The factions in Wargame are the Warsaw Pact, which is subdivided into the Soviet Union, Communist Poland, East Germany, and Czechoslovakia and NATO, which is subdivided into the United States of America, United Kingdom, France, West Germany, Sweden, Canada, Norway, and Denmark. Each country has its own arsenal of units, reflecting their military doctrine.
It should be noted however, that not all of these descriptions are reflective of their factions strengths and/or weaknesses and should not be relied on too much. For example, it is stated that Norway has a "modern and flexible air force that was modernized at the beginning of the 80s with American aid", but with only three planes in the whole game (as of AirLand Battle at least) it is neither flexible nor particularly modern.
There are very few distinctions and differences between factions and nations within Wargame.
Faction differences in the NATO can be seen very easily, because all of the armies included were extremely different during the Cold War.
- United States: The United States Army has proficiency in nearly every unit category, they have powerful yet accurate Abrams tanks, very strong special forces, capable basic infantry, and an advanced air wing. The only drawback is the cost of their units.
- France: France's combat doctrines have been forged in the constant colonial wars of the 50's and 60's, giving priority to light units. French vehicles are both accurate, fast but very fragile. They are at their best performing fast strikes, ambushes and hit-and-run tactics, but shouldn't be in head-on engagements.
- United Kingdom: British tanks are heavily armed, heavily armored, and slow moving, the Challenger I is the most heavily armoured tank within the game. In addition, the UK also has fine infantry, and very fast transports like the Spartan APC.
- Federal Republic of Germany: Equipped with downgraded modified US military vehicles, and lended equipment by its European neighbors, the Bundeswehr has excellent heavily armored infantry and tanks, the Leopard 2 is a very deadly piece of equipment when supported by dreadful Panzergrenadieren.
- Canada: Having to be rapidly deployed to Europe from North America, Canadian forces rely more on their robust infantry and anti-tank equipment than on their armored division, which is generally made up of older equipment than that its enemy and allied counterparts. More comfortable in a defensive rather than an offensive strategy, Canadian troops have a good infantry capability, thanks to their land and airborne transport, which is among the fastest transport in the game.
- Denmark: With a National Guard twice the size of their regular army, Danish forces are built around light task forces. Mainly under threat from Polish airborne and amphibious assault troops, they rely on strong infantry, as well as armored and armed reconnaissance vehicles and many light vehicles and anti-tank helicopters capable of quickly repelling invaders.
- Norway: The main target in any Soviet offensive in Scandinavia, the Norwegian army - like the Canadian forces - deploys formidable infantry. Specialized in close combat, Norwegian troops are responsible for containing enemy advances and inflicting maximum damage to enemy troops, in order to give other NATO member states enough time to send reinforcements. They can also rely on a modern and flexible air force that was modernized at the beginning of the 80s with American aid.
- Sweden: Theoretically neutral, Cold War Sweden leans heavily towards NATO and considers the Warsaw Pact its only real threat. As a result, its armored divisions are capable of rapidly regrouping to strike the Pact's airborne landings fast and with devastating effect. This mobility-centered approach relies on a strong and efficient air force to support and cover ground operations, to the detriment of scarce ground support troops.
- Japan: The Japanese army (JSDF) is a self-defense force which is demonstrated by its philosophy, which favors limited and clinical counter-offensives over deep penetration. Comprised largely of Japanese hardware, the focus is more on equipping vehicles with extremely high-precision optics rather than heavy armor. In the ‘90s however, Japan brought itself up to date with MBTs (main battle tanks) and IFVs (infantry fighting vehicles) from its Western allies.
- South Korea: In an official state of war since 1950, South Korea is a nation armed to the teeth. It has a solid infantry force, particularly marines, and relies more on extensive formations than on significant technical advantages to defeat its enemy in the north. South Korea only began developing a high-tech military industry in the mid ‘80s, producing “home-grown” vehicles to rival those of their American allies.
- Australian and New Zealand Army Corps: The “Bad Boys of the Empire” no longer need prove their status as elite troops in the field of infantry combat. Specialists in counter-insurgency, they track, locate and destroy enemy infantry in melee combat, or use a plethora of anti-personnel devices from napalm to a range of modified vehicles to lend the infantry more firepower. Alas, their insularity and expertise in jungle warfare has resulted in a marked weakness in anti-tank combat.
Faction differences in the Pact are very hard to spot, because they were all similar when it came down to their armies. The main distinctions are usually infantry specialization, and strange choices of support vehicles, other than that, the typical Pact army is always predictable.
- Soviet Union: Strength - The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics offers the bulk of the Pact's forces, their armies are heavily standardized, and must rely on combined arms. The USSR's tanks are more numerous, and powerful conventionally compared to NATO, but lack good optics, meaning they must rely on combat reconnaissance vehicles to perform their best.
- German Democratic Republic: Reconnaissance. "There's nobody more fanatic than a convert". Though the Eastern German troops are fighting almost exclusively with soviet equipment, their infantry is indoctrinated and trained separately until they reach the excellence imposed by their soviet brothers. Moreover, as it is their task to monitor the majority of the Iron Curtain, the East Germany armies place stock in their scouting units and intelligence services.
- Poland: Vehicles and Infantry. Unlike their Pact companions, the Polish troops come from a legacy of traditional militarism. They do not possess all the modern equipment, but they have access to some national vehicles, as well as dreadful specialized infantry.
- Czechoslovakia: Artillery. The Czechoslovakian troops have preserved the most independence from USSR. They possess their own troop transport and mobile weaponry, as well as their own variants of soviet vehicles. But it's in their artillery that the Czechoslovakian army shines, with self propelled units whose accuracy and precision are matched by their high mobility, giving them a sizable advantage when they are on the battlefield.
- China: The Sino-Soviet split forced the Chinese army to develop its own military industry which had previously depended on Soviet hardware. Oscillating between Western technology and local production, by the ‘90s the Chinese army was barely inferior to its Western and Soviet counterparts in many areas.
- North Korea: The North Korean army still depends on its vast forces, the largest in the world, to compensate for the technological gap between its South Korean and American adversaries. However, it played on the rivalry between the Chinese and the Soviets and acquired substantial military resources from both camps to make up for most of its weaknesses. The North Korean army therefore comprises an extraordinary mix of vehicles straight out of WWII and modern prototypes from its communist neighbors.
Pact and NATO strengths
The differences are a bit hard to spot.
- Autocannons being more common.
- Air-based firepower superiority, air-based AA/AT.
- On average stronger rifle platoons, recon squads, and special forces.
- Varied selection of tanks suitable for different types of players.
- Unpredictable armies, due to the very high selection of units.
- Many ATGM tank destroyers with a high variety of ATGMs.
- Conventionally powerful selection of tanks.
- Anti air/anti tank superiority.
- Stronger helicopters.
- Strong tank-killing infantry.
- High usage of flamethrower armed vehicles and infantry.
- Strongest artillery.
- Low cost for most units, high availability.