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The enigmatic Cartel is among the most difficult factions to fully grasp. One players become familiar with them, however, Cartel shows a combination of power, stealth, and fluidity. They favour helicopters to do just about everything, and use powerful experimental units and railgun technology. Most of their units use niche, less well known weapons; their vehicles and aircraft are all technology demonstrators or otherwise not created for mass production.

More than any other faction, Cartel uses rare earth often and in much larger quantities than the other factions.

Several units in the Cartel have anti tank abilities, giving them a variety of options to try to counter a tank spam.


Infantry[edit]

Contractor[edit]

AOA Contractor.png
RoleAnti infantry
HP5
CostAOA CreditsIcon.png150
UpgradesLife Insurance, PsyOps Training, Breaching Training, Nanofibers Jacket
Special NotesCan capture prisoners, can enter neutral buildings
AOA ContractorIcon.png

What they lack in range, Contractors make up for in relatively strong close-quarters engagements and extremely low prices. Equipped with the American KRISS Vector submachine gun, Contractors fill the early game anti infantry combat role and bank unit. With a total lack of a standard turret, filling civilian structures with Contractors is a good idea to defend against enemy infantry.

Viper[edit]

AOA Viper.png
RoleAnti armour
HP4
CostAOA CreditsIcon.png200
Produced ByBarracks
UpgradesTandem Charges, Life Insurance, Nanofibres Jacket
Special NotesCan enter neutral buildings
AOA ViperIcon.png

An intermediate range anti tank unit, Vipers fire faster and pack a larger punch than their longer ranged cousins, the Shershen. Causing large amounts of armour piercing damage in addition to high explosive damage, Vipers are an ideal first contact unit against an armoured attack.

Grinch[edit]

AOA Grinch.png
RoleAnti aircraft
HP4
CostAOA CreditsIcon.png300
Produced ByBarracks
UpgradesLOAL-HI, Life Insurance, Nanofibres Jacket
Special NotesCan enter neutral buildings
AOA GrinchIcon.png

Grinches are armed with the 9K338 variant of the Russian Igla anti aircraft missile. This anti aircraft unit can set up shop in civilian units closer to the back and fire large volumes of missiles at flying targets. Although they will rarely prevent a bomber attack, enough of them can ensure the bomber doesn't survive afterwards.

Shershen[edit]

AOA Shershen.png
RoleAnti armour
HP10
CostAOA CreditsIcon.png600
Produced ByBarracks
UpgradesTwin Launcher, Life Insurance, LOAL-HI, Nanofibres Jacket
Special NotesCan enter neutral buildings
AOA ShershenIcon.png

A long ranged anti tank unit, the Shershen missile launcher operates similar to the Chimera's Grenadier unit. It fires slowly but at a great distance, making Shershens ideal for backing up Vipers and other units in an attack. Unlike the American Mortar, the Shershen can enter buildings.

The LOAL-HI upgrade makes the missiles perform top-down attacks for additional damage, and allow the Shershen to fire indirectly.

A graphical glitch appears with the Shershen unit. If upgraded with LOAL-HI but not Twin Launcher, the Shershen will use the twin launcher model regardless, but continue to fire singular missiles.

Punisher[edit]

AOA Punisher.png
RoleCombat medic
CostAOA CreditsIcon.png500
Produced ByBarracks
UpgradesLife Insurance, Nanofibres Jacket
Special NotesCan capture prisoners, can enter neutral buildings
AOA PunisherIcon.png

The Punisher is a heavy combat unit with the ability to heal nearby infantry. Having a few along for an attack, especially by a Shadowhawk raid, can extend the health of your infantry considerably. Their range is short, so include a large group so as to cover everyone. This also lets them heal each other.

