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rocketbrainsurgeon

WoT:Generals Strategy

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[Mods, feel free to move this to the appropriate place.  The NDA is lifted and it's OK to talk about the game.]

 

WoT: Generals is in closed beta at the moment.  If you get in, you might wonder WTF IS GOING ON.  This is an attempt to give you a starting point past the tutorial.  If you're just reading this with no clue at all, drop down to the example game below and come back.

 

CARD TYPES

 

The familiar light, medium, heavy, TD, and SPG's are all represented here.  Also included are Squads and Orders.  Squads boost your HQ in damage/defense/resources while Orders are the "spells" of Generals.

 

Heavies

 

+ Piles of Power/HP for their cost

+ Alpha

 

- Can't move diagonally

- Can't counterattack after attacking

 

Heavies offer a good mix of offense and defense.  Don't let their large stat pools fool you: they need support.  Heavies on their own are actually pretty weak, but their power level greatly increases in the presence of other tanks.  This is due to their lack of counter fire.  If you attack the enemy on your turn but don't finish off the enemy medium/TD/light, they will counterattack back plus get to attack again on their turn without taking return fire.  

 

So let's take a T-35-1 (3 firepower, 9 HP) vs an MS-1 (1 firepower, 4 HP).  Obviously the T-35-1 will win, but it's important to see how attacking incorrectly will cause the MS-1 to deal far more damage that it should.  

  1. The T-35 fires on the MS-1 (4 HP to 1)
  2. MS-1 returns fire (9 HP to 8 )
  3. MS-1 attacks back on his turn and the T-35 can't counter (8 HP to 7)
  4. T-35 attacks MS-1 dead (1 HP to -2)
  5. MS-1 returns fire (7 HP to 6)

End result: T-35-1 dealt 4 damage to the MS-1 while the MS-1 dealt 3 damage back.  The overkill from the high alpha is a waste.  This is unacceptable considering the power difference in the cards.  Sometimes not attacking and waiting to counterattack is the best plan of action.

 

Of course, the best plan is to use the high alpha of the heavy to eliminate the enemy in one turn (more on that later).  But the above shows how people frequently misuse heavies.

 

Mediums

 

+ Good stats

+ Variety of roles

+ Move diagonally

 

- Weak to TD's

- Weak to alpha

- Weak to SPG's

 

Mediums are a bit stronger than heavies when there are fewer tanks on the board, but less strong on packed boards.  Being able to move diagonally is more important than might be obvious at first, allowing them to escape or chase a target much easier.  The starting mediums offer good staying power and their ability to counterattack makes them much more offensively capable than it appears at first glance.  For example. the T6 is a 2/7 for 5.  So it can attack and enemy and then return fire when it gets attacked next turn.  It's not uncommon for the T6 to deal more damage in it's lifespan than either the T-35-1 (3/9 for 6) or Liberty (4/7 for 8 )due to being able to counterattack.

 

Lights

 

+ Can move 2 spaces, or 1 diagonally

+ Can move 1 space up/down when first entering play

+ Often has other benefits, like resource gain

 

- Low stats

- Low cost

 

Lights are the most underrated class in Generals, and one of the most vital to win.  Not only do they boost resource gain, they can do things other classes can't like bouncing out to spot enemy tanks (you have to be in an adjacent square to "spot" an enemy) and moving back to friendly tanks for cover.  They can make runs to spot and destroy SPG's with ease.  They are great for swarming enemy tanks and for quickly turning the tide.  Being able to move the turn they come into play can be devastating and is something that is difficult for your opponent to plan for when doing attacking math.  Simply put: make sure your deck has enough light tanks to boost your early game resources, turn the tide of battle in center board, and make runs to wipe out enemy SPG's.

 

Tank Destroyers

 

++ First strike: if the enemy would be destroyed by the TD, there is no return fire

 

- Bad stats

- Vulnerable to everything

- Can't move diagonal

 

Tank destroyers are amazing on defense and terrible on offense.  If they are spotted during your opponent's turn, there's very little chance they survive to the next.  The goal of TD's is to ambush approaching tanks, killing a card for free while not taking return fire.  After the ambush, consider anything else a TD gives you to be a bonus.  Don't have too many of these in the deck, but do have some.  With little SPG or Squads on the enemy team, a few TD's can be hard for the enemy to push through.  Great for repelling an attack.

