Generally, you should aim to have one or two cards of supply units:
- The first card must be a supply truck – supply helos are nice but they can’t always safely reach the frontline, and FOBs are efficient but will never leave your base.
- The second card will most commonly be a FOB. In 1v1 and when playing with an organized team, you may want to replace that with either a second card of trucks or a supply helo (but you can also stay with an FOB).
- If taking an FOB, you may opt to take a third card of supply, giving you truck, FOB, and helo – but this is rare.
Supply trucks are mandatory for any deck. They’re more important than supply helos because they’re reliable – whereas a helo may be prevented from landing in your backline due to enemy AA or mortars, this is never a concern with trucks.
For trucks, I recommend taking the cheapest version possible, unless you play without an FOB and find yourself commonly running out of supply in your deck. This is because of the following reasons:
- Small trucks repair faster. Individually, all supply units in the game transfer supply at the same speed, but using multiple units speeds up the process proportionally – so four 10pt trucks will repair four times as fast as a single 40pt HEMMT.
- Small trucks ferry supply from the FOB faster. The reason is similar to the previous mechanic. In the time it takes a HEMMT to get 500 supply from an FOB, four 10pt trucks will have taken 500 supply each, draining a total for 2000 supply. Even with their slower offroad speed, this makes for a big advantage when making roundtrips from FOB to the front and back.
- Small trucks are more versatile. You might hesitate to send a 40pt monster to rearm a single infantry squad, whereas this is not a concern if you can send a single 10pt truck instead.
- Small trucks are more survivable. It takes four shots to kill four small trucks, and one or two shots to kill a single big one. If you group the small trucks up, they’ll often all die to one shot, but at least in that case they’re not harder to micro than a big truck.
To make up for these advantages Eugen have made big trucks provide more supply both per card and per point spent. Another drawback of small trucks is that they’re harder to micro, but using them in stacks is always an option. If you want to get supply for as cheap as possible, go big, but for me small trucks are clearly superior and big ones are only a consideration if playing without an FOB.
Supply helos are something of a luxury. When your deck has space for them on top of a card of trucks, they’re pretty useful for rearming extended pushes and for awkward maps like nuclear winter.
Keep in mind that helos are worse than trucks at sustained supply delivery to the middle of the map. They have the same transfer speed drawback that makes big trucks slower than small ones, and their amazing top speeds are partially counteracted by delays when landing and taking off. Additionally, landing at the front is often risky or impossible due to the inherent fragility of flying units, causing inconvenience as damaged units have to retreat to the backline.
In other words, supply helos are rarely a good idea for long-term resupply. What they excel at, and what you should buy them for, is the fast initial delivery. This also makes the choice between big and small helos easy – small helos are almost always preferrable. Helos are mainly for when we need supplies as fast as possible, so using a big one risks that you won’t have the points to buy it as soon as it is needed. Aside from that consideration, the advantages and disadvantages of size are the same as they were with trucks.
Finally, I’d like to mention supply chaining and why it’s not worth your time. Helos can transfer supply to trucks in the same way that fobs can give to both helos and trucks. Some players advocate a resupply technique using this mechanic, where a helo lands behind the lines, gives supply to trucks, which in turn distribute it to the frontline while the helo goes back for more. While this theoretically sounds smart, in practice very few frontlines require the massive supply amounts that this technique is meant to deliver (notice that the minimum). When you do have such a frontline, using a pure truck fleet to make the rounds is both more efficient and less micro-intensive.