' (or 'battlegroups', in this version) using historical military units (such as the 3rd Armored or 101st Airborne for the US) and then go head to head with other players or AIs in a battle for control over battlefields based off World War 2 aerial reconnaissance photographs.

Unlike Red Dragon, however, Normandy 44 eschews the notion of fixed command zones, with point scoring based on overall battlefield control based on the shifting frontlines of battle. Units project an aura of battlefield control around themselves that waxes and wanes based on their morale and comparitive force strengths; recon and airborne units have a lesser effect on field control, but also are less effected by it in turn, and units without commanders nearby are liable to surrender if trapped behind enemy lines for extended periods. Units that are pinned down or retreating have almost no effect on the frontline whatsoever.


It also adds a 'phase' system, limiting the kinds of units that can be deployed and adjusting point gain based on chosen division and current phase. The game begins in Phase A 'Combat Recon', progressing to Phase B 'Skirmish' and Phase C 'Battle' at set intervals. Initially, only the fastest and lightest units are available, with the big bruiser tanks, heavy bombers, serious artillery pieces, and similar hardware not arriving until Phase B or C. Airborne decks especially excel at rapid deployment and offensive maneuvering in Phase A, but tend to falter later on as they lack the big guns to keep up.

For better or worse, it also dials back a little of the complexity of its predecessors, opting for smaller-scale battlefields, reduced unit counts, simplified unit health systems, fewer battlegroup specializations (now merely Infantry, Mechanized, Armored, and Airborne - removing Support, Motorized, and Marines) and no requirement of managing vehicle fuel supply (though ammunition is still a concern).


Steel Division II has been anouced with the action shifting to the Eastern Front, the game is based on Operation Bagration, the massive Soviet offensive that pierced the German line.

This game contains examples of:

  • Ace Pilot: A few of the Aces that appear in the game are pilots. Many of the other ones are tank aces.
  • Action Girl: Some of the French Resistance units have one or two female operatives in them.
  • Anti-Air: Of course. This being World War II, it's all gun-based, from quad-.50cal halftracks all the way up to towed 88mm FlaK cannons. Unlike most examples, ground-based AA is mostly intended to deter and demoralize enemy aircraft, forcing them to withdraw; if you really want to shoot enemy aircraft down, you want to use fighters. Of course if there's no enemy aircraft to shoot at, then they're all quite effective at engaging infantry as well - or tanks, in the case of the 88.
    • Any unit with a pintle-mounted .50cal machinegun (i.e. basically anything American, particularly Shermans) can also fire on low-flying aircraft, even if it's not a dedicated anti-air unit. That said, it won't do much more than vaguely irritate most planes barring a lucky Critical Hit.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: The only reliable counter to armored units is anti-armor weapons, indicated by a yellow circle with the weapon's firepower value inside of it (or, for infantry, simply an 'armor buster' symbol). In order to have even a reasonable hope of scoring a killing blow, the weapon's AT firepower needs to exceed the target's armor value; the greater the margin, the better the chance of an instant kill. The effectiveness of most AT guns increases the closer the target is, so it's often worth waiting until a 'high value' target is almost on top of your guns in order to guarantee a hit and kill.
    • Infantry units, when armed with AT weapons at all, have very limited range - but a cheap and stealthy two-man Panzerschreck or Bazooka team can quickly pay for itself five or more times over by scoring a flank hit on a superheavy tank. The AI makes very effective use of them, accordingly.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Rarely, the AI can be observed ordering rocket strikes on empty hedgerows, bombing blank patches of land, and even strafing rivers with its fighters. This can happen even if no potential targets were ever at that position. It also seems to have a few problems with correctly using mortar carrier vehicles, though it can use infantry mortars and other kinds of artillery just fine.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The superheavy Jagdpanther, Sherman Jumbo, and King Tiger have monstrous frontal armour. The best way to kill them is a side, rear, or top (via artillery or bomb) hit. Their frontal armour is almost impenetrable in most cases.
