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Why Brits aren't op (and their design isn't bad)

10 Nov 2020, 18:08 PM
#1
avatar of GiaA

Posts: 468

This is the official sequel to my Soviets OP thread which is widely regarded to be the greatest CoH2.org thread of all time. [citation needed]

This is primarily about 1v1. I consider doctrine abilities a full part of the game because in practice they are. That's why I don't consider "but it's doctrinal" arguments valid most of the time. Only if you have to make significant trade offs when picking a doctrine does this argument count.

I. Design

1. Brit design is hated by almost everybody. This skews opinions on balance which should be viewed separately from design. From what I've observed in the last five years the majority of both players and forum users only stop complaining once brits are clearly the worst faction and seize playing any role in tournaments. I am guilty of this myself.

2. Putting aside balance for a moment I don't even get the recurring hatred towards the faction. The brits more or less have the same problems as other factions in terms of design.

Examples:

a) Why is tommy spam worse than volks, rifle or con spam? Lately even wehrmacht inf spam has been on the rise.

b) They have fairly linear tech but so do other factions. The vast majority of wehrmacht games play out as T1->T2->T3->T4 (optional). The only common alternation is a tier 1 skip which is mainly made possible by commanders at least as disliked as the brits (Osttruppen, Assgrens). Besides, Wehrmacht was already universally seen as the most well designed faction when T1 skip wasn't a realistic option (Mg in T1) and T4 was pure meme material (old Brummbär).

c) Why are somewhat op commander abilities (the various admittedly cheesy arty strikes, strafes, global buffs) worse than the sheer ability to break the game of 5men, Osttruppen, Jägers, WC51, ISU etc?

d) The only uniquely terrible aspect about them is sim city. But this feature has been nerfed into obscurity.

3. I would actually argue that the hammmer/anvil dichotomy in their design makes for more consequential and thus more interesting tech decisions. The only problem is that it arrives too late in the game.

4. Also due to their global upgrades brits have the most (but still not nearly enough) ways to spend fuel outside of more vehicles which is something CoH2 factions are lacking in general.

II. Balance

1. Tommies are not that great against the OKW early game. In terms of winning engagements decisevely OKW is actually superior. Tommies are mostly good at stalling at long range while trading efficiently. Tommies are however amazing vs Vanilla Grens.

But this is where the sniper comes into play. Brits have no reliable counter against a sniper early on and they are at a clear disadvantage in Sniper vs Sniper situations due to the 222s spotting ability. Later on the mainline infantry situation sort of inverts itself. Tommies become amazing vs Volks after getting 5men and bad vs Grens who get their own 5men upgrade. But once again the axis mainline infantry's weakness gets compensated. This time by Jägers who are pretty much uncounterable and absurdly strong vs tommies.

2. Their tanks are not very cost efficient. The Cromewell is ok but not amazing. The Firefly is bad due to its slow speed and rate of fire. A tank destroyer that can't chase needs to be strong in other departments like the JP4 (Armor, insane vet etc.) or the SU 85 (sight). The turret only really becomes relevant once a tank can give chase which is not the case for the Firefly. The centaur is mediocre at best because it's also very slow and doesn't have any ability to threaten light to medium tanks like the ostwind due to worse penetration. The comet is probably the best late game option but doesn't really do anything too amazingly and has very late timing. Churchill is a pure damage sponge but since you don't really have anything to follow it up with it ends up dead in the water most of the time.

3. Bren -> AEC -> Valentine is probably op. The timings just work out too perfectly. The AEC timing is problematic in general but it needs to be considered that the AEC has the lowest shock value of all light tanks due to its weak anti infantry capabilities. It's also inferior in the frequent direct matchup against the puma and has quite a high cost because you effectively pay both upgrade+unit for one AEC.

The assumption that the 222 is useless against brits because its timing is nearly matched by the AEC is just false. The 222 just doesn't work as a shock unit vs brits and needs to be used differently compared to USF or Soviet matchups. Without the AEC intervening the 222 is actually more potent vs Brits because Tommies don't have snares so it essentially ties the AECs attention and as long as the 222 doesn't die because there are fausts/pak close this is a reasonably cost effective situation for the Wehrmacht player.

