|“|| Conscript training finished!|
- Conscript rolling out of the Barracks
Conscripts are the Soviet basic infantry trained during the War of the Three Powers. Simple riflemen in greatcoats, they heavily resemble the basic Rifle Infantry of the altered Second World War featured in the first Red Alert.
While Anatoly Cherdenko altered the timeline by removing Albert Einstein, conscripts still remained the foundation of the Soviet army. However, there was some difference between these and the previous Conscripts. The Conscript of Red Alert 3 is much less armored, and equipped with an ADK-45 assault rifle rather than a PPSh-41. They also come equipped with Molotov Cocktails.
|“|| Just like training video!|
- Conscript on the offensive
In the Soviet Union, military service is understood to be a rite of passage, for boys and girls alike, into a patriotic adulthood. And, much like the onset of age, this rite is not optional. Opportunities do abound, and based on a child's scholastic achievement and parentage, he or she may end up serving either behind a desk or behind a machine gun for the glory of Russia and all her sister republics. Among the entirety of Soviet youth entering the armed forces, a large percentage consists of boys of unremarkable strength, intellect, or pedigree. These boys, once properly trained and equipped, are boys no longer: They are conscripts.
The millions of drafted boys destined to become conscripts tended to have no distinguishing attributes or patronage. Training had a heavy theoretical component with an emphasis on raising morale and reinforcing indoctrination learned earlier in life, (such as how to properly fire a gun, salute high-ranking officials, cry out authorized Soviet war cries, etc.). In addition to this, conscripts were often promised great reward for their service, motivating them further. By comparison, technical skills, such as marksmanship, merited relatively little time and swimming was completely ignored, reportedly due to fears of desertion.
|“|| Kill them like watermelons!|
- Conscript, probably taking his training video a bit too literally
The Conscript Training Programme was regarded as highly efficient by the Soviet Union. Exit polls suggest conscripts come away from this video series genuinely inspired and enthusiastic for combat, (and the few that are unsatisfied typically are sent to the gulags straightaway). However, the poor training they received meant that they possess the shortest average combat lives out of all the Soviet forces. Conscripts rarely lived above 26.6 years before being killed or (more rarely) promoted. From gathered intel, the average Conscript's training includes:
-Basic operation, maintenance, and usage of the ADK-45 assault rifle.
-Learning about common combustable liquids and where to find them on the battlefield.
-Proper conduct when addressing officers.
-Heavy machine gun assemblage and operation.
-Cooking up to 10 different types of meats, including deer, rabbit, rat, crow, and horse.
-How to obtain field promotions.
All of this training is packed into two weeks. Every day, the recruits are called into their nearest Barracks for a mandatory three hour lesson, where almost all of the information is taught through video.
|Assault Rifle||The Conscript utilizes his ADK-45, firing in long bursts to ventilate enemy soldiers. It is best used in mass-fire against infantry, as it is poor against armor and individually the least powerful main infantry weapon.|
|Molotov Cocktail||Switches to Molotov Cocktails, allowing devastating effect against garrisons, stationary units and buildings, and passable damage against armored targets.|
Conscripts were armed with the battle-proven and easily manufactured ADK-45 assault rifle. The rifle was inexpensive to manufacture and fired 7.62mm rounds effective against infantry but weak against vehicles. Equipping new conscripts made extensive use of battlefield salvage. The bayonet seen on one of the propaganda poster is clearly not standard equipment as Conscripts in the battlefield rarely used them. In-game, the ADK-45 is a decent burst-fire weapon that is best used in mass fire. It is effective against enemy infantry, but struggles against vehicles. However, it is a decent enough generalist armament, and with enough Conscripts one can even destroy enemy tanks with the gun.
|“|| Make room for Mother Russia!|
- Conscript, when ordered to throw Molotov Cocktail to the garrisoned building
Conscripts gain the Molotov Cocktail which allows them to clear garrisons. According to the official website, the Molotov Cocktail was "named for the great Soviet bartender who first invented the concoction in exasperation when his patrons refused to leave his establishment." Based on this knowledge, it can be assumed these Molotov Cocktails are poisonous as well as flammable, but apparently some Conscripts have tried drinking it anyway as "Reports of conscripts drinking this substance for pleasure, and subsequently falling ill or dying, are described as 'patently false' by the Soviet media.". This cocktail is easily made (with main ingredients being fuel such as petroleum or kerosene and motor oil, all available in great supply). Conscripts may carry these in either specially designed containers or everyday glass bottles. The Molotov's fire will produce tear inducing smoke (due to impurities and battlefield condition). Molotov cocktails are highly effective against garrisoned buildings and are reasonably powerful versus vehicles and normal buildings, but take time to fly and can be dodged by quicker targets.
