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Lock it down!
- Peacekeeper order to lock down the Structure

Garrisoning is a tactic used in urban combat. As high ground and cover are both effective measures to protect infantry, commanders often choose to send their troops inside buildings whenever possible, vastly increasing their survivability. A trained group of infantry can easily turn a civilian structure into a makeshift fortress, keeping them safe, at least as long as the structure stands. The number of infantry that can be garrisoned inside a building depends upon the building's size.

Starting from Red Alert 2, infantry units may garrison friendly or civilian structures to use as makeshift defenses.

Game analysis

Red Alert 2

In RA2 (not YR) units don't do the actual firing, the BuildingType they garrison does; promotion- and crate bonuses have no effect unless the BuildingType itself was close to a firepower crate. In some missions, normally-garrisonable buildings may be modified to become ungarrisonable, and in that event it's logical to ClearAllWeapons of that BuildingType. Westwood forgot doing that at least once.

In YR the system was changed to accommodate the Initiate as a garrisonable InfantryType, and as a result InfantryTypes now do the actual firing, so promotion and crate bonuses on the Infantry are applied properly, and may even be promoted. Can also be seen with the Yuri Tank Bunkers.

Only basic infantry, such as conscripts and GIs are prepared to garrison buildings, as while their more advanced contemporaries were receiving training in advanced weapons systems, they were being trained to make the most of basic automatic weapons.

The Soviets were also capable of building Battle Bunkers, a garrisonable structure that only requires a Construction Yard.

Yuri's forces can not only garrison their Initiates, but they can also build tank bunkers which allow a single vehicle to be garrisoned. Though not for defense, garrisoning a bio reactor will increase the power supply for the base.

Nevertheless, garrisoning is an extremely useful defensive tactic. While individually weak, a large number of garrisoned soldiers can make short work of almost anything; Apocalypse tanks included.

However, garrisoning is not a flawless strategy. First, units with extremely long range, such as the V3 rocket launcher can strike a garrisoned building from long range, allowing it to be untouchable by the defenders. Also, garrisoning troops are not equipped to deal with airborne threats; given the time, any aircraft can destroy a garrisoned building. Finally, failing any other strategy, even the most tightly defended garrison will fall if enough tanks roll in for engagement. Luckily engineers can repair it.

Garrisoning infantry
Garrisonable structures
Garrisonable vehicles


A trained group of infantry, other than GLA Angry Mobs, can easily turn a civilian structure into a makeshift fortress, keeping them safe, at least as long as the structure stands; in order to increase the longevity of a building, generals may order their construction dozers or workers to repair and maintain it.

A civilian building is open to garrison to all sides, as long as an enemy doesn't garrison it first. Usually, up to 8 (Generals) or 10 (Zero Hour) soldiers can occupy one building. Larger building generally has more health and allows its occupants to cover more grounds, while smaller buildings sometimes can only houses fewer infantry.

GLA's expert mercenary, Jarmen Kell, and the American Pathfinders could garrison a building without being noticed.

When garrisoned, the building will take damage instead of its occupants, until it has 1/3 of its original health left, then it will no longer available garrisoned until repaired enough, and the occupants will left the building with half of their original health. Units garrisoned in buildings are immune to Pathfinder or Jarmen Kell's sniping attack, as well as Fire, Radiation, and Toxin as long as the building is still standing.

As a downside, Missile Defenders cannot use laser locking ability while inside a building, Pathfinders and Black Lotus will also lose their stealth detection capability, Hackers, Black Lotus, Worker, Terrorist, Hijacker, Saboteurs also becomes useless, thus garrisoning for them should be used as temporary protection rather than long term defense.

Red Guards, Tank Hunters and Mini Gunners cannot grant horde bonus when garrisoned, but they will keep the horde bonus they had when entering a building, thus it's advantageous to gather them around the building and put them in all at once before the horde bonus fades. They still need to exit and reenter the building to get the bonus from nationalism or patriotism if the technology is researched while they are inside.

Military structures

When civilian structures are not available, all factions can build its own structures for garrison, the US can build Fire Bases (house 4 infantries and has a built in cannon), China can build Bunkers or Fortified Bunkers (house 5 or 10 infantries), while GLA can build Palaces (house 5 infantries).

The Chinese Internet Center and GLA Tunnel Network and Toxin Network can also be garrisoned, but they are used for hacking, transport and healing/repairing rather than defense, and does not allow garrisons to fire from inside.

Compare to civilian structures, these specifically built fortifications are sturdier, and can keep its occupants inside until it is destroyed, Bunkers, Fortified Bunkers, Palaces, Tunnel Network and Toxin Network are also equipped with ABC defense and can shield its occupants from anything other than Bunker Busters and Neutron Shells. Fire Bases, however, are open air and leaves its occupants vulnerable, but the cannon can keep firing even when the garrisons are killed.


Though garrisoning a building is an effective defense certain units like the Dragon Tank will be a serious problem to it unless it is destroyed quickly.