4. They lack any mobile indirect fire. They get a shitty mortar in a mediocre doctrine and shitty rocket artillery in another mediocre doctrine. Compare this to Panzerwerfer, Stuka, Calliope (much better doctrine and much stronger arty), Katyusha, Pack Howie, Wehrmacht Mortar or ISG. They don't even have a high AOE anti infantry unit like the Brummbär to compensate for this. For this reason double (or even triple) Pak is incredibly strong vs brits.

5. They don't have any anti building tools. No flamer, no flame grenades, not even a regular mortar. Really all they can do is straight up destroying the building in question with an arty flare.

6. On a sidenote: The Puma is absolutely amazing against Brits since they don't have a lot of snares and rely on the AEC which is very unlikely to win a direct matchup against the Puma.

10 Nov 2020, 18:50 PM
#2
avatar of GachiGasm

Posts: 317

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2020, 18:08 PMGiaA

a)

Because Rifles and cons are good at mid\close range, while volks and grens are good pretty much exclusively at long range, and long range dominated by Tommies. There is no way to close in if tommies are already in possition and in cover, they will eat you alive.

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2020, 18:08 PMGiaA

b)

Ppl skipping T1 because they dont want to stick with grenadirs because they are objectively bad against WFA factions. Any other option be it ostroopen and or ass grens are overall better option not only because it allows you to get T2 faster, but even in raw combat potentual against USF and UKF.

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2020, 18:08 PMGiaA

c)

If someone calling broke stuff for one faction doesnt nessery mean that others are alright. In terms of abilities UKF are alright, aside from stupidly tanky crock and AVRE.

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2020, 18:08 PMGiaA
1. Tommies are not that great against the OKW early game.

They are great against OKW in early game. The only real threat is STs which you just need to focus fire few times. You can also throw UC into the mix to what OKW has no answer early on aside from raketten which will give you advantage in terms of inf presence on the field.

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2020, 18:08 PMGiaA
But this is where the sniper comes into play.

This is pretty much exclusive UKF weakness against Ost, and at the same time the single reason for ost player to go T1 against USF\UKF, if they are chosing 5 men grens.

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2020, 18:08 PMGiaA
2. Their tanks are not very cost efficient. The Cromewell is ok but not amazing. The Firefly is bad due to its slow speed and rate of fire. A tank destroyer that can't chase needs to be strong in other departments like the JP4 (Armor, insane vet etc.) or the SU 85 (sight). The turret only really becomes relevant once a tank can give chase which is not the case for the Firefly. The centaur is mediocre at best because it's also very slow and doesn't have any ability to threaten light to medium tanks like the ostwind due to worse penetration.

They are on pair with other medium tanks, nothing really special about them. Firefly is being weakest TD, but other TDs are not excample of good balance to begin with.

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2020, 18:08 PMGiaA
The comet is probably the best late game option but doesn't really do anything too amazingly and has very late timing. Churchill is a pure damage sponge but since you don't really have anything to follow it up with it ends up dead in the water most of the time.

I loled here. Comet is objectively best tank in the game. Having armor which protects against mediums, having penetration to engage all mediums and even heavy tanks, gets free speed boost for flaking and escaping, gets smoke and phosphore aswell as nade to quickly dispatch AT guns. How comet is doing nothing special here? Comet timing is rufly the same as the panther one if both faction skip other vehicles.

Churchill is infirior chose overall, but in teamgames its a very decent push and support unit for your allies.

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2020, 18:08 PMGiaA
The timings just work out too perfectly. The AEC timing is problematic in general but it needs to be considered that the AEC has the lowest shock value of all light tanks due to its weak anti infantry capabilities. It's also inferior in the frequent direct matchup against the puma and has quite a high cost because you effectively pay both upgrade+unit for one AEC.

AEC is a support unit, not harrasing one. By getting AEC you are protecting youself against light vehicles and aswell by keeping it alive you are getting nice abilities to begin with. In match up vs puma AEC is weaker but vs inf AEC is stronger then puma.


jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2020, 18:08 PMGiaA
The assumption that the 222 is useless against brits because its timing is nearly matched by the AEC is just false. The 222 just doesn't work as a shock unit vs brits and needs to be used differently compared to USF or Soviet matchups. Without the AEC intervening the 222 is actually more potent vs Brits because Tommies don't have snares so it essentially ties the AECs attention and as long as the 222 doesn't die because there are fausts/pak close this is a reasonably cost effective situation for the Wehrmacht player.