    • Attacking from the rear is usually the best option. Not only do most tanks have their weakest armour in the rear, but in the cases where the shot hits but fails to penetrate, a hit to the rear is more likely (45% chance) to cause a negative effect (stunning the crew, injuring the gunner, etc.) than a non-penetrating shot to the sides (30% chance), and a non-penetrating shot to the sides is more likely to cause a negative effect than one to the front (15% chance).
    • Even in cases where you can penetrate the front armour, it's better to aim for the sides and rear. Penetrating shots to the sides and rear are more likely (85% chance) to destroy a vehicle than penetrating shots to the front (75% chance).
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Jagdpanthers and King Tigers especially. They have the toughest armour and most powerful guns in the game, but offset this by being outrageously expensive; each costs as much as two to three times as much as lesser tanks, and a good three or four minutes of income to purchase. And all it takes is one lucky hit to end them.
  • Bilingual Bonus: As with Red Dragon, units speak their native language(s); Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe units speak German, Leclerc's Free French speak French, and so on.
    • Osttruppen—Soviet prisoners of war fighting for the Wehrmacht—speak Russian, as do the ROA-Russian defectors who fight for the Wehrmacht, and the Free French Rallies-Osttruppen soldiers who deserted to fight for the French.
    • While they normally speak English with Anglo-Canadian accents, some Canadian units will sometimes speak French.
  • Cannon Fodder: Certain Axis divisions have access to Osttruppen (foreign conscripts and volunteers), Ersatztruppen (reserves), Luftwaffe troopsnote , and Kriegsmarine Marineinfanterienote , which are only available at the lowest possible rank. To complicate matters, they also take more morale damage from enemy fire, and are more likely to be pinned down or even flee as a result. They also have the Bewährungstruppennote . They are the largest infantry unit in the game, and they also don't have the morale penalty most of the other cannon fodder do and start at veterancy 1, since they are well trained and get their sentences annulled if they survive whatever suicide mission they are sent on, which is preferable to rotting in prison or being executed.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Mostly averted, although the AI occasionally has an uncanny knowledge of unit positions and whether they've moved or not. If it knows where a unit was, but that unit moves at some point, it won't try to bomb their position - even if it has no way of knowing that unit has moved.
  • Cold Sniper: Or Friendly Sniper, depending on whether they are on your side or not. Several recon teams are armed with sniper rifles, which can usually one hit kill most infantry and field gun crewmembers. A properly managed sniper team can help clear out anti-tank and anti-air positions that have halted your advance. Canada has an Ace sniper, Leo Major.
  • Crippling Overspecialization:
    • The British and Commonwealth anti-tank field guns (and the American 57mm AT field gun) have no high-explosive shells available, making them reliant on friendly units for anti-infantry support. Compare this to the Axis' equivalent guns, which often have at least some high-explosive shells at their disposal. Averted by the American 75mm anti-tank field gun and all the Allied tank destroyers and self-propelled anti-tank guns, which do carry HE shells (and almost all of the self-propelled anti-tank guns also have at least one machine gun).
      • Despite all of the Commonwealth anti-tank field guns falling under this, their 25-pounder howitzer, both in field gun form and in Sexton form, avert this, having both HE shells and AT shells, and their AT shells are actually fairly effective, having a higher armour penetration than the average Sherman or light anti-tank gun.
    • Most of the infantry sections that specialise in close range fighting, like the Canadian Stormtroopers, the 1st SSB Commando Assault teams, and the German Strosstrup and SS-Strosstrup. Almost all of them are armed with nothing but submachine guns, smoke grenades, and satchel charges, which have the lowest possible range of any weapon in the game, meaning they need to be micromanaged to get close to any foe without being pinned down and wiped out. To make matters worse, almost all of them are smaller than your average infantry squad, making them easier to wipe out.
      • The Strosstrup have it the worst. While the SS-Strosstrup have the Panzerfaust for anti-tank defence, and the satchel charges carried by the Allied sections are powerful enough to knock out or even destroy light and medium tanks at close range, the Strosstrup only have submachine guns and smoke grenades. If they meet a vehicle with any sort of armour, and they don't have outside support, they have to run for it, regardless of range.
