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Steel Division 2 - Manspam Tactics Guide

Written by Kony 2012   /   Jul 20, 2019    
Steel Division 2 - Manspam Tactics Guide

A detailed guide on how to use the meme that is manspam tactics on a competitive level in 3v3 and 4v4 team games. After reading this guide and with a basic understanding of game mechanics, you will be prepared to play any of these decks and overwhelm your opponents with successful and well planned out human wave attacks.

The Basics



Why Use the Human Wave?

The "human wave” revolves around your deck having 180+ infantry squads in your deck, playing juggernaut, and preferably deploying 10+ squads every minute. It's simply so counter-meta that nobody is prepared for this. People expect tanks, planes or artillery spam, not infantry. Additionally, tanks don't tend to deal with infantry very well (Shermans at 750m being the exception), and artillery is better suited for dealing with blobs or concentrating on strategic locations instead of dealing with a wide front offensive. Combine all of these ingredients and you have a recipe for success.

How to use it:

Don't misunderstand this strategy. An offensive of just infantry won’t win you the game, but the infantry is the key instrument. As most players know, infantry is ineffective without the appropriate support. Anyone can spam infantry ineffectively, but with the right strategy you can turn an enormous mass of men with nothing more than bolt-action rifles and bad light machine guns into a game-winning force. Hence, the need for this guide.

First of all, what could go wrong? You might decide to pick one of these divisions, wait until phase C, hit your opponent with 160 infantry squads, and then see your offensive go to waste because of a couple of tanks, towed guns, or artillery pinning down your entire force in seconds. So, what does "doing it right” look like?

Ideally you want to use your infantry as a literal wave that crashes on the enemy frontline. Where the enemy is strong, the wave breaks. Where the enemy is weak, the wave swamps and overruns them. Generally, most opponents will be competent enough to construct a defensive front that covers any potential approach, so some support will be necessary. Ideally this means tanks that advance in the wake of your infantry, but heavy tank destroyers are also useful support tools.

Because this strategy needs support for your infantry, it might be best to spend your first few phase C income ticks on your ally’s fronts rather than your own, unless you are well coordinated with them and they send tanks to your front. While it might seem risky to start investing your points on another front, shortly after you start deploying 10-15 infantry squads every tick on the front of another ally, that front will rapidly become the focus of the enemy team’s attention.

Gameplan



The game plan for these divisions plays out like a normal juggernaut for phase A and B, except maybe slightly worse because of your lack of early infantry. You pick your slice of the map, preferably not town because of your low amount of infantry in phase A and B. Some kind of mixed/mid range area would be nice, so you can rely on your AT guns and tanks to hold onto phase A and B. Try being very careful with your infantry, and make sure to not overextend. There are some replays and videos of these decks in action and they would be a great gauge on how to play phase A and B. It’s all quite stagnant and we focus mostly on holding our ground and small trades. By the end of phase B, I would advise you to start getting all kinds of units that could support an infantry push when phase C hits. Think of stuff like spammable medium tanks, AA guns (preferably big caliber), AT guns, planes and artillery. If your front is slow and you have time to buy all these things before phase C, you are in for success.

As soon as phase C hits you turn from a detriment to your team into one of, if not, the most important asset in your team. Suddenly, you get 180~ infantry squads to spread around the map with which to push along the entire frontline. You might get a bit overwhelmed, especially during your first games or if you're used to floating points and playing reactively. You have to act fast and act decisively as soon as C hits. Your first 220 income tick should go to either your own frontline, if you're in danger of collapsing, or straight to your ally with the most tanks and supporting equipment, as they would be in the best position to crush their opponents after receiving infantry reinforcements, which leaves them to buy more armor with their income.

After having stabilized your own front and sending infantry to whoever was in the best position to push, you’re left with some options: do you keep sending infantry on that one allied front that's going well to try and push into their last control points, or do you open another front to split the enemy forces and attention? I would suggest going for the latter. One of the strengths of this deck compared to all other archetypes is how quickly you can build up pressure anywhere on the map. Send all your allies a tick of infantry, and while they are all pushing on the conventional fronts, try maybe sending 10 squads to some areas that normally don’t see a lot of combat.
When you take lenina 4v4 for example, there are 2 spots that come to mind: the middle right side of the map (1), dubbed the open field, and the river between town and the bridge point (2).



