Infantry are the grunt units of your game, and despite being the weakest of all military units, they form a vital part of your army, and are the most variegated and specialised units available. Generally, infantry can be recruited from two buildings:
- Barracks: features cheap basic infantry that do not upgrade.
- Armoury: aside from special vehicles, this building also creates special types of infantry. These units are costlier, but are sufficiently powerful to merit training.
One thing to note is that like airfields, you can build any number of barracks you so wish, independent of your cities. This means that infantry and aircraft can be easily produced in great numbers, unlike tanks or machine guns which require a city in order to be built.
As the spiritual heart of your cities, it is unsurprising that this is the one area where citizen-soldiers come to congregate.
- Armed peasants early on, these are the weakest "commando" units available, but with the nasty ability to remain stealthed and plant bombs. Most factions can later upgrade them to:
Spanish peasant guerillas can cause serious damage if left unchecked.
- Rifle infantry a good infantry unit, but worthless against heavily armored units. Nevertheless, they can be trained quite quickly and have the best range, bar recoilless guns, machine guns and rocket soldiers.
- Mounted infantry very costly cavalry unit, costing fully of food with a powerful attack, but poor hitpoints. Most mounted units use cavalry rifles, but some others like Japanese, Indian or Chinese cavalry use lance and sabre instead. General attack but poor hitpoints, cavalry are useful only in picking off straggler units and flanking. Sub-factions like India and China and major powers such as the Soviets have good cavalry units. Cavalry are useful however as a shock force against infantry, and are also best used en masse. Additionally, these mounted infantrymen come with better LOS and some resistance to attrition.
- Recoilless gun High-ranged rifle infantry, useful against armoured vehicles and buildings, but performs questionabily against cavalry and infantry, given their awful rate of fire and their minimum range of 2.
- Assault/SMG infantry the dread of all infantry, they are armed with powerful, rapid-firing assault weapons. These soldiers deal added damage against buildings and receive less damage from low-level vehicles and cavalry; however note that their weapons don't have the same range as a rifle, nor can they be used to take apart later era tanks or battleships. Some factions have the ability to upgrade these units further, which can then be used as "jack of all trades" to take apart other infantry and even light tanks, although recoilless guns are better if you can get them. Assault infantry are often tougher and stronger than normal rifle infantry, but don't have good accuracy. Note: you need to research PsyOps to unlock normal Assault Infantry, the Italians and Germans get their own versions early on.
Although more powerful than the barracks infantry units, armoury units have a slight ramp cost in oil, in addition to whatever costs are required to train the first instance of a specific unit. You should thus be wary when building these units as the more you build of them, the higher the amount of oil required to train them.
Also, unlike the barracks, an armoury must be built near a city and cannot be built anywhere far away.
- Machine guns machine gunners are slow, anti-infantry units. While they can massacre hordes of infantry wholesale, they are somewhat vulnerable to cavalry, and are easily destroyed by mechanised units. Upgrades to the heavy machine gun.
- Flamethrower infantry specialised in burning units out of holes. Available only to factions without flame tanks.
- Rocket infantry rocket infantry are armed with rocket launchers, being the sole unit capable of damaging the more advanced Synthetics-era tanks and structures. Rocket infantry are costly, slow, and have a minimum range of 3.
- Mechanised infantry these units, although functioning pretty much like mounted infantry, are the fastest unit availabel but are not very heavily armoured and cost a little more, although little else need be said of the fact that they can pack a light machine gun.
- Conscript similar to a rifleman, but moves more slowly and is armed with a shotgun (fires slowly and with low accuracy and range). Conscripts are distinguished from other fighters in that they don't have fancy ammo packs, and for some European factions are seen wearing ersatz uniforms (no helmets or different gear)
- Cavalry - 14
- AT - 11
- Worker: While not considered an infantry unit, Workers are the backbone of your society, and are involved in building infrastructure and gathering resources. Workers can be converted to Armed Peasantry if the need should arise, and can be upgraded later to Peasant Guerillas or Partisans.
- Coolie: Coolies are recruited by India, China, and Japan, and are different in that they have a lower cost in food, a ramp cost of wood, and cannot be armed unlike normal Workers. Although they are cheaper and are more quickly trained they die very quickly compared to normal Workers if attacked.