You sometimes wonder whether or not you just can’t grasp the basics of reality while playing?
Well this is just for you. This is a on-going guide made by me (please follow me on twitch xoxo) to help people get the basics of the game as fast as possible.
Introduction to the game and Guide!
(Quick disclaimer, this guide is actually the script to my videos I’ll be doing, so if I ever refer to the guide as “this video,” then just disregard please :D)
What is the game?
Steel Division 2 is a Real Time Strategy game (RTS) that encompasses battles in the middle to late year of 1944.
All scenarios and maps in the game represent real life locations that were designed with the help of real-life images of the areas they are supposed to depict.
The game has specific DLCs to represent different theatres in the Eastern and Western front. .
What is to be expected?
Steel Division 2 is an unforgiving and ruthless game by nature. As a newcomer you will have thousands of challenges and things you will have to learn. And then some more. There is nothing in this game that will be handed to you and you will have to be motivated to learn and master it.
So far, most people had to learn alone or with the help of friends and a variety of video tutorial.
The game lacks a significantly sufficient tutorial system to teach people how it works and it is plagued by secret statistics as well as unexplained mechanics only the top % understands.
I have been extremely concerned about how difficult it is to enter the world of Steel Division and grasp the basic mechanics and unit compositions.
A lot of tutorials will teach you how to build decks and how to play better. But as a new player a lot of what is said is simply impossible to understand.
What the ♥♥♥♥ is penetration and why should I care?
Why are there so many ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ numbers on my screen and what do they do?
Why are my units dying all the time and what are these funny symbols?
Is math related to science!?
I hope to answer all these fundamental questions so you don’t have to die trying to understand them on your own.
The benefit of splitting this video tutorial series into several smaller parts is that you can learn at your own pace, in a way that focuses everything you need to understand separately and allows you to integrate the advice to your gameplay at your own discretion and motivation.
I will not throw statistics and numbers at you and expect you to already understand them. The entire series is built under the assumption you can’t even find the way home alone.
I will only give proceed to more complex topics once I’ve covered the basics of said topics in a beginner’s friendly section here in the guide.
That said, learning purely from my guide might not be enough for some people to learn the game. My personal advice is that you read all, take some notes, and go into the game and try to apply the knowledge that you absorbed. Only then you will truly know whether the message I tried to convey was truly understood by you.
What are these units and why do I not get what they do!?
Steel Division 2 has easily over 2 thousand units such as infantry squads, support guns, tanks, planes, armoured vehicles, machine guns, Anti-Air guns, recon squads, leader squads, formula 1 cars, unicorns and so much more.
This section of the series is here to help you learn the units. I will not go over every single unit in the game and I’m seriously concerned about your health if you have.
Instead I’ll teach you what to look out for in units, how to spot what is what without giving you an indication whether or not they are a meta pick or utterly garbage.
I want you to understand the units you will be looking at so you can make your own judgment on them.
Later on the series I’ll explain why certain units are meta but for now the focus is to make sure you can tell what a unit will be good at once you get your hands on them.
In the game you can have plenty of tabs in the battlegroup creation, what exactly they are will be something for the next part of this series teaching you how battlegroups work.
For now let’s ignore everything that is on the screen but the guns and health.
This is the first thing you’ll consider in any unit you are taking a look at. Is it a big squad? How many guns do they have?
On the screen you can see a panzer grenadier squad. As you can see it is a 10 men squad with 1 Submachine gun, 7 Bolt-action Rifles, 2 Machine Guns and a panzerfaust.
Now you can see an avtomatchiki squad.
They too have 10 men in their squad, but instead of a variety of guns they only have Submachine guns and an anti tank grenade.
These 2 units are extreme opposites, and they are the best way to explain to a new player how units can be grouped.
The avtomachiki squad is an assault squad. It will do very poorly trying to engage enemies at distance as they have no means to even do that, while panzer grenadiers are long range squads, which means they will get murdered inside of city fights and forest fights.