The reason for attacking these "dead” areas of the map is because they are really poorly defended, especially by C. Why would anybody defend an area where no sane person would ever attack from? Well little do they know that there are suddenly 10+ squads charging at them and they have no tools to fight them, forcing them to split their resources more and more, meaning less resources on the other more critical fronts. It also helps that those dead points tend to be poor infantry areas, which is actually a good thing for you. That means you will face less infantry there. and infantry is the biggest killer of your infantry spam. That's why I would suggest avoiding the forest or town, unless you first off-map/artillery it to death and then walk in supported by better squads of your allies.

5-10 minutes into phase C you should've build up so much pressure across the whole frontline that cracks in the enemy lines begin to show. There are 2 different types of "cracks” you should be looking for: ones caused by your team just having superior forces, and ones caused by the enemy not having enough troops somewhere in a low-intensity area on the frontline. I would advise you again to spend your resources on the low-intensity "dead” areas and just keep the pressure up on the other fronts by sending just enough infantry to keep the wave intact. Make sure not to spend too much resources there or you're in danger of overstacking and getting bogged down by artillery.

What to Expect



AXIS

When playing as one of the Axis decks you can expect quite an easy time in phase C. The problem with these decks is mostly phase A and B. They are just very weak divisions, with their only redeeming factor being the infantry they can bring into the late game. Early game you need to play defensively. You also need a bit of luck in that your enemy isn't some kind of rush deck. If he is a rush deck you will have to ask for some assistance from your allies early on. Thankfully you don't have to worry much about draining tickets when you’re 1 or 2 points behind, as the timer will give you plenty of time to come back.

Most of the time the biggest threat in phase A and B are the T-34s and/or Shermans. Most people have them in large numbers in the mid-game, and these Axis decks don't have enough AT to really deal with them. If you're having a lot of trouble I would suggest getting Korrück’s Tigers in phase B, or if you're playing as Tartalek, try saving your Stugs and ask for a single Tiger or Panther from your allies, and repay them with infantry later.

Ironically this is exactly what most Axis teams need. Quite a few Axis divisions have mediocre infantry tabs, and none of them are really made to use infantry offensively in front of a tank push. Panzergrenadiers are just too expensive and come in too few numbers, and the dedicated infantry decks of the Axis rely on even more expensive MP 44 equipped infantry.

When phase C hits you will have an easy time in most Axis teams, unless your whole team decided to take infantry divisions. Panther-, Tiger- and infantry spam is nigh unstoppable for the Allies. The only real answer they have is massed artillery. However, if you followed the plan above, you should be attacking across the whole map, and artillery is only really good against concentrated offensives. Also, it has reduced effectiveness against targets that are constantly on the move (so keep moving!). Your team should have better artillery pieces that can focus on counter battery anyway. That’s the main reason this tactic works better on the Axis side, as they have better armor and support equipment, but lack infantry. A match made in heaven.

ALLIES

The Allied decks have a much better time in phase A and B than the Axis, mostly because they are just much better in a straight up deck-to-deck comparison. You shouldnt have much trouble holding your own front. The Canadians get tons of great AT guns, and the 184th gets ISU-122s that will shred Tigers and Panthers, on top of having good infantry. The only real threat you might face is if you have to defend a city or forested area of the map vs MP 44 equipped infantry. You might be an infantry deck, but you can’t compete with 78. Sturm in a forest. That’s why I suggest taking a midrange point and playing defensively.

When phase C hits life gets worse when compared to the Axis divisions. You can’t simply plop down 15 rifles and expect your ally to push his tanks up with them. They will still die to Panthers and Tigers at range unless he has IS-2s. You have to play more tactically and make better use of the artillery you’re provided with to snipe all the big targets. Aside from that, your tactic relies on just having a lot of total deck value, much more so then the Axis spam decks. You can send 20-odd shermans into a forest or town if needed. You get big off-map support to clear said areas too, and some nice planes that can kill Tigers and Panthers. The game is a bit slower paced for allied divisions, as they have to manually delete every big cat from the game with their support tools, but your infantry spam is still the best tool you have. Panthers and Tigers have rather poor HE and German players tend to forget they need anti-infantry when they're playing on a relatively open field. In the end your role is still the same, but the threat is just very different.

Korrück



Steel Division 2 - Manspam Tactics Guide

Korrück is where it all started, and the one that arguably does it best (this might be the optimal way to play Korrück in 4v4 multiplayer).