- Conscripts are an extremely cheap infantry unit at only $100. Their training time is 0:04, compared to the 0:05 Allied and Japanese infantry take, at higher costs each. It is very easy and quick to produce a Conscript army.
- Conscripts are poorly armed and equipped; they have short range, weak weapons, and low health. However, their sheer spammability more than makes up for this; Conscripts are meant to drown the enemy in bullets.
- Conscripts are fragile, wearing only coats and no body armor; they will be easily slaughtered by enemy defensive turrets. Have another part of your army destroy these beforehand, or simply arm your Conscripts with Molotovs and hope for the best.
- The biggest advantage of the Conscript lies in their secondary weapon; while the Molotov Cocktail is fairly weak against infantry (which should be faced with the ADK-45, anyway), the Molotov does extreme damage against garrisons, buildings, and stationary units. It can instantly kill shield-wielding Peacekeepers, an effective way of countering a micromanaged Allied squad. Unlike all other infantry in the game, Conscripts need not waste their (expendable) lives assaulting a building; instead, they can simply firebomb it to ruins, very quickly killing more cost-effective infantry occupying it.
- Conscripts are expendable and entire armies can be easily rebuilt due to their quick training and cheap cost. For the cost of one Guardian MBT, one can train nine Conscripts, and their Molotovs can destroy a non-micromanaged Guardian fairly easily.
- Conscripts are very effective against Allied attack dogs. They cannot engage air targets, so they cannot defeat Japanese drones. To counter these, use Bullfrog transports or Flak Troopers.
- Garrisoned Conscripts are a difficult enemy to flush out, as the building counters their fragility, and the opponent faces the dilemma of wasting more expensive troops to kill cheap Conscripts. However, keep in mind that you cannot switch the Conscript's weapons inside of a building. If you plan on defending against a combined-arms assault, have some Conscripts enter with ADK-45s ready, and some with Molotov Cocktails.
- Building a Battle Bunker and staffing it with Conscripts is a cheap way of denying a certain building to enemy Engineers and for very cheap. It also counteracts smaller enemy assaults.
- Conscripts are an extremely good counter to enemy anti-armor units. They do more damage against infantry, and most anti-armor infantry are fragile, making Conscripts a cheap and very available counter to these nuisances.
- To counteract the slow speed of Conscripts, place them in Bullfrog transports and support these with tanks. This circumvents needing to waste time building Flak Troopers as well; and with the man-cannon of the Bullfrog, Conscripts can be launched deep into the enemy base, where wave-slaughtering turrets may not reach. Make sure to target any AA guns beforehand though.
- Conscripts are slow. If you can't build enough transports to mobilize every soldier, they will lag very far behind your armor, leaving it open against enemy anti-armor infantry. A cash-strapped player with only Hammer Tanks and Conscripts may be forced to manually keep their tanks in line with their infantry advance- keep this in mind.
- It is often the Conscript wave that gives an army its real punch; superheavy tanks and bombers may do massive burst damage, but the relatively short interval between bursts means that a Conscript horde can lay down a practically unending wave of fire.
- Conscripts defending a base can be easily killed by enemy infantry. To counter this, Tesla Troopers can engage the enemy infantry and act as a diversion, due to their heavy armour, while the Conscripts take down the enemy infantry from a distance.
- Conscripts defending a base should also be placed within a Battle Bunker, as they can get promotions quickly. The Bunkers can be repaired as well.
- Conscript's Molotov Cocktail has superior range compared to all other basic infantry weapons and some anti-infantry units. This advantage could be exploited when the enemy units do not actively respond to attacks that out-range them. For example, in the first part of the campaign To Tame a Living God, it is possible to use Molotov Cocktail to out-range and kill almost all Imperial Warriors and Mecha Tengus (except one patrolling Imperial Warrior) near the garden to directly reach the Emperor without even setting up a distraction.
|“|| Never we would have thought we would ally with the Allies.|
- Conscript in "Enemy of our Enemy".
