Siege is a game mode in EndWar that draws on elements of both Assault and Conquest. The attacker must seize and hold a single, very important uplink, while the defender must hold them off. The defender does not have access to reinforcements, evacuation, or any mission supports until after a 10-minute time limit. Defending units cannot be "downed" in this game mode until reinforcements arrive, and so units will continue to fight until they are killed.
The defender will have the support of a multitude of combat drones and fortifications that will impede the attacker's progress, and once reinforcements arrive, several regular army companies will arrive, bringing many tank and FAV units that are generally enough to push the attacker back on their own. This, combined with the defender's lack of reinforcements, are why most attackers will try to destroy as many hostiles as possible before capturing the uplink.
Siege games take place exclusively on city maps (Moscow, Washington D.C., Paris), with the exception of the Prelude to War tutorial campaign, where it is introduced to the player on modified versions of Dukovany and Copenhagen as the defending force.
The game will end when one of two conditions are met:
- The attacker captures and holds the critical uplink for 3 minutes
- One side has no available units on the map for 10 seconds
In siege mode, the uplinks are generally repositioned to provide better defense, making it harder for the attacker to secure them. This makes them more valuable in terms of positioning for units. However, as noted, rushing out to capture them offers no real advantage to the defender. They should be used as strategic points into which to funnel the attacker and place defenses.
Almost every attacker will rely heavily on vehicles to spearhead the attack on the critical uplink. Thanks to the barricades that will bottleneck the path to the critical uplink, the defender will have enough time to place minefields, garrison engineers and assume a defensive posture before the attacking units arrive. Other than enemy artillery, engineers will be able to deal with most any threat, and should be put to good use.
This can be the most troublesome thing for the defender to deal with. It will most likely be placed well out of reach, and only gunships or an attack UAV will be able to threaten them. It may be possible to target the enemy artillery with other artillery, but the best countermeasure is to position defending forces where it will be difficult to spot them. Make sure transports can adequately cover the airspace over the frontline to keep the enemy from getting eyes on with air units. As defenders all enemy targets will be marked so you shall be able to shell targets without having to risk units to find them
As soon as the 10-minute timer expires, DEFCON will be activated. The defender will immediately have access to Crash and WMD, as well as any mission support still available from upgraded uplinks. If the critical uplink is captured, it might be wise to target it with the WMD to kill the infantry guarding it. If it is being captured as DEFCON is activated, do so immediately, as this will prevent the capture and buy you several minutes while the attacker moves another infantry unit into position. The friendly regular-army tanks rolling up as the timer expires will also help prevent enemy infantry from moving up.
Though it might be tempting to use mission supports immediately, remember that reinforcements cost 2 CP instead of 4 in DEFCON. Since the defender has no ability to reinforce until this time, he is likely to have more reserves than the attacker and so if it becomes a war of attrition, the defender will have the advantage. It would therefore be prudent to spend CP wisely and try to field as many units as possible to chase the attacker off.
Unlike the defender, the attacker will be able to secure and upgrade uplinks freely, and can abuse mission supports with impunity. Since the defender cannot reinforce, supports such as Air Strike will become extremely powerful as killing off the unit will effectively reduce the defending forces' numbers by one unit until 10 minutes have elapsed, making it easier to overpower them.
Remember that the defender has no mission supports or reinforcements until DEFCON is activated after 10 minutes. That means his uplinks are useless to him. However, if the attacking force can capture them, they can make use of them immediately as per usual. It may be a bad idea, then, to start attacking the enemy's uplinks with artillery until DEFCON is approaching, since attacking forces may be able to break through and secure them. Also remember that the defender will likely be attacking uplinks as well, making it very useful to capture one or more of his own as he is unlikely to have been shelling them.
Focus artillery on enemy units whenever possible. If there are none to be targeted, use it to help destroy barricades to open the way for the rest of the attacking force. Poke in with gunships and UAVs to spot enemy units on the defending side of the siege, and whittle him down as much as possible. If the enemy artillery is spotted, mark them with a rally point and try to hit them with artillery shells or air strikes. If they go down, the defense will be weakened severely.
Also hide your artillery in places where it takes a long time for enemy troops to reach it. For an example if you are defending Paris in a siege battle you shoud put your artillery behind the bridge and close to the uplink of Wisky because if your artillery is lost the enemy will break trough easy.
As the defense will most likely rely on engineers, riflemen will become an incredibly valuable asset. If they have the fractured camouflage (stealth) upgrade, they will become even more powerful as they can effectively sneak across the barricades without being spotted unless the enemy spots them manually or has stealth-defeating units in their line of sight. If they can successfully grab an enemy uplink, this offers an enormous advantage to the attacker if they use Forward Command on that uplink to flank the enemy with reinforcements and bypass the barricades.
Deep Strike may also become a valuable tool for this reason, especially if they are placed at a rally point secluded from enemy defenses. If it can be successfully used without the enemy spotting the support helicopter, the infantry will most likely be able to take an uplink and open the way for a flanking maneuver, as well as spot for artillery. If the infantry have the upgrade to direct artillery secondary attacks, this can be even more lethal.
As the ten-minute timer comes close to running out, be sure to spread units out as much as possible to prepare for the WMD. If infantry are in the process of capturing the critical uplink, or are near to it, move a second infantry unit near there ahead of time (making sure to keep them at a safe distance) in the likely event that the enemy will simply use their WMD to defend the uplink.
The enemy will have overwhelming numbers of regular army troops moving in, so if the enemy chooses to use their WMD, it might be good to retaliate against the enemy deployment zone, preferably as regular army units are rolling through it so as to even the odds.
At about 5 minutes in, it is probably a good idea to start shelling uplinks so that by the time the timer runs out, they will be destroyed, but you will have had some time to use your artillery against enemy units as well.
There is a significant factor in terms of psychological warfare - the fact that defending units cannot be evacuated and will fight to the death. Therefore by using air strikes and secondary attacks to bring down units quickly, the defending player may become demoralized, especially if the artillery, command vehicle or other likely high-ranking units are defeated. While this isn't necessarily a good thing, as the defending player may instead want to exact revenge, it is something to be considered.