Iron Harvest – Rusviet R2 Zubov Build Order Variants (1v1)

1v1 Multiplayer build order guide for Rusviet R2 Zubov variants. I talk about the strategic theory behind R2 build, build orders and tips on dealing with common strategies from other factions. Included is a video with gameplay using the strategies mentioned in live 1v1 multiplayer quickplay.

Rusviet R2 Zubov Build Order Variants

Note: Credit goes to Troyd

I’m writing this guide to help players learn effective strategies in Iron Harvest 1v1 Multiplayer. I’m a pretty big fan of real time strategy games, gravitating towards the real time tactics genre. I also really enjoy helping people learn and succeed. I believe that by helping people succeed in Iron Harvest, that a more healthy competitive multiplayer scene might emerge. This guide was written during patch 1.00.

Reserve Selection

Spend all 6 of your coins in Reserve 2

  • Zubov Nagan Nagan
  • Zubov Gulay Nako
  • Zubov Serp Nagan
  • Zubov Serp Serp

Build Order

Core Infantry

  • Vanguard
  • Convert Engineer to Grenadier
  • Big Iron Mine
  • Vanguard
  • Vanguard (~ 1:40 minutes)
  • Engineer

Workshop Variant

  • Workshop
  • Nako or Kolokol
  • Barracks
  • Gunners
  • Optional: Field Gun
  • Advanced Barracks (more pop cap)
  • Optional: Reactive Unit
  • More big oil & big iron upgrades
  • Reserve 2
  • Reactive Units

Barracks Variant

  • Barracks
  • Gunners
  • Field Gun
  • More big oil & big iron upgrades
  • Advanced Barracks
  • Workshop
  • Reserve 2
  • Reactive Units


Big Picture

Choosing a Reserve 2 build, is declaring your strategic preference for a late game push to finish the game. Strategically, your gamble is betting that you can deflect early aggression and hold onto the resource nodes closest to your base long enough to get out some serious and often unanswerable late game units.


By investing all of your reserve coins into R2, you get 3 really expensive mechs for essentially half price. The trade off is that this power spike won’t be realized until around 10-15 minutes in the game. You must hold onto and upgrade at least 2 iron and 2 oil nodes to be able to reach R2 by the 10-15 minute range, every oil node or iron node you’re unable to hold delays your R2 release by entire minutes.

Rusviet Factors

As a Rusviet, you possess strong close range early infantry. This allows you to almost guarantee holding nodes during the first 5 minutes of the game, and likely take some of your opponent’s nodes to delay their tech progress. To support this, one must ensure they have a sizable infantry force to hold or take nodes as required, this guide recommends a minimum of 5 combat units before the 5 minute mark in the build order. When on the offense, prioritize neutralizing your opponent’s oil nodes to delay their reserves or mech timings. As best as possible, try to 2 v 1 isolated squads, to force them off the map quickly, allowing you to capture nodes and reduce damage received to your own troops.

As a Rusviet, you possess probably the best artillery unit in the game, the Nako. This unit will reliably decrew team weapons with it’s barrage, punish infantry blobs, destroy buildings and check slow mechs. The barrage has a 25 second cooldown, allowing you to constantly stream rocket fire onto your opponent once it has been deployed. Once the unit hits veterancy level 1, it unlocks an ability called Sentry Mode, which fires a constant stream of perfect accuracy missiles at a given designated area. Sentry mode is strong enough to kill a kaiser, and acts as perfect area denial tool as soon it is set up. Further the barrage continues to cooldown while in sentry mode, so you throw out some sentry missiles switch to a barrage then back to sentry mode.

Fighting Polania


The riflemen versus vanguard relationship is fairly simple. Vanguards win at close range, rifles win at long range. Do not engage riflemen in situations where they can apply their damage at range without taking health damage themselves. Strive to create situations where you can be ontop of their troops, or behind cover shooting at their troops.

Try to avoid charging across gaps to attack polanian riflemen with single vanguard squads. Where you must close a gap, use at least one more squad then they have entrenched during the charge, the resulting fight will still end in your favour making up for the health lost by crossing the gap.

Light Mechs

Polania has a significant mobility and light mech advantage over most factions. Common polanian builds include double straznik and Cavarly which can create immense pressure, and possibly end the game during the R1 phase (5 mins to 12mins). Smialys and Straznik pressure will bleed your infantry out if you do not support them with antimech weaponry.

Surviving Polanian R1

As an R2 player, you goal is to survive with 3-4 resources nodes. You do not need to kill their units, you only need to ensure you control your own resources. Your win condition is releasing R2 and then pushing through all of their light mechs with Zubov and his heavy mech friends for dominant map control. In order to get there, you’ll need to spend some of your resources on units which can stall mechs. It also means playing defensively on your own nodes, and not allowing your squads to fight unsupported from your antimech support.

Antimech stall units

  • Gunners
  • Field Guns
  • HMG
  • Kolokol (mandatory against Michal)

Gunner squads are excellent choices for destroying light mechs, as their damage profile is disproportionately in favour of light armor damage. Two of these squads will defeat and double straznik build in an engagement.