The Allies often ran into en-mass Conscript attacks in the early missions, such as Ride of the Red Menace, but most were dealt with by superior defenses and tactics.
However, when the Allies and Soviets worked together against the Empire of the Rising Sun, they proved to be good defenders along with their counterparts, the Peacekeepers, specially when the coalition invaded the floating fortress in the North Atlantic (even as both parts were constantly in tension).
|The following is based on the Soviet campaign of Red Alert 3 and contradicts canon sources.|
In the Soviet campaign, the lowly Conscripts actually play a much bigger role in the Soviet Perspective. They fought in many of the Union's most vital battles, including the Defense of Leningrad, the Battle of Vladivostok, and the Battle of Geneva. However, the greatest moment for the Conscripts was during Operation: To Tame a Living God.
During the operation, a Conscript and a War Bear, the sole survivors of a massive paradrop, managed to sneak past the Imperial guards inside the Emperor's Palace and assassinate Emperor Yoshiro himself in his own garden. Despite the fact that the "Emperor" they killed was actually a robotic body double, and the fact they were captured immediately afterwards by Imperial forces, they were eventually rescued and taken back to Russia, where they were presumably treated as national heroes and given many honors for their unquestionable bravery.
- Cheapest infantry in the game
- Good anti-infantry gun
- Great in garrisoned structures
- The most efficient garrison-cleaner in the game can clear any garrisoned structure using Molotov cocktails and it doesn't bring harm to him
- Can kill a shielded peacekeeper in one shot with his Molotov Cocktail
- The Molotovs cannot be absorbed by Assault Destroyer's black hole armor
- Lower price and faster build-time makes them easier to spawn than Imperial Warriors and Peacekeepers
- Excellent counter to enemy anti-air/armor infantry
- Gains promotions quickly
- The weakest basic foot-soldier in the game loses one-on-one to both Imperial Warrior and Peacekeeper; even if it is 2 Conscripts vs. one Peacekeeper the Peacekeeper still wins
- Cannot attack aircraft unless it is landed
- Requires numerical superiority to be effective
- Very weak against vehicles (save when utilizing Molotov Cocktail)
- Weak against anti-infantry units one-on-one
- Molotov cocktails are useless against fast moving targets
Notes from the field
Battlefield reconnaissance has revealed at least these facts about the Conscripts:
• Loaded to bear -- Conscripts' assault rifles are adequately powerful against enemy infantry, especially since conscripts tend to outnumber their enemies. And their Molotov cocktails are a useful alternative against structures and slow-moving targets.
• Cheaply trained -- Probably the best thing to be said about conscripts is that the Union has managed to completely streamline their training to make them very affordable for use in battle. Yet these men's value is limited: Their weapons lack the range to hit aircraft, nor can they swim.
• Poorly defended -- Seeing as how conscripts don't even get a proper pair of socks to wear, just imagine what modern weaponry must do to them. In practice, they are small enough to avoid serious damage from anti-vehicle weapons, but cannot withstand much small-arms fire.
• Smoking out the bad guys -- Thanks to their Molotov cocktails, conscripts are surprisingly effective against enemies taking position in structures. A few lucky cocktails flung through a window are likely to eliminate any hostiles inside, without setting the entire place ablaze.
|“|| You want me to go alone??|
- Conscript, To Tame a Living God
|“|| Bear, hurry up!|
- Conscript, To Tame a Living God
|“|| You are awfully moody for bear...|
- Conscript, To Tame a Living God
|“|| Dolphins are not lake creatures! What's happening here?!|
- Conscript, March of the Red Army
|“|| As a child, I always dreamed of torpedo attack on dolphins...|
- Conscript, March of the Red Army
|“|| How they are supposed to get a carrier into the lake? It would take many men and hours to carry!|
- Conscript, March of the Red Army
|“|| Neutrality, huh? Switzerland, please explain massive Allied military base!|
- Conscript, March of the Red Army
|“|| New York will soon be renamed Commandergrad! I think...|
- Conscript, Blight on the Big Apple
Upon exiting the Barracks
- Conscript training finished!
- Ready to fight for Union!
- Conscript excited to fight!
- Conscript here!
- I suppose to do something?
- Here I am!
- Huh? Me?
