It is important to choose the right faction to join Iron Harvest. This is what you need to know.
Iron Harvest is an incredibly intense and skill-based tactical strategy game that, while appealing and accessible to newcomers to the genre based on its unique setting and wide range of units, can be quite challenging. Using smart tactics and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of both your own faction and your opponent is crucial to winning.
However, choosing your faction can be difficult, especially when you first start the game. Knowing which faction fits your traditional playstyle choices, or even which one is the most balanced to help you get into the more complex mechanics of the game, isn’t that simple. Fortunately, while each faction has its own pros and cons, some are far better than others and are worth checking out first.
Usonia, or the Federal Union of Usonia, is a DLC faction available in Operation Eagle Expansion. It is based in the United States during the 1920s, just like the other factions are based in European countries during that time. This is a fantastic faction for quick plays, especially during early game. Many of their units are fast and perfect for taking out small groups of infantry units. They also rely heavily on their airborne units, which can unleash devastating fire on any unfortunate foes below.
Unfortunately, while still an incredible faction, they are not the best. The fact that they are locked behind paid DLC means that not many players will be able to access them right out of the box. Further, their lack of heavily armored units means they can be quickly defeated if not used properly. While the history associated with them is pretty great and their variety and unit types are excellent, they are not a great faction, especially for newcomers.
Rusviet, or the Russian Tsardom, is a fierce and formidable faction that can inflict a series of damage if used correctly.. They rely on close-range heavy units that can tear apart enemy infantry if they get close enough. Their strength makes them an impressive offensive faction that excels at pushing early and bridging the gap between their headquarters and that of their enemies.
Unfortunately, the Russian faction is not as balanced as the others and is quite difficult to use as a result. Its over-reliance on close combat makes it difficult to engage fast-moving units or long-range artillery. Also, while they are exceptionally powerful and can push up from the start, factions with cheaper units or powerful defenses, such as the Republic of Polania and the Empire of Saxony, can quickly repel them. In the right hands, the Russian faction is a testament to what makes Iron Harvest such a refreshing tactical RTS.
The Empire of Saxony is a faction focused on slow-moving mechs and powerful defensive plays. Since several of its mechs are apparently legged cannons, the Empire of Saxony relies on combining all of its unit types to advance. Sending a lone mecha or two will see them flanked and quickly destroyed. Relying on combined arms between infantry, mechs and artillery will ensure that you win any game. However, it is much easier said than done. Especially early in the game, moving forward can be quite difficult. With factions that the Republic of Polania and the Russian Tsardom are capable of rapidly producing mechs and fast-moving infantry to penetrate deep into the battlefield, significant resource points may be gained before you can reach them.
While playing defense is certainly important, if you play as this faction, you will have to strike a good balance between stoic defenses and slow but powerful thrusts. The longer you wait to capture resource points, the bigger the enemy army will be. And while the Empire of Saxony is well equipped with impressive firepower, if it is overwhelmed, it will quickly be destroyed. As a result, while it is certainly more balanced than other factions in Iron Harvest, the Empire of Saxony still requires a lot of skillful plays. Nevertheless, The combination of visually stunning mechs and impressive firepower makes the Empire of Saxony one of the most enjoyable factions to control.
Republic of Polania
The Republic of Polania is by far the most beginner-friendly faction and a great starting point for those trying Iron Harvest for the first time. While most of their units tend to be quite weak, they are cheap and quite fast, making them perfect for quickly advancing against your opponent. With mechs that are easily obtainable up front, the Republic of Polania can move on with a large swarm of units without breaking a sweat. The combination of long-range and close-range mechs, in addition to their standard infantry, makes them a relatively well-balanced faction.
While they may lack the skill and nuances of other factions, they still maintain the same level of fun. Ensuring that you are not overwhelmed by powerful enemies while maintaining a large number of weak units is certainly not an easy task, but it is certainly more manageable than other factions. The easy-to-learn but hard-to-master strategies of the Republic of Polania make them an ideal starting point for someone just starting the game. So, and especially with Iron Harvest hitting consoles soon and likely to become one of the best PC strategy games available on other platforms, Polania Republic is a great faction to try first.