Soldiers at War Gameplay Tips

Strategy is the key to success! Try these hints and tips in your game.

  • Which way am I facing?
    — it helps to become familiar with isometric projection. Keep in mind that you are always looking from the southeast to the northwest. To illustrate crudely:


So, if you’re told that you need to exit the southwest, this would be the left corner of the map… I think. Sometimes, the game contradicts this… the compass bearings are listed in a True North azimuth, and sometimes, the mission objectives tell you to go Southwest, whereas you’re supposed to go Southeast… anyhow, the picture above shows true isometric projection… whether the game follows this or not, who knows!

  • Advance Slowly!
    — don’t go charging into unfamiliar situations unless you would like to get shot up! Stealth and smoke are your tools for safe success. Always reserve as many action points as possible, rather than moving forward into unknown danger. The enemy will often pop out of buildings, into window openings, and around corners on their next turn, waiting for your opportunity fire!

 

When the enemy is not facing you, advance, attack, and fire away!

  • Order of Destruction:
    — survey the map in each mission. For the lowest number of casualties to your
    soldiers, destroy the enemy with the following priority:

 

–Tanks (use mortar or artillery strikes– very safe and effective)
–Tanks (use bazookas if you can’t call for any support)
–Tanks (secure tanks with concussion grenades– most risky!)

–Enemies with bazookas (they will tear apart your platoon!)

–Snipers (take out men on rooftops and in towers as soon as possible!)

–Machine Gunners (they are waiting for you– take them out before they spot you! Especially effective is to nail them
while they don’t have their guns set-up)

  • Fulfill Your Mission Objectives
    — too often, players have a tendency to try to engage every enemy soldier. However, this is dangerous. Make your mission objectives your main focus and wipe out the entire enemy only if this is your mission goal! Otherwise, avoid the enemy and save your soldiers’ lives for the next mission.
  • Watch for Enemy Reinforcements
    — reinforcements almost always appear at the edges of roads or anywhere along the edges of the map. Look out for them. If you have a sniper, assign one or more to take out unsuspecting reinforcements (they always seem to enter each map facing the other way!) and rack up mission points!

 

Quite infrequently, reinforcements will arrive in unusual places, such as on rooftops!

  • What’s Around that Corner?
    — I don’t usually know what enemy might be hiding around a corner or behind
    a door. Either crawl around corners or into unfamiliar places to be least
    likely to be seen (doesn’t always work!), or wait for them in a kneeling position with your action points saved for opportunity fire if they should come towards you. Crawling under windows is also the safest bet.
  • Use Spotters for Tanks, Machine Guns, and the Unknown
    — If using a tank or heavy machine gun, send one of your other men (preferably your lowest-ranking soldier) toward the enemy to act as a spotter to expose enemy locations. Then, use your tank or machine gun and target each enemy!

 

On a similar note, make your weakest soldier the pointman to survey unknown
enemy territory. He will be the first to come across land mines and hidden enemy positions (snipers and stationary enemies waiting for you). Your scout should give you the most information at the lowest damage to your platoon.

  • Liberated Civilians Are the Best Scouts
    — In missions where you need to liberate civilians or prisoners, go ahead and liberate them when you’re ready. Your mission has been fulfilled already! There is no provision that you need to keep them alive, however!! As cruel as it may sound, you should use your liberated allies to do all of your dirty work: scouting unknown territory. If they die, it’s no loss to you! (Better them than our own soldiers???) Ironic! The only way that you’re penalized is if one of your soldiers shoots a civilian deliberately (by targeting a civilian… even if you kill a civilian that is accidentally in the path of your shot, you are not even disciplined!).

 

Civilians can pick up equipment from dead soldiers as well and can fight the enemy. (Keep in mind that any equipment on a civilian is NOT added to your inventory for the next mission– let them pick up Mausers instead of the more rare and useful weapons.)

  • Radio One, You’re the Only One…
    — take at least one radio on each mission. You get support for each mission
    (except during ambush missions)– use your free support! Sometimes, it pays to
    have more than one radio, if you’d like to call in several support attacks as soon as possible (useful to take out several tanks as soon as possible).
  • Wire Cutters Are Useless!
    — wire cutters are useless– it takes about 55 action points just to use them
    and they serve only one purpose while taking up two equipment slots. A more
    effective approach is to use a machine gun or submachine gun to shoot holes
    through the wires. Better yet, you can often target an enemy behind the barbed wire, shoot him, and also create some holes in the wires all at once!
  • Knives Are Almost as Useless?
    — I’m not a big fan of using knives or engaging in hand-to-hand combat.
    A pistol or your rifle causes more damage and is safer.
  • Flame Throwers Are Almost Kind-of Nearly as Useless?
    — Flame throwers are probably the coolest-looking weapons in the game,
    but I haven’t found a way to use them very effectively. Grenades and bazookas are more useful alternatives for securing or destroying tanks.
  • Keys? How About a Bazooka!
    — If you need to unlock a door and don’t have keys, use a bazooka and target the door from a safe distance with a clear line-of-sight.
  • Bazookas and More Bazookas
    — These are fun weapons! Often, you can destroy more things than you could with satchel charges, as well as destroying things from safe distances, rather than needing to risk going up to each object. Always ensure a clear line-of-sight before firing (including clear elevations). Use the “a” and “z” keys while targeting to control the elevation of your shot– the higher, the better for tall objects.
  • Know Your Weapons!
    — take a long look at the damage ratings, accuracy, and rate-of-fire for all weapons in the “equip.def” file, rather than relying on the online weapons encyclopedia. You might be surprised at what you learn.

