- For naval command groups, see fleets.
A command group is a collection of divisions that can be assigned to and led by a commander. A command group is tied to the theater in which it operates.
Command groups can be assigned to a front and given orders through the battle plans interface.
- Main article: Battle plan
Battle plans are a mechanic to give orders to command groups (an army or army group) as a whole or may include different specific orders for different parts of the command group.
An army group can be commanded like any other group of units and simply given a right-click move order to a destination. However, they fight better if they are given "plans" – a general order that is coordinated along a front, either to advance, defend or make an orderly withdrawal. Once the player hits the execute button, the AI will direct forces through the plan, although the player can still micromanage to correct the AI and for complex maneuvers such as encircling. The player may also decide whether the AI should act carefully, balanced or rushed.
When selecting a command group, the player will see a row of general orders appear at the bottom of the screen. Each of these has rollover text that explains in detail how to use this instruction.
Command groups may be assigned a commander, increasing their effectiveness in combat.
Additional commanders can be recruited at a cost of 5 political power for each existing commander of the same type (admirals do not count when recruiting generals, or vice versa). Commanders cannot normally die or be dismissed, though some country-specific events will remove particular historical commanders.
There are two ranks of commander:
Generals can command up to 24 divisions effectively. Above this limit, their bonuses and XP gain are reduced proportionally. Their traits are more oriented towards combat strength. Generals may be promoted to Field Marshals at the cost of one skill level and all their positive traits (in effect everything except "Old Guard").
A Field Marshal can command an unlimited number of divisions. Their traits are oriented towards controlling many divisions. For example, one Field Marshal could command all city garrison, coastal defense, security, anti-partisan, and strategic reserve divisions, which might total in the hundreds for a large country, as well as troops actively in combat. The Field Marshal's battle plan can include various different battle planner orders for different groups of divisions that can be separately activated (by shift-click) without activating the entire battle plan.
For a list of commanders by country, see List of commanders.
Commanders can have a skill between 1 and 10. Each level provides a +5% combat bonus to troops.
Commanders gain experience when the units under their command engage in combat. With enough experience, they will advance a skill level. The rate of XP gain is proportional to the total number of divisions engaged times the number of combats.
|XP type||Division-combat-hours per XP|
|Field Marshal trait||200|
|Field Marshal level||400|
Each commander may have a number of traits, represented by medal icons. Traits are acquired when units do a certain action in combat; for instance, if an army under a general manages to encircle and destroy an amount of enemy divisions, the general may acquire the 'trickster' trait which boosts reconnaissance.
|Trait||Effect||Action required||XP required|
|Old Guard|| −25% Leader experience gain
Max Entrenchment +1
|Not gainable. Isn't lost when promoted.|
|Trickster||+25% Reconnaissance||The general or their opponent is flanking||500|
|Winter Specialist||−50% Winter attrition||Temperature is under -10°||500|
||Attacking a fort or across a river||1000|
|Fortress Buster|| Fort:
||Attacking a fort||700|
|Panzer Leader|| Armor speed +5%
+10% Armor Division Attack
|40% hardness or more||700|
|Commando||−50% Out of supply||Temperature is under -10° or in a paradropped/amphibious attack||700|
|Desert Fox|| Desert:
||Fighting in desert||700|
|Swamp Fox|| Marsh:
||Fighting in marsh||700|
||Fighting in mountain||700|
|Hill Fighter|| Hills:
||Fighting in hills||700|
|Jungle Rat|| Jungle:
||Fighting in jungle||700|
||Fighting in forests or hills.||1000|
|Urban Assault Specialist|| Urban:
||Fighting in urban terrain||700|
|Invader|| +30% Amphibious invasion speed
−30% Invasion Preparation Time
|In amphibious invasions||100|
|Bearer of Artillery||+15% Artillery Attack||Not gainable. Only available to Wojtek by the event “Wojtek Never Drops A Crate”.|
Military exercises including drill, weapons practice, and field maneuvers are a less deadly way to gain experience than combat, although at some level there is no substitute for experiencing combat conditions. Any command group may exercise, which can provide two separate benefits. While exercising, the divisions gain experience until they reach regular status, after which they need combat experience to improve further. The country, however, gains land combat experience whenever troops that are trained or better are conducting an exercise Such experience is needed to edit or create new divisions. Training is one way to provide needed land experience while at peace. Commanders do not gain experience from exercising, only combat time.
While in an exercise, divisions have a 6% increase in attrition of their equipment. Their organization is set to 20% and may take about a week after they stop to fully recover. Note that arming fresh troops with older weapons from inventory (by setting their division template equipment button setting to use the older equipment) conserves more expensive current weapons for combat units. To help with this, it is sound practice to attach all divisions that need exercising to a training Army during the training period by using the Army View (hotkey "o") to click or shift-click to select all those needing training and then right clicking on the training army icon to assign them there before giving the exercise order at the army command level. By checking periodically, the same process can be used to re-assign back the divisions that have completed their intended training.
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