    • Most of the two or three man scout teams. Almost always armed with just submachine guns, and with only two members, they will get wiped out if they run into anything but another two man team. A few do avert this, like the Ranger Marauders, who carry a bazooka and as such make a decent anti-tank team, or the Canadian Sniper Scouts, the British Airborne Sniper, and the French SAS Sniper, who are highly effective against infantry and field guns if used properly.
  • Critical Hit: Whilst anti-tank weapons are your best bet against tanks, it's not impossible to kill them with high-explosive attacks. All it can take is one lucky light bomb to the top of a King Tiger and several minutes worth of income has suddenly turned into a flaming wreck.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: While most modern units in Red Dragon could fire on the move (albeit inaccurately), Normandy 44 takes place at the peak of World War II, and as such most armored units don't have proper gun stabilizers. Vehicles will only be able to fire their machineguns whilst on the move as a result.
  • Easy Logistics: Even easier than before. The primary purpose of supply vehicles is to resupply ammunition. Fuel is not considered, and you cannot replenish infantry unit fighting strength any more. They can also tow field guns (like 76mm AT guns, Nebelwerfers, or 105mm Howitzers) though, which is quite handy since all unarmed transport units despawn after unloading to prevent players from using them as disposable scouts or meat shields.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Leo Major, the Canadian Ace Sniper Scout, is shown wearing one, just like in real life.
  • Fighting Irish: The Desert Rats have access to recon Stuarts and Cromwells from the King's Royal Irish Hussars. They are just as effective in combat as the non-recon variant, if not more effective, with the main difference being that they have far better optics (meaning they will usually engage enemies before the non-recon versions would) and a unique voice actor who speaks with an Irish accent and sometimes declares "That one was for Ireland!" when they get a kill.
  • Garrisonable Structures: As with earlier entries there are buildings around the battlefield that can be occupied (though their definitions of 'building' are somewhat loose), but in Normandy 44 these structures can be flattened and rendered entirely useless to infantry (except for acting as a line-of-sight break) instead of just cosmetically ruined. This makes defensive play a lot harder in the face of artillery being able to tear down your shelter.
  • Glass Cannon: Most of the Allied tank destroyers, the American M10 in particular. Also available to France, Britain, and Canada, the M10 has a pretty punchy and fairly accurate 76.2mm M7 gun, but subpar armor. The British Tetrarch Little John and Daimler Little John are also good examples, having a high-velocity, low-caliber gun that is punchy but short-ranged, on a very small and fragile chassis.
  • Kill It with Fire: Naturally, incendiary weapons feature, in three main forms; flamethrowers, rockets, and bombs. Flamethrowers are carted about by infantry or vehicles (notably the Churchill Crocodile, a heavily-armoured flame tank), incendiary rockets are either artillery or aircraft based and entirely restricted to the Axis in both cases, and incendiary bombs are exceptionally rare; possibly the only instance of them in use is with the Mosquito Pathfinder, a heavy incendiary bomber available to the Red Devils in Phase A and the Desert Rats in Phase B.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Available to both sides, thanks to the Sherman Calliope, the entertainingly-named Xylophone (essentially an obscure American version of the infamous Katyusha), various flavors of Nebelwerfer (both towed and vehicle-mounted), rocket fighters on both sides, and so on.
  • Mighty Glacier: The King Tiger in particlar, and Churchill variants to a lesser extent. The King Tiger is capable of flattening most other tanks in a single shot, whilst the Churchills are slow-moving infantry support tanks with fairly heavy armour. The Churchill AVRE uses a snubnose high-caliber petard gun to fire giant high-explosive shells at those unfortunate enough to get within its extremely limited range.
  • Multi National Team: Both sides count as this:
    • The Allies, obviously, have armies from multiple countries, though several individual armies feature units from multiple countries:
      • The Demi-Brigade SAS features the Free French, Jedburgh unitsnote , Eastern European Ostruppen defectors, air support provided by both the RAF and the USAAF, and American troops who act as reinforcements in the third wave.
      • The 2e Blindée contains units from La Nueve, Spanish Republicans who are veterans of the Spanish Civil War, who fled after Franco's victory, many of them heading to France, before being exiled again by the Vichy government, leading to them joining the Free French.
