We stand together!
- Red Guard upon completion of training
Red guard icon
The Red Guard are the basic infantry of China, easily amassed and capable of challenging other infantry in larger numbers. 


Defenders of Peace.
- Red Guard

In October 2019, a five kiloton tactical nuclear warhead was detonated in the heart of Beijing by the GLA during a grand military parade organized to celebrate China's 70th anniversary as a People's Republic. Curiously, the first PLA soldiers that arrived at the scene were dressed in period uniforms from the civil war and armed with Type 56 battle rifles, a Chinese variant of the Soviet-Russian SKS. Before the disaster, these soldiers where meant to march as a special part of the parade in order to honor the heroes of the red revolution and pay tribute to the historical roots of the People's Army. One of them, a young man by the name of Xing Chen, was filmed as he climbed on top of the rubble that used to be the Gate of Heavenly Peace and raised the red flag as a symbol of indomitable defiance and a searing hunger for revenge that soon engulfed the entirety of China. Once the site of the attack was secured, the soldiers moved out into the city and hunted down any and all GLA stragglers that survived the attack, including a large detachment of terrorists camped outside the city who had filmed the explosion from afar.

After the skirmish, hearing the story of the brave soldier Xing Chen, the newly appointed Party Chairman, Hu Xiaolin, was so impressed that he ordered the formation of a new military unit that would be known as the Red Guard.

Disconnected from the infamous student movement of the Cultural Revolution, the new Guard was meant to serve as a massive military auxiliary unit that would also accept volunteers that fell outside the requirements of the regular Army. In order to galvanize the popular sentiment of defiant nationalism, the Red Guards were issued the same olive, brown and khaki colored combat fatigues and Type 56 and 63 battle rifles as the historical PLA. Over the course of the Global War On Terror, the Guard grew bigger and bigger, absorbing hundreds of thousands of patriotic citizens into its ranks. While the regulars of the People's Liberation Army continued to operate under a relatively modern doctrine with advanced equipment like the ZTZ200 'Overlord' tank or the famous 'Meteor' 280mm atomic cannon, the Red Guard was exclusively used as a shock force: Massive formations of infantry and refurbished Type 88G 'Battlemaster' tanks would sweep across the land and eradicate anyone that dared to stand against the People's Republic while the state propaganda romanticized the image of the Red Guard as a physical manifestation of China's collective spirit that could never be stopped, broken or defeated.

After the end of the War, the Red Guard continued to exist as a distinct branch of the Chinese military. The soldiers of the actual PLA generally had a low opinion of their Red Guard brethren, as they regarded them as little more than unprofessional cannon fodder with inferior training and equipment that had to be kept in check through propaganda and political officers. By 2040, China had a standing force of roughly 6.658.000 active troops, only three million of whom belonged to the ground, air and naval forces of the People's Liberation Army while the rest was composed entirely of Red Guards who also served as auxiliary police units in the countries of the GAPA as well as the Chinese protectorates in Africa.

The Guard itself was known for its humility and camaraderie: The state benefits for injured combat veterans left a lot to be desired and so the former Guardsmen would often share living communities with members of their old units, support each other and raise public awareness for the difficult life of Guard veterans. Many former Red Guards even became vocal peace activists, for they had seen the brutal, primal reality behind the allegedly 'clean' facade of modern warfare up close, whilst men like Xing Chen became the unwitting poster boys who had either become too accustomed to the simple, spartan life of a Guardsman or fell under the delusion of their own mythos.[1]


Ability Description
Capture building icon
Capture Building
Captures an enemy or neutral building. The process takes 23 seconds to complete, during which the Red Guard is vulnerable.
Red guard battle rifle icon
Battle Rifle
Use the battle rifle to attack all targets.
Red guard bayonet icon
Use the bayonet to instantly kill enemy infantry in close range.


Enemies of the state!
- Red Guard attacking

The Red Guard, like much of the Chinese arsenal, rely on technology that is nearly one hundred years old, dating back to the 1960s. The Red Guard has been inspired heavily by the original Chinese Red Guard. Their rifles may not be automatic like other infantry, but it packs much more of a punch, being of a larger caliber. In addition to the low rate of fire, they are trained in pairs, allowing for twice the fire power for their cost and training time. Four battle-ready Red Guards come with every newly constructed Troop Crawler.

The Red Guard in-game are easily amassed and will work well in groups against other infantry, especially when upgraded. The Nationalism upgrade improves the effect of the horde bonus, and allows the Red Guard to do more damage through a faster firing rate. The Patriotism upgrade makes them even cheaper, being priced at 20% off. Like most basic infantry, the Red Guard can receive the Capture Building upgrade, allowing them to capture enemy structures and neutral tech buildings such as Oil Derricks.

Being easily placed into groups allows them to become an efficient fighting force, especially considering the horde bonus. Red Guards work well as early game defenses, easily gunning down enemy infantry when in hordes and within radius of Propaganda broadcast. When deployed with other Chinese infantry, such as Tank Hunters and Nukeneers, they are able to grant horde bonus without having to purchase 5 of them. Not only that, but they are able to take down structures easily with heavier infantry, sometimes even being capable of destroying buildings alone in large numbers. When challenged by a large amount of infantry in close range, it might be a good idea to arm them with bayonets. 


Like all basic infantry, Red Guards are weak against anti-infantry defenses or vehicles. So don't attack a well defended position with Red Guards alone. Support them with Battlemasters and Tank Hunters. It's also better to scout ahead to see what your opponent has outside of your visual range. Red Guards work well against any infantry when they're garrisoned and can destroy or inflict heavy damage to tanks due to their impressive firepower. However, they are completely helpless against aircraft so Tank Hunters should come along with them.


The Red Guard reuses their original voiceset in the vanilla Generals and Zero Hour.


Behind the scenes

  • Prior to 1.8.0 Red Guards could be upgraded to fire garrison clearing grenades from their rifle, but this was removed after the introduction of the Pyro Technician.


  • The Red Army General Chen started his career as a Red Guard.
  • Red Guard's appearance is consistent with the 'stereotypical' Chinese soldier from the Cultural Revolution to early 1980s.
  • The term 'Red Guard' originated during the Chinese Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, although borrowed from Russian Bolsheviks, whose Red Guard existed in 1917 before being supplanted by a proper Red Army. The real-life Red Guards were groups of students organized by Mao Zedong in an attempt to keep the Communist Revolution alive. These Red Guards were made to discredit the right-wing opponents of the Maoist revolutionary leadership. However, due to the widespread trouble spread by the Red Guards, Chairman Mao was compelled to forcibly disband this radical student organization.
  • This misnaming of China's infantry is one of the reasons why Generals and Zero Hour are banned in China.

See also


  1. SWR Update : Warriors of the Modern Way: A brief history of the new Red Guard