russian armor

July Patch

We have another patch! This time Relic has added in some more changes that were in alpha and has officially confirmed that the next update will be on 3rd September, when the British Forces are released. You can read the official patch notes on the Relic Forums. However, they have patched the patch notes after some feedback, so isolating the definitive version is not easy - especially when we are looking at this thematically rather than line by line. Here are Relics stated objectives:

Balance Goals

Increase the number of viable strategies in the game
•Make core tech tree units more desirable
•Increase the viability of light vehicle combat.
•Promote and Encourage Combined Arms
Reduce negative user-experiences in gameplay
•Improve usability and remove unintended behavior from the game
•General game balance tuning

As before we have gone through and grouped this with what we think are the most significant changes first.

The Big Ones

Heavy Call In Changes

Medium and Heavy Call in Vehicles (Tiger, Tiger Ace, Elefant, IS2, ISU, Jadgtiger, Sturmtiger, KV2)
We are making pacing adjustments to increase the length of Infantry/light vehicle combat phase.
o All heavies get an increase CP of 2 Points
o Stug E Call in CP requirement increased from 6 to 7
o Puma Call in CP requirement lowered from 6 to 5
o M10 Tank Destroyer CP requirement increased from 7 to 8
o Bulldozer Sherman CP requirement increased from 9 to 10
o M4C Sherman CP requirement increased from 9 to 10

!So last patch saw the Heavies capped at one at a time, now they have been made to come even later. Meanwhile most Medium Call ins have been pushed slightly back, apart from the Puma which now comes slightly earlier probably because it's window of opportunity was already quite small. Note that Easy-8s and T34-85s are not mentioned here, this is because:vV

Call-Ins tied to tech

We decided to take a different approach with Medium Call-ins and have them tie into the core tech tree. This change still require the player to have commander equipped with a T34-85 Commander ability but also will now require players to build a Mechanized Armor Kampaneya to acquire the T34-85 medium tank.
o T34-85 is no longer a call in vehicle
o T34-85 is now buildable in the Mechanized Armor Kampaneya
o CP changed from 9 to 0
o Cost reduced from 400/140 to 380/130

Sherman Easy Eight
We decided to take a different approach with Medium Call-ins and have them tie into the core tech tree. This change still require the player to have the Rifle Company Commander but also will now require players to unlock the Battalion Command Post to acquire the M4A3E8 Sherman ‘Easy Eight).
o M4A3E8 Sherman ‘Easy Eight’ is now a buildable Tank in the Battalion Command Post
o CP requirement reduced to 0
o Cost decreased from 400/145 to 380/140

!No more skip tech for 85s & E8s, but why are other medium call-ins not tied in some way? Not very intuitive, though a good and needed balance decision.kamk

!So, both now require tech to the top tier for their faction. This means that CP value is now irrelevant for them, as is the difference between single and dual 34/85 call in. This will limit the ability to stall into these tanks and then hit hard and fast with impact value. On the other hand in larger game modes the greater resource income should mean that either comes faster than it used to. Also because they require teching, they can be better supported with other vehicles.

And on that subject:vV

Changes to Teching:

Soviet Tech Tree
Tech tree has been adjusted and reformatted to create more diverse and creative strategies with the faction. We felt the Soviet tech tree encouraged a very binary gameplay and created reliance on dispatch abilities. With these changes we anticipate players will be encouraged to explore new combined arms strategies.
o T1 (160/50) to (160/40) Penal Battalion / M3 Scout Car / Sniper
 No requirements
o T2 (160 manpower 50 fuel) Zis AT Gun / Maxim / Mortar
 No requirements
o T3 (240/60120) to (240/80 and 170 seconds) M5 Halftrack / T70 / SU-76
 Requires T1 or T2
o T4 (240/100120) to (240/90 and 150 seconds) T-34-76 / SU-85 / Katyusha
 Requires T3

To compensate for the increase in teching cost to produce t34s
o Cost reduced from 310/100 to 300/80

Battle Phases
One of the Design Goals for the Wehrmacht was to give the faction flexibility in which they could tech. However, that was not the case due to the expensive nature of their battle phases. By offsetting the costs to the buildings instead of the upgrade it gives players an easier time to upgrade through battle phases.
o Battle Phase 1 decreased from 200/45 to 100/40
o Battle Phase 2 decreased from 200/55 to 100/45
o Battle Phase 3 decreased from 200/60 to 100/45
Tech Buildings
o Building 2 increased from 120/15 to 200/20
o Building 3 increased from 160/25 to 260/75
o Building 4 increased from 160/30 to 260/75

We are making pacing adjustments to increase the length of Infantry/light vehicle combat phase.
o Cost increased from 90 Fuel to 120 Fuel
We are making pacing adjustments to increase the length of Infantry/light vehicle combat phase.
o Cost reduced from 200/80 to 200 / 60

Original patch notes say Soviet T3 and T4 are being changed from 60 & 100 fuel, however in game they are each 120 pre-patch so I believe this original cost refers to a previous alpha version

!Anyway, what this now means for Soviets is that instead of being based around teching T1 or T2 then T3 or T4, they now go T1 or T2 then T3 then T4. Further with the SU-76 moved to T3 (as has been frequently proposed) there is a clear division between the two tiers and a reason to get one then the other.