The recon tab for korrück starts of pretty well. They get a couple of nice vehicles, and a couple of good squads that you can use to substitute your infantry in phase A and B. For the vehicles I would recommend picking up the the aufk. Panzer 742 and the spw. adgz. as they are both really good early vehicles, one armed with the 45mm and the other with a 20mm autocannon. The spw. 203 is a good vehicle too. If you're looking to substitute your infantry consider the Kosaken and lvf. Chasseurs your best options.

SS-Schupo. At 36 squads per card, 15 points per squad and 6 cards available, the SS-Schupo easily surpass the 200 squads benchmark, even without filling the 10 infantry slots available. They are quite a good squad for 15p too, coming with an MG and an SMG. Being disheartened also helps when you are doing a human wave assault, as this will make your squads rotate in and out of combat and essentially tumble their way to victory. For the rest of your infantry tab it’s really just a mix and match to try and maximise your transport use. I would suggest taking 1 squad of LVF grenadiers or Sicherungs in A and be sure to take the Sperrverband somewhere in your infantry tab too as they are really good!

Moving down to the tank tab, Korrück has an assortment of surprisingly effective phase A tanks. The problem is that none of them scale well into phase C and they are all locked to phase A and B with the exception of the Tiger and the T34. The Tiger can be used as the support element in your own infantry push, as even in phase C, 4 elite Tigers in one spot are a formidable force when acting in support of 20-30 rifle squads.

Korrücks support tab is a little better then the other divisions to follow. it has good MG’s, flammenwerfers, infantry guns and a nice assault tank with a surprising amount of armor. The VK18.01 feels like it was purpose bred to fight against PTRD armed russian infantry squads. as its 80mm front and 50mm side and rear will make it neigh invulnerable to them. A real hidden gem.

The anti tank tab would be alot better if they had more and cheaper slots. but sadly you have to make due. With the choice between pak36 and 45mm for the light guns. fk288 for the medium guns. and a pak 40 for the heavy guns. I would strongly advise you to take the pak40 and a pak36. with the rest being up to the user.

Anti air is quite good but only 4 slots. disheartened and discount 20mm flak38’s are almost a steal. these units are fantastic and you have to take one in phase A. I would also strongly advise you to take both the big gun flaks for their multipurpose value. you might very well need them as AT guns.

The next interesting tab is the Artillery tab. It might not be big and flashy by German standards. but it's still quite good. You get 2 different rocket artillery pieces: the Nebelwerfer that's locked to phase A, and the Vielfachwerfer. I would say both of them are mandatory in your Korruck deck. They are both great value in any kind of assault, and can be used to disrupt the enemy’s offensives in phases A and B.

Lastly there is the air tab, and what a tab it is: 2 cards of cannon Stukas, arguably the best tank buster in the game, if you can manage to not get them shot down (by either using them against overextended enemies, or shutting down all his AA first). These things kill any medium tank from the front in 1 pass, and any tank from the side in 1 pass, including the mighty IS2s. And they won’t have to worry about enemy fighters much either, considering Korruck can easily bring 18 Me 109’s. To top it off you could add some JU 87 D-5s, the best bomb Stuka in the game. With an air tab like this, you’re well placed to also help your team win the air war while they focus on supporting your soldiers on the ground.

12th Tartalek



Tartalek has the best Infantry out of the 4 divisions mentioned. Not necessarily the best to spam, but they are the strongest out of all 4 of the spam squads. 13 men, a panzerfaust and Hungarian mustaches. You can’t go wrong with that. In addition they have the best off-map and heavy artillery in the game. Sadly the only reason this deck is playable is because it’s on the Axis side, which comes with huge advantages when you're planning on man-spamming.

It starts off quite poorly for Tartalek. I personally don't think any of these recon units are worth it, but leaving three 1p slots open feels quite bad, so I at least put in the Csaba. Maybe it can kill some halftracks or infantry with its MG. That's about it.

Thankfully it's followed up by a mustache filled infantry tab that leaves no room for complaints. 6 cards of panzerfaust armed Lövész, and 4 cards of those killer 3MG squads with unpronounceable names. Did I mention they all come with mustaches? Solid infantry tab for a not so solid deck. Next!.

The tank tab, or rather the lack thereof. 2 slots, 1 card of Stugs and 1 card of H39, or a command S35 if you’re really feeling it. The Stug will help you through phase A, after which you’re left with H39s or nothing at all, not sure which is better. Personally, I only take the H39 because it’s 16 tanks I can deploy on one of my ally’s fronts later on during the game and tank AT shots.