 

SPG's

 

+ Ranged damage

+ Cheap

 

- Often doesn't increase resource gain

- Bad stats

- Generally weak offensively

- Vulnerable, especially on cramped boards or to Orders

- Duplicate role with HQ

 

Arty can perform very well as a supporting strategy, but it's a very fine line on how many is too many.  If a light manages to break through, GG I HATE EVERYTHING.  Losing multiple SPG's for free in a turn practically ends the game.  They also crowd the board, which pushes them closer to the enemy.  Still, being able to click on spotted targets for damage and not receiving damage is a plus.  Their cost is typically lower than many Squads as well and they don't lose HP like Squads do.  With their vulnerability to Orders, I can't recommend stacking too many of them.

 

Orders

 

Orders are the quick and dirty spells of Generals, and they are fine as such.  However, they are typically quite weak.  Yes it looks fun to pay 2R to deal 2 damage and immediately take out that enemy SPG, but even in that case it took you more resources (2) than your opponent spent (1).

 

Orders get stronger if they replace themselves by card draw.  The card Be Vigilant! (pay 2, gain 2 HP, draw a card) is a good example.  The effect is terrible but necessary to combat rush strategies, so in games with less HQ damage going around it can be cycled away for something useful.

 

Squads

 

Squads boost your HQ in some way(s) and are generally good investments for a card.  Commonly used squads are ones that increase firepower.  Try not to load up on defensive Squads as they take up deck slots for something more useful.

 

Choosing your nationality

 

USSR: All around good.  Think White in MtG, or Paladin/Shaman in Hearthstone

 

USA: Resource focused, long game decks.  Lots of minimaxing cards with extreme focus.  Think Green and Blue in MtG, or Warrior and Rogue in Hearthstone.

 

Germany: Rush decks or greed decks.  Think Red and Black in MtG, or Hunter and Warlock in Hearthstone.

 

In the early stages of the game, RU/US has a big leg up on DE.  Germany just doesn't have the resource production to throw down cards like the other two nations because they rely on card abilities "blitz" (discard X cards from the deck instead of paying the cost) and "rearguard" (if it's the last card in your hand, it's free to play) that aren't available right away.

 

Basic card reviews

 

CallmeAwe wrote up what's good and why.  I agree with most of it.

 

Start of the Game

 

In the beginning of the game, you want to be laying cards that increase your resource count.  This generally means not putting down things like SPG's or Squads.  If you're scared of an early YOLO taking out your light tanks (which is admittedly common), gather them along the back rows and jump the prematurely advancing enemy next turn.

 

Here is how putting down an early SPG can go wrong:

 

U6eRvzF.jpg?1

 

On my first turn, I place a light tank opposite the SPG. There is nothing stopping me from trading my light for his arty if I wanted to next turn.  Sure it'll most likely die to a medium/heavy, but it'll get 4 damage in and one tank destroyed for the low cost of 2 resources!

 

The single biggest mistake that people make: they start attacking with their first turn medium or heavy.  I promise you that it will get traded off for a light tank in the absolute best case scenario.  Usually it will die for free.

 

Tactics and tips

 

The game is very similar to Hearthstone, where the differentiation in skill is due to who can create the most unfavorable trades.

 

What is a favorable trade?  Here are the biggest ways to trade:

  1. Destroying a card without losing a card to do it.  This runs your opponent out of cards and options.
  2. Trading "up": using a low cost card to eliminate a high cost card, gaining tempo.  This runs your opponent out of resources and time.
  3. Force overkill situations while avoiding overkill yourself.  Forcing an enemy T-35-1 (3 attack) to kill a one HP MS-1 is a waste of 2 damage.  Always try and find the exact damage it will take to kill an enemy card
  • Use up an enemy counterattack with a high HP unit or unit that will die anyway, and then attack with the tanks you'd prefer to stay alive
  • 1 HP units are often useless due to the HQ and should run away from battle (so they can't be spotted and SPG'ed) or used to eat a counterattack
  • Light tanks can move forward one square next to an enemy (spotting them), fire the HQ/SPG's on the tank, and then retreat back one square (becoming unspotted) all in the same turn
  • The diagonal square from the HQ is the "heavy" square.  Placing heavies on other squares makes it very difficult for them to reach the enemy HQ