This effectively enables the Soviets to have all their armour units available to build rather than going T3 and hoping to win fast because you've no decent AT or go T4 and give up offensive armour.

Greater availability of M5s should help allied AAA and on field reinforcement

However reducing the cost of the T34/76 isn't necessarily going to help get more out and overrun with numbers because the pop cap is still unchanged.

X pop cap of Panthers and/or King Tigers beats X pop cap of T34/76s for all values of X

OKH meanwhile see teching made cheaper but buildings more expensive, now getting all tiers costs less MP but more fuel. This may encourage people to skip over tech buildings, but the only one of those that is really skippable is T3 so we may see more people run straight to Panthers rather than P-IVs

The US sees the Major made more expensive, something that will not only delay armour slightly but also mean forward retreat points will be available later and hence indirectly nerf US infantry on larger maps.

The Captain's reduction means Stuarts can now come out earlier, so their window of relevance is a bit longer from that end as wellvV

!The Captain is now another tech choice, and not a fuel dump anymore - as rumors say. Combined with the new Howitzer cost reduction, recent Stuart & 50 cal buffs, overall change to more light / medium vehicles which indirectly boosts the USF AT, we may see more USF T2 builds, without feeling sorry for doing so.kamk

Ostheer Opening Options

To encourage and diversify builds we have decided to move the HMG to the HQ. We expect this change will prompt more Wehrmacht opening strategies. We have adjusted the MG42’s cost and build time to bring it more in line with its performance.
o Moved to HQ
o Cost increased from 240 to 260
o Build time increase from 30 seconds to 36 seconds

We decided to increase the Wehrmacht’s starting manpower to 420 to compensate for lack of starting base infantry. This should also give more options for Wehrmacht players to diversify their build.
o Starting manpower increased from 360 to 420

!So you don't need to get T1 to get MG42s anymore, and it's recent buffs are recognised with a slight cost increase.

Expect early MG42s even more now, and this will really help Ostruppen and AGren openings be a bit more diverse. With the recent changes to 'fausts we may see people skip T1 altogether and rely on fast T2 and MG42 Incendiaries for early AT.

It is also going to need a reaction from allied players, as they have to be ready to face MGs earlier.

How this will all affect the meta will be very interesting to watchvV

Interesting but not as important

WFA Indirect Options

Infantry Support Gun
The Infantry Support Gun was currently underperforming for cost we have made a slight adjustment to bring it in line with its performance.
o Cost reduced from 430 to 330

Pak Howitzer
The Pak Howitzer was currently underperforming for cost we have made a slight adjustment to bring it in line with its performance.
o Cost reduced from 480 to 380
o Changed reinforce cost discount from 1.0 to 0.5 to match existing weapon crews

!Both platforms were doing quite well, if they had a direct line of fire. Recently buffed with suppression on impact, now with a cost reduction, it would be a crime not to try them.kamk

!Cookie has already tried to tell people these are awesome not as bad as you think, but not enough people agreed so both have seen substantial cost reductionsvV

Static Artillery Emplacements

ML 20 152 Artillery
We want to encourage the use of the ML20 which was previously underperforming.
o Salvos increased from 4 to 8
o Removed precision strike at veterancy 1
o Veterancy 1 now increases the number of salvos of the ML 20 by 2 (10 Total)

LEFH 105 Artillery
We want to encourage the use of the ML20 which was previously underperforming.
o Salvos increased from 6 to 10

!The ML-20 should now be excellent at destroying base structures (300 damage)

The leFH despite also receiving more shells, will less effective at base destruction than the ML-20 (160 damage)

These changes are unlikely to increase effectiveness at killing troops, as usually the enemy will have left the area after the second shell, but the increase in duration may be useful at creating zones of denial, which you can execute manoeuvres behind.tightrope

!I certainly like to see LEFH / ML20 being useful again, but 8 (10) ML20 shells with their high damage will become insanely annoying for OKW structures. On certain maps we may see base to base shelling more often again as well.
On the other hand, the eastern front factions both gain their static area denial tool back, which also indirectly buffs underused commanders.kamk

!Well it is not surprising that after precision strike was taken from mortars it would go from the ML-20, and it's had it's salvo doubled. That's nice.