      • The 1st SSB, while primarily British, also contains French Marine Commandos.
    • The Germans feature various units recruited from collaborators, allies, "allies", and even some Russians from the Eastern Front (some of whom are actually there willingly). Unlike the Allies, many of their non-German units really don't want to be there, with many having lower moral than the average units. This is so common that some of the foreign units made up of actual willing volunteers (primarily Italian) are called Freiwillige, which is German for "Voluntary"note 
  • No Kill Like Overkill: A valid (if sometimes impractical) counter to the Wehrmacht's heavy tanks is to flatten them under several hundred kilos of high-explosive bombs. Also, the main gun on Jagdpanthers and King Tigers is overkill on pretty much every allied vehicle except for maybe the M4A3E2 "Jumbo" Sherman. The Churchill AVRE also takes this approach to enemy armor, being quite capable of knocking out anything foolish enough to get into range thanks to the 30-kilo high-explosive shells used by its main gun.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: Both French brigades have access to at least one FFInote  unit, who are almost all dressed in civilian clothes with armbands as uniforms.
    • The 2e Blindée also have Spahis, who wear a modified uniform with a unique Nice Hat.
    • The Demi-Brigade SAS takes this Up to Eleven, with even more French Resistance units, some of whom are wearing German helmets with FFI painted on the sides, FFI Rallies, who are non-German Wehrmarcht soldiers who defected to the Allies and are still wearing their old uniforms, just with Free French armbands, the actual Free French SAS commandos, who wear British uniforms with slight modifications (primarily having some unique cool hats), and, in Phase C, they gain a bunch of American soldiers.
  • Nonindicative Name:
    • The Airborne trait does not indicate that a unit can be deployed via parachute or glider (no unit can), or even that the unit comes from an airborne unit (though many do). For example, many of the 1st SSB commando units have the trait, even though they landed on the beaches instead of being deployed by air. Instead, it indicates that a unit is able to fight when surrounded and cut-off without any penalties or risk of immediately surrendering.
    • The 17. SS Panzergrenadier division, which is classified as a mechanised infantry division in game. Mechanized infantry means that the infantry is mounted in armoured personnel carriers, IFVs, etc.note  Outside of a handful of two-man scout teams, none of their infantry are in armoured vehicles. They all ride in unarmoured trucks and schwimwagens. Many of the regular infantry divisions in the game have more mechanized, and the only other (designated) mechanized infantry division in the game, the 3rd Canadian Infantry, has tons of infantry in APCs and armoured trucks.
    • Similarly, the Demi-Brigade SAS, despite being designated an airborne division, is primarily made up of non-airborne units during the first and third waves, which vastly outnumber the airborne units of the second wave. Compare the 3. Fallschimjaeger, where every infantry unit in the first wave is airborne, as are most in the second, and the majority of their support, anti-tank, anti-air, and artillery units in the first wave are also airborne (with the other Allied airborne units being in a similar situation, making the Demi-Brigade stick out like a sore thumb).
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: All vehicles, technically speaking. Health isn't tracked strictly (unlike Red Dragon, where all units had a fixed number of hit points, most often 10 but sometimes higher for certain infantry units, planes, or boats) and any hit that penetrates can potentially kill a vehicle outright if it rolls the right Status Effect (e.g. magazine explosion). Vehicle crews can also panic and bail out sometimes, which is effectively the same as it being destroyed.
  • Rare Vehicles: In keeping with Eugen tradition, you can expect to see all kinds of rare vehicles in the lineups. The game even includes the (Dummied Out) Sherman "Skink", a quad-20mm armed AA variant used by the Canadians; only 3 were ever produced (with 4 more turret kits unused) and they all saw use against entrenched infantry, not aircraft.
    • For some reason, the Canadians have access to a single, regular Ram II. While the Ram Kangaroo and Ram II OP make perfect sense, since they did see frontline service, no regular Ram I or II ever served on the frontlinesnote , being regulated to serve as training tanks to free up more Shermans and to help standardize the tanks used on the front.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Planes don't just magically disappear if they got shot down. If a plane is shot down and crashes on or near a ground unit, it will panic and possibly damage the unit.