Let’s quickly move on to (and away from), the support tab, which isn’t much better. 1 card of flamers is good but you’ll be hard pressed to find yourself using 6 cards of MGs or 4 cards of 50mm mortars. At least that leaves you with room to use those 1p slots for support trucks. Huge success!

In the anti-tank tab you will find the biggest travesty that is in this game: A 75mm AT gun with 60mm penetration. This shouldn’t even be possible! Avoid the 97/38m at all costs. Instead try the 40mm’s, as they are essentially Pak 36’s with HE shells. Quite nice value. The 40m 75mm is a must if you want any chance of making it to phase C. At least you get a card of Panzerschrecks… Thankfully you can substitute your anti-tank tab with your anti-air tab

The anti air tab is really good. they start off with the bofors (36m), which are arguably one of the best anti air guns in the game, which also come with AP shells. So not only are they one of the best AA, but they also deal with light vehicles rushes really well. giving you protection against the most common allied rush decks. another best in the game that goes to Tartalek. Sadly their 80mm anti air gun is not as good compared to its counterparts, but it’s better than nothing and very welcome in Tartalek’s anti air tab, as they function as decent at guns again

The artillery tab is the redeeming factor of Tartalek, and the biggest reason you would take this deck over Korruck on the Axis side (besides the mustaches of course). Almost everything in here is great: the FK280 that can function as an emergency AT gun on top of being a solid artillery piece. The same 97m that I recommended you avoid on the anti-tank tab, but now as an artillery piece and suddenly a lot better! 50p for a piece that compares to the F22, oh yeah! It also really adds to the WW1 vibe of the deck. It’s bigger brother, the 149mm is no joke though. While its identical to all the other 150mm~ artillery in most stats, it has an ace up its sleeve. It has double the Rate-Of-Fire. These mustache clad Hungarians can fire twice as fast as their Western and Russian counterparts! An amazing achievement, which makes this the best big caliber towed gun. Well deserved!

If anything survives your 149’s it might be time for the real big guns. 305mm ŠKODA Mörser, the best off-map in the game. It has the same amount of shells as the 150mm off-maps while having DOUBLE the damage! 15! and because it’s a plane it is quick to deploy wherever you want, and just as easily redeployed. Just make sure they don’t get shot down too quickly, considering they get 4 shots if they stay alive! Which segways...

...nicely into the air tab, as you might want to send some planes to escort them and draw away enemy AA fire. Thankfully there are quite a few aircraft to choose from. 4 cards of decent fighters, 2 heavy bombers and an assortment of ME210s, out of which especially the protos are really strong. As it has insane fire rate and armor penetrations. while also being on a good chassis. This plane is excellent for dealing with pesky t34/85s that threaten your position. Overall, quite similar to Korrücks air tab and follows the same philosophy.

184th Strelky



184th has the best infantry to spam out of the 4 manspam decks, with the Strelky at 20p. They also rock the heaviest anti-tank out of all the decks and are just a solid support deck in general. All-round, a great choice for the allies to spam some infantry with and they are Russian so that adds some extra immersion!

The recon tab isn't very interesting, sadly. There's the typical Soviet sniper in there, some bad recon squads, and the BA-10m which is quite decent actually. Sadly that is all.

The real meat starts at the infantry tab. This is a Soviet infantry tab to be proud of: 10 slots at a good price and 9 Strelky squads to fill them with. A match made in heaven. I would suggest putting all 6 of your Strelky squads with anti-tank grenades in C, as they are the best infantry spam squads in the game right now. At 20p with 11 men, it is a squad that can deal with both infantry and tanks. They will kill anything they meet. No matter what the threat is, these brave Russian men will overcome it. Besides that you get all the lovely Soviet infantry you're used to: your tankos, avtos and saperi are all back for another adventure.

The tank tab leaves much to be desired, but it does have enough tanks to get you through phase A. You get the proper Stuart (M5l) with 70mm pen, and the Lee (M3s) is a surprisingly good vehicle.

With it’s 2 guns it has a very good matchup against Stugs at below 500m range, which is great because that's the most common tank you will face from the Axis infantry decks. Aside from that you also get a card of Valentines. They are also quite the hidden gem, mostly because of their great mix of price, penetration and availability. 16 Six Pounders on a vehicle in phase B? Yes please. Do note that their weakness is their slow movement.

The support tab is tied with recon for being the worst this deck has. 1 card of flamers and 1 card of infantry guns are the only units worthy of note. The maxim just isn't a good machine gun, and the 50mm mortar is no better.