Has anything been done to stop it being two-click killed by several good Ostheer doctrines you would want to have even if you didn't need to counter an ML-20?


So basically it now gets to fire 8 shots rather than 4 before being dive bombed to death, Vet1 could make it fire exploding Kittens that shoot lasers from their eyes for all the difference it will make because no ML-20 ever survives unless the enemy have made a terrible, terrible mistake in not having a OKH player with a counter in their loadout

Ok yes, we'll be seeing more M5s and last patch nerfed plane crashes so there is some point getting AAA. Recon plane just needs to last long enough to get LOS though.


Ok LEFH buffed.

That would be great if people didn't hate artillery gameplay, that's why Sittard gets the massive hate-on it does. I like Artillery battles but then I am a bit weird.

OKW doctrine changes

Stumtiger / Panzer IV Ausf J
We felt the OKW lacked a Generalist Tank that wasn’t extremely expensive and can reliably deal with both Infantry and Tanks. With this change we anticipate the players could have more armor options than to save for an expensive Panther or King Tiger.
o Sturmtiger removed from core tree added to Elite Armor Tree
o Added Panzer IV Ausf J to the Schwerer Panzer Headquarters
OKW Panzer IV Ausf J Medium Tank:
We felt the Panzer IV was slightly underperforming so we made some adjustments
o Now starts off with Side Skirts
o Stats aligned with other Panzer IV

With the Sturmtiger's inability to do auto-fire this makes it very difficult to gain veterancy in its current form. We want to keep the Sturmtiger’s unit functionality and by reducing its veterancy requirements we hope to see this unit scale better into the late game. We also improved the usability of this unit by making its damage more consistent as well as improving its range.
o Penetration increased from 150 to 1000
o Range increased from 40 to 45
o AOE Penetration increased to 1000
o Damage at Far increased from 0.05 to 0.30

!Making the PIV-J non-doctrinal? Good, though this somewhat undermines OKW's design as a faction of specialists (and gimmicks) rather than generalists

There was an opportunity here to make the King Tiger doctrinal instead which would have made "Elite Armour" mean something and stop all complaints that OKW are the only faction with a non-doctrinal Heavy Tank and in consequence are not limited to one at a time.


OKW now get the generalist medium tank that people keep saying they needed before Volksshreks get nerfed, be interesting to see where timing wise that comes and what people can do with it.

Meanwhile the Troll Tiger gets made to sit in the Short Bus of OKW Commanders even though it now fires mini-nukes.


The Best of the Rest


We noticed an irregular value in the causality timer for conscripts which was exceedingly higher than all other infantry. We have brought the timer in line with other infantry causality timers.
o Casualty timer brought down from 500 seconds to 30 seconds

We removed focus fire from the DSHK 38 as it was preventing the AOE suppression from working properly.
o Focus fire removed

M5 Halftrack
Usability improvement.
o Removed requirements on Quad upgrade

Maxim HMG
We wanted the Maxim HMG to be more reliable at countering infantry blobs.
o Maxim nearby suppression multiplier increased from 0.4 to 0.8

Soviet Sandbags
We felt soviet sandbags had much too much health. We also felt it should have more health than other sandbags because it is a one block structure and when destroyed you lose the entire wall. Other factions create a fence wall and even if destroyed, half of the squad is still safe behind another.
o Health reduced from 500 to 240

PTRS rifle
Eventhough we liked the boost in performance of the PTRS Rifle, we felt it was doing a little too much damage to infantry. Its performance vs vehicles remain the same.
o Damage reduced from 40 to 27
o 13 Bonus damage added vs vehicles

!The addition of incremental accuracy to the Maxim, as well as the new nearby suppression modifier, will make the Maxim an effective MG. It will now be capable of suppressing multiple units at a time. With the removal of the vet2 rifle-grenade range increase for grenadiers, Maxims will now also be a lot more survivable than they have been in a long time. As a result, expect to see many more Maxim heavy builds on urban maps, and on maps with lots of chokepoints. Maxims will also synergize well with the faster arriving M5 HT, which will allow them to stay on the field for extended periods of time.