What you will have to look for in units is what guns they have, what can you do with them?
A squad with many rifles and machine guns do very well at distance, while squads with many submachine guns will do very well in close quarters.
Let’s take another example, shall we?
Here you can see a Fallschirmjäger Pionier.
It has a total of 3 light machine guns and 9 semi-automatic rifles. It is a 12 men squad, and it has an explosive load.
The Saperzy (ROKS) is also a 12 men squad, with 4 submachine guns, 5 semi automatic rifles and 2 light machine guns. They also have a flamethrower.
So what do you think they are good for? Keep them at range? Are they better up close?
This is a good example to showcase a hybrid unit.
The Pionier and Saperzy are examples of units that can do both. They have a lot of firepower at longer ranges and a lot of fire power at closer ranges. Tools such as Satchel Charges (imagine it like a big grenade they throw), Flamethrowers and molotovs will assist you at close range, while the automatic rifles do more damage than regular bolt action rifles and the extra machine guns will help you kill your enemy at range.
Hybrids won’t always win against units that are in the assault category, and they won’t always win against units that are in the long range category, but hey for sure can do both decently, especially against line infantry.
What is line infantry you ask me?
Line infantry is infantry that is there to hold the line and it is going to be your main infantry unit in the game. They aren’t great at anything, but they are cheap and come in numbers. I will explain cost of units and availability in the next tutorial, so for now let’s just stick with loadouts.
The most common rifle squad you will see in the game is the strelki.
It is a 11 men squad, with 1 submachine gun, 9 bolt action rifles and 1 machine gun. As you can see it has less fire power than long range squads and no additional tools hybrid squads get.
They are just in the game so they can fill gaps. Not every place can have amazing close quarters troops nor be defended by super strong long-range squads.
In-game your long range, close range and hybrid units should be supporting your main infantry, helping them clear towns, forests and open fields or just hold ground while you defend enemy attacks.
Here is a brief summary so you can keep it in mind:
Line infantry: Infantry that is great at nothing, but will be your main infantry force
Long range units: They have a vast quantity of Machine Guns and Rifles, they are to be kept at a safe distance.
Close range units: They have a lot of submachine guns, sometimes can come with small amounts of rifles or tools(see image below), but they are to be used exclusively in close proximity so they can be the most effective.
Hybrids: They are equipped with a line infantry or long range infantry loadout, but will add something more to it like a special tool (flamethrower, Molotov or satchel charge) that will make it useful at killing units at close and long ranges. They won’t be extremely strong at anything, but they won’t suck at anything either.
I’m sure that was a lot to digest, and the infantry part in this game is going to be a bit foggy until you get the grips of it. Some Divisions like panzer grenadier divisions will have panzer grenadiers as their line infantry. Others like the 3-ya VDV will have submachine gun squads as their line infantry. It is going to be a bit rough but all I wanted is that you understand what units are good for, and now you can make deductions on what you are going for when building a deck. Hey, it is not even the battlegroup tutorial yet! Cheater!
Jokes aside, don’t worry you’ll get there.
I talked about supporting your line infantry with your other infantry units, but what if that just isn’t enough? What if you need something to disappear and poor tommy over here just won’t cut it?
Well, I have just what you need, the new ISU-152 will shoot a shell bigger than your math teacher in 7th grade and blow up the entirety of your neighborhood like it is Dresden.
Here is the section you’ll learn about the big guns, the ones that kills!
You have different types of support units.
The first here will be the Machine Gun squads.
This is very simple, big gun shoots fast and shoots far away. The bigger the gun the further and harder it hits.
Let me give you an example, the maxim is a smol boy, it will fire at 1000m range and suppress less then a MG 42 (the same applies for infantry btw, MG 42’s are miles better than the DP for example). Keep the unit at maximum distance and you should be able to suppress a lot without losing your units. The biggest counter to these is getting closer and shooting them, support guns at maximum range, artillery and bombers.
