WARNO – Ultimate Starting Divisions Guide

Explanatory Guide to Starting Divisions


Let’s take a closer look at the two divisions you can choose from at the start of WARNO. You get one division from NATO and one from the Warsaw Pact. These divisions let you make your own battlegroup and change it how you want.

If you played Steel Division 2, you probably know how this works. But for each new division, we’ll tell you about the units in the game and also share some cool history facts. This will help Wargame fans coming back to the series and new players too.

Before we get started, here are some general changes that are good to know. Keep in mind that most of these could still change.

  • To make the selection of an anti-aircraft unit easier – especially when you need one the most in the heat of battle – we split up the Support tab into two new categories: AA (Anti-Aircraft) and ART (Artillery). The former category covers all AA units, from MANPAD teams, SAM units to AA helicopters. The latter, the big indirect fire guns, including MLRS units.
  • The Tank category now includes both main battle tanks and dedicated anti-tank units, such as ATGM vehicles and specialized squads.
  • Command units can be found in the LOG (Logistical) category but now only contain unarmed units (jeeps, M577, helicopter, etc.). These represent battalion commanders and officers. The combatant Command units, including tanks and infantry, are now in their respective categories, TNK and INF.
  • The old Wargame’s VEH (Vehicle) tab, which was an umbrella group for a host of units we couldn’t fit in other categories, has been removed. Instead, these units have been divided across other categories:
  1. Anti-Tank (AT) units are now featured in TNK, as mentioned above.
  2. Armored Personnel Carriers and Infantry Fighting Vehicles are now also featured in TNK. Unarmored jeeps and truck transports are nested in INF. This only affects the Armory, not the actual battlegroup deck building, where transport vehicles can only be chosen when selecting your Infantry units.
  3. Engineer armor (including flamethrower or spigot mortar-equipped tanks) can be found in the TNK category.

U.S. 3rd Armored Division’s Background

It’s time to get the dirty details. What does NATO’s U.S. 3rd Armored “Spearhead” Division has to offer in WARNO?

This division might ring a bell to our Steel Division 2 veterans. The very same ”Spearhead” division landed in France in June 1944 and fought its way from Normandy all the way to Eastern Germany before being deactivated at the end of World War II. This was only as a brief respite in the formation’s history.

Reactivated as a training unit in the late 40s, the 3rd Armored Division was brought back to operational status in 1955 and from there stationed in Germany. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, it would call the country home during the Cold War, returning to the United States in 1992.

The formation was stationed in Frankfurt, close to the V. Corps (commanded in ‘86-’87 by a certain Colin Powell, who had previously served as an officer in the 3rd Armored Division in the 50s). Several of its battalions were posted further east, near the Inner German Border.

In the event of a conflict, the 3rd Armored Division’s battalions would have been the first responders to any Soviet offensive – and most likely its first casualties. In some terms, its mission was one of near-sacrifice: hold off any hostile elements in the Fulda region as long as possible so that reinforcements could deploy from the rear and allied nations. In WARNO, at the first warning of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, monitoring the frontier in this sector, the 3rd Armored Division mobilized and engaged the Soviet spearhead.

Expected to do some of the hardest fighting, 3rd Armored Division was one of the best trained, equipped, and combat-ready divisions of the U.S. Army during the Cold War.

U.S. 3rd Armored Division’s Game Overview

What can you expect of the 3rd Armored “Spearhead” Division in WARNO?


  • The division will have access to a lot of cheap tank slots, as well as the most powerful ones: plenty of M1A1 Abrams, but also a few of the brand-new M1A1HA (HA standing for Heavy Armor) with its depleted uranium armor.
  • A handful of M728 CEV engineer tanks bring heavy high explosives to bear, able to dislodge infantry entrenched in urban terrain.
  • You’ll also find ATGM carriers and squads in this category, such as the M901A1 ITV (TOW-2).