Vanguard[edit]

AOA Vanguard.png
RoleSpecial forces
CostAOA CreditsIcon.png600
Produced ByBarracks
UpgradesLife Insurance, Nanofibres Jacket, PsyOps Training, Breaching Training
Special NotesCan capture prisoners, can enter neutral buildings. Stealthed.
AOA VanguardIcon.png

The Vanguard special forces unit is an extremely cheap unit to field, notably costing only credits instead of rare earth (for the American Delta Force) or aluminum (the Chimera's Exosoldier). Unlike the latter two, however, the Vanguard is equipped only with a submachine gun and has no anti tank weapon. The main benefit to the Vanguard is that unlike Contractors, they are stealthed and can run faster. Otherwise, the two units are very similar. Inserting a large group of Vanguards into an enemy base via a Shadowhawk can be used to punish an opponent who slacks of stealth detection.

Vehicles[edit]

Scorpio[edit]

AOA Scorpio.png
RoleLight tank
HP7
CostAOA CreditsIcon.png1200
Produced ByVehicles Bay
UpgradesSmoke Rockets, Optical Camouflage Bricks
AOA ScorpioIcon.png

A powerful skirmish tank equipped with a railgun, the Scorpio is the early game attacking unit for the Cartel. It packs quite a punch, and can be built the moment your Vehicles Bay is finished. This makes it a common early game harassment unit. Even late game it can continue to support Spectres, LOSATs, and other units.

Otomatic[edit]

AOA Otomatic.png
RoleAnti aircraft
HP20
CostAOA CreditsIcon.png900 AOA AluminumIcon.png300
Produced ByVehicles Bay
UpgradesAdvanced Software
Special NotesDetects stealth aircraft.
AOA OtomaticIcon.png

The Italian Otomatic anti aircraft platform is equipped only with an autocannon. While it packs a punch, the Otomatic is poor in comparison to the Chimera's Pantsir and the American Blazer anti aircraft platforms. It can however be upgraded with Advanced Software that grants it the ability to intercept enemy missiles. Including a few with your attack force is a good idea to protect your expensive units from missile threat.

Jackal[edit]

AOA Jackal.png
RoleAnti infantry
HP5
CostAOA CreditsIcon.png800
Produced ByVehicles Bay
UpgradesOptical Camouflage Bricks
Special NotesTransports up to two infantry.
AOA JackalIcon.png

This light recon vehicle is unique to the Cartel. Equipped with a PHASR energy rifle, the Jackal utilizes long distance, single shot, anti infantry attacks like a sniper despite being mounted to a vehicle. Like the SAS and the US Army's Sniper, the Jackal can ignore enemy cover and quickly eliminate enemy garrisons in structures.

AMOS[edit]

AOA AMOS.png
RoleLight artillery
HP15
CostAOA AluminumIcon.png750
Produced ByVehicles Bay
UpgradesStrix Shells, Optical Camouflage Bricks, MRSI Targeting
AOA AMOSIcon.png

The AMOS is a powerful unit that fires large volleys of mortars. Costing very few resources, the Advanced Mortar System can be deployed in large groups and act as a powerful force multiplier.

AMOSes can be equipped with anti tank Strix Shells, which fragment in the air and cause extra damage to vehicles. Strix Shells, however, cause very little damage to infantry and buildings. Unlike the American Humvee and TUSK upgrades, upgrading to Strix Shells irrevocably changes all AMOS units to fire them, making this upgrade a poor choice for players who use the AMOS against buildings or infantry. However, the upgrade causes plenty of damage to enemy tanks and can still suppress infantry, making it a good overall upgrade. Be sure to fill in the anti structure and anti infantry artillery roles with the Koalitsija later in the game.

Scout CGS[edit]

AOA ScoutCGS.png
RoleLight transport
HP8
CostAOA AluminumIcon.png500
Produced ByVehicles Bay
UpgradesScout Combat Kit
Special NotesStealthed. Transports up to four infantry.
AOA ScoutCGSIcon.png

This stealthed infantry transport is used as an early game raiding party transport. It can also be used as an anti infantry weapon in a pinch, with a pair of machine guns.

The Scout CGS can be upgraded with the Scout Combat Kit, equipping it instead with flamethrowers. While the description is stated to remove the Scout's stealth when firing, the Scout already loses its stealth when firing anyway. The flamethrowers are effective against infantry and buildings, allowing the Scout CGS to add some more firepower to the raiding party that it carries.

