Recon units can all be found within the recon category in your deck building menu. The objective of a recon unit is to provide battlefield vision.
Higher optics adds two features, higher efficiency and range.
So let’s say you have a tank sitting in a position and it wants to fire on a target across the way. The tank has a long range.
However his vision is half of that. It means that a tank will only be able to cover his vision and not his range. The tank will not be able to hit the target unless it can see further.
However when you add a recon unit into the mix the range of vision for this unit becomes far higher. That’s not to say the tank will now have full vision range, but it will certainly be a lot higher. The higher the optics stat (of which exceptional is the highest) the further and more efficiently that recon will see.
It’s worth noting that vision cannot be granted beyond obstructions. As well when a unit is in cover it gains a bonus to “stealth.” This is a stat that is modified by the other half of optics, efficiency.
However it is clear that a unit’s combat efficiency goes down if it doesn’t have a recon to spot for it.
Stealth and Efficiency
Every single ground unit in the game has a stat called stealth. This is how visible the unit will be. A unit with exceptional stealth is barely visible while a unit with low stealth is highly visible.
So your optic range will go so far. However even within the range of this optic it will not be able to see the stealth unit… unless the recon moves up.
Think of stealth stat producing a “stealth field” around a unit. The larger the stealth stat the larger this stealth field is and the more it will push the enemy’s stealth back.
In order to overcome this you have to either get closer or have enough optics to see beyond their stealth stat. A recon with high stealth values will be able to do just that without risking itself.
This means in order to “counter your recon” the enemy will have to deploy counter-recon units.
A counter recon or “defensive recon” is used to find and stop the enemy from reconning your position.
If an enemy can spot a unit’s position this gives them an opportunity to use focused artillery shots (which do more damage) on a particular location. As well if they spot high value targets like commands they may choose to send a cheap rocket plane after it.
Recon units can also be used to spot enemy planes coming so that you can quickly deploy your own to intercept them. Counter recons are used entirely defensively and are most commonly used when an enemy’s attacks just seem a bit too precise.
No unit just dies to random artillery. If it is getting wiped out by artillery… chances are they have a recon behind your lines…. and it’s time to send out an appropriate recon unit.
Recon come in many sub-categories and each has its own function and position. After looking through this list and descriptions of how they work it might feel like all of these are necessary. Not every deck will be able to do everything and so in this regard, you will be relying on your team mates to fill in any gaps you are missing.
It’s important that when you are choosing recon units you try and get a variety of types and functions instead of focusing on just one type.
There are three vehicle classes of recon with each having sub-categories with functions.
Recon infantry generally have higher stealth values than average recon units. The trade off is that they are exceptionally slow moving once deployed and will die very easily if spotted.
As another plus they are one of the two unit types that can recon mountains. When on mountains they will gain bonuses to optics from the increased altitude.
It’s worth noting that some people like to split this category into two “Recon Squad” and “Recon Team.” But their functions are roughly the same. The difference between these is that recon teams are two-man teams while recon squads are five-man squads. Squads have an extra weapon and slightly more survivability.
But they’re all pretty weak in the end. Because of this they tend to want to stay in cover and call in air or artillery support on any target they spot instead of engaging them, themselves.
These recon specialists include:
- Commandos Para
- Green Jacket
- JSDF Rangers
- Kommando Aufklarer
- Lai Ran
- Navy Seals
- Nz SAS
- Specialna Jednotky
- Spetnaz VMF
Recon vehicles come in many forms and many categories. They can be split up as Light Recon Vehicles, Defensive Vehicles, and Amphibious Recon.
Light Recon Vehicle
Light recon vehicles are lightly armored and have either no or few weapons. They have the limited role of sitting with an army and supporting vision or being deployed to scout flanks.
By no means are they going to be able to defend themselves against attacks and because of this you have to factor this hidden cost in when choosing these hidden units.
These recon units include:
- AufklFz UAZ
- AufklFz UAZ KPV
- BJ212 ZC
- ILTIS Aufk
- ILTIS Scout
- LRPV Perentie
- LRPV Rover
- M1025 Humvee M134
- M1025 Humvee Mk.19
- M151A2 FAV
- M151A2 MUTT
- M201 106mm
- MITHUBISHI M2
- OPKLARINGS M/151
- Rover Pinky
- Rover REKV
- UAZ 469
Another word for the anti-recon vehicle is a defensive recon. These recons are heavily armored vehicles or tanks that have the most powerful of recon weapons capable of taking out enemy vehicles and unfortified infantry. They are useful sitting with your army and behind your lines to stop the enemy from deploying recon and for spotting any sort of approach.
Without a spotter for approaches you will not be able to attack with the effective range of your anti-tank weapons and tanks. In pushes it is common to move with one of these recons behind your tanks to provide vision against defenses.