- I wasn't doing anything!
- Is it time?
- Show me what to do!
- This is nice clothes!
- We serve glorious Union!
- I make Premier proud!
- I can do!
- As fast as I can!
- Yes sir!
- Oh, okay!
- I go!
- Whatever you say!
- Have we won yet?
- Of course!
- Good, let's take a break!
- They have television in there?
- Ahh... Thank you!
- What's in here?
- It looks dark...
Attacking with Assault Rifle
- For the Union!
- For Mother Russia!
- Firing weapon!
- Kill them like watermelon!
Attacking with Molotov Cocktail
- They will burn!
- Throw the fire!
- Vot tak! ("Like this!" in Russian)
- Catch this!
Clearing Garrisoned Structure
- Get out of there!
- Make room for Mother Russia!
- Kick them out!
Move to Attack
- Who's with me?
- Field promotion, here I come!
- I'll do it!
- Finally, the real thing!
- We march to victory!
- It's them!
- Premier will be very proud!
- At last, real battle!
- We're shooting the enemy!
- The enemy's here!
- Together comrades!
- Just like training video!
- I fight bravely!
- Dirty dogs!
- I don't like this anymore!
- They have guns too...?
- They're shooting at me!
- Tell the Premier, I've been wounded!
- Next time I drive tank okay?
- Atas, patsany! ("Watch out, dudes!" in Russian)
- When rifle-equipped conscripts are not selected, they're seen playing with their guns in dangerous ways, including swinging it around, rotating it like a stick, looking down into the muzzle, and even using the stock to crack walnuts. A reflection of their lack of adequate training.
- The Molotov Cocktail is a traditional guerilla's weapon, cheap and very effective against structures and armor; this makes perfect sense for the Conscripts, being an economical item that echoes the 1917 revolution that the Communist Party treasures.
- Conscripts, like most units, have comically oversized guns to make them visible and distinct when zoomed out; their ADK-45 rifles are as big as and about as long as a heavy machine gun when compared to them.
- When not selected, the conscript inside a sentry gun will snuggle down and begin drinking from a bottle, possibly vodka, or maybe even his Molotov cocktail.
- In the mission March of the Red Army, which takes place near Lake Geneva, they can be heard to comment on unrealistic aspects of the mission, namely the appearance of Dolphins and Aircraft carriers in the middle of the lake.
- They are almost identical to the Shock Infantry of Rise of Nations in their appearance (ushankas, greatcoats, AKs); however, the game includes Red Guards Infantry as an earlier unit, who wear the stereotypical summer uniform, as well.
- Strangely, when selling a "S.H.R.I.N.K.ed" outpost deployed from a Sputnik, a miniature conscript will appear with a size just like the ones seen in the Commander's Challenge-S.H.R.I.N.K. Z.O.N.E. Mini Conscripts deal full damage and move just as fast as a regular conscript, but they are much harder to see.
Behind the Scenes
In comparison to their Red Alert 2 counterparts, the conscripts in Red Alert 3 appear far less equipped both aesthetically and experience-wise. Their predecessors sported a pressed steel alloy helmet with a breathing apparatus, a pair of alloy steel plated shoulder pads, a revolver, and a bandolier loaded with munitions. However, the Red Alert 3 conscripts are stripped of all of these accessories, leaving them with their signature trench coats and ADK-45 assault rifles, possibly for economic reasons due to their short life expectancy. In fact, the ushanka and the shinel (trench coat) is the non-combat winter uniform; Soviet troopers would at least trade their fur hat for a helmet, and later the shinel for body armor before going into combat (although a cut-down shinel was usually worn under WWII-era SN-42 steel breastplate to absorb bullet impacts).
The ADK-45 seems to be the alternate history version of AK (Not AK-47, same as the PPSh, not PPSh-41) or maybe the successor to it. It is quite plausible that Mikhail Kalashnikov was still involved (note the A for Avtomat, while D and K stand for designer's surnames), although he got into armament design after being wounded in World War Two (he had been a tank driver). The placard with a bayonet also depicts a barrel attachment characteristic of later AK models
The Molotov cocktail is named for the Soviet foreign minister of 1930s, and was first "served" in the Spanish Civil War; the Soviets later perfected it to be self-igniting—and poisonous. The British Home Guard went one step further, issuing a bottle launcher.