Deckbuilding tips

  1. Light tanks - It all starts with them.  Even if you are going for a HQ+Squad approach, lights can spot for you while they give resources to boot. 6+
  2. Low on Orders - They feel good to play, but they are typically too weak.  You'll run out of cards too fast.
  3. Healing/Defense - You need something because there are plenty of decks out there that just boost HQ firepower and click you down.  Don't lose to something that stupid.  At least play with Be Vigilant!, and probably 1-2 copies of Scouts.  Collect free wins, EZ game.
  4. No more than a few TD's unless you're playing ultra passively with some sort of mill deck or HQ+Squad.
  5. Defense > Offense stats, except with TD's.  Dead tanks can't shoot.

How to attack - Don't play fair

 

If you play fair, you're bad.  The point is to eliminate the enemy tank with as little return fire as possible.  The game lends itself to a lot of calculation, not unless chess.  You can work out the scenarios in your head based on the board, what's in your hand, and the resources available to you next turn.

 

Step 1: Prepare your attack

 

The tanks you have to work with will determine your attack.  Do you have a bunch of SPG's and a light tank?  Your plan can be spot and shot.  Maybe you have a heavy and a few light tanks, in which case you can take the return fire with the heavy and swarm with the lights.  Or maybe in that case you want to use the lights as fodder and keep your heavy at full HP.  I've had hands where all I had were big, dumb heavies.  So I pushed forward and didn't even attack: I let the heavies counter-attack because I could attack again on my turn.  That made better use of the firepower.  My opponent figured out what I was doing, so we both just sat there touching dix tanks until I was able to break the stalemate.

 

Step 2: Attack when you have the advantage

 

This is a maxim from chess.  When you have the advantage, you are obliged to attack.  Conversely, if you do not have the advantage, you cannot attack.  It looks cowardly as hell when I crowd the back ranks running away, but when I drop 2 TD's in a turn and mow through the rest of his force, it all comes together.

 

Step 3: Reinforce

 

There will be a point when you break through.  Keep throwing down tanks rather than Squads or Orders.  Those can be used at any time and are immediately effective, but tanks need some time to move into position.  Build the snowball and don't rush it.  Winning won games is the hardest game to win (also a chess maxim).

 

Step 4: Crowd the bridgehead

 

The three squares around the enemy HQ is called the bridgehead and it is the only place your opponent can deploy tanks.  Occupy these squares with any tank you can, and the opponent will have their options greatly reduced.

 

Consumables

 

Don't worry about this until far in the future.  IMO, none of these make sense unless you have highly specialized decks.

 

EDIT: I changed my mind on this one.  The starting Germany HQ needs the +1 resource consumable to reliably lay down a resource producing tank on turn 1.  The 5 resource tanks are too good not to use and this opens up the possibility to include the T-35-1 in the deck too.  I've tried only using the small resource costed cards, and it's horribly weak.

 

Example game and tactics

 

I get into a game against another RU opponent.

 

His first turn already has me on the ropes.  While the Pz doesn't produce extra resources, it's a good sized body that's fast enough to ambush anything I put down.  I'm overwhelmingly the aggressor in my games, so this is awkward.jpg for me.  

 

UAO47k0.jpg

 

In my hand is nothing of help.  The T6 is too valuable to throw away (I'm pretty sure he can find an extra 2 damage) and I can't play the T-35-1 without another resource on the table.  Putting down a light tank to die isn't appealing either.  My only choice is the moving wall that is the T-24. It's a favorite of mine because the damn thing just doesn't die. <3  I place it farthest away so it can only be attacked by one tank directly.  If I put it in column 1, then both can attack it next turn since the lights move 2 squares.