    • Anti-Air guns are just as effective against infantry and light armoured vehicles as they are against aircraft.
    • It doesn't matter if their tank is heavily armoured enough to ignore an enemy attack, being shot at and hit is nerve-wracking. Being shot at a lot is terrifying. Heavy tanks will retreat if they come under heavy enough fire, regardless of how effective it is. Even beyond that, just because something can't/ penetrate the tank's armour doesn't mean it can't stun the crew or damage the tracks.
    • Conscripting POWs to fight nations allied with their homeland is not a good idea. The Ostruppen in the game consist units fighting for the Germans who have extremely low morale, and units who deserted and are fighting for the Allies again, primarily for the Free French, who not only have normal morale, but tend to be more experienced than the French Resistance units and are well equipped with the weapons they took from the Germans when they deserted.
    • The US has significantly more manpower available than any other nation depicted in the game. As such, where the average rifle unit for almost all the other countries consists of ten soldiers, the US Rifles, Airborne Rifles, Assault Teams, and Glider Rifles all have twelve soldiers. And while other nations infantry command sections usually consist of four soldiers, the US Rifle Leaders and Glider Leaders consist of ten.
    • While some other games tend to depict anti-tank soldiers as only carrying their anti-tank weapon, here they will carry another weapon, be it a submachine gun, a carbine, or a rifle, meaning they can fight infantry just as well as the next soldier.
  • Remember the Alamo:
    • Some Canadian infantry units will comment "Remember Dieppe!" when given ordersExplanation 
      • An inversion of sorts also shows up, with some Canadian armoured units remarking "Let's remind Jerry of Passchendaele", a series of battles during the First World War in which the Canadian Corps was quite successful against the Germans, holding off and pinning down a large number of German forces and being the ones to finally capture Passchendaele itself.
    • The Desert Rats King's Royal Irish Hussars units will sometimes say "Remember Belfast"Explanation 
  • Selective Historical Armoury: Like many games, the Grease Gun barely appears, with almost every American submachine gun being a Thompson. Only a single unit, the 4th Armored's Cavalry Scouts, use it, and they weren't in the base game.
    • For the most part, however, this is averted. German Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine conscripts are shown using the old MP 28 and MG 15, as well as some captured French machine guns, Ostruppen (both German and the ones who deserted to the French) use a mixture of German and captured Russian equipmentnote , Italian units use their own weapons, French resistance units use a mixture of American, British, French, and German equipment and vehicles, many of the German divisions have access to old French tanks captured at the beginning of the war, the Canadian stormtroopers use both Sten guns and MP 40s, and the British commandos of the 1st SSB make use of the Sten, the Thompson, and the Lanchester submachine guns, as well as both the Bren and the Vickers K gun. They even have the Morris LRC, which carries a Boys anti-tank rifle.
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: In full force, though less egregious due to lower technology levels (especially the lack of guided missiles) in World War II. Most tanks and anti-tank guns are limited to either 1,000 or 1,200 meter ranges (with very little deviation), and the longest-ranged on-map artillery caps out at 4,000m. Other artillery units are locked to increments of 400 meters for maximum range.
    • Inverted with grenades. In real life, your average soldier can throw a hand grenade between 20 and 35 meters. In game, the range for all grenades and thrown explosives is 100 meters. Even the Geballte Ladung, which could weigh over a kilogram.
    • As with Red Dragon, aircraft speeds are fixed and they seem incapable of adjusting throttle at all.
  • Simple, yet Awesome:
    • While the usefulness of heavy bombers was up for debate in Wargame, here they are extremely useful. Even beyond payload, many of the heavy bomber models are some of the most resilient planes available, meaning they can survive longer under fire and are harder to force into retreat, increasing their chances of dropping their payload in situations with heavy enemy AA fire. The heavier payloads allow them to take out or panic stronger targets, including the King Tiger, the tank with armour so heavy that no Allied AT-gun can penetrate its frontal armour at long range. There's nothing quite like the feeling of knocking a King Tiger out before it even has a chance to engage your armour.
    • Smoke rounds. Learning how to use them can mean the difference between your troops or tanks being picked off at long range or them managing to get in range and take out the enemy.