  • The 3rd Armored doesn’t lack in soldiers, but with all its mechanized battalions equipped with Bradley IFV, this means that almost all its infantry are half-squads. This is due to the limited passenger space in those infantry fighting vehicles.
  • These so-called Fire Teams are 5- or 6-man strong squads, one fielding two LMGs and a LAW rocket launcher, while the other is equipped with one LMG and a Dragon II ATGM.
  • Only a few full-sized 11-man Mechanized Rifles squads are available, being deployable in either trucks or M113 APCs.
  • Engineer squads are either equipped with Satchel demolition charges (explosives) or Dragon II ATGM. Engineer half-squads are called Assault Groups, and they come with M202 Flash incendiary rocket launchers.
  • A handful of Aero-Rifles (10-man squad with two LMG and LAW) can be brought to the battlefield with UH-60A Blackhawk transport helicopters.
  • Finally, some lighter Military Police’s 5-man groups complete the roster, armed either with an M60 machine gun or more rarely an M67 90mm RCL recoilless rifles. While recoilless rifles may have been outdated by 1989, they have more range than LAWs and can fire either HEAT or HE rounds, making them less powerful but more versatile than an ATGM.


  • The artillery category features the M106A2 107mm mortar carrier, the M109A2 self-propelled 155mm unit and the fearsome M270 MLRS with both a cluster and HE loadout.


  • This category includes the M163 PIVADS (autocannon) and M48A1 Chaparral (missiles) self-propelled anti-air vehicles.
  • You will also find infantry Stinger teams and Stinger-armed OH-58C/S helicopters.


  • The 3rd Armored offers quite a bit of choice in the reconnaissance category. Slot allocation, though, is limited. Better choose wisely!
  • For instance, you can deploy 4-man infantry Scouts, M113 ACAV (with LMG, HMG, and recoilless rifles – some things never get old). Or an M150, which is an M113 with a single TOW launcher. These were assigned to recon companies after being replaced by the M901 in an anti-tank role. Or the OH-58C Scout with a minigun or its successor the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior with its Hellfire ATGM. You can always opt for a Bradley CFV.


  • Helicopter support includes the AH-1F Cobra with rockets or the AH-1F TOW Cobra with mixed rockets and TOW loadout.
  • You can also choose for the AH-64A Apache in three different variants: full (76!) rocket loadout, mixed Hellfire/rockets, or full (16!) Hellfire payload.


  • Aircraft featured include the F-4E Phantom, as well as the F-4G Phantom II. You can also deploy the F-111E Aardvark tactical bomber and the A-10A Thunderbolt II ground attack plane.
  • These aircraft are available in no less than 10 different loadouts, including HE, cluster, napalm, ATGM, or SEAD roles (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses).
  • F-15C Eagle fighters complete this list, contesting the Soviet planes for air superiority.

The 3rd Armored “Spearhead” Division is a well-balanced formation with plenty of armored fighting vehicles, mechanized recon, as well as potent helicopter support. It might lack anti-air defenses but can dominate on the battlefield as a hard-hitting offensive battlegroup.

79-ya Gv. Tank. Div’s Background

The Soviet 79-ya Gv. Tank. Div, known as the 79th Guards Tank Division, traces its glorious military history back to the Battle of Stalingrad, where it was one of the veteran (and decimated) infantry divisions (the 284th Rifle Division) elevated to Guard status for its part in defending the city. Later on, during World War II, it fought in Crimea, Poland, East Prussia, and then Berlin, where it was the first division to receive and relay the German request for a cease-fire.

The 79th Guards Rifle Division remained on occupation duty in Germany after the war, and would do so until 1992. It changed its name and organization several times during the Cold War, being converted to a tank division in 1965. Being part of the 8th Guards Army, the 79th Guards Tank Division is the sole organic armored division available.

The formation was earmarked to spearhead any Soviet offensive into Western Germany near the Fulda sector. Its role was to brush aside the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment’s delaying screen and clear the way – heavy casualties were expected… and accepted. Upon reaching more tank-friendly terrain, it was straight to the Rhine from there for the division.

Much like the American counterpart, and for the exact same reasons, the 79th Guards Tank Division was one of the best-equipped and trained divisions in the Soviet Army.

Soviet 79-ya Gv. Tank. Div’s Game Overview

What can you expect of the 79th Guards Tank Division in WARNO?


  • As with all 8th Guards Army formations, the 79th Guards Tank Division had priority with the latest tank shipments. This means you can deploy the advanced T-80BV with reactive armor bricks or the plain T-80U.
  • With the replacement rate of tanks being quite slow, older variants such as T-80B can still be encountered in the division.
  • Also available in this category is the BRDM-2 Konkurs ATGM tank destroyer.


