Order of Battle: WWII –Specialisations Guide: U.S. Campaigns

By JR Renaud 02 Nov 2017 0

Since Order of Battle: WWII (OoB) presented its Specialisation system some time ago, the devs at The Artistocrats have built upon it with every subsequent DLC.  One can only assume that the trend will continue with its latest incarnation, the upcoming Panzerkrieg, albeit since that title is still in beta as I write, readers will have to await our coverage of it.  In the meantime, while I have offered other articles on OoB’s Spec system, this time around I will be summarising my picks for both the U.S. (U.S. Pacific and U.S. Marines) and Japanese (Morning Sun, Rising Sun) campaigns, starting with the former in this first installment.  I offer a comparison and guide especially intended for newer players, albeit hopefully all readers and fans of the game will benefit at least a little.


Before doing so I feel the need to mention a few general points, including one or two I may have brought up elsewhere already but I believe are worth a reminder.  First is in regards to Exporting one’s core force into another DLC: Although your units from Morning Sun can be Exported to Rising Sun, and Boot Camp troops can be carried over to U.S. Pacific, Marines doesn’t follow in sequence.  While at first feeling some chagrin at this discovery, I had to remind myself that it actually makes sense, because the two campaigns more or less run historically concurrent, after all.  Also be aware that all commanders and organic transport are lost, plus all units must be bought back from the ‘dead’ at their regular price.  Finally, although Specs don’t carry over either, if you can acquire one of the ‘training’ specialities before you do resurrect them, applicable types will appear with one experience star (XP).

However, veteran raised units will already have one XP (maximum), and you’ll likely be able to fill all your initial core slots with carried-over units.  This means that choosing any Spec that grants new purchases a star may be wasted unless you have more core slots to fill later on.  Yet I found it a rare thing that I couldn’t fill any extra space from my reserve pool.  Thus, as a general rule, I ignore those Specs (except Flight School, if you eventually want Pilot Rotation) and buy War Economy and Female Factory Labor as soon as available; those extra Command points (CP) feel indispensable – albeit sometimes, due to a lack of Resource Points (RP) and/or core slots, you may not be able to fill them all anyway!  Then I usually get Magnetron Radar, as it’s the prerequisite for Scrambling.


I have returned!

It should also be reiterated that one cannot expect to acquire all Specialisations in any given campaign; as with similar systems, evaluating their cost – in Specialisation Points (SP) – and aligning choices with one’s strategy, will usually dictate one’s picks.  This doesn’t negate all the agonising over certain decisions, but planning your way through in advance will prevent heartaches such as missing prerequisites or taking certain useless ones (like I did during my first foray down Burma Road!). Earnings vary by campaign – 4-7 SP per scenario – but recall that you can often earn bonuses by achieving certain secondary objectives; prioritise these if Specs are your goal.  Additionally, each campaign has its own starting SP allotment (yet, sadly, none grant enough to actually buy anything to start!).  If you like, consult the table I’ve included to aid in mapping out your strategy.  It’s also a good idea to check the description for the upcoming scenario; for instance, if it says you’ll be fighting in mostly jungle and rough terrain, hold off buying Tank School, as you’d be well advised not to deploy many tanks!

OOB Table

OOB Table2

This We’ll Defend

I’ll start with Boot Camp – which, incidentally, has changed drastically since the game’s original release. I just replayed it following the Burma DLC, and although I can’t say when, exactly, this happened, regardless it’s a lot more in-depth than before, and you’ll be able to take a Specialisation (see the table for a brief explanation of each Spec, else full details can be found in-game as tooltips). I chose Naval School eventually, and bought two destroyers to sail into Pacific; as I mentioned, other core slots were already filled by the time I could afford any more, so that seemed to make most sense. After taking those referred to above, at Midway I graduated Flight School – one of my favourites since it leads to Pilot Rotation, albeit as it turned out I ended up not acquiring it. Even though it’s a good choice for ‘experienced’ recruits, I have my doubts about its value at later- or even mid-stages of a campaign, so I may rethink this one in future.

I faced my first real decision at Guadalcanal: Centimetric Radar, Liberty Ships, or Damage Control? I took the first. New Georgia was a no-brainer: Landing Craft. After all, the description does say, “…up to the Marines to do the heavy lifting”. The Philippine Sea also presented a dilemma: Drop Tanks – my choice – Damage Control, or Proximity Fuse? (Here you’ll have Air and Naval CP only; be sure to float at least three carriers if you want to maximise the former.) Disembarking into the Philippines proper I acquired Landing Craft Tank; Okinawa: Proximity Fuse.

Finally, at Tokyo, I had saved enough SP to afford Nukes – in a manner of speaking. In actuality, aside from the 10SP for Nuclear Fission Bomb, it’s a further 500RP to buy a nuclear bomber! Since, like me, this may be above your pay grade, for kicks I cheated just so I could see what they do and regale you, dear reader, with the result: I report some disappointment, actually! While there was a satisfying kaboom! and one can assume all units/structures were destroyed, nothing else actually happened, not even any apparent damage to adjacent areas. I at least expected devastation in a 1-hex radius, but while ‘fire-bombed’ districts are widespread throughout the city, nukes did nothing more. I even targeted the palace, thinking that, without their emperor, the Japanese would either immediately surrender or go completely berserk. Nothing. And nukes are a one-shot deal!


A palace-shattering kaboom!

Semper Fi!

In any case, let’s move on to Marines. I obtained War Economy at Guadalcanal, then nothing until Operations Blissful & Goodtime, where I followed up with my usual Female Factory Labor. At Bougainville I could have taken Landing Craft, but I held off for a bit to see what would happen with future CP etc. We’re only earning 4SP per scenario here, but you’ll surely want LC by the time you get to the Gilberts Islands; obviously, Marines focusses even more on amphibious landings than Pacific did, so it and LC Tank seem pretty much obligatory. The Gilberts presented me an opportunity to buy more infantry or artillery to fill expanded CP as well, so if you’re the type who likes well-trained recruits, you may want to go with Specialized Training et al. instead.

At the Marianas (Guam): Drop Tanks. I once more could have taken one of the training Specs in the Palau Islands, but I hesitated, wanting to save for Scrambling or Advanced Aeronautics. Once I began preparations to invade Iwo Jima – the last scenario – I only had 9SP to spend (Scrambling is 10SP). I had a few extra Air CP to fill, so my choice seemed between Advanced Aeronautics (7SP) and Flight School (5SP). I hated wasting the remainder, but there’s nothing available for only 4SP, so…

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for the next intsalment, and leave a Comment to share your own tips and strategies, or if you have a question!

This article covers a game developed & published by members of the Slitherine Group to which we are affiliated. For more information, please see the About Us Page.



Log in to join the discussion.

Related Posts from Wargamer