 

aCgTwDd.jpg

 

My second turn gives me hope, as I'm able to drop a T6 and start working his team down.  I place the T6 on my next available spot of the bridgehead.  Somehow it's only turn 2 and I'm on the verge of autoloss if he occupies the 3 squares around my HQ.

 

qQEGJ4s.jpg

 

Turn 3 sees my opponent using Orders, Squads, and another SPG to take down everything I have.  He's occupied two of my bridgehead squares, but he doesn't have a lot of follow up since his hand only has 1 card in it and that TD in the distance isn't too threatening.  

 

I was screenshotting this game as it was the first time people were using my strategy against me.

 

EFRwtdr.jpg

 

I'm finally able to get some breathing room.  I throw down two light tanks and hug the back row.  I only want them for the resources they provide.  Since one of them will most likely live, I'm confident of throwing down the T-35-1 next turn.

 

UNEeBg7.jpg

 

My opponent is getting overconfident.  He's moved his SPG's forward for no reason (there's no benefit).  Where they sit now, I can drop a light tank and kill one of them any time I want.  The reason why he's so flippant is because the HP of my HQ is getting low and he's thinking of just gunning me down.  He doesn't know I have Be Vigilant! in hand for the heal.  In the deck are two more copies, plus a Scouts Squad that protects against rush decks like this.

 

The MS-1's still sit on the back rank providing resources.

 

OoP8vhU.jpg

 

Time to strike back.  I drop the light tank and go arty hunting.  Joining him is the A7U meat shield heavy that I just drew.  I'll use the A7U to take the hit while the light tanks shoot unopposed since the enemy burned the counterattack.

 

4RMSFjD.jpg

 

My opponent makes another large mistake and starts retreating to regroup from the meat shield and light tank swarm.  He doesn't realize that there is no long game for him and that he just as to try and suicide into my HQ and hope I don't draw heals.  His T-24 should have snuggled up right next to my HQ and gone to work.

 

sgUJdzU.jpg

 

The green tide is rolling in.  My LT took down his last SPG, and I have a wall up to prevent anything from slipping by.  My heal (Be Vigilant!) drew into another copy, taking me from 6 HP to 10 HP.  It's looking bad for him.  My next goal is to wipe his tanks and occupy the bridge.  After that, it's pretty much over.

 

Sr13n1D.jpg

 

My opponent saw the writing on the wall and started bombarding my HQ.  Too little, too late.  I kill him the turn before he would kill me.

 

He got the god draw while I got the nut low, but his resistance to just suiciding into me allowed me to sneak it from him.

 

Overall

 

It's a solid little game so far.  If you have any questions or things to add, go for it.

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It reminds me heavily of the movement mechanics of M&M: Duel of Champions. I need to get more games under my belt.

Really wish that it wasn't in a browser window, and that it had a client to play in. I'd like that.

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One thing I learned that's saved my ass a couple times, have a card in your deck like the premium Pz (I think, I don't remember right now and I can't check, but I know it was premium) that instead of going to the graveyard goes back into your hand. If the opponent doesn't have one and the game draws out, he'll run out of cards in his deck before you do and you'll win, due to the opponent not being able to draw. It's got me the win in a couple games already.

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Oh good, I was hoping this would pop up. Now I don't have to spam my nonsense in Skype.

 

I wish your HQ tier didn't dictate how much experience you earn per battle. Because I have no interest in the tier 8 HQs. 3rd Airborne is better then 10th, and Jutenbog is hilariously OP and getting the tier 8 HQ further down the tree is a downgrade.

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I wish your HQ tier didn't dictate how much experience you earn per battle. Because I have no interest in the tier 8 HQs. 3rd Airborne is better then 10th, and Jutenbog is hilariously OP and getting the tier 8 HQ further down the tree is a downgrade.

 

I was wondering this: some of the HQ's look like garbage.  The people on the official forum say they haven't gotten a chance to test the T8 HQ's yet due to low pop.

 

Unsure if the Jutenbog is OP.  Sure, of the only 3 legitimate losses I've ever had in ~35 games, 2 have been to JB (others to server/interface crash).  But then I switched to the 21st or 11th squadron which have natural defense against JB and find it laughably easy.  I don't have enough experience with T4 to really say though.

