This page goes over a general opening start for most countries in the game. The situations outlined here will slightly differ from country to country, however several of the strategies outlined here can be applied to all countries in some capacity. This guide will assume you are playing a non-major country, i.e. not West German Command, Soviet Union or France etc.
Beginning the game Edit
When you first begin the game you will be given several cities,one or several naval ports, one or two construction SCVs, and a small army at your government center. You do not generally have to worry about being attacked at the beginning of the game (unless you are France). A country will unlikely declare war until they are fully ready to attack you, in addition there exists a 2 minute grace period that prevents other factions from declaring war on you. though usually you would be given a lot more time than this. Your first priority here is to set up your economy and tech appropriately, as well as having several unit production centers.
Begin taking any 'neutral' cities marked in white around your starting location. These are not player owned and you do not need to declare war to take them. The unit who fires the last shot will take the city. Once you have the resources build for your first building a tech center near your government center. This is where all your research and technological advancements are located. Specialized infantry (125 science) is a good cheap tech that you should get early that unlocks most of the infantry in the game.
Once you have your necessary production facilities, set your cities to automatically build industry by right clicking on Expand Industry. You can control your money vs. construction materials production with the Allocate GDP button in the top left. Construction materials are resources required to build buildings and industry. and having a lot of them early allows your economy to explode once you have enough of them. By then you should have enough science to get the first tier of industry mobilization tech (200 science). Upgrade that and then upgrade all your construction materials facilities. From here on you should have all the construction materials you need and you should be building plenty of industries at all your cities that you take and upgrading them to at least heavy industry. This will give you the cash income you need to sustain your armies.
Attack and Defence Edit
Next you have to think about what kind of army and defences you want to build to take the fight to the enemy. Turtling can also be a valid part of your strategy. For example as Greece, if you went allies, spamming bunkers and tank traps with some supporting artillery along your borders can make a frontal assault impossible. However, remember that you are giving up on cities and resources outside your starting area and that defensive structures can be easily destroyed in the late game by more advanced tanks. For army composition however here are some valid options listed below:
Infantry Strategy Edit
Infantry is a good, flexible army composition that is cheap and effective. Mass machinegunners can counter other infantry due to its unique ability to suppress which can 'catch' other infantry. Mortars can also attack outside bunker range, however you may need to use artillery or armoured support to break through stronger defensive lines. Flamethrowers can burn mass infantry and has bonus damage to structures but has limited range. Anti-tank riflemen are a poor man's counter to tanks that are completely ineffective to tanks beyond the early game. The infantry composition has weaknesses against other machinegunners and bunkers, artillery, vehicles and tanks. But because it is so cheap supply-wise you can simply overwhelm an opponent with more infantry. To counter tanks you can use anti-tank guns or the cheaper rocket infantry. You will need to get the tech rockets (400 science) early which unlocks rocket infantry as well as shaped charged (700 science) later into the game.
Armoured Strategy Edit
Armour is a robust strategy with higher mobility that packs a punch. It excels in getting through defensive lines. Getting armour requires a strong economy (see above on how to get your economy up and running). Researching down the Medium tank line and building the best tanks you can get. Medium tanks are faster but less armoured than heavy tanks and excel in a more attacking situation while heavy tanks are more expensive but excel in a defensive position. Building quite a few war factories and upgrading your industries constantly is key but this strategy can get countered by planes or AT guns. Even mass rocket infantry can destroy this strategy. If there are planes constantly harassing your tanks you'll have to build mobile AA to accompany your tanks or request for air support from another country. In the extreme late game teching up to Main Battle tanks is extremely powerful.
Airforce Strategy Edit
This is an especially good strategy that requires an almost dedicated country to the tech route. It also has an extremely good late game as you tech up to jet fighters and bombers. If one faction goes for a strong airforce the other faction almost has to counter with an airforce of their own. You will need to build a lot of airports to fuel your massive aircraft production. Aircraft has a short fuel timer before they have to return to a friendly airport. Researching the fuel tanks upgrades might be helpful. Aircraft is of course weak to Anti-Aircraft guns and other fighter planes. If you must take on a target with AA defences try to take it piecemeal and avoid losing your aircraft. You may have to do several bombing missions for this.
Other weaknesses of aircraft is that it is expensive to produce, especially the later game jetplanes. You need either a strong economy or to ask for money from your allies. Build airports all over the map so your airplanes can fly all over the map. The portable AA gun that is built at the barracks after you research specialized infantry is a strong counter to early aircraft. If you need to leave behind AA defences build the stationary AA guns, which when upgraded to advanced, will absolutely shred enemy aircraft.
Research the rockets tech (400 science) and then rail rockets (300 science). Rail rockets equip your attack aircraft with rockets that can destroy ground vehicles. Attack aircraft is the aircraft you want the bulk of your composition to be made out of as they can attack both land and air. Next, teching up to Medium Airframes (700 science) will allow you to make tactical bombers that can destroy buildings and allows you to destroy stronger tanks. In the extreme late game going for Jet Engines (1750 science) and improved Jet airframes (1000 science) will give you powerful bombers and aircraft that can defeat any army and bomb a country to submission. However you still have to avoid other jet fighters, especially around massed AA defences and massed mobile AA guns.
- When two or more players are attacking the same city, whoever fires the last shot gets the city.
- Cities have a small, weak attack that attacks a single target at a small range around the city. Attack a city with a good number of troops or attack outside the range of the city to minimise losses.
- AT guns are expensive but a strong counter to tanks when they are put in numbers. AT guns and rocket infantry cannot shoot at other infantry.
- In the early game bunkers are king. It is very difficult to remove bunkers without an overwhelming number of artillery or tanks. Building bunkers next to cities would allow you to take the city quickly and efficiently. Be careful of putting it too close to cities as cities are given a small attack to defend itself.
- Build a tech centre ASAP. This is where you spend your science and get upgrades to your units to allow yourself to fight toe-to-toe with other players. You only need one tech centre usually. Some good early game techs is Specialised Infantry and Economic Mobilization. Another good tech for major countries is the medium tank treeline that gives you access to early mobile artillery and medium tanks. For neutral countries it is not as recommended to go down this line as you will not have the resources to build as many of them to make a difference.
- To remove bunkers it is best to get some artillery, AT guns or mortars. They can safely bombard from outside the range of bunkers.
- Machingunners counter all other infantry, infantry fired upon by machinegunners or machinegun bunkers get suppressed and move more slowly allowing machinegunners to 'catch' other infantry. Flamethrowers can't get into range against machinegunners and snipers simply don't shoot fast enough. To counter machinegunners it is best to get vehicles such as tanks or armoured cars.
- Infantry takes cities much faster than tanks. Use your tanks to destroy buildings and your infantry to take cities and act as meatshields for the tanks. Tanks however are much faster than infantry over most terrain, if your infantry is caught by a tank force it might be better to stand and fight as you cannot escape.
- Similairly armoured cars while fragile are extremely fast and good harassers. They also take cities very quickly. Sending a small strike force of armoured cars can take several cities tying up enemy forces for a significant period as they chase them around the map.