Thankfully the anti-tank tab comes to the rescue. This is one of the best anti-tank tabs the Allies have to offer, mostly due to the 3 cards of ISU122s, which is just a fantastic unit. 200mm pen and 125mm frontal armor. An absolute beast at killing Tigers and Panthers. You also get the trusty 45mm AT gun, the mainstay of the Soviet anti-tank tab.

Surprisingly this deck also has one of the best soviet anti-air tabs. 3 cards of 37mm to kill any planes coming in small numbers, and 2 cards of 85mm if the enemy decides to really get annoying with his airpower. They will also come in useful protecting your artillery, because there is definitely something to protect.

Again, the artillery tab is one of the best tabs out of all the soviet divisions. 2 cards of ML-20 152mm big caliber corrected shot artillery pieces which is quite rare for the Soviets. Treasure them dearly and they will reward you with kills on any important unit or strong point your enemy has. If you need more firepower, you can call in the 280mm off-map (the biggest ones the Soviets get) to obliterate any target. As icing on the cake you get some 122mm and 76mm towed guns too.

The air tab is sadly not as good as the rest of this deck. You get some mediocre fighters and 2 AT rocket planes (1 of which is not actually AT, It's just really big). Finally they have a pretty good bomber in the IL-4.

3rd Canadian



3rd Canadian is the best of the bunch in a deck to deck comparison. Not only does it get an infinite amount of cheap 15p infantry in the form of rifles (they're not even disheartened!), but they also function like an actual good deck besides that. They get access to anything you’d want from the Commonwealth.

First and foremost, you can get up to 9 cards of rifles, and you have over THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY transports for them! Although it's probably not a good idea to get more then 5 in phase C, you wont need more than 200 infantry in 95% of your manspam games anyway, since 3rd Cannuckians have so many more units to spend their points on. That's their strength over the other manspam decks after all. Other than rifles, the Canadians sadly don't really have anything interesting in the infantry tab. A 4 man flamer squad that would have fit better in support and 2 five man satchel charge squads. But hey, at least you have 9 cards of rifles!

The Canadian recon tab has some hidden gems. The 2 man squads can come in 2-inch carriers. This is one of the best and most overlooked units in the game. It’s essentially just a 50mm mortar on a transport, but that transport matters so much more than you might imagine. The fact that it now has 10mm armor means it doesn't die to enemy MGs. You can now freely shoot your 2-inch mortar at enemy squads at 500m without dying to a single squad MG looking at you. I’d suggest getting 2 cards of snipers in 2-inch carriers, but there are also great armored car options.

The tank tab is what really sets it apart from the other decks. Shermans, and lots of them. Up to 30 sherman DDs in A if you're that crazy. Not only do you get more tanks then the other infantry decks, but they are also the best infantry support tanks you could ask for! Just what this deck needs. As a finisher, you can take a card of Fireflies for some oompf in the tank tab. A big +!

The support tab is the weakest part of the deck. You get your commanders, bad machine guns, supplies and 2-inch mortars. The only thing that is unique is the M7 DDs and the AVRE. I personally take the AVRE, just for the armor, and try to bait armor facing with it while AT guns can shoot at the side of Panthers and Tigers. Besides that it’s all quite depressing.

The anti-tank tab is Great Again. It has all you need, but it leaves you wishing there were more slots you could fill. 4 cards of 6pdr, 4 cards of 17pdr and even 2 cards of Wolverines if you're into that sort of thing. Just stay away from the Piat squad, it’s no good.

It is the same story with the AA tab. 2 cards of Bofors, and 2 Crusaders, but only 3 slots. A true modern dilemma.

The artillery tab is just stunning. You get everything you could ever want and more: big guns, small guns, small off-map, big off-map, self-propelled, towed guns and mortars. Spoiled for choice! Personally my favorite is the 381mm off-map, not only because it’s the biggest explosions we’ve got ingame currently, but also because it combos so well with your manspam tactics. Landing an off-map in town just before you push your 30 rifle squads in there is going to give you a huge boost. You also get 2 cards of 5,5-inch off-map, with a really potent mix of damage and shots.

Furthermore, you get bl5,5 -inch towed guns, one of the best heavy artillery pieces in the game which you can take up to 3 cards of. By now it should become very clear why the Canadians are the best out of the bunch so far.

The air tab isn’t lacking either. Up to 3 cards of one of the best fighters in game, the Spitfire, plus 2 cards of Mosquito rocket planes. It's just a fantastic deck overall.

Written by Kony 2012.