OKW will still have issues dealing with units entrenched in buildings, and will thus have a difficult time dealing with Maxims. In terms of counters, OKW only has a few viable options. Though OKW has seen a price decrease to their ISG, it is still locked behind T1, making Maxim heavy starts quite powerful until that point. The decrease in Sturmpioneer reinforce costs can be leveraged to support an extra squad of them in the early game, as a flanking force until true counters can arrive. The walking Stuka will be effective vs. massed team-weapons in large team-games, but will rely on support to protect the Stuka from fast light armor. Expect to see more liberal usage of doctrines with infiltration grenade assault. Infiltration grenades will be OKW’s most cost efficient counter to units in buildings.comm_ash

!Conscripts apparently lived longer than anyone else when mortally wounded, thus providing sight. This also constitutes a nerf to G43 interrogation which I always used to forget existed anyway

The M5 can now be upgraded without needing to tech, which really only affects the Call in M5 in Lend-Lease

Soviet sandbags now filled with inferior capitalist earth rather than solid Rodina

PTRS change should mean that infantry now take 3 shots to kill rather than 2 without affecting their utility via vehicles


Weapon Rack
We combined both upgrades to make it easier for the players to access their weapon racks.
o Bar & Bazooka Upgrades are now combined into one. (150/15)

P47 – Rocket Strike
The huge loiter size made it difficult to get out of Loiter zone during the P47 Rocket Strike. The reduce radius should make it easier for players to avoid P47 Loiter area.
o Loiter radius reduced from 60 to 50


!The change to P47 doesn't sound like a lot, but it is about a 30% reduction in the affected area.



SdKfz 221 Scout Car
With a lot of light vehicles being available very early, we felt the Wehrmacht needed a light vehicle with a bit more punch. Also, we felt the upgrade was almost always an auto-click and not much of a choice.
o The SdKfz 221 Scout Car is now the SdKfz 222 Scout Car. It will come with the KwK 30 2cm Autocannon by default.
o Cost increased from 210/15 to 230/20

SdKfz 251 Halftrack
The Flame Projector upgrade being available on the 251 HT was a big problem in the past so we had to add a requirement to gate it but with so many more light vehicle counters available we felt it would be fine to remove the requirements for the Flame Projector upgrade.
o Battle phase 2 requirement to upgrade to the Flame Projector removed.

The increase ability max range modifier allowed grenadiers to fire their rifle grenades at such a range that players would not be able to react to the incoming grenade.
o Removed ability max range modifier at veterancy level 2

Ease of use change to allow the Panzerwerfer to gain veterancy at a more reasonable rate.
o Reduce veterancy requirements by 20%

Stuka JU-87D Anti-Infantry Strafe
We are increasing the delay slightly to give players more time to react to the JU-87.
o Delay increased by 1.5 seconds

Stuka JU-87D Anti-Tank Strafe
We are increasing the delay slightly to give players more time to react to the JU-87.
o Delay increased by 1.5 seconds

Redistribute Resource
We found that Redistribute Resources was providing too high of a munition yield for cost.
o Munition gain from conversion reduced from 150 to 125 munitions

Command Tank
The command tank aura provided in territory created too many inconsistent instances due to different territory sizes. This should improve usability.
o No Longer requires territory to provide defense Aura
o Now is radius based (45)

!Gives at least a slight incentive to build a PWerfer to begin with, and try to get wipes on close range, not like they would hit anything otherwise.kamk

!With changes to Ostheer tech both T2 units get some interesting changes, what will happen in the Light Vehicle matchups will be quite interesting as we've never really seen too many of these.

The changes to the strafes and to Fuel/Munitions conversion are effectively nerfs to CAS, though the later also affects Osttruppen. I can still see CAS being a popular choice however, as nothing has been done to affect it's ability to counter the newly buffed ML-20 and 50 fuel to 120 Munitions is still very good indeed.



Sturm Pioneers
One of the biggest problems the Sturm Pioneers faced was the expensive manpower cost to reinforce. With the overall design changes to the OKW early game we wanted to make reinforcing Sturm Pioneers less penalizing on the player which will encourage their use in various builds.
o Reinforce cost reduced from 40 to 32
o Reinforce time reduced by 20%

!Those Americans are always complaining about Sturm Pioneer spam.vV

General Changes

Splats have been removed certain base buildings which allowed players to see which buildings were being built in the fog of war.


We felt only units and abilities explicitly designed for the purpose of reconing an area should have camouflage detection so we are removing it from attack planes. We anticipate this will allow vehicles and units that can camouflage to better hide from attack plane abilities.
o All attack planes had their camo detection radius reduced to 0
o All recon planes that didn't already have it now has a camo detection radius of 90

Rifleman, Volksgrenadiers, Conscripts, Grenadier

We felt it all infantry should receive a penalty for constructing during combat.
o Now receive construction penalty modifiers

!Only splats for additional tier buildings and Ostheer and Soviet T0 building splats were removed. USF's and OKW's are still visible via FOW.pigsoup

! Hohlweltlehre finally disproved, bonus points for the first person to explain that

Recon planes now get more specialised as recon, and attack planes will no longer find camo'ed units. Doesn't say if this will affect supply runs or paradrops or if it already has

Pioneers are no longer more vulnerable than anyone else when building under fire despite that being what they are trained to do


Enjoy your summer, the British arrive September:

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