LOSAT[edit]

AOA LOSAT.png
RoleTank destroyer
HP20
CostAOA RareEarthIcon.png400
Produced ByPrototypes Bay
UpgradesBarrage Fire, Optical Camouflage Bricks
AOA LOSATIcon.png

The Line of Sight Anti Tank, mounted here on an M8 Armoured Gun System chassis, is chiefly an ambush vehicle. While not particularly fast, it is extremely powerful and can eliminate most targets in one or two hits. Its biggest weakness, however, is its extremely long reload time. It is generally best for the LOSAT to hit hard and then quickly fade, or as a fire support unit with stronger units to take the brunt of the fire.

Costing only rare earth, the LOSAT is a good use of rare earth once the main upgrades costing it have been researched. The LOSAT is particularly vulnerable and needs to be well guarded.

BREM-80U[edit]

AOA BREM-80U.png
RoleRepair vehicle
HP30
CostAOA AluminumIcon.png1000
Produced ByRepair enter
Special NotesUnarmed.
AOA BREM-80UIcon.png

The BREM-80U is a Russian armoured recovery vehicle and fills the vehicle repair role in the Cartel. The BREM-80U, unlike the American Hercules, is unarmed and cannot defend itself.

The BREM-80U cannot repair itself, but two BREM-80Us can repair each other. Bring along at least two and keep them well protected to ensure your armoured force remains in fighting condition.

Spectre[edit]

AOA Spectre.png
RoleMain battle tank
HP25
CostAOA CreditsIcon.png1000 AOA AluminumIcon.png750
Produced ByPrototypes Bay
UpgradesPassive Receiver System, 40mm Autocannon, Optronic Sensor
Special NotesStealthed.
AOA SpectreIcon.png

This powerful tank, a hybrid of the Swedish Strv 2000 and the Polish PL-01 prototypes, is a hard hitting main battle tank. Like all stealth units, the Spectre gains a damage bonus when it fires from a stealthed position.

The Spectre is the least versatile out of the Abrams and the Terminator, but the Spectre packs a wallop and must use its stealth to its advantage.

The Passive Receiver System upgrade lets the Spectre spot enemy stealthed units, while the Optronic Sensor improves the unit's sight distance and the range of the main gun.

Vextra[edit]

AOA Vextra.png
RoleInfantry fighting vehicle
HP15
CostAOA CreditsIcon.png500 AOA AluminumIcon.png500
Produced ByPrototypes Bay
UpgradesReinforced Frame, Optical Camouflage Bricks
Special NotesTransports up to eight infantry.
AOA VextraIcon.png

The Vextra is a flexible infantry fighting vehicle not unlike the Chimera's Puma. In many ways it can supersede the Scout CGS as a raiding vehicle, especially once upgraded. The Vextra's autocannon is powerful and can attack both infantry and helicopters with ease, and cause light damage to enemy tanks.

Koalitsija[edit]

AOA Koalitsija.png
RoleArtillery
HP50
CostAOA CreditsIcon.png2500 AOA RareEarthIcon.png500
Produced ByPrototypes Bay
UpgradesMRSI Targeting, Assault Gun Training
AOA KoalitsijaIcon.png

The Koalitsija (Coal-it-see-jah) is an experimental Russian artillery piece similar to the American NLOS-C. The Koalitsija fires in two round bursts at long distances, causing massive damage to structures and oftentimes killing infantry outright. Its range is not as impressive as the NLOS-C, nor does it fire as many shots, but the Koalitsija has a few tricks up its sleeve when engaged up close. When Assault Gun Training is researched, the Koalitsija gains the ability to use the main gun against targets up close, giving it a better chance of surviving against enemies that close the distance. Regardless of this upgrade, however, Koalitsijas are very expensive and need to be protected.