Anybody home?
- Ranger

The simplest method to deal with occupants is to destroy the building itself, this prevents the enemy from ever using the building again, but the escaped infantry can scatter and keep fighting, or enter another nearby building. To quickly eliminate the infantry or keep the building for future use, specific weapons must be employed.

There are a variety of counters to garrisoning. For the USA, Rangers work well both when upgraded with Flash-Bang Grenades or rappelling from a Chinook. The Microwave Tank can burn the garrisoned infantry without damaging the building. Also, the Nighthawk can kill garrisoned forces when upgraded with Bunker Busters, even units garrisoned in Tunnel Networks. Chinese Dragon Tanks and GLA Toxin Tractors can get rid of a building of its infantry enemies with fire or toxins.

Any artillery could outrange and destroy the building, without being countered himself. The Nuke cannon could be upgraded with Neutron Shells, killing all infantry instantly and leaving the building intact.

Anti-garrison weapons


Mobile bunkers

Get out there and take care of business!
- Helix, unloading

Several vehicles are also capable of holding infantry and allows them to fire from the inside.

  • Humvee, when destroyed, the infantry inside is also killed
  • Overlord tank when upgraded with Bunker, when destroyed, the infantry inside is also killed
  • Helix/Assault Helix when upgraded with Bunker, when destroyed, the infantry inside is also killed
  • Assault Troop Transport, ejects infantry with half health when destroyed
  • Listening Outpost, ejects infantry with half health when destroyed
  • Attack Outpost, ejects infantry with half health when destroyed
  • Combat Chinook, infantries garrisoned in humvees inside can also fire from its ports, when destroyed, the unit inside is also killed
  • Combat Cycle, gains unique weapons when garrisoned by different infantry, when destroyed, the infantry inside is also killed
  • Battle Bus, when first destroyed, becomes immobile and infantry can leave with half health, self destructs when all infantry left; when destroyed for the second time, the units inside is also killed

Tiberium Wars

CNCTW Garrisons Cameo.png

Unlike in Red Alert 2 and Generals, garrisoned buildings in Tiberium Wars are unable to be repaired and since infantry are deployed in squads, garrisonable structures can only hold a maximum of 3 units compared to 10 in the mentioned games. Some vehicles like epic units, Hammerheads, APCs and deployed Reckoners can carry any type of infantry which will fire out of the vehicle. The Brotherhood's Reckoners will deploy into bunkers that can't be cleared or bombed by Commandos. GDI's riflemen can dig up foxholes and should prove very effective while being on the defensive. Epic units such as the MARV can garrison up to 4 troops but cannot be evacuated once troops entered it.

There are a variety of counters to garrisoning. GDI trains its Grenadier squads exceptionally well; they are capable of killing any infantry squad that garrisons itself by lobbing grenades through the windows if they can get to it. Similarly, Nod's Flame tanks, Avatars Flamethrower, Purifiers and Black Hand troopers are well trained in urban combat scenarios, and their flamethrowers can quickly incinerate every room in the building, along with the helpless soldiers inside. The Marked of Kane lacks flame weaponry, but their Tiberium troopers are able to fill in the same role with its tiberium gun which will spray Tiberium gas to poison every room in the building. During the Scrin invasion, Buzzers have been known to enter structures and shred troops holed up inside. Corrupters can flood the structure with Tiberium sludge and kill the troopers inside. Also, massive damage to the building will force the infantry out of hiding to avoid dying in a structural collapse.

Certain large infantry units, such as the Zone Raider and Zone Trooper are unable to easily maneuver around the inside of a building and cannot garrison them. Scrin are foreign to the concept of urban warfare and so do not garrison buildings, with the exception of their adaptable Buzzer swarms and formerly-human Cultists.

Interestingly, Nod is the only faction that can garrison their heavy infantry (Black Hand/Tiberium Trooper) whereas GDI and ZOCOM zone troopers and zone raiders cannot garrison structures.

Anti-garrison units (against garrisonable structures)
Garrisonable structures
Garrisonable vehicles

Red Alert 3

Make room for Mother Russia!
- Conscript throwing Molotov Cocktails into garrisons

Combat engineers may create battle bunkers for Soviet troops to gain the advantage against Peacekeepers. All infantry except dogs or bears can garrison structures and the Garrisons will hold between 1 to 10 infantry.

Conscripts will throw Molotov Cocktails into buildings while Peacekeepers and the Imperial warriors must get up close to clear the building. Per every Peacekeeper or Imperial warrior that clear infantry out of the garrison, the trooper dies but clears one infantry. Conscripts must hit the garrison with 2 or more cocktails to clear them.

Civilian Buildings cannot be repaired and again certain long range destructive units are known to level those Garrisons from a safe distance.

The Soviet Desolator Airstrike and the Conscripts' Molotov Cocktails will clear even garrisoned structures and manned Multigunner turrets.

Tiberian Twilight

Widows can garrison several Spider tanks and their capacity can be upgraded. Achievements can be earned if the player kills multiple units with garrisoned units.

See also