The SAS (Special Air Service) and SBS (Special Boat Service) commandos are designed for sneak attacks and sabotage operations behind enemy lines. The SAS can be transported by armed Chevrolet trucks, only detectable by adjacent enemy ground units. They can also be airdropped and can move easily through all terrain types. The SBS commandos on the other hand can travel through shallow water by canoes, disembark without penalties and cross rivers unobstructed.
Gurkhas and Chindits
Like the commandos above, the Chindits are established for sabotage and harassment. Unlike commandos they require access to supply sources to remain efficient, but this is compensated by their higher combat strength against enemy infantry and armoured units.
Gurkha units on the other hand are regular infantry units composed from Nepalese soldiers. They are known as some of the most skilled - and most feared - warriors in the world however, and thus provide a unique elite infantry type to the British army.
The vehicles designed by Major General Percy Hobart are designed for very specific tasks: The Churchill Crocodile tank mounts a flamethrower for rooting out enemy infantry units, the Churchill AVRE mortar launcher excels at destroying enemy entrenchments and the Sherman Crab carries a device to clear landmines ahead of its path. Finally, this specialization allows normal Churchill tanks to create pontoon bridges, for easier movement across rivers.
The Commonwealth forces will have a wide range of artillery guns at their disposal. In general, bigger - and longer - barrels means higher range and firepower, but each weapon has its own advantages and disadvantages:
The light, short-barreled 4.5 inch howitzer for example can be moved through mountains and difficult terrain, but has a short range and limited firepower.
Heavy guns such as the 7.2 inch Mark 6 excel at destroying enemy fortifications and providing counter battery fire, but their heavy weight causes efficiency loss when pulled through the dense jungles of Burma.
Motorized guns on the other hand have a clear advantage in mobility and can keep up with fast moving armoured vehicles, but their cost in command points and resources limits their widespread use.
Lend Lease Act
A diplomatic agreement with the United States allows the British and Commonwealth forces to acquire American tanks such as the Stuart light tank and the Sherman medium tank series. Later in the war the British can also deploy Sherman Firefly tanks, which combine the reliable US vehicle with a powerful 17 pounder anti-tank gun.
Besides the Sherman Crab mentioned earlier in this preview, the British have access to the Metal Detector specialization. This device allow engineers to move around freely on the battlefield and reveal hidden landmines without taking any damage. In addition, the mines can then be cleared quickly within the same turn.
During the unique Quit India scenario in the new campaign, players will have access to unique Military Police units to quell the Indian uprise. These don't pack a lot of firepower, but their shock value is useful in dispersing protesters and rioters. After all, the objective in this mission is to avoid unnecessary casualties among civilians!
The British are specialized in heavy strategic bombers and this is further reflected in the "Bomber Stream" specialization. This gives unique defensive bonuses to their bombers when adjacent to other strategic bombers, both against enemy fighter attacks and flak fire from naval and land-based AA guns.