Brigade Strategy Guide

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Brigades are generally considered the biggest flaw of HoI2. There are a few Brigades that make sense to use, a few more that are slightly inefficient, and others that serve almost no useful purpose.

What is the problem with Brigades?

The general view is that Brigades are largely useless because:

  • Stats: Improvement in fighting ability is typically minor or of limited practical utility.
  • IC cost: The IC cost is too high when compared to the improvements offered: the player is better served building additional units, rather than brigades.
  • TC load: Brigades use a relatively high amount of supplies and fuel, thus disproportionately increasing your TC load.
  • Mechanics: Some brigades have absolutely no practical value in-game under any reasonable circumstances.

Land Brigades

The general rule would be to brigade expensive land divisions such as armor and motor and mech because brigades are comparatively more cost effective than expensive divisions are while not brigading cheap units like infantry divisions. Use either SPA or AC brigade for your mobile formations; in a combined arms formation of armor and motor, the AC brigade on motor infantry divisions helps them to keep enough organization. Infantry + arty is good for defense but makes these divisions too slow for attacking through several provinces.

Useful Brigades

These brigades have some utility:

  • Artillery Brigade:
    • Marines: since you are limited to three marine stacks in the early game, every extra bit of firepower helps.
    • Defending: the movement penalty doesn't hurt when using a static defense (e.g. particularly when using fortifications)
    • Fortress Busting: against extremely hard targets, every bit of extra firepower helps
  • Self-Propelled Artillery Brigade:
    • Fortress Busting: against extremely hard targets, every bit of extra firepower helps
    • Mobile formations: Any mobile units are well augmented by SP-ART.
  • Armored Car Brigade:
    • Mobile formations: A useful addition similar to SP-ART in effectiveness. Lack of upgrades after 1941 render the unit less effective over the long term
  • Police Brigade
    • Anti-Partisan Duty: Where you'd need quite some army to get partisan activity down, a simple garrison with a police brigade does the same work.

Late Brigades

These brigades are generally not worth the research time, come too late in game, but they are good units:

Worthless Brigades

These brigades are usually worthless in any context! That said, some players still enjoy using them for role playing reasons.

  • Anti-aircraft Brigade: In HOI2 and DD these simply couldn't inflict any meaningful damage on air units. In ARMA, it is possible for AA brigades to do damage to AI bombers when attached to HQ units, which the AI will target.
  • Engineer Brigade: The speed benefit won't help units with a capped speed, and the defensiveness is essentially useless in any meaningful game context. (See Blue Emu's explanation)
  • Heavy Armored Brigade & Super Heavy Armored Brigade: Ironically, if the enemy tank has an anti-tank brigade attached, heavy armor actually makes a tank more vulnerable. SH-ARM is extremely immobile and robs armor of one of their most important attributes: speed. The 1941 H-ARM brigade has good characteristics so long as speed, oil/supply consumption, and TC load are not concerns. For example, H-Arm is sometimes useful for Arm-Mot formations, as the Motorised Infantry are 1 speed point slower than the Armour as it is, so the speed penalty of the H-Arm is not so much of an issue.
  • Anti-tank Brigade & Tank Destroyer Brigade: In almost all practical scenerios against the AI, ART and SP-ART is more effective. "SP-AT(sic) is more effective than SP-ART if over 88% of your opponents will be Armored Divisions. That fact alone should tell you that it's a basically useless brigade." -- Blue Emu

Further reading

Air Brigades

According mld0806: "Escort Fighters are ALWAYS a necessity, as you will have at least some TAC in your air force either way you go, and for these you need Escorts. STR are as much, if not more, in need of Escorts to truly do their worst against the enemy. The Escorts will draw fire, both from enemy aircraft and enemy AA emplacements. Escorts are much hardier against these forms of attack than your bombers are. And the longer you can stay over the target, the more time you have to do the damage you wish to do."

Naval Brigades

There are 6 new brigades for ships introduced in Armageddon. Depending on ship you can add a certain amount of brigades.

  • CV - 1 (only CAG)
  • CVL - None
  • BB - 5 (All available)
  • BC - 4
  • CA - 3
  • CL -2
  • DD - 1 (A ship specific ASW is available along with the others)
  • SS - None
  • TP - None

The 6 brigades/improvements are :

  • Anti-Air: Increase in Air Defense, Air Attack & Air Detection Capabilities
  • Radar: Increase Sea Detection Capability & Air Detection Capability (capital variant only)
  • Fire Control: Increase Sea Attack, Shore Bombardment & Max Firing Distance
  • Improved Hull: Increase Air Defense & Sea Defense
  • Torpedoes: Increase Convoy Raiding
  • ASW: Increase Sub Detection & Sub Attack (Destroyer only)

Brigade costs differ depending on if it is attached to a capital ship or a screen. For example:

  • Screen Fire Control Brigade costs 2 IC over 140 Days (280ICD) for the Early model and 2.5 IC over 140 Days (350ICD) for the Late model
  • Capital Fire Control Brigade costs 2 IC over 190 Days for the Early model and 2.5 IC over 190 Days for the Late model

Generally, the Fire Control brigade is considered the only worthwhile naval brigade.

Brigade List

Land Brigades

Naval Brigades

There are five types of Naval vehicles, they are listed below. Brigades can only be built for one type of naval vehicles.

Carrier Only Brigades

Note; Light Carriers (CVL's or also called CVE's) are a Capital Ship not a Carrier for Brigade purposes. You need not / cannot attach a CAG brigade to a CVL.

Capital Ship Only Brigades

Screen Ship Only Brigades

Submarine Only Brigades

  • There are NO Submarine specific brigades

Transport Only Brigades

  • There are NO Transport specific brigades

Air Brigades