  • Smoke Out: Smoke can be deployed to obscure line of sight, either to cover an advance or a retreat. Most of the time you see it in use it'll be fired from artillery, but if a command squad lacks an anti-tank weapon then there's pretty good odds it has smoke grenades. Recon units and certain elite infantry have them too. Oddly, the 2e Blindée also has smoke bombers at their disposal.
  • Sigil Spam: While most of the sides will have some form of identification on their vehicles, the FFI units of the Demi-Brigade SAS take this to Up to Eleven, with French tricolours and the Cross of Lorraine painted everywhere, and almost all of their infantry wear red, white, and blue armbands with the Cross of Lorraine on it. Justified, since a fair number of their vehicles are stolen from the Germans, so they do it to avoid friendly fire, and they don't have the resources to make proper uniforms, so the armbands are necessary to avoid breaking the Geneva Conventionsnote , and, in the case of the below mentioned Rallies, avoid friendly fire.
  • Status Effect: The primary form of non-fatal damage inflicted to vehicles comes in the form of status effects, such as crew injuries or knockouts (e.g. the driver is unconcious, so the vehicle is immobilized for a few seconds). Many are temporary, but others can be permanent; a tank with a destroyed engine or thrown track is stuck for good, whilst suffering damage to the transmission will permanently reduce its movement speed.
  • Stealth Pun: When ordered to move, recon tanks from the King's Royal Irish Hussars will sometimes respond by asking "Which hills, and how far?".
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: The Free French Rallies available to the Demi-Brigade SAS. They're non-German Wehrmarcht defectors, all of whom are still wearing their old uniforms (and for the most part, using their old weapons and vehicles).note 
  • Straight for the Commander: Essential, as command units confer various bonuses on nearby allies. Firstly, they increase veterancy by 1 rank, which improves weapon accuracy. Secondly, units under their command take half as much suppression damage (in effect taking twice as long to panic). Thirdly, units under their command will not surrender until the Commander dies, even if trapped behind enemy lines. Eliminating enemy commanders is essential to stopping advances and breaking through defenses.
  • Tank Goodness: In full force, considering the period, with everything from pocket, glider-deployed Tetrarch tanks to superheavy King Tigers.
  • Target Spotter: Artillery units come in four types; mortars, guns, rockets, and observers. Unlike other artillery units, observers have fairly short range (approx. 1km) and mark coordinates for off-map artillery. This ranges from already fairly high-caliber gun batteries all the way up to offshore naval bombardment (for the Allies) or railway guns (for the Axis).
    • The 16. Luftwaffe are unique in that they have access to airplanes that act as artillery spotters for off map batteries (Pretty much every faction has access to recon planes, but their recon planes don't have off-map batteries)
  • Urban Warfare: Whilst there aren't any super-dense city maps (yet), almost every single map includes at least one reasonably-sized small town or large village that is bound to become a point of conflict and/or utterly levelled by the end of the match.
  • Veteran Unit: Compared to Red Dragon, Normandy 44 has only 4 levels of veterancy (ranging from 0 to 3 stars), and unit veterancy can't permanently increase from combat experience. However, command units now increase the veterancy of nearby friendly units by 1. Simply having a squad of command infantry jogging alongside your tanks can make them that much deadlier.
    • There's also Aces, based on famous individuals such as Panzer Ace Kurt Knispel; unique units that have very high veterancy levels and gold-bordered icons. They're otherwise fairly unremarkable aside from their high veterancy though.
  • Videogame Flamethrowers Suck: Thoroughly averted, even compared to Red Dragon. Whilst they do have very short ranges, flame units are absolutely devastating in terms of physical and morale damage; any unit that survives is going to be running for the hills in short order. Incendiary bombs and rockets are the fastest way to stop an infantry Zerg Rush cold, and incendaries in general are devastating in towns.
    • However, infantry flamethrowers fall under Difficult, but Awesome. They usually only have a range of 100 metres, the shortest range possible, and as such need to be micromanaged and given proper support in order to actually reach their targets, especially the flamethrower support teams, which usually consist of only two people. Vehicular flamethrowers are far easier to use, both due to being tougher and due to having longer ranges.
