Once you deploy your Units you control them from your Unit Command (UC) "Department". The UC display represents your deployed military Units according to their geographic domain: land, sea or air.
This differs from your Defense Department where the same Unit classifications are labeled by their military "Services" of: "Army, "Air Force", "Navy" and "Missiles".
When you select the Unit Command Department, you are presented with a panel whose top row of buttons represent the specific domains of your Unit classes. By pressing one of top the icon buttons - "All", "Land Units, "Air Units", or "Naval Units, you display a list of Unit classes that move in that domain.
Your Units are deployed onto the game Map in three different ways:
- When you or your Defense Minister deploys them from the base at which they were being held in Reserve.
- When they are Auto-deployed from military fabrication factories or "Fabs", once their fabrication is complete.
- Automatic deployment of Units from reserve after they complete their repair.
Units can be deployed from reserve from the Unit Command Reserved Units panel or from the Defense/Reserves/Deployed panel.
As was discussed previously, reserve bases associated with Fabs can be pre-set to auto-deploy units and have them move to remote player-specified rally-points.
Deployment method #3 can also include units received from other regions in trade, which always require remedial repair upon delivery. Any base can be selected as the "Delivery Point" for traded units from the Defense Department's Reserves list as shown below:
Reserve Base Delivery Point
Deployed units are motivated by three different sources - the orders of the DM, your orders and their own initiative. No unit can perform more than one command at a time, so most units are required to perform the last command that they received. Occasionally you must utilize the "Clear Orders" command in order to flush previous orders from a unit.
A collection of deployed units of the same class an individual map hex is referred to as a "stack" of units. See Unit Classes.
Unit deployment is strongly affected by the rules that govern map hexes:
- The maximum number of units in a stack is ten units.
- A nominal stack consists of seven units or less.
- Different types of stacks can co-exist in a single hex - seven aircraft and seven land units, or seven aircraft and seven naval units.
Stacking a hex beyond its nominal size reduces those unit's defensive values. Stacking a hex beyond its nominal size will also cause the excess units to automatically "de-stack" and leave the hex.
Due to these stack size rules, the most units that can be deployed from a land or sea base in 10 units. Excess units will remain in reserve. Once the deployed units move off the base's hex, then you can deploy more reserved units.
The Unit Command screen has a "Deploy All" button. Pressing this button will deploy all of your units of the currently selected "Service". You should take care when deploying single or groups of units because of the risk of pressing "Deploy All" instead. Again, due to stacking rules, "Deploy All" may not succeed since only the first ten units at each base will actually be able to deploy, except for aircraft.
The Individual ROE Panel allows you to customize the game's Rules of Engagement and to over-ride Defense Minister commands and the DM Global ROEs.
Units that you wish to manually command must be locked out from the DM control or else the DM may wisk them away without warning. A good example is transport helicopters. The DM will summon these for air-transport chores but also has a bad habit of not taking into consideration the distance that the helo is from the unit to be transported. This often results in you helo attempting to fly across oceans to reach another continent. The helos often run out of fuel and crash in the attempt, so you might want to lock out DM control of those helos.
Patrol planes are invaluable in their ability to spot enemy units while on patrol but they often take enemy for in the process. Setting their IROEs to "Route-Cautious", "Avoid Contact" "Loss Tolerance - None" and "Stealth Approach" will help remedy this problem.
Supply trucks are vulnerable to enemy attack, yet they often must supply your combat units near the battle-line. Giving them the same IROEs as patrol planes and adding "Initiative - High" will assist them in their job of safely ferrying supplies to the line.
For more info on the use of ROE see GC ROE.
Splitting and Merging Units
SR2020 Units, except for ships and facilities, are each collections of individual battalions of soldiers, tanks, trucks or squadrons of aircraft. Ships and missile are single entities. The number of such unit components is known as the Unit's "Strength".
The DM can be configured to auto-build stronger or weaker units from the Defense Summary Panel.
Some units such as helos can be strengthened by merging them with other smaller units. A "stronger" helo unit can carry more cargo and transport heavier passenger units. A stronger tank unit will contain more tanks and thus it can sustain more combat damage. Some units cannot be merged or cannot be merged beyond a certain strength. Naval units cannot be split or merged.
If a unit has the "Split Unit" order on its Advanced Orders list then selecting the target unit and issuing the order will split the unit into two smaller halves once the game clock has been started.