Helicopters[edit]

Skycrane[edit]

AOA Skycrane.png
RoleConstruction unit
Produced ByHeadquarters
UpgradesOptical Camouflage Bricks
Special NotesNot controllable by the player.
AOA SkycraneIcon.png

The Sikorsky Skycrane is deployed from the Headquarters whenever a new structure is to be built. Once the structure is built by the Headquarters, a Skycrane will fly to the construction zone and construct the building. As a result, the cost of the Skycrane varies and it cannot be directly controlled by the player - it will always take the shortest and most direct route to the construction zone. It must therefore be protected from anti aircraft weapons, as the destruction of the Skycrane will not refund the player their resources.

Although Skycranes are slow for helicopters, the fact they do not have to contend with terrain makes them far safer to the other two factions' equivalent units. It can also be equipped with Optical Camouflage Bricks to make it invisible.

Recon K-MAX[edit]

AOA ReconKMAX.png
RoleReconnaissance, resource locator
HP5
CostAOA CreditsIcon.png1500
Produced ByHeadquarters
Special NotesDetects resource fields.
AOA ReconKMAXIcon.png

The Recon K-MAX is a drone helicopter used by the Cartel to reconnoiter the area. While any unit can scout, only the Recon K-MAX will be able to locate resource fields in the area.

Unlike the other two factions' recon units, the Recon K-MAX is completely unarmed and is very fragile. However, since it can fly, it can very quickly cover the map and locate the resource fields deep within the middle of the map or even an opponent's second or third refineries - opening the door for harassment opportunities. Ensure the Recon K-MAX stays away from any armed units, including rifle infantry.

K-MAX[edit]

AOA KMAX.png
RoleResource ferry
HP5
CostAOA CreditsIcon.png175
Produced ByRefinery
UpgradesOptical Camouflage Bricks
Special NotesCarries up to 200 units of resources.
AOA KMAXIcon.png

The standard K-MAX drone is used to carry resources to the headquarters or extension modules from refineries. Unlike resource gatherers from other games, the carrier does not actively mine the resources: the refinery does.

Instead, the refinery automatically mines and stockpiles resources that are then picked up by the K-MAX and then transported either to a Headquarters, Extension Module, or Rare Earth Extension Module.

While being the fastest of the three resource carriers, the K-MAX only carries 200 units of resources, which is nothing short of embarrassing compared to the American M993's 400 capacity, which can be upgraded to 800. A long string of K-MAXes is all but necessary for the Cartel; however, K-MAXes are also extremely cheap. Their mobility also helps compensate for their low carrying capacity. As with the other carriers, determine the ideal number of K-MAXes by seeing whether there are a large number of crates to be picked up at the refinery, or if there is a large pile of K-MAXes waiting in line to be serviced.

This K-MAX, unlike the Recon K-MAX, can be upgraded with Optical Camouflage Bricks to turn the K-MAX invisible. When combined with the Stealth Module upgrade on the refinery, this can result in the entire Cartel supply chain all but vanishing from an opponent's point of view, making harassment against them difficult.

SuperHind[edit]

AOA SuperHind.png
RoleAttack helicopter, transport
CostAOA CreditsIcon.png1200 AOA AluminumIcon.png750
Produced ByVehicles Bay
UpgradesComputerized Flying Procedure, ZAB Napalm Bomb
Special NotesCarries up to ten infantry.
AOA SuperHindIcon.png

An extremely powerful and flexible helicopter gunship, the SuperHind is more than capable of eliminating all but the hardest targets. As the SuperHind is a helicopter, it also cannot be touched by tank guns, and it has enough armour to withstand a considerable amount of anti aircraft firepower. It also has enough firepower to destroy the anti aircraft units designed to shoot it down. This, combined with the manoeuvrability of helicopters and the transportation ability, make the SuperHind the Cartel's main workhorse.

Comanche[edit]

AOA Comanche.png
RoleHarassment
HP10
CostAOA CreditsIcon.png500 AOA AluminumIcon.png500
Produced ByHelipad
UpgradesComputerized Flying Procedure
AOA ComancheIcon.png

Unlike the SuperHind, the American Comanche is a recon and harassment helicopter. While the Comanche appears similar to the American Guardian or the Chimera's Tigre, the truth is that the Comanche has more in common with the Chimera's Metal Storm. Unlike the Guardian or the Tigre, the Comanche has only rockets and an autocannon to attack targets with. The rockets, however, are key: they cause a large amount of damage in a very short time. These slow-reloading, high damage rockets have their power doubled when the Comanche breaks its stealth to fire on a target: this makes the Comanche an ideal ambusher or base harassment unit.

