I think this commander patch is coming together nicely & think much of the changes are very positive for the game.
I have a couple of issues though that I am seeing with OKW that worry me that I would argue should be rolled back
Counter Barrage veterancy 1 ability replaced with Overwatch Fragmentation Airburst shells
I don't have a problem with overwatch artillery as an ability ( I think its a fantastic idea & ability, as it discourages blobbing) but the removal of counter battery is a concern for me
. In team games the leFH is not only okw's only heavy artillery option, it is also one of okw's few tools to deal with allied heavy artillery. The counter battery is the main draw here, and in many cases the main reason to use an leFH commander, as allied artillery is generally more powerful than axis options and can be overwhelming. Allied factions have many mobile
artillery options, which can easily target the stationary leFH and then move to avoid retaliatory fire (let alone the potential for the leFH to just get eliminated by off-map artillery options) The counter artillery ability is the only redeeming quality to keep the leFH's head out of water in competitive match ups, where units like a priest can fire and move. Eliminating counter barrage would leave okw without a viable option.
I understand the motivation for wanting an overwatch ability however, especially for smaller game modes and think that its addition is a good idea.
As there are 2 commanders available to okw that have access to the leFH, my compromise recommendation is to attach the new 'overwatch' leFH ability to the okw Overwatch commander, while leaving the counter-artillery ability on the Fortification commander.
Everybody wins- the overwatch commander's theme is stronger with it's new ability, and the fortifications doctrine also maintains it's defensive theme, while okw maintains the ability to compete in potentially siege-like 3v3 and 4v4 matches.
Artillery Flares replaced with Sturm Offizer
I have seen a bunch of conversation about flares being a less than fun mechanic in the game as there is 'no counter play'. While i think this could be a fair conversation to have, unfortunately every faction in the game has multiple flare options spread across it's commander abilities or unit's abilities, so the ship has sailed on whether or not there should
That said, at the moment flares are the only real reason to use the spec ops commander. the rest of it's abilities are either available on other commanders or underwhelming. If you cut flares from this commander and put them on the command panther, you make the flares unavailable until the lategame, and the unit still needs to move to where it wants to 'cast' the ability, much like other unit based flares
Meanwhile, panzerfusiliers have access to flares from the start of the game, so there is no real reason to pick this commander for vision, and since it's weak at everything else i would expect it's play rate to drop to nil
The british faction has access to early warning, which is not
being removed in this patch (rather it is being adjusted to give vision to one location). Also, all other factions have airplane based loiter vision, which okw does not have (the vision halftrack's ability is abysmal and on a niche unit not really worth building) so okw is left without comparable competitive vision abilities.
My recommendation options are to either:
A) Leave the flare ability on the special operations commander, and nerf it's vision radius or increase it's cost if you feel it needs a nerf, or
B) Move flare to the currently unused salvage commander in place of salvage commander's 105mm Artillery Barrage ability. This could make that commander worth picking, as it's not worth picking in any situation at the moment
Thanks for reading this far if you made it to the end, would be happy to discuss my reasoning further with anyone who is interested.