    • Special mention goes to the British Crocodile; Take a Churchill VII, let it keep its fairly effective main gun and its armour (which is amoung the best on the Allied side), allowing it to fight toe-to-toe with most Axis armour, and both of its fairly good machine guns... then give it a flamethrower, meaning you now have a well armoured tank that can go toe-to-toe with most of the Axis armour, and massacre any infantry or light vehicles that are dumb enough to get close to it. Said flamethrower and machineguns both have better range than Panzerschrecks and Panzerfausts, making it quite effective against anyone who is relying primarily on anti-tank infantry. In fact, it's actually the best heavy tank that the Scots have.
    • The Desert Rats Field Engineers also deserve a mention. While the squad itself is a fairly standard flamethrower team, their transport is unique amongst them: They ride in Wasps, Universal Carriers equipped with flamethrowers, meaning you get two flamethrowers for every Field Engineer team you bring in.

The individual divisions contain examples of:

  • Brits with Battleships:
    • Guards Armored, with all the Cromwells a commander could ever ask for. Their Sherman Fireflies and Achilles M10 variants will also make those heavy German tanks think twice. While their tanks lack in experience and armor, they compensate for it in numbers and relatively good speed.
    • "Red Devils" 6th Airborne, formidable on offense and defense thanks to their napalm-dropping bombers in Phase A. Aside from having some of the most experienced infantry for the Allies, they also have a stolen German PaK AT gun giving them some serious Phase A anti-tank power, at the cost of only getting one.
    • 15th Infantry (Scots), with the AVRE and Crocodile, are a force to be reckoned with, both on offense and defense. Their tanks are inexperienced, slow, and well-armoured Churchills, backed up by Challengers. Unfortunately they lack truly heavy bomber support, but they can field a fair number of heavy artillery guns to make up for it. All of this is focussed around supporting their infantry, with tactics that almost resemble WWI(The game outright states this). They also have access to the Daimler Little John, a recon armoured car that packs a main gun that, while short ranged (800m max), has the same armour penetration as the American 76mm AT-gun, a.k.a. the Americans heaviest anti-tank weapon. To put it in perspective, this means that it has a (extremely low) chance of penetrating the frontal armour of a Panther A at max range. Your standard Sherman can't do that at 800m.
    • The Second Wave DLC adds 1st SSBnote , lead by Lord Lovat, who rely on their elite Commando infantry in Phase A, but only recieve a few more units in Phase B, when they must "hold until relieved" by the 79th Armoured's troops in Phase C.
    • The Back In Hell DLC adds the 7th Armoured, also known as the Desert Rats, who helped Mongomery chase Rommel out of North Africa. Made up of elite crews equipped with the fast (but not as well armoured) Cromwell tank, they make up for the shorter range of most of their guns and lighter armour during Phase A and B by being agressive, helped by Stuart tank scouts and Staghound reconnaisance vehicles manned by highly experienced crews and highly experienced infantry in all three Phases. Much of their infantry is made up of mechanised infantry in M5 Halftracks, all of which carry PIAT's for anti-tank duty, as well as the Desert Rat teams, armed with Thompsons, Brens, Gammon AT grenades, and smoke grenades, making them extremely skilled at storming entrenched enemy infantry. They can bring in a fairly large amount of air support, and almost all of their planes are quite resilient, though they can only field a small amount of artillery.
  • Canucks with Chinooks:
    • Canadian 3rd Infantry, the Allies' Mechanized Infantry division. They have a passable mix of infantry and armored vehicles, with much of their infantry riding in Kangaroos and Ram Kangaroos, self-propelled guns and old tanks modified in the field to work as APCs, which have the best armour of any APC in the game, and can field a surprising number of M10 "Wolverine" Tank Destroyers, as well as the Sherman Firefly and the Achilles (a tank destroyer mounting the 17 pdr Anti-Tank gun). They are also one of the few divisions that have access to snipers, and have an Ace sniper, Leo Major. They also can field a lot of flamethrowers, with a number of different options for fielding them.
