The 1942 era is a warmode (game mode) included in the base game. In this mode, only vehicles and weapons of 1939+ to 1942+ are available and introduces anti-tank and additional units for the first time, and includes the last of the fighter-bombers.
The mode is intermediary in terms of difficulty as it has the basic weapons and slightly more advanced units to produce, but not the heavy/prototype units a nation can totally muster in the game. Examples of nations whose strength has been increased in this warmode are Germany, the United States, and the Soviet Union.
Nation Performance Edit
The US is pretty balanced at 1942 but does suffer from a lack of heavy armor. M4 Shermans are definitely an improvement over Lees and when paired with your brand new Wolverine tank destroyers, can be a threat to even heavy armor. Speaking of the Wolverine, never send these things anywhere unescorted by Shermans or Lees as they only have an armor level of 1 and can be killed painlessly by most enemy tanks. Your Rangers are basement standard heavy infantry and are just a straight up (badly needed) upgrade to your G.I.s. You get access to the mediocre M8 Greyhound as well, effective if you're easily annoyed by artillery. Your anti-tank guns are very nice for only a twenty dollar AT base with the cheap, cheerful, and deadly M1 57 mm. The M5 75 mm is a deadly killer for the same price as the M1, so upgrade when you get the cash. The US is unique in it gets one of only two self-propelled AA guns at 1942 with the M16 Gun Motor Carriage but this is your only upgrade form '39 in the Arty and AA base. Finally, the Army Air Force went from underdog to extremely powerful in '42 with the well-protected B-17 heavy bomber, the quick and powerful P-51 Mustang, and the P47 Thunderbolt which can hold its own in the air against anything smaller than an ME-109 or Zero and can destroy level two and lower armor in a single run.
Germany is to be feared at '42. The hallmark of Germany at '42 is your armor base which can deploy the plentiful and powerful Panzer IV and the (in)famous Panzer VI Tiger. Deploying Tigers is a tactical and economic choice that can either win you the game or cost you the game. Depending on your opponent, Panzer IVs may be all you need (like against the US or the UK) Your AT base is ridiculously cheap at twenty dollars for what lies within. Your Pak 36s are cheap, very cheap and can be upgraded to the devastating Pak 40 for a mere 25 dollars, though keep in mind that the Pak 40 is 15 dollars (!) a gun. The real star of your AT base is the poorly armored, but cheap and deadly Marder. Armed with for all intents and purposes the Tiger's gun, the Marder can be especially deadly when paired with Panzer IVs as meat shields as they can crack open KV-1s, T-34s, B1s from range. Your heavy Sturmgrenadiers share something with US Rangers, they're just simply better than your Grenadiers in every way and are armed with the strongest AT weapon in the game, the Panzerschreck. Your Artillery base only gains the option of trading in light, accurate artillery, for heavier, less accurate artillery. The StuG is still effective and the 20 mm Flak is still your only defense against aircraft. The KwK L56 88, for its price and the price of the arty and AA base itself, is unfortunately just unnecessary with such good AT guns from the AT base. The real downside to Germany at '42 is your Luftwaffe is no better than at 1939 with no new aircraft. Keeping the skies safe is where Germany really struggles at '42 since everyone else's air force has moved on, leaving Germany in the dust, just wait till '45 and that will change :)
Russia is still a bag of extremes at '42. Your KV-1s can no longer ROFL stomp everything, but you have gained very effective medium tanks in the T-34 which can beat every other medium in the game at '42 other than the Panzer IV which it is equal with. The initial research price for the T-34 is steep but you can spam them like no tomorrow once the eggheads are done looking at slopped armor and Chrisite Suspensions. Your AT-Base is pretty expensive, but your AT-76 mm which upgrade from the AT-45 and the well armored and very cheap SU-85 are worth it. Deploying hordes of T-34s and SU-85s can crush even the strongest of enemies and your one extra unit in the Artillery and AA base, the ISU-122 helps by being a decent assault gun. Your infantry is what shines though with the absolutely merciless Gvardiya will crush anything in their path (they're perfect for teaching those Japanese "sharpshooters" who's boss!) despite their rather steep research price of 50 dollars. The Red Air Force is improved but still vulnerable. Yak 3s can be an effective counter to enemy air power when deployed in large numbers though they are inferior or balanced to every other nation's fighters and even some fighter bombers like the Thunderbolt and the Suisei. Your Shturmovik fighter bombers however are tied with the 1945 era Typhoon as the most powerful fighter bombers in the game. Capable of erasing a level three armor unit, they are expensive and do require escorts as they will lose duels with Stukas. Just like at '39, Russia's biggest weakness is its mediocre AA defense, so team up with a nation with good AA like the US or with a good air force.