 

It also pays to assign the best type of weapon to the primary training of each soldier in your platoon… don’t give a bolt-action Fucile to the soldier trained in semi-automatic weapons, obviously!

In my opinion, the German MP 43 machine gun is the best weapon in the game. First runner-up is the versatile M2 Carbine, with its excellent rate-of-fire. The BAR A2 and FG 42 come in a close second place (if they had larger clips, I would rate them the top weapons… however, you’ll spend a lot of time reloading and those 20-shot clips take up the same amount of space as the MP 43 clips). The M1E7 and Gew 43 have deadly power and accuracy. Don’t overlook the M1928 Thompson submachine gun– it shoots off many rounds
and has 100 shots for little or no reloading time!

I don’t like heavy machine guns, but I do like the German MG 42’s especially! Even I have a tough time passing these up. The MG 34’s aren’t bad, either!

  • I’ll Take the High Road
    — your shots are more accurate if you take them at higher elevations, usually.
    Also, your visibility will usually be better. However, you are usually more
    exposed to enemy fire out in the high open– exercise extra caution.
  • Kneeling, Standing, Prone (Duck and Cover?)
    — obviously, in a prone position, your shots are the most accurate and you are least vulnerable and visible to enemy fire. However, there are situations where you’ll need to kneel or stand:

 

–when shooting right behind windows, you need to be kneeling or standing.

–sometimes, you need to kneel or stand in order to sight the enemy. At other times, you need to go prone. Save extra action points to get the best possible shot. Always compare the hit calculations
for a snap shot versus an aimed, visual shot: if the percentages don’t vary by much, just go with the quick snap shot, unless you really need to conserve bullets. A quick burst uses about 12 action points, versus about 20 points for an aimed shot (plus extra points to turn in the direction in which you’re shooting).

  • Focus Your Efforts
    — sweep areas in groups, being careful not to bunch your men too closely together.
    If you are outnumbered, (and usually you are outnumbered, believe me!) try the classic (Lord Nelson?) naval strategy: divide and attack the enemy in sections so that you outnumber their groups– conquer them, then move your group toward the next small group of enemy soldiers.

 

This is a particularly effective strategy for scenarios such as the V2 Rocket Base (Dresden) mission: if you move your platoon to secure the southern half of the map, you can destroy the enemy while keeping a safe distance from all of the reinforcements from the north (avoid them! Your mission is to destroy the rockets only and to get the heck out of there safely!).

  • The Famous Unlimited Ammo Cheat:
    — while outfitting your soldiers, keep right-clicking on a clip of ammo in your canister. You’ll see the canister open and shut each time, and you can add as much ammo as you want to your inventory. This only works on the outfitting screen before missions. It works with pistol, rifle, and rocket ammunition.

 

This cheat can be especially useful for when you find ammo– try to find one each of any type of ammo (especially enemy ammo) and use it to clone as many clips as you need in the future! One is all you need for this!

  • Grenades Are Fun, Too
    — but don’t waste your equipment space with the German Gr 24 grenades. The American M2 grenades are nearly as effective and are half the size and weight of the Gr 24’s.

 

The German M1939 Egg grenades are the most versatile grenades in the game.
They will destroy the enemy, as well as non-destructively secure enemy tanks.
You can find tons of these (usually 2 per soldier) if you wait for German reinforcements to appear at the sides of roads. Take them out, then take their Eggs!

  • Toggle Through Levels
    — While surveying each map in the beginning of each mission, try looking
    at the maps at each level, using the 1 through 7 keys. Sometimes, you’ll find secret tunnels.
  • Using Medical Kits
    — medical kits are like gold, so don’t waste them. If one of your soldiers is wounded, don’t try to heal him fully. Instead, look at his fatigue level: patch him up only until his fatigue level goes down to a minimal level (below 2 is fine).

 

Search every dead soldier and canister for medical kits… if you don’t need them now, you will surely need them later!

  • Do You Think You’re Good? Go It Alone!
    — If you’re feeling brave, confident, or just suicidal, try to complete a mission with the fewest number of soldiers possible in a campaign (especially in the first two missions).

 

There is actually some logic to this: if you can succeed with 1-4 soldiers, each soldier will rack up many more points right away and will get promoted much more quickly.

For example, with eight men, each kill earns that soldier 5 mission points, but with three men, each kill earns your soldier 17 mission points! With only a few men, each soldier will also encounter a greater number of enemies per soldier.

If you can somehow complete a mission with just one soldier, he will earn 25 mission points with each kill, and he will receive all of the mission points! Try it if you dare! (I have done this quite easily with one Sergeant! He didn’t even get wounded. If you’re ever stuck on a mission, this is a good way for you to force yourself to observe the patterns of enemy guards– many enemy soldiers follow a specific route. See which ones pace in a straight line (guards), which ones stay still (stationary soldiers), and which ones come toward you (seekers– let them come to you!).)