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Act of War: Direct Action Profile Preview - US Army Buildings and Units

By Staff, GameSpot 01/21/05 01:15 PM

Act of War: Direct Action is one of a new breed of real-time strategy games due this year. While traditional real-time strategy games follow the familiar formula of gathering resources, building up a huge economy, and then swamping the enemy with sheer numbers, Act of War will try to shake things up a bit. In Act of War, the base-building is mostly automated, and while you'll need to gather oil as a resource, your renewable resource will be prisoners that you capture in the field. Not only can you grill prisoners for valuable information, but also you can ransom them off for cold, hard cash.

The game's is best described as a technothriller that focuses on modern-day weapons and equipment. The storyline was actually written with the assistance of Dale Brown, a noted technothriller author. In the game, a terrorist organization known as the Consortium seeks to destabilize the United States by launching audacious attacks on its homeland. In response, the US deploys its conventional military, as well as Task Force Talon, an elite antiterrorist unit with access to experimental weaponry. Act of War is due to ship this spring. In the first of our profile previews, we'll take a look at some of the US Army's buildings and equipment in the game.

In Act of War, the US Army represents the combined forces of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. As a result, the US Army is capable of deploying a wide variety of powerful and mobile units in to the field, such as air superiority fighters, stealth bombers, heavy armor, and elite Special Forces. However, if the Army has one weakness, it's that all these specialized units can't easily adapt to changing battlefield conditions. Still, the amount of firepower the Army can deploy is formidable.



HQ: This is the primary production center from which excavators (construction vehicles) are deployed. It's also the location from where DEFCON alert status changes are made, and it's where you can gain the "world media support" upgrade.
Barracks: This infantry training center turns out US Marines, Javelin antitank units, mortar units, snipers, and Delta Force units. It also allows for the upgrading of grenade launchers and offers nonlethal fighting training.
Field Hospital: This is where prisoners are interrogated by the CIA, which may reveal critical information about the enemy. It also heals friendly soldiers who are heading back to combat. Additionally, it can deploy a UH-60Q Medivac Blackhawk helicopter to evacuate heavily wounded soldiers from the battlefield.


US Marine: The Marine is the standard infantry unit of the US Army. Well trained and well armed, the Marine is good at assaulting and defending buildings. Marines are fast, and a full squad can be a threat to low-flying helicopters. You can ask a Marine to crawl, hide, ambush, and capture prisoners of war.
Javelin Missile: The Javelin antitank soldier is the best weapon to use against armor and buildings. The Javelin is a fire-and-forget antitank missile. You need to protect it from enemy infantry, but when ambushing in a building, this unit can be very lethal to even the most armored vehicle.
Mortar Squad: This team of well-trained soldiers can fire indirect mortar shells at medium range. However, the squad needs time to set its mortar in position, it's slow, and it can't go into a building because of the size of its mortar.
Sniper: The sniper is the ultimate sharpshooter of the US Army. A good sniper can kill most human targets with a single bullet. He is perfect for scouting, capturing enemies, and performing stealthy missions.
Delta Force: Delta Force is the elite infantry unit of the US Army, and it represents the best of all Special Forces. Well trained and armed with a submachine gun, the Delta Force commando is deadly efficient at taking and defending a building. He is the perfect unit for scouting, capturing, and performing stealth-detection missions.


Avenger: This unit has only one purpose: to keep any enemy aircraft from flying overhead. Armed with an arsenal of Stinger missiles, it's the perfect escort for ground forces. This unit is very vulnerable alone, so you must hide or protect it.
M2A3 Bradley: The Bradley is the perfect fighting vehicle for hit-and-run attacks on weak enemy positions. Featuring medium armor, a 20mm cannon, and healthy speed, the Bradley always moves better in groups of three or four. It's also useful for transporting infantry behind enemy lines.
M1A2 Abrams: With its immense firepower and nearly impenetrable armor, the Abrams is the most powerful ground unit on the battlefield. However, it's vulnerable to helicopters and large groups of antitank infantry, so make sure to escort it with Avengers, Apaches, and Marines loaded in armored personnel carriers.


UH-60 Blackhawk: As the main US transport helicopter, the Blackhawk is fast, features moderate protection, and has enough room for eight soldiers. You can use it to drop infantry behind enemy lines, deliver an assault force on top of a roof, or perform emergency evacuations.
UH-60Q Medivac Blackhawk: This is the main medical and evacuation helicopter for the US Army. It is fast, features moderate protection, and has enough room for eight wounded soldiers.
AH64D Apache: The Apache attack helicopter is the spearhead of the US Cavalry. It is fast, packs powerful antitank firepower, has heavy armor, and features a nose cannon that can take out light vehicles and infantry.
A-10 Thunderbolt II "Warthog": Originally designed for close-air support, the A-10 can target anything on the battlefield with four Maverick air-to-ground missiles. But even with its strong armor and duel engines, this plane is painfully slow.
F-15 Eagle: Built for air superiority, the F-15 can target anything trying to fly over your forces on the battlefield. Armed with triple Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and resistant to antiair weapons, the F-15 is useful for escorting other planes.
B2 Spirit: The B2 can deliver a powerful "carpet bombing" in a very concentrated zone. It's perfect for killing static targets, buildings, or enemy energy generators. Always try to escort them with F-15s, because B2s are very expensive weapons.

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Plan Of Attack (MAY 2004)

The unthinkable is about to happen in this high-flying novel of adventure and suspense.

In Air Battle Force, Dale Brown introduced U.S. Air Force aerial warfare expert Major General Patrick McLanahan and his air combat unit of the future. Armed with a force of these robotic planes, the general and a handful of commandos were secretly deployed to the oil-rich nation of Turkmenistan to stop a Taliban invasion. And though the Americans won the battle, the war is far from over....

To punish McLanahan and his fleet of robot warplanes for their audacity, Russian president General Anatoliy Gryzlov decides to do the unthinkable: a sneak attack on America-unlike anything ever believed possible-that devastates her strategic air forces.

McLanahan has collected information that not only foretold the Russians' daring plan, but also gave him the data he needs to plan a counterstrike that could stop the Russian war machine dead in its tracks. But Patrick is no longer in charge of Air Battle Force, and the Russian sneak attack has left the embattled U.S. president with few options: retaliate with every weapon in his arsenal, even if it triggers a global thermonuclear war, or to a cease fire on Russia's terms...

...or listen to a disgraced and discredited young bomber commander's long-shot plan of attack.

"The novels of Dale Brown brim with violent action, detailed descriptions of sophisticated weaponry and political intrigue... His ability to bring technical weaponry to life is amazing."
--San Francisco Chronicle

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