The Comanche is very fragile, requiring its stealth to survive. Stealth also allows it to sneak around the map undetected. A player who fails to cover the rear of their base with stealth detection can quickly find a large group of Comanches unloading rockets into their Headquarters.

Shadowhawk[edit]

AOA ShadowHawk.png
RoleTransport helicopter
HP100
CostAOA AluminumIcon.png500
Produced ByHelipad
UpgradesSide Door Minigun
Special NotesCarries up to eight infantry. Stealthed.
AOA ShadowHawkIcon.png

Another stealthed helicopter, the Shadowhawk is a modified Blackhawk helicopter capable of transporting infantry behind enemy lines. Generally superior to the Scout CGS, the Shadowhawk can fly in while stealthed, drop off its cargo of infantry, and then either support them with the Side Door Minigun upgrade or otherwise withdraw. Having a Shadowhawk as part of your attacking force can also provide you with a quick way to get pilots from downed vehicles away from the fight.

The Side Door Minigun upgrade also protects the Shadowhawk from missile attack.

Aircraft[edit]

X-32[edit]

AOA X32.png
RoleGround attack
HP10
CostAOA AluminumIcon.png1250
Produced ByAir Control Center
UpgradesAARGM
Special NotesAttacks ground targets only. Stealthed.
AOA X32Icon.png

This prototype aircraft once competed against the prototype of the F-35 Lightning. It now serves as the Cartel's standard ground attack aircraft, armed with anti tank cluster bombs. These bombs work similarly to the AMOS' Strix Shells, and cause very little damage to enemy structures infantry.

The X-32 can also be upgraded with Advanced Anti Radiation Guided Missiles. These missiles can home in on a radar-emitting source - such as the radars on enemy anti aircraft units - and destroy them quickly. This makes the X-32 a method of countering small groups of AA units, potentially creating an opening that a Shadowhawk or other aircraft can use.

Su-47 Berkut[edit]

AOA Berkut.png
RoleAir superiority
HP20
CostAOA CreditsIcon.png1800 AOA AluminumIcon.png400
Produced ByAir Control Center
UpgradesR-74M Missile, Computerized Flying Procedure
Special NotesAttacks air targets only. Stealthed.
AOA BerkutIcon.png

This deadly aircraft serves as the Cartel's method of clearing the skies of enemy aircraft. The Berkut, characterized by the unmistakable forward-swept wings, has unmatched agility and can pressure even F-22s and PAK FAs. It can be upgraded to hold the R-74M missiles, which fire backwards and eliminate hostile missiles before they can damage the plane.

XB-70 Valkyrie[edit]

AOA Valkyrie.png
RoleStrategic bomber
HP10
CostAOA CreditsIcon.png4000 AOA RareEarthIcon.png400
Produced ByAir Control Center
UpgradesCountermeasures Dispensers, Pye Wacket Missiles
Special NotesAttacks ground targets only.
AOA ValkyrieIcon.png

The only non-stealthed aircraft in the game, the North American XB-70 makes up for it in speed. It is extremely difficult to catch, and carries a devastating payload of napalm bombs. Dropping these along a road can shut down traffic and blunt an attack considerably.

Enemy aircraft that approach the Valkyrie and expect an easy kill, however, will be surprised to find that it can be upgraded with Pye Wacket missiles. These Cold-War era missiles, developed exclusively for the XB-70, provide the Valkyrie with 360 degree protection against enemy interceptors. Even ground based engagements may prove difficult as the Valkyrie can be equipped with countermeasures dispensers to spoof missiles. All of this comes at a considerable cost, however: at 4000 credits, the Valkyrie ranks as one of the most expensive units in Act of Aggression.