 

EDIT: Just looked at 10th Mountain.  JFC that's bad.

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I was wondering this: some of the HQ's look like garbage.  The people on the official forum say they haven't gotten a chance to test the T8 HQ's yet due to low pop.

 

Unsure if the Jutenbog is OP.  Sure, of the only 3 legitimate losses I've ever had in ~35 games, 2 have been to JB (others to server/interface crash).  But then I switched to the 21st or 11th squadron which have natural defense against JB and find it laughably easy.  I don't have enough experience with T4 to really say though.

 

EDIT: Just looked at 10th Mountain.  JFC that's bad.

You actually have a good chance of Jutenbog regardless of what HQ you're using if you make the right plays. Most JB (justin bieber? ack) players tend to rush killing their opponent's HQ as fast as possible. Hence, if you survive the first few crucial rounds and take advantage of the crap fuel generation and crap health of the HQ, you'll easily win over this guy. For starters, you can use the consumable that gives your HQ camo during the first turn - this allows your HQ a significant amount of breathing space. Another thing I've found quite handy is to deploy a few light tanks during the first few rounds of the battle. Many JB players's deck comprise of just orders and as such they usually don't have any defenses early on - you can capitalize on this by immediately sending units to reach his bridgehead and start making things uncomfortable (this also assures that if he deploys arty - the won't last long). Finally, your deck should be prepared to deal with threats like this in the first place - make sure you have defensive squads that provide your HQ with protection and bonus HP and/or have units with "defense" attributes on them (like the Stug III). The most annoying unit I've ever fought while using JB is the M3 lee... You can buff its HP with fuel and I've lost a few close fights because my enemy spent all his resources in a turn putting down a M3 lee with 15+ hitpoints... and since it has the defense attribute - you're forced to burn through that before being able to hit the HQ.

Oh, one last thing - DO NOT FREAKING KILL THE PANZER II WITH YOUR HQ OR SPG IF IT IS SITTING AT HIS BRIDGEHEAD. A lot of new players don't seem to understand that and I laugh with malicious glee seeing their HQs shoot mine and be surprised as the shots are tanked by the Panzer II and deals 2 damage to them when it dies.

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The people on the official forum say they haven't gotten a chance to test the T8 HQ's yet due to low pop.

 

Another reason is the immense credit cost. I have over 100 games under my belt, and only 330k credits. One tier 7 card cost 128k. 

 

This is basically my only gripe also. XP/Credits are doled based on your HQ tier, not your deck power. So, there is essentially no incentive to strengthen your deck or move up tiers at all, unless you just fall in love with one of the HQ abilities, like I did with the 4th Division. Omnomnom card draw. 

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Another reason is the immense credit cost. I have over 100 games under my belt, and only 330k credits. One tier 7 card cost 128k. 

 

This is basically my only gripe also. XP/Credits are doled based on your HQ tier, not your deck power. So, there is essentially no incentive to strengthen your deck or move up tiers at all, unless you just fall in love with one of the HQ abilities, like I did with the 4th Division. Omnomnom card draw. 

 

That's a good suggestion for the devs.  I came to the same conclusion too: there's absolutely no reason to go over the base power of your HQ.  Longer queue times and a greater chance to run into some bullshit clicker deck.  Everyone is complaining about credit income, but I think that's their strategy with this one.  You can unlock things relatively fast, but paying for them will require prem.  I don't have enough tokens to get 1 week prem yet, so I haven't.  But since I haven't bought hardly any cards, I haven't run into problems.

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Been loving the game too. Haven't played a ton though as the population much past 200 deck power level seems to drop off immensely and playing modified starter decks feels like seal clubbing.

 

Anyway, a couple tips:

1. TDs vs TDs will always hit each other making their tool-tip slightly incorrect.

2. Another benefit of lights is their ability to move, attack, and move again. For example, in RBS's 3rd to last spoiler screenshot, he could have moved the MS-1 at A1 to attack, backed off, then moved the 2nd MS-1 to finish off the TD. (Can't actually tell if he did this, but doesn't look like it).

