russian armor

Flawed US Army Composition And Suggestion To Correct it.

6 Jul 2014, 13:12 PM
avatar of Snack_Master

Posts: 64

TL;DR: US army tier structure strongly encourages blobbing of infantry to the detriment of strategy and diverse unit compositions. I don’t like to point out a problem without providing a solution so I outlined a new tier structure that I feel would correct this issue.

It has been previously noted on these forums that the USF faction routinely devolves into mass blobbing of infantry. I have found this to be true in my experiences playing alongside and against this faction as well. In a way, the player is forced into fielding basically a single composition of troops (infantry fitted with BARS and Bazookas) and at a certain point it even becomes more effective to just attack move in mass rather than microing flanks. Frankly, I’m surprised this lack of diversity was allowed to pass through the Alpha phase.

The problem is that the unit composition of the Tiers is set up so that support units are fielded past the point where they would have a greater effect than the already vetted and upgraded infantry squads that are fielded basically on a mandatory basis. This is what is detracting from the strategic feel of the game and decreases variation in gameplay. What I believe would solve this issue of limited strategic diversity is a re-adjustment to the composition of the Tier structure in the following way (changes are bolded):

Tiers would unlock like the battle phases of the Wehrmacht except they could be done in any order. Tier 1 would basically have to be built right away. I can’t figure out why they made officers mandatory to unlocking tiers other than for the sake of being faction unique. I feel they typically just add to the blobbing issue without offering anything particularly interesting to gameplay (aside from Major). By having them as an option to be built you could choose not upgrade to BARS but field a more expensive unit that will already have them equipped (same with bazookas).

Tier 0:
Tier unlock options
Upgrades to riflemen
Rear Echelon

Tier 1:
Lieutenant (not mandatory)
.50 MG team
M1 75mm Pack Howitzer

Reasons for change: To provide any type of variation whatsoever to US opening. US has no early game indirect fire corrected by the howitzer. The volley fire ability of RE as the only means of early game suppression has turned out to be cheesy and requires no set up or placement strategy, MG corrects this.

Tier 2:
Captain (not mandatory)
M1 57 AT gun

M20 Utility car

Reasons for change: The US AT gun is less effective than German Pak or Soviet ZiS but comes at a higher Tier than all other factions in the game. Better placed in Tier 2.

Tier 3:
Stuart light tank
AA half-track
Sherman Medium Tank

Reasons for change: The Sherman runs along the line of a P4 or T34 and I’ve even seen Pumas handle them quite well. This makes it a T3 tank. It really doesn’t have the firepower or armor to warrant deferral into another Tier.

Tier 4:
M36 Jackson
M8A1 Howitzer Motor Carriage
Firefly Sherman

Reasons for change: the M36 and M8 do belong in T4 as long as there is another heavy tank included. There is currently no US heavy tank. I know they are waiting to include them in future Commanders but why on earth would anyone ever choose a Commander without the new heavy tank when the US is usually doomed in late game with their standard tank composition? It’s best to allow them to build 1 non-doctrinal heavy tank.

Without the inclusion of a non-doctrinal heavy tank then I feel as though Tier 4 should be eliminated and the US should just be given a large Tier 3. It is my understand that the US tank strategy up until the Battle of the Bulge was to use Shermans and Tank Destroyers in larger numbers to make up for their clear weaknesses. At their current Tier level and cost and player cannot perform this strategy. Instead the player is typically equally numbered but outgunned in terms of armor. The fuel saved by eliminating the need to upgrade to T4 allows you to build an extra tank or TD to balance out their weaknesses.

My issue with the US faction is not in terms of Balance, just diversity of gameplay. I realize that moving these units around with their current stats would probably cause major balancing problems so it would take a lot of work to nerf or buff certain units to regain equilibrium but in the end the game as a whole would be richer strategically for it.

TL;DR: US army tier structure strongly encourages blobbing of infantry to the detriment of strategy and diverse unit compositions. I don’t like to point out a problem without providing a solution so I outlined a new tier structure that I feel would correct this issue.
6 Jul 2014, 13:18 PM
avatar of Katitof

Posts: 17831 | Subs: 8

That is restructuring the whole army and it have even less chance of happening then lolcake breaking 5000 rank.
6 Jul 2014, 13:30 PM
avatar of Qubix

Posts: 133

I love the current US Tier structure and I'm not experiencing a lot of blobbing atm. The only situation blobs can be dangerous is when the american uses Inf Doc LMGs. The only thing I want to be changed is the AA Ht in T1. It should be switched with the Pack Howitzer.
6 Jul 2014, 13:41 PM
avatar of Australian Magic

Posts: 4630 | Subs: 2

Such changes will force to change all OKW system as well.
Second issue, putting Stuart and Sherman to the same tier would make Stuart unused unit because everyone would rather wait for 110 fuel and Sherman than spend 70 for Stuart.
The only one thing I would change is move AT gun to T1.
6 Jul 2014, 13:42 PM
avatar of MilkaCow

Posts: 577

I do not see your issue to be honest. I usually see 3 Rifles and a Captain or 3 Rifles and a Lt for the American player. Grens is a pretty standard German strategy isn't. 3 Cons is also standard Soviet play. Captain is extremely different from rifles, Lt just slightly.

Your suggestions would create massive problems and require changes in other factions as well:
- Oberkommando vs HMGs
- Kübel useless
- MG42 really important vs USF early => Countered by Pack Howitzer
- ...

Besides that your tier composition seems weird. If you go for the latest thing you say (no heavy tank, putting T3 and T4 together) you have almost the same thing as now, only that T2 is far less valuable. Besides that you have a lot of unit overlap. Stuart, Sherman and M15AA HT are all anti infantry focused units - putting them all into one tier is problematic. I could understand Sherman and Stuart, but why the Flak HT as well?

In general I think that would make the US too much like the Wehrmacht. That might increase the diversity in the USF earlygame, but not the diversity in general. Right now USF is the only faction that has T0 core infantry that scale really well into lategame and can go for either AI or AT role. Soviets have the specialized T1 or T2 units and Conscripts. Ostheer has a broad mix of core infantry and support weapons. Oberkommando have a mix of cheap core infantry, Assault infantry and light fire support. If your changes go in, then Wehrmacht and USF would be basically the same.

I don't care