Because they are so armored and many of them have impressively powerful weapons many people will opt to turn the weapons on this unit to slay targets.
If deployed early enough it is entirely possible to sneak one of these behind enemy lines to wipe out some pricey targets.
These recons will come with a lot of various types of armaments for a lot of different situations and a lot of different units.
Defensive recons come with various weapons for dealing with either infantry or vehicles:
- AML 90
- AMX-10 RC
- AufkPz BRM-1
- BPzV SVATAVA
- BTR 40A
- EPBV 3022
- FV107 SCIMITAR
- FV701 FERRET Mk.2
- FV712 FERRET
- FV721 FOX
- HACHI-NANA SHIKI
- LAV-25 SCOUT
- M113A1 LRV
- M41 DK1
- M551A1 TTS
- M8 Pansarbill
- SONDERWAGEN III
- SPz 11-2 KURZ
- VBL MISTRAL
Amphibious recons are able to travel across rivers and lakes. This means they will be able to get behind enemy lines when that line happens to be a river. They are equipped with a gun so they’ll also be able to remove any enemy recon infantry or light recon vehicles.
These are deep strike recon units. They work best behind enemy lines. Generally speaking people will cover open areas with anti-tank weapons. Being able to move across rivers behind cover gives them a decisive advantage of deployment as these areas are less likely to be lined with anti-tank weapons.
Helicopters can perform this same kind of recon however it becomes far more dangerous because of anti-air weapons.
Against newer players a person may be able to sneak a recon across a lake. A more experienced player will have a recon waiting to stop this.
Amphibious recons include:
- AufkPz BRM-1
- Cougar Recon
- FERRET Mk.1
- FERRET Mk.2
- FIAT 6616
- FV101 SCORPION
- KAFV 90
- M113 ACAV
- M113 C&R LYNX
- M113A1 MRV
- M3 BRADLEY CFV
- M3A1 BRADLEY CFV
- M3A2 BRADLEY CFV
- M551 ACAV
- OT-65A VYDRA
- SpPz LUCHS
- Type 63
- VAB RASIT
In the air are the helicopter recons.
Helicopter recons come in many variants and with many load outs. Without going to deep into all of their functions ungunned helo recons are for spotting and ones with guns are for spotting and light damage.
Generally speaking a recon with air to surface missiles (ASMs) or rocket pods can deal with any unit that doesn’t have any anti-air missiles or AAA (anti-air artillery sure as the Flakpanzer).
Recon with infrared missiles can take out any helicopter that doesn’t have their own infrared missiles…. but won’t be able to deal with planes. This can make them an asset in an early game rush, but not powerful or cost effective enough to go against a superior number of anti-air helicopters.
Helos when airbourne will provide their maximum benefit of recon. Helo recons have the ability to see over obstructions, something that no other recon can do.
When they are on at lower altitude they no longer gain the ability to see over obstructions and their optics are reduced.
Helos have to worry about being in the air and attacked by anti-air weapons.
Helos in the air are very easy to spot by other recon because they have no stealth stat. Air superiority fighters have insanely high vision of things in the air. When a helo is landed they are less likely to see them and can no longer be targeted with all anti-air weapons. However when at low altitude they become vulnerable to land based weapons.
A higher costing recon helicopter such as the Longbow is likely to become a major target to remove. People will choose to sacrifice air superiority fighters have the price at the opportunity to kill one.
The Bell 206 on the other hand is very cheap and in high supply. This helicopter is less likely to see all in attacks.
For this reason a high value recon helicopter deployed behind your lines can be used to deter any sorts of pushes or be used as bait. Ones used on flanks to cover areas like lakes and mountains are better off being cheaper ones unless you can support them with an anti-air network.
Recon helicopters are also highly mobile, in fact the most mobile of helicopters. They should be brought in the air from time to time to extend vision and track a larger area, while remaining behind enemy lines.
Recon Helicopters Include:
- A22 Squirrel
- AH-64D LONGBOW
- AHS Mi-2
- AHS Mi-9
- ALOUETTE III
- BELL 206
- Bo 105CB
- GAZELLE 341F CANON
- GAZELLE AH.1
- GAZELLE AH.1 SNEB
- HKP 6A
- OH-1 NINJA
- OH-58C KIOWA
- OH-58D KIOWA
- OH-58D KIOWA Wr.
- PAH-2 TIGER
- SCOUT DEFENDER
Recon is essential to a winning team. Having just one player on the team with a motorized deck is invaluable.
A good player will be able to position their recons effectively. An amazing player will have them actively scout the enemy’s position while keeping them alive.
If you haven’t been deploying 5-6 recons per game you should take a step back, look at the battlefield and see which flanks are not covered with recon. If there’s just one… chances are the enemy has found a chink in your armor.