You have AT guns and Engies with snares. Why are you brinking tommies into play? I mean, its funny a bit, that UKF having so many units awaible but even here, it sounds like tommies are the only unit UKF have.

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2020, 18:08 PMGiaA

5. They don't have any anti building tools.

What about unlocking nades and use smoke+nades or upping UC with flamethrower, use sniper, or officer with nuke nades. Also if you need flams that bad, few of good commanders have them anyway.

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2020, 18:08 PMGiaA
6. On a sidenote: The Puma is absolutely amazing against Brits since they don't have a lot of snares and rely on the AEC which is very unlikely to win a direct matchup against the Puma.

Why not get AT gun and vekers to keep OKW blobs back? Also OKW needs puma against brits in responce to your AEC, you are already winning in economy because OKW need Luchs supported by Puma. While you just need AEC.

10 Nov 2020, 19:09 PM
#3
avatar of Lady Xenarra

Posts: 334

Feeling the urge to post the OKW equivalent to these threads.....

1. Tommies are not that great against the OKW early game.

:rofl:
10 Nov 2020, 19:17 PM
#4
avatar of T.R. Stormjäger

Posts: 3163 | Subs: 1

I'd nerf section enfields a bit (probs aim time), buff BRENs a bit and make them 50-60munis depending on buff, nerf section medkits a bit (rate of healing would be good), give sections snares (sappers can keep theirs too), take away trenches and give them to Sappers, nerf Comet's AoE and scatter a bit, make Cromwell 300mp 90-95 fuel, buff FF, Centaur and Churchill.

Faction would probably be more straightforward and less frustrating this way. Currently most people can't play Brits properly and suck, while a few truly know what they're doing and can be extremely frustrating to face. Brits play like no other faction, which is why most people hate them.

Edit: Remove that vet smoke on retreat from commandos. So stupid.
10 Nov 2020, 20:12 PM
#5
avatar of TheGentlemenTroll

Posts: 1005 | Subs: 1

I think the communities dislike for brits is a combination of how cheese and broken many of the units/commanders have been since release, and how they either are blatantly op or disgustingly terrible and rarely between those two extremes.

Additionally their reliance on cheese to be meta since release makes them really unfun to play against most of the time. Those two combinations definitely make it seem like UKF is poorly designed and probably why the community dislikes the faction so much.
10 Nov 2020, 20:18 PM
#6
avatar of TomDRV

Posts: 94

Yep they're good, but awkward cause of the emplacements theme. They make the whole faction kinda wonky depending on the map/game flow because they're such a gamble.

Need to give the UKF a very static vibe without making them completely unable to move.

If we could go back to first principles I'd suggest making the 17pdr, mortar emplacement & Bofors regular weapon teams (slow and very heavy ones) which need to emplace themselves (costing resources and time) at a location before they can fire. Think like deploying a truck of OKW, only it's a weapon crew than can pack up and re-build somewhere else. This would turn them into almost-emplacements that can pack up and move off (albeit slowly) if the flow of the battle changes.

For example I could set up my bofors on a cap-point in the mid-game, then as indirect comes on later game I could move it back to my cut-off and dig it in back in there to support as AA. If they get hard countered by arty spam they can be retired to the back-lines or left to die for the pop-space. The long set-up time and deployment cost (in addition to the production cost) would mean it can't be done on the fly, only as a strategic decision. Moving them around a lot would be impossibly expensive.

So the emplacement 'trait' is replaced by a 'heavy weapon teams which need to dig themselves in' trait.
Also make them re-crew able if they get killed when deployed, but would have to pay to set them up again obvs . . . Overall the gamble of building them is softened out a bit.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
But back in the real world.

- Remove section med-kits now UKF has medic
- Move trenches to sappers
- Give UC a 2in mortar upgrade because brits badly need mobile indirect
- All the buffs Stormjager said to tanks, mostly firefly turret traverse and speed (make it same as regular sherman) and Churchill AI. (don't favor tommy snares)
10 Nov 2020, 21:06 PM
#7
avatar of gbem

Posts: 1828

I'd nerf section enfields a bit (probs aim time), buff BRENs a bit and make them 50-60munis depending on buff, nerf section medkits a bit (rate of healing would be good), give sections snares (sappers can keep theirs too), take away trenches and give them to Sappers, nerf Comet's AoE and scatter a bit, make Cromwell 300mp 90-95 fuel, buff FF, Centaur and Churchill.