The next one are the support guns. These are the most interesting out of them.
It comes in many forms. All the way from the IG-18 to the Sturmtiger. It can be a simple gun carried around by poor jerry or a giant weapon of destruction.
So here is the first one on the list:
Armoured support guns.
The easy way to spot them in your deck or the opponent’s deck is by looking at their gun. Ignore statistics look at the gun. If it is looks thick and short the gun is mostly likely a high explosive shell shooter. Here is an example:
As you can see it is THICCC. If you want to get another good indication whether it is an assault gun or a normal cannon is by looking at how many HE shells it has.
You can see they mostly have HE shells and not AP shells. I will explain in-depth later how they work, but as a brief explanation HE is for infantry and anything that shows health in-game. AP is only for vehicles. Another shell you might see is HEAT shells. They usually have shorter distance. They too only work against vehicles.
If a support gun is carried by poor jerry, keep distance. They will easily die against infantry. MGs win against support guns if they get in range.
Armoured Support guns can vary a lot. The small ones like halftracks and light tanks can be good in forests or closer ranges. They are annoying and that way you force the enemy to come to you if they want to get rid of it.
The bigger ones like the ISU-152 can be used to hold down a very big area. Even their HE shells can do damage to enemy tanks because of how ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ big it is.
in addition to that they have a lot of armour. Again, this will have its own tutorial, however as a brief explanation:
Armour over 120mm will require a big gun to kill at maximum range. Really big. Imagine 190mm penetration at maximum range.
Armour that is above 75 will require a medium gun to kill. Imagine 145mm penetration. Below that you should seriously consider whether there is anything that can’t kill it. If you need a bit more then that, if armour == penetration, the chance to penetrate is 54%. The penetration at maximum range will usually be -20mm to -40mm then it is indicated in the card. The number shows how much it can penetrate at around 300-500m.
To see where you can find how much penetration and armour a tank has:
As a small mention you also have armoured cars that can support you. Some come with machine guns, other with auto cannons. Really they are just big machine guns.
Here are some examples, auto cannons can shoot at tanks and infantry at the same time, they are good against infantry. Not so good against tanks. Use them against infantry and light vehicles.
Oh my, I ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ hate these.
Anyway here is a brief explanation. I really won’t get deep into this because I’m already having a headache from this. Seriously though it is way too complex, and it needs it own section to explain. For a short explanation on penetration see: Summary armoured support vehicles.
For now, all you need to know is that the bigger the gun, the more it can kill.
I will group some AT guns which can kill certain tanks, and if you have time you can go through some different tanks you often see in game and compare their armour and penetration. This way you can slowly to figure out what kills what.
Just like support guns, Anti-Tank guns can also be armoured. It goes from small SU-76M PT’s all the way to Jagdpanthers.
Very simple principle the bigger the gun the better. However, you have a nice little mixture here. There are low armour-low penetration tanks, and there are high armour- high penetration tanks. However, some low armour tanks can also have very high penetration. This is what I like to call the low armoured tank destroyers.
Yes, I know. Not very creative.
Anyway these are very capable destroyers. They tend to have more range then the enemy, which means a Marder 3 for example will do a lot against a sherman due to it outranging it. It is important to keep the range from the enemy. A marder 3 will die to a ♥♥♥♥♥♥ halftrack if you let get close enough. I recommend just keeping them inside of light forests and ambusing units.
Some Anti-Tank guns like the Zis-3 or BS-3 can also be used as Artillery.
Talking about that, let’s go into that other funny category.
There is nothing too special about artillery, they are guns that shoot up and eventually it falls back down. Hopefully near an enemy.
Small guns have shorter ranges. If an artillery gun doesn’t show range in the card, it can cover the entire map.
They also have a trait called “radio.”
If this trait is present, it means that it can communicate with other units that have radios in the front line. If you ever click on the artillery piece, there is a huge white circle that will appear around it in the battlefield. The same circle will also appear around other units with radios. If you fire inside of that circle, the artillery fire will be more accurate.