If you wish to merger two units of the same type then you must first move them to the same hex and then stop the game clock. If the first unit shows the "Merge Unit" option in its Advanced Orders menu then select the order from the list, but do not press the "Give Order" button. Instead move the mouse cursor up to the map and click on the hex containing the second unit that you want to merge. A "Merge Units" pop-up list will appear that lists both units. The first unit will have its Class icon highlighted. Select the second target unit from the list. When you re-start the game clock the two units should merge into one larger unit.
Prior to Update 6 there was a bug in the merge system where sometimes when two split halves were re-merged the merged unit would need to undergo repair to restore its default strength.
Units can be transported aboard other units in SR2020 using their "Load Into" and "Unload" commands. Light units can be loaded onto a supply trucks or transport planes and then transported to remote locations accessible by the transporting units. Heavy land units such as tanks can be loaded aboard transport ships for sea transport to nearly any sea-pier on the map.
Here is an excellent tutorial from the Forum on Transporting Units.
The sea transport of aircraft as cargo is not possible without "modding" the game, but naval aircraft and helos can be transported on the decks of aircraft carriers.
Air-droppable units can be parachuted onto land hexes and oil platforms using the "Unload" command..
Transported units take damage in proportion to any damage suffered by their transporting units.
In general non-land transport must begin and end at a sea-pier or air-field. Helos and VTOL aircraft do not require air-field in order to transport other units. Amphibious ships can load and unload units without a sea-pier, but the transported units must also be amphibious in order to land at a beach instead of a sea-pier.
Non-amphibious land units can easily become stranded on islands and oil platforms if they are too heavy to be air-lifted out.
A transported unit's missile load does not count towards Cargo weight when considering how much weight that a transporting unit can carry, since missiles are unloaded from the transported unit prior to loading that unit onto its transport.
The "Filter By" button is hidden until you have selected units and they appear in the Unit Command panel's "Selected Units" (SU) list.
"Filter By" Button
This "Filter By" button allows you to add to or remove units from the SU list using the criteria of "type", "class" and "in view".
"Filter By" Options
These options relate to the Units that you have "highlighted" in the SU list.
You can assign units to the list in two main ways:
- pick a unit or unit stack in a hex location
- rubber band an area of the map
Once you have some selected units you can modify their highlighting in two ways:
- click one unit - this will highlight just that unit and remove the highlight from all other units listed.
- CTRL+click one unit - this will leave any other selected units unchanged and will toggle the highlighted state of the clicked unit.
Using these highlighting tools you can specify which units you want to command or configure.
Here are some examples using "Rubber Band" selection by dragging the mouse:
"Rubber band" select a mixture of units - 13 in total. The SU list now contains 13 units, several of which you want to remove from the list. Mouse click one of the ones you want to remove, then hold down the CTRL key and select any additional ones. Then press the "Filter By" button and select the filter option "Remove Highlighted Unit(s)"
Or take the same 13 units and pick one unit. When select the filter option "Remove Highlighted Type(s)" - any highlighted unit AND any other unit in that list (even if not highlighted) of the same "Type" will be removed from the list.
A "Class" is a large category of types - Infantry, Artillery, etc. The orange icons in the list are the class icon. A "Type" is the base name of a single unit Design.
In the Unit Name "23rd FTR F16C", "23rd" represents the "unit designation number". As you build new units of the same type, each new unit will get the next unit designation number available for that type. "FTR" indicated that the unit belongs to the Fighter/Bomber unit class. "F16C" is the name of the unit's design type. If you highlight "23rd FTR F16C" in a SU list and then select the filter option ""Remove Highlighted Type(s)", then all F16Cs type units in the list will be removed.
Pressing "Remove Highlighted Class(es)" will remove any highlighted "FTR" class units from the list.
If you highlight more than one unit, when you choice will apply to all of the highlighted units combined.
For example, if you have the following SU list:
- Anti tank
- Anti tank - highlighted
- Recon - highlighted
then selecting the filter option "Remove Highlight by Class" will remove all units except for "Arty" and "Tank".
The reverse works for Adding units. You have two options - "add by Class", and "add by Type". Both of these filter options will add units from all over the Map to the SU list.
In order to limit the added Units to just those visible on your zoomed screen use one of the two "In View" selections instead.
As you add units to the SU list, only units without current orders will become highlighted. To quickly highlight all the units in the list, press the "Select All Units" button (with the three chevrons) at the top left of the panel or any of the three branch icons, land/air/naval to pick all the units by branch in the list.
Now that you have selected your working units and have highlighted them you can:
- give them orders
- cancel their orders
- set their Rules Of Engagement
- assign them to battle groups
- CTRL+# them to assign them to number keys on the keyboard.