3. Going first generally means you have the board advantage for the first couple of turns. Going second you get a 1 card advantage so it generally makes sense to play purely reactive for the first 4 or so turns.

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Are they still handing out Beta keys or am I stuck with waiting like a plebian?

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Are they still handing out Beta keys or am I stuck with waiting like a plebian?

 

I'm not sure. We keep griping about MM wait times, so hopefully they are still handing out keys.

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I got an invite and am starting to learn the ropes. Quick question regarding RBS's starter RU deck: how much play do you get from the Liberty? It seems like the 8 cost makes it a "win more" card, but I don't have much experience with the game yet. Not sure what I would replace them with though, except for a couple 1 costs cards to smooth out the resource curve.

 

Regarding squads: is there a wiki entry or something to explain the mechanics of each type? Like which ones adsorb damage, which ones boost HQ damage, etc.

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In my Training Unit HQ, I didn't run any Liberty. The cost is too prohibitive for its deceptively low HP. It may get out 4 damage before gets burned away, but usually not. I had better luck using cards that got more consistent value. The only good use I have found for Liberty is in my T4 HQs that have higher starting supply. Then, getting out the Liberty is easier, and you can take advantage of the +2 supply it gives which is the tank's real strength (unless you are running a rush deck).

 

Also, don't worry about your curve too much. Since you start every turn with a set or higher amount of resources, including a low cost card just to have low cost cards doesn't make much sense, focus on cards that give value and fit your deck and supply style.  

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Thanks for the input. I'll go look and see what I can sub in for the Liberty. I've managed to roll it out in a couple games, but all of them were already won at that point.

 

Is there any place where the game mechanics for keywords are plainly described? No where in-game does it tell you how fire works (N+1 damage per turn) or that you can only play 1 Blitz card per turn via the discard mechanic.

 

 

Also, don't worry about your curve too much. Since you start every turn with a set or higher amount of resources, including a low cost card just to have low cost cards doesn't make much sense, focus on cards that give value and fit your deck and supply style.

My thought on "curve" was more like having 6 resources with a hand that contains cards that cost 4 or 5, so you waste resources on that turn. Having a couple 1 or 2 cost cards would allow you to get more out on the table in a given turn (at least in moderation so you don't run your hand dry).

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Quick question regarding RBS's starter RU deck: how much play do you get from the Liberty? It seems like the 8 cost makes it a "win more" card, but I don't have much experience with the game yet. Not sure what I would replace them with though, except for a couple 1 costs cards to smooth out the resource curve.

 

Liberty and the T-35-1 are in the deck simply because their power level is 1, and power level is a huge factor in constructing decks.  There's nothing to sub in for them that's any good at all.

 

One thing you'll find different when compared to something like Hearthstone or MtG: having cards in hand is overrated.  In Hearthstone, cards in hand usually mean more options.  But in WoTG, more tanks on board is where you have more options.  It's far more common to die due to not getting your cards on the board than it is to run out of gas.

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So how do I know what squads do what, besides experimenting with them? Because Telephonists EF is a defensive comms squad but Telegraphers K is an offensive coms squad. Am I missing something?

 

EDIT: Ok, here's the most lame way I've found (today) of wading through a WG interface to answer my question. If you research, buy, and put a squad into your deck, then you can find out whether it is offensive or defensive through your deck's info panel. The "type" panel breaks down your squads by off and def.

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So how do I know what squads do what, besides experimenting with them? Because Telephonists EF is a defensive comms squad but Telegraphers K is an offensive coms squad. Am I missing something?

 

EDIT: Ok, here's the most lame way I've found (today) of wading through a WG interface to answer my question. If you research, buy, and put a squad into your deck, then you can find out whether it is offensive or defensive through your deck's info panel. The "type" panel breaks down your squads by off and def.

 

The icon in the lower left of the squad right above the health. Attack squads have a targeting circle shape, and defensive ones have a shield that matches the HP indicator on your other cards. 

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The icon in the lower left of the squad right above the health. Attack squads have a targeting circle shape, and defensive ones have a shield that matches the HP indicator on your other cards. 

Wow, completely missed that tiny detail.

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