If an artillery piece doesn’t have radio, it won’t have that.
The mechanic is called “corrected shot.”
Oh boy we already got into traits, so let’s go through a couple of them, eh?
First trait I want to highlight is the raider trait, it means nothing other then this unit won’t be affected because of encirclements. Easy.
Leader traits means that a unit will boost units around it. If you click on it in-game you can see a circle around the unit. Anything inside of it will get 1 extra veterancy.
What it means is that the unit performs better. The higher the veterancy (the stars in the unit’s card), the faster, more accurate it fires. The more damage it can take. The better it does.
Here it is with the leader
I will go a lot more in-depth on this in the next tutorial.
The next one is the commander trait. It does what the leader does, but much better.
If a unit is inside the aura of the commander it gets double the boost. Instead of 1 star they get 2, which boosts them significantly more.
Here is the trick though, a commander can be linked to leaders, which means that if you a commander is close to the frontline, it can communicate with multiple leaders at once, which means that it should always stay behind, while the leaders go to the front.
There is the flame trait which means it has a Molotov or a flamethrower. They can also appear in tanks (yes some tanks have flamethrowers) and planes (and yes muricans, you can role play Vietnam).
There also is the tank buster trait. Infantry will have Anti-Tank grenades or RPG’s, they are short range tools that can be used to kill, you guess it. Planes.
Just ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ with you obviously tanks.
Planes also have the tank buster trait
The last one I want to mention is the recon trait. It will have its own guide soon but as a summary, it will spot other units much better than regular troops. It can be found on planes as well, they will fly over an area and spot everything below it.
Talking about that, let’s go through some planes.
There are a couple of different planes:
Rocket planes: They fire rockets. If the icon is yellow they fire Anti-tank rockets. The easy way to tell what unit does what is by looking at the colours. Green means it is supposed to be used against infantry or soft targets, yellow is supposed to be used against tanks exclusively. Please stop giving me a stroke by using the anti tank cluster plane against infantry. Kill a ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ king tiger with it.
Bombers: They are big planes, that have bad agility but carry A LOT of bombs. They usually take longer to be called on the field again once used.
Fighter bombers: They are the hybrids of the air. They can do both bombing and dog fighting if really needed. Just be aware they get panicked faster then fighters.
Fighters: There are heavy fighters and normal fighters. Heavy fighters have bad agility good resistance. Normal fighters are easier to micro and have really good agility, but worse resistance most of the time.
Ground attack planes: They are planes that straife. Surprising I know.
Against planes your best bet are Anti-Air units. You want these to be near your commander so they fire faster and more accurate. Even 1% more accuracy can be the difference between getting hiroshima’d and shooting down the Hitler mobile.
Let’s move to that
There are 4 types of AA guns:
Machine guns on trucks are usually cheap but have short range and low damage.
There are the 20mm cannons, they are big machine guns that do a lot more damage and have more range, they are to be grouped together in order to actually shoot down the enemy.
You have the bigger auto cannons, which are the 40mm BOFORS, 37mm 61-K and FLAK 41 37mm’s. This unit has more range and does more damage then the auto cannons. However they pack enough of a punch so 2 of them can easily shoot down a plane.
The next one are the big, BIG AA guns. Like the FLAK 88, 85mm 52-K and the 80mm 28/39M AA gun. These guns have extremely long ranges, can fire really big shells and 2 of them can retreat the biggest of planes.
They can also fire at tanks, and the 88’s are an excellent weapon that can kill even the biggest of tanks.
We already went over pretty much everything I can teach you, and after 3000 words I think it is time to finally end it here.
I know I didn’t mention tanks, but that’s for another tutorial.
The same principle on tanks applies as in support guns and Anti-Tank gun. Big gun, big tank, big things happen.
For a much better explanation, I refer to the support gun and anti-tank section.
Let’s create a battlegroup!
Let’s create a battlegroup!
