|“|| Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be an ugly brawl.|
- American SPG unit
Support or stylized as SUP, are combat vehicles with armament able to provide anti-air or artillery support for allied units. They come in five categories:
- Mortar Carriers: vehicles armed with close-range accurate mortar launchers. Effective against all soft skinned targets but lacks against heavy armor due to the small blast radius and low explosive force. They are best used for close range suppressive fire and laying smoke screens for advances.
- Self-Propelled Guns: large vehicles carrying high caliber howitzer rounds, capable of firing highly effective shells from long distance. These are split into three noticeable subsections:
- Upper Tier: the 203mm howitzers in the game. They all are very accurate and have the largest caliber tube artillery round available but are offset by limited barrage size and carry capacity as well as an extended aim time which makes opportunistic target elimination near impossible. They are best used for pounding static defenses.
- Advanced Lower Tier: modern 155mm medium howitzers with modern firing computers which is reflected by extremely fast aim times and good accuracy. They are best used for fast removal of light to medium high value targets on the front (especially those that move very often).
- Lower Tier: outdated medium howitzers without modern firing computers. They take a long time to aim and have terrible accuracy and therefore are used most effectively as either area saturation or harassment fire. These are generally considered absolutely worthless.
- Multiple Rocket Launcher Systems: vehicles with that carry rocket propelled ordnance. They are used for covering large swaths of the map in explosives (the exception being the ATACMS).
- Anti-Aircraft Artillery: self-propelled anti-air guns (SPAAGs) armed with fast-firing, accurate mid range cannons. Devastating to helicopters and absolutely lethal against all infantry. They lack range but will still do significant damage to fast-flying fixed wing aircraft who stray into their sphere of influence.
- Anti-Aircraft Missile Launchers: vehicles with an armament of radar/infra-red lock on anti-air missiles. They come in two very distinct categories:
- Infra-Red: vehicles that use infra-red (IR) targeting to lock on and engage their targets. They universally have lower range and accuracy but are immune to SEAD.
- Radar: vehicles that use radar targeting to lock on and engage their targets. They normally have longer range and higher accuracy but are vulnerable to SEAD.
Your support tab is just as important as every other section in your deck, but this is perhaps one of the trickiest for newer players to master.
Artillery is very powerful but leads to sitzkrieg (a strategy where everyone buttons down and starts throwing rude remarks and explosives around and generally not doing anything productive) and is extremely taxing on your Logistics. Your usage of artillery must be effective but sparing, which means using as few pieces of it as you can (this is up to you but a card of mortars and a card of something else is usually plenty). There's a general rule among experienced players to laugh whenever a newer player uses an MLRS. This is because they're basically always shooting them from way back in their spawn which leads to patchy coverage and pitiful damage worth nothing more than the supply wasted to do so. You can rectify this by moving said rocket vehicles as close to the front as their minimal range (at some point they'll be unable to fire, for instance, when you try to shoot a tank roughly ten middle fingers away from it) will allow and use the added accuracy from being as close has possible to completely stun everything in that little blue circle (stun, not kill, please do not expect MLRS to actually kill anything, that's an added bonus to their stun power). Many greenies have probably never heard of the Fire Pos button, which allows you to shoot something regardless of whether you can see if there's evil Ivan/Yankee/tea inhaling Brit in there or not (however, you get an accuracy bonus when you do see an enemy, this is called corrected shot and makes life easier for you). All in all, pick what works for you, but remember to keep it at a minimal.
Air defense is mandatory. It doesn't matter if you're running MG3 spam or NK Airborne, you need some sort of air defense. Now, there are other places to find air defense (planes, terrible terrible SPAAGs in the Vehicle tab, MANPADs, etc.), but your primary source will be found in the Support tab. Now, as impressive as the Radar stats seem, they all generally suck due to being targetable by SEAD (most players will simply turn off the weapons on their Radar units and only turn them on when they see a target) and having piss poor ammo storage. Your primary defense should come from IR units which are more than capable of killing anything that isn't touching the ground (though people still swear to this day that stray missiles have some hidden magnetic attraction towards the most expensive unarmored unit they can find). It's best to have a layered air defense (what we call an Air Defense Network), a fantasy that greenies sometimes dream of in their sleep. Layered defense means you have different types of air defense units (MANPAD, longer ranged IR AA, SPAAG,
Patriot even longer ranged Radar SAM) all put together in different patterns (like origami but with more explosives).
It really is up to you to decide but it is best to watch replays where you play with/get absolutely creamed by better players to influence your unit choices.