Kolokols are also excellent at checking strazniks, and is a mandatory build against Polania’s cavarly hero. This is because Kolokols will target the white horse of the hero squad, when it dies, the entire squad will flee from the map. Two kolokols will prevent you from being overrun by Polanian R1, but beware of Polanian gunner squads.

Progressing to Advanced Barracks and spamming AT guns & HMGs is also valid response as they are both capable of shutting down light mechs and their supporting riflemen alike. Most Polanian players won’t realize how good HMGs are at piercing light armor.

Suggested Reserve Variants

Against Polanian R1 – Zubov & Serp + Nagan – Polania R1 tends to be infantry and light mech heavy, the nagan and serp will make quick work of all infantry and light mechs that oppose them.

The Serp is an excellent unit, and should be used on the flank to push out all infantry squads and destroy resource nodes. Your opponent will be forced to commit anti heavy resources to deal with the serp, which will provide an opportunity to push the center with Zubov when those anti heavy assets are moved. If they don’t move, you simply delete their resource nodes.

The nagan is used to prevent infantry pushes from overwhelming your team weapons, destroying opposing team weapons or equally useful pushing a flank.

Zubov can clean up any messes, exploit gaps and dive team weapons when supported by vanguards or kolokols.

Against Polanian R2 – Zubov + Gulay+ Nako – If your opponent is playing Polanian R2, and you haven’t manage to slaughter him with vanguard pushes early on. Then a gulay gorod will ensure you can keep the victory points you have already conquered, and the Nako will decimate anything the Polanians have left. Support with field guns as required.

Fighting Saxony

Storm Troopers

The Stormtrooper vs Vanguard match up is fairly evenly matched. Rusviets will still win close range engagements, but not to the same degree as against polanian rifles. This lies in the fact that Saxony submachine guns do reasonable damage at highrates. Rusviet dps meele is still higher then Saxony, putting as many of their squads into melee as possible is still a valid tactic. Do your best to start engagements in cover, get in their face with shotguns and avoid taking a volley of SMG fire before the fight starts. Forcing fights at close range should generate opportunities to neutralize their oil nodes.

Saxony Is Slow Defensive Nation

Saxony possess slow and powerful units. The counter to slow things in real life is indirect fire. Therefor, it is highly recommended that you either play with a Nakovalnya based reserve,or buy a Nakovalnya from a workshop first build. Just about every mech Saxony can field is slow and susceptible to rocket arty (Nakovalnya) barrages, so don’t hesitate to barrage Isegrims or Grimbarts. The earlier you get a Nakovalnya out, the sooner it can start gathering experience and the sooner you can get the oh-so-coveted sentry mode ability. Supporting the Nakovalnya with a gunner squad and a few vanguards is ideal for mid game pushes with this unit. Late game sentry mode will decimate even Kaisers. If played correctly, the Nakovalnya can check the entire Saxony arsenal on it’s own, so preserve it at all costs.

Saxony R1

Saxony R1 will likley come in two forms. Gunter double Gunners, or Gunter Grimbart Mortar/Stormtrooper. Both of these variants are easily handled with by buying your own gunner squad, crewing the Field gun on most of the 1v1 maps, a Nakovalnya or grabbing a quick HMG from an advanced barracks. The biggest mistake you can make against a R1 Saxon, is not building units from your barracks or workshop to match their unit count.

The Erlkonig

Saxony has the longest ranged artillery mech in the game. It often seen with a Saxony R2 build, accompanied by Brunhilde and a Kaiser. This makes it a serious threat to your team weapons and can threaten your own artillery piece, the Nakovalnya. If you do not have field guns available, you will not be able to hold back high HP Kaiser pushes.

Therefor, it is advised that during a late game push you destroy opposing Erlkonigs, even if it costs you a few units to do so. Removing the Elrkonig from the board will allow both your Nako and field guns to oppressively annihilate Saxony units. A good tactic is to pincer the Saxony formation with a Nagan on one side and a Serp on the other. When their center formation re-positions to deal with these threats, you can push the center with Nakovalnya prioritizing field guns or Kaisers using sentry mode/barrages and Zubov exploiting gaps.

Suggested Reserve Variants

Zubov & Gulay + Nako — This reserve will provide your first or second Nakovalnya to oppress your Saxon opponent, while giving you a giant mech HP wall to stall their advance while you pummel them with rockets.

Zubov & Nagan + Serp — This build will allow you to “pincer” the map, by constantly threatening the flanks of the Saxons, you can corral them into a defensive posture in the center of the map. Once corraled, you can pummel the region with rockets until they submit. if they choose repositon their field guns to face away from the center, you can do a large push supported by Zubov & Nako Barrages.

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2739 Articles
My first game was Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot (PlayStation) back in 1996. And since then gaming has been my main hobby. I turned my passion for gaming into a job by starting my first geek blog in 2009. When I’m not working on the site, I play mostly on my PlayStation. But I also love outdoor activities and especially skiing.

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