In this section you will find out how to do something that decides 90% of competitive low tier games. Battlegroups.
In the categories above you have learned how to play around with different units. You know what all of them do and you have an idea of what to look for in divisions.
Let’s put that knowledge into practice!
Battlegroups in this game, different than Wargame Red Dragon (Also known as War Chat Read Wagon– Swastika spamming central) or Company of Heroes, divisions are not made up compositions of units that you can call in (let’s not talk about the amount of T-34/85’s 43 present in-game being superior than the amount produced throughout the war). They are true to life divisions that for the most part try to emulate the real number of men, guns, tanks, and plane support said divisions received in late 1944.
With that in mind it is understandable that divisions won’t always be balanced. Some are good for breakthrough, others for team games. Some are good competitive play, others are called Köruck 559. You’ll find an interesting amount of variety inside of divisions, which as a new player can sound good but don’t be fooled. A lot of units mean a lot more headaches to learn them. This game has a total of 66 Divisions with another 10 coming soon. This means that, you as a beginner, need to be on top of your game to find out what each division does.
What are these funny tab
Once you open your division creation tab you’ll be slapped with divisions on top of divisions, and everything is very confusing. Let us take it slow and walk through this together!
On the screen you can see everything is a bit more condensed, let’s go through the tabs
Name: It is the name you gave your division. Don’t be like me and call the 5. Panzer “Cat central” or the 3rd vdv “3rd”. There are at least 5 3rd’s and when you have 10 seconds to decide, you don’t want to guess what 3rd was the one you wanted to pick. Make it something you can easily find again!
Command: Not sure why it is called like that, but it is how many points you get per deployment phase in that deck (we’ll talk about this later)
A – It means the division is good for attacking.
B – It is good for both attacking and defending.
C – It is good for defending.
It is an indication of what the division has to offer, but don’t trust it.
Eugen does a very poor job at explaining you how to play the game (I mean, I wouldn’t be here if it did). I’m here for a reason, if they were here to help you, this guide wouldn’t exist.
This is a bit more helpful, but as always. Eugen hates you and it wants you to suffer, so don’t blindly trust it (insteaAd trust me, a stranger on the internet).
It shows you what this division is best at.
The 5. Panzer has a lot of tanks.
The 1. Lovas has good infantry and things to support it. It shows a mechanized division, but remember that mechanized != halftrack 99% of times. Most of the mech divisions don’t even have halftracks, for the most part they are assigned to panzer divisions.
The 12. Tartalek has a lot of infantry. And that’s literally all it does. Not even well but hey the type didn’t lie.
Division, Alliance and country:
Pretty self-explanatory. Most game modes are axis vs allies, so make sure to be on the right side when trying to select a division.
Opening the battlegroup creation
Once you have selected a division that has a funny enough icon and a name that will make you sound like a drunk scott, click on create and you’ll see this:
It means how many cards you can fit into your deck. Each rectangle with a number is a space that can be filled with a unit. The numbers indicate how many activation points it will take to fill those slots.
Once the slots are filled, you can see how many units exist in that tab.
Good, now you understand the very basics of it. But how should you create your battlegroups?
Well that is a bit of a tricky question. But rather than tell you there are no wrongs and pretend like there clearly isn’t a meta that favours a certain type of deck building, I’ll walk you through what to ABSOLUTELLY not do first, then tell you what you should HAVE in your deck, and only after that we will go through the decisions you can make. Some decisions in this are non-negotiable, and if you break the very basics of deck building you are putting yourself at a disadvantage for no reason. From experience most games that I played/watched in lower tier games were won simply by deck building. Pay attention to this.
Guide still in progress!
Well until the next one!
Wait for the new update! If you really want to know about it the second this guide gets an update, join my discord or follow me on twitch!!
Hope you enjoy the Guide about Steel Division 2 – Basic Gameplay Tips for New Players, if you think we should add extra information or forget something, please let us know via comment below, and we will do our best to fix or update as soon as possible!
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