  • The Infantry category features 3 variants (notwithstanding the Command one) of Motorstrelki: 8-man BTR- & 7-man BMP-transported ones, both with one LMG and an RPG-7, and a second BMP-transported one with Metis ATGM. There is also a BMP variant with the Metis light ATGM.
  • Saperi (engineers) squads come with a satchel or RPO thermobaric launcher. There is also a Command variant.
  • Transport choices range from BMP-1P and BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, BTR-60 APCs, and unarmored UAZ-469 jeeps and GAZ-66 trucks.


  • There is a large amount of choice in the AA category, from small Igla teams to Strela-10M medium and OSA long-range SAM units.
  • That’s not all: Buk heavy SAM and Tunguska SPAAG complete the list.


  • You can field the self-propelled 2S1 Gvozdika 122mm and the 2S3M Akatsiya 152mm units.
  • The BM-21 Grad rocket launcher is also available.
  • More units will be added on a later date!


  • The 79th Guards Tank Division has lighter recon units compared to the American counterpart. They are 4-man Razvedka infantry scout teams in UAZ jeeps,7-man Razvedka heavy squad or 7-man Spetsnaz GRU special force squads in an armed Mi-8TV helicopter.
  • Vehicles include BRDM-2 armored cars and BRM-1 recon.
  • Finally, an unarmed recon helicopter can also be deployed.


  • Let’s be honest, some of the coolest helicopters came out of the USSR! However, on a divisional level, they were few and far in between. A handful of utility Mi-8 and the fearsome Mi-24 are available in a transport or close air support role.
  • Regardless, the helicopters that can be deployed will come in a variety of loadouts, with different weapon sets and combat roles in mind. The helicopter slots will, unfortunately, be limited and expensive.


  • While helicopter support might be limited, aircraft choice will be plenty. There are no less than five different SU-25 loadouts, including rockets and ATGM, for instance.
  • Furthermore, you’ll get to deploy three different types of SU-24M, as well as MiG-23ML and MiG-31 for air cover.

The 79th Guards Tank Division is a top-notch armored division, fielding some of the best equipment the Warsaw Pact has to offer. It might lack helicopter support but makes up for it with its combined air assets and ground units.

General Recon Tips

Some tips on recon:

  • Resist the temptation to sprinkle recon units everywhere; their job instead is to provide information on specific areas for specific units; that is the most useful when attacking.
  • Hold fire is your friend to keep them alive.
  • Infantry units and vehicles are better for flanks; flank roads are defended by something shooting down them or an AT ambush.
  • Infantry will often spot for tanks.

General Pact Tips

There’s three tactics that are kind of worth doing:

  • An extremely plane heavy gameplay where you basically just play with recon to spot the targets and then use planes to take out AA and such. If the opponent has stronger air than you, use ground based AA to tip the scales in your favor.
  • The other thing you can do is use the BM-21. Fire on a reinforcement road and you can pretty much ensure you’ll have a good chance of getting somewhere first. The BM-21 should be firing continuously and probably won’t make back its own cost + the supply cost on its own but might give an edge in key moments.
  • Third tactic is T-55 + Pro Tank 76 spam. The PT gives you optics while the T-55s do the damage. If you’re attacking enemy tanks you should probably not stop to fire, but tell the PT-76s to attack move while the T-55s are given a move order to close the distance improving acc and KE. 2 cards of T-55 means you can just bring lots and lots of them.
  • The high end T-62 is pretty much only for the missile support.
  • And ofcourse, use strong specialist infantry, the reservists are worthless except Vopos.

LOS / Optics / Stealth

I will quickly define each of these terms.

LOS (Line of Sight):

How far it is theoretically possible to see, due to terrain, buildings and forests. This can be checked with the LOS-Tool in game for every position. Default key: [C]


How far a particular unit can actually see. Displayed in unit information


How skilled a unit is at hiding from enemy detection. Displayed in unit information

Spotting Range:

Based on your unit’s Optics vs an enemies unit’s Stealth your unit has a spotting range. There are two different ranges displayed for:

  • Open fields
  • Forests

How it works in buildings is unclear to me at the moment. Needs testing

When do you actually see an enemy?

Disclaimer: This is an assumption of mine. I did not find somebody to test this with yet

An enemy unit gets spotted if it is in your units Spotting Range AND it has LOS.

See below:

  • Spotting range table
  • Visual comparison of Spotting ranges for a unit with Bad and exceptional optics for forest

Spotting Range Table

Click to enlarge…

Bad optics vs Enemy in Forest

Exceptional optics vs Enemy in Forest

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 6980 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.

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