  • Gauls With Grenades:
    • Phillipe Leclerc's Free French 2e Blindée has highly experienced crews in some of the most advanced M4 Sherman variants, and can deploy a terrifying (albeit inexperienced) number of M10 Tank Destroyers; even more than the Canadian 3rd Infantry. Also has some surprisingly good, if expensive, infantry.
    • The Back in Hell expansion adds the Demi-Brigade SAS, who arguably count as a Multinational Team, employing cheap and lightly equipped French partisans backed up by better trained Osttruppen deserters, equipped with a small number of outdated French tanks and captured German vehicles and guns in Phase A, then a small but elite core of aggressive SAS-trained paratroopers with British supplied weapons in Phase B (but no additional armour), and finally, Patton's American troops bringing infantry and armoured support in Phase C.
  • Nazis with Gnarly Weapons: Of course.
    • The Panzer Lehr, a heavy armor division, opening with expensive recon vehicles and elite infantry, with not one tank to be seen. Once Phase B hits though, all bets are off, as the Lehr's heavy armor begins to arrive; Tigers, Panthers, and even King Tigers.
    • The 12. SS-Panzer, historically composed of young members of the Hitler Youth and lavishly equipped. Able to field excessive numbers of Panthers, but also a fair number of Panzer IVs and Tigers, most of them quite experienced.
    • The 21. Panzer, notable for being able to field stolen early-model "Beute" Shermans and heaps of Panzer IVs. Historically they were amongst the first armored units to arrive in response to the Allied landings on the beaches of Normandy.
    • The 116. Panzer, the Windhund, are the fastest-mobilizing armor force and able to open with elite Panzer IIIs, but they begin to lose steam later on, having fairly limited reserves of powerful, experienced tanks.
    • The 17. SS Panzergrenadier are officially the other mechanized infantry division, but are actually motorized infantry, fielding small squads of experienced SS infantry alongside groups of inexperienced Panzergrenadiers, all riding in Schwimwagens and trucks, a few veteran tanks, all backed up by towed Nebelwerfers.
    • The 3. Fallschirmjaeger are the only pure-airborne Nazi division, supporting experienced paratrooper units with assault guns, heavy bombers, and tank-hunting aircraft protected by elite Luftwaffe fighter cover.
    • The 91. Luftlande, capable of fielding swarms of elite infantry backed up by assault guns and heavy bombers. Also notable for having 380mm railway batteries on call as their offmap artillery support, allowing them to really smash dug-in enemies.
    • The 352. Infanterie, somewhat limited by its initial infantry units possessing no anti-tank weapons and being largely of non-german conscripts and reservists, before gaining access to SS and experienced forces later on.
    • The 716. Infanterie is composed heavily of Italian forces, who are much more experienced in the later phases, also potentially supported by rockets, heavy bombers, and more 380mm railway batteries.
  • Poles with Poleaxes:
    • 1 Pancerna, a Polish armor group equipped with a mix of British, Canadian, and American hardware. Capable of fielding a surprising amount of mobile artillery, unlike most other divisions, along with plenty of 17pdr AT guns. They can be a German commander's worst nightmare when it comes to advancing.
  • Yanks with Tanks:
    • 3rd Armored, which can field a large number of inexperienced M4 Shermans. Crippled by very poor Phase A income, but expect to drown in Shermans if they survive to Phase C.
    • 101st Airborne, which can field an absolutely preposterous quantity of B26 Marauder bombers, along with some fairly experienced infantry and powerful anti-tank guns. Unsurprisingly, though, their options for actual tanks are abysmal, being mostly composed of M22 or M5 light tanks, and a few late-arriving, early-model M4s from the D-Day landings.
    • 2nd Infantry, which has lots of elite infantry early on, including early flamethrowers, backed up by early-model amphibious Shermans, a great deal of offmap artillery, and plenty of fighters. The 2nd Infantry is also responsible for fielding the Xylophone rocket artillery.
    • The Second Wave DLC adds the 4th Armored, a light armored division relying on extremely mobile and aggressive cavalry scouts and Hellcat tank destroyers to make up for having fewer and older tanks compared to the 3rd Armored, and recieve the majority of these units in Phase A and B.

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