The United Kingdom is perhaps the weakest nation at 1942. Your air force is not nearly as dominating as it was before now that most nations have fighters that match yours. Your Spitfires are no slouches still. The only air upgrade you get is the Lancaster Bomber which is possibly the best bomber in the game. Not as well protected or as powerful as the other heavy bombers; but, the Lancaster is frighteningly fast for a heavy bomber, most '39 fighters can't even catch it while its under Blitz! Your tanks are still awful with one noteworthy exception, the Cromwell A27 is nowhere near as powerful as the Panzer IV or T-34, but its speed makes it the fastest level three armored unit in the game, so you can run away if need be and no one but Italy can catch you. Your Artillery base receives some significant buffs in the form of the very effective Sexton, one of only three self-propelled non-assault gun, artillery guns in the game. The 140 mm is decent and actually worth the asking price unlike the gun it upgrades from. Your AA is still no better though so stick to using your own planes to take control of the skies. Your AT Base is pretty weak. There is no upgrade for your mediocre AT-2 pounders at '42 and the Archer is about as useful as the Wolverine for the US, best protected by Matildas as meat shields. Your Guards upgrade from your Regulars at the Barracks and share their PIAT handicap. Otherwise they equal most other heavy infantry. In short, the UK an be very painful at '42 warmode, try to provide support (preferably from the air) for a more powerful nation.
Italy is till middle ground at 1942 warmode. Your Carro M15 tanks are a massive improvement over the M13 with a gun to match the Sherman or Chi-Ha. Level two armor makes the M15 good at beating up most light tanks and once you research it (which takes three years with Italy's slow research time :) ) you can spam it just as well as the M13. On top of all that, you can unlock (after three more years of research) the Autoblinda 43, which is the best armored recon in the game at '42 warmode for the same price as its predecessor. The Italian AT Base is very strong with the powerful Semovente 90/53 TD which is much like the Marder, powerful, but fragile at a modest price. The AA 90 mm is basically a German 88 mm with an Italian flag and the AT 47 mm is cheap, cheerful and good at ambushing enemy armor. Your artillery and AA Base is not better than before with the still effective M75 assault gun, mediocre artillery and, needlessly expensive 20 mm flak guns being your only AA defense. Your Granatieri heavy infantry follows the parade of heavy infantry upgrades. Finally giving you some effective counter to enemy tanks for your infantry, the only real downside is the aforementioned three years it will take you to research new infantry. Your air force is pretty decent with the capable and fast Veltro replacing the Saetta and the P108 bomber being the fastest non-jet bomber in the game. As is usual with Italy, the biggest pain is the long research times, once the research is complete, everything Italy has is easily mass-produced. Use your numbers and speed to overwhelm the enemy and exploit open flanks or your strong support units to help another nation with stronger battle tanks while saving yours for raiding.
France is the second weakest nation at 1942, primarily because they have the least number of upgrades. Your B1s are now cannon fodder for more powerful tanks like the Tiger, Panzer IV, T-34, and every nations TDs. Your S35s can be upgraded to the very effective SAU-40 which is armed with an assault gun to blast structures and has the same high-velocity gun that the T-34 and Panzer IV get. Beware though, as the SAU-40 does not get HE shells for its standard gun or a machine gun so enemy infantry can be a thorn in its side. Your barracks is exactly the same as it was in '39 so your now on equal footing with everyone else as your Legionaries are not the only elite or heavy infantry anymore. Your Artillery and AA Base again has no changes, decent artillery and AA at a reasonable price, though you could make the argument that the SAU-40 negates your Artillery. Your AT-Base is unique in that you can deploy the pea-shooting 25 mm basic AT guns or the 47 mm upgraded gun without any research or sacrificing one for the other. Your Laffly W15 TDs also don't need research and are cheap and cheerful, its gun is devastating, but the machine has no armor so it needs escorts and artillery protection. As far as the French Air force is concerned, only the Guppy fighter bomber is new and it ties with the Sparviero as the worst fighter bomber in the game. At tleast the Guppy is cheap and plentiful and dose not need to be researched.
Japan continues to be a strange nation at 1942. The Chi-Nu is virtually required to keep pace with everyone else's armor. The Chi-Nu's level two armor is weak and unreliable; nevertheless, it does get the same gun as the Panzer IV and the T-34 which outclasses the Sherman and Cromwell. From your armor base you can also deploy the Te-Se, the only other self-propelled AA gun at 1942 and unlike the M16, its actually armored with level three armor nonetheless. The Te-Se does take awhile to build and can be kind of expensive, though it is cheaper than all the 1945 era SPAAGs like the Wirblwind, M19, and Skink (though at '42 that's little compensation). Your AT base is pretty weak. The M1 AT-45 mm is effective when firing from ambush and gives your infantry some AT power. Don't even bother with the Ho-Ru unless you're desperate for a machine cheaper than the Chi-Nu as it has the Chi-Nu's gun, no turret and can't engage infantry. The Artillery and AA Base only gains one new unit, the Ku-Su, the third and final self-propelled artillery available at 1942 that's not an assault gun. Its for all intents and purposes, and armored version of your 75 mm howitzers. Your barracks gains the only combat engineers in RUSE with Dokuritsu Kohei. Players of WARGAME (Eugene Systems's Cold War era RTS series) will know what combat engineers are good for, destroying infantry and buildings with some light AT power. The Imperial Air Force gains access to the fast and unique Suisei fighter bomber. Only two fighter bombers in the game are faster, the Thunderbolt and the 1945 Typhoon. Likewise, they are the only fighter bombers that can survive a run in with the Suisei. Strangely, the Suisei actually is more dangerous to aircraft than to enemy ground units as it is in equal terms with the Zero but shares the tiny bomb load of the Sparviero and the Guppy. You also finally get access to real paratroopers which have heavy infantry armament instead of elite armament and characteristically light Japanese AT abilities.
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