Faction would probably be more straightforward and less frustrating this way. Currently most people can't play Brits properly and suck, while a few truly know what they're doing and can be extremely frustrating to face. Brits play like no other faction, which is why most people hate them.



+1... brits are hated because they are difficult to play but also difficult to counter due to their extremely assymetric design...
10 Nov 2020, 21:22 PM
#8
avatar of GiaA

Posts: 468

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2020, 21:06 PMgbem



+1... brits are hated because they are difficult to play but also difficult to counter due to their extremely assymetric design...


Wehr vs Brits is pretty much the most symmetrical matchup there is tho.
10 Nov 2020, 21:31 PM
#9
avatar of GiaA

Posts: 468

I'd nerf section enfields a bit (probs aim time), buff BRENs a bit and make them 50-60munis depending on buff, nerf section medkits a bit (rate of healing would be good), give sections snares (sappers can keep theirs too), take away trenches and give them to Sappers, nerf Comet's AoE and scatter a bit, make Cromwell 300mp 90-95 fuel, buff FF, Centaur and Churchill.

Faction would probably be more straightforward and less frustrating this way. Currently most people can't play Brits properly and suck, while a few truly know what they're doing and can be extremely frustrating to face. Brits play like no other faction, which is why most people hate them.

Edit: Remove that vet smoke on retreat from commandos. So stupid.


I actually think the current bren balance makes the game more interesting cuz it's an actual decision whether to go brens or not rather than a no brainer upgrade. Lee Anfield nerf only under the condition of a jäger, 5men and osttruppen nerf. Why have snares on sapper AND sections?

I agree with buffing FF and centaur. I don't think the churchill needs a buff as long as those two get buffed. Cromewell is fine imo. 90-95 fuel would be insanely strong. Just look at the T34. I wouldn't nerf the comet. It's the closest thing brits have to a "heavy" tank. Nerfing it and buffing cromewell like this would just make it obsolete. If anything I'd slightly increase the price to match the performance although it's already super expensive which is why I don't really think it's overperforming at all.
10 Nov 2020, 21:32 PM
#10
avatar of gbem

Posts: 1828

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2020, 21:22 PMGiaA


Wehr vs Brits is pretty much the most symmetrical matchup there is tho.


if OST uses 5 man yes... outside of 5 man id say UKF takes the advantage
10 Nov 2020, 21:33 PM
#11
avatar of gbem

Posts: 1828

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2020, 21:31 PMGiaA

Just look at the T34.


the T-34-76 is bad... this has long been argued debated and proven in the SOVIET OP thread...
10 Nov 2020, 21:37 PM
#12
avatar of GiaA

Posts: 468

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2020, 21:32 PMgbem


if OST uses 5 man yes... outside of 5 man id say UKF takes the advantage


Symmetry has nothing to do with an "advantage". Symmetrical balance just means the factions are similarly designed. So for example both factions have snipers, a T0 MG, T3 with Medium, AA, Tank destroyer etc. etc.
10 Nov 2020, 21:43 PM
#13
avatar of gbem

Posts: 1828

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2020, 21:37 PMGiaA


Symmetry has nothing to do with an "advantage". Symmetrical balance just means the factions are similarly designed. So for example both factions have snipers, a T0 MG, T3 with Medium, AA, Tank destroyer etc. etc.


id say OST shares similarity with SOV in that case... both have T0 engineers flamethrowers machineguns snipers mortars AT guns halftracks scout cars semi elite infantry with AT upgrades mediums and rocket artillery...

the "entirely different" roles between the two rosters are
1. premium medium vs heavy tank destroyer
2. medium tank destroyer vs light tank destroyer
3. anti infantry light tank vs anti infantry heavy tank


ohh and they also have to build tech buildings... the rest just convert which leaves their engineers free to do other stuff

now if you meant gameplay and how the faction actually plays then yeah OST kinda has the similar defensive playstyle that UKF favors... just with a very different roster...
10 Nov 2020, 22:00 PM
#14
avatar of T.R. Stormjäger

Posts: 3163 | Subs: 1

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2020, 21:31 PMGiaA
I wouldn't nerf the comet. It's the closest thing brits have to a "heavy" tank. Nerfing it and buffing cromewell like this would just make it obsolete. If anything I'd slightly increase the price to match the performance although it's already super expensive which is why I don't really think it's overperforming at all.


I can't really agree with this. I think the Comet is the most broken armoured unit in the game right now. Even the KV1 and KV2 pale in comparison. Not only is it too cheap at 175 fuel, not only does it have 2 different smoke shells and crew grenades, not only does it have war speed, not only does it have amazing (290!!!) armour and mobility, but its main gun anti infantry effectively makes it a medium generalist/tank destroyer. This is way too much. It should either lose its utilities, get more expensive, or lose some anti infantry. In its current state the Cromwell is a meme since you have a far stronger stock option for the same role as well as an additional role (anti tank).

On the opposite side, the Churchill is absolutely shit at 19 pop. It should definitely lose some pop cap, 1 or 2, and get some repair speed back in the form of damage reduction and less HP, like the KV1 got. Cromwell should also be made cheaper, 110 fuel is far too much for what it brings to the table.

BRENs I don't disagree, but some touches on sections are needed imo, buffs and nerfs.
10 Nov 2020, 22:19 PM
#15
avatar of Vipper

Posts: 9481 | Subs: 1



....

On the opposite side, the Churchill is absolutely shit at 19 pop. It should definitely lose some pop cap, 1 or 2, and get some repair speed back in the form of damage reduction and less HP, like the KV1 got. Cromwell should also be made cheaper, 110 fuel is far too much for what it brings to the table.

BRENs I don't disagree, but some touches on sections are needed imo, buffs and nerfs.

You are aware that Churchill comes with heavy sapper right?
10 Nov 2020, 22:58 PM
#18
avatar of GachiGasm

Posts: 317

Actually it really depends. Churchill is broken aswell in its own sake, its being shit because it eats pop-cap and anvil is shit compared to hammer.

But if you look at it as a heavy tank in general. Its actually really frustrating to play against, especially in teamgames and all of the are somewhat broken to begin with.

Considering that he shits completly at any medium, it has high enouth penetration to fight all the mediums. Not to mention his ridiculous armor and health pool.

AVRE and Crock are just plain pain the ass to deal with.
10 Nov 2020, 23:14 PM
#19
avatar of Protos Angelus

Posts: 473

Actually it really depends. Churchill is broken aswell in its own sake, its being shit because it eats pop-cap and anvil is shit compared to hammer.

But if you look at it as a heavy tank in general. Its actually really frustrating to play against, especially in teamgames and all of the are somewhat broken to begin with.

Considering that he shits completly at any medium, it has high enouth penetration to fight all the mediums. Not to mention his ridiculous armor and health pool.

AVRE and Crock are just plain pain the ass to deal with.


Truth be told, 3v3 and 4v4 are generally broken. Tanks like Panther + brummbar, Churchills combined with jacksons, Super heavy tanks, Sturmtiger on Redball or Lienne (God has no mercy on you when a hidden sturm fires a nuke over the hedges and plentiful sight blockers), arty fest on angermunde and that other laney map with lots of buildings.


Comet is the best 1v1 tank IMHO. Probably one of the best in 2v2. 3v3 and 4v4 it's better en masse as paks, JP4s and just plenty of shrecks will keep it at bay (before the heavy TDs roll out). That's why arty fest + 70 range tanks/heavy tanks are a thing. The sheer number of units pretty much keeps your mediums at bay.

Churchill ain't broken. In 1v1 and 2v2 it's a risky investment at 19 popcap. It's less agile than a grandma with a broken hip. 1400 HP and "above average" armour of 240 pretty much make it a tanky tank that tanks, nothing else. You'll never see a decent player use Churchill on it's own. However, being effective in combined arms is not a proof of "broken". Broken units are those that can be spammed and close the game.
10 Nov 2020, 23:17 PM
#20
avatar of gbem

Posts: 1828

the churchill mostly scales with teamgames... imagine 4 churchills by 1 guy fielded in a 4v4... each one capable of cleaning infantry and does decently enough against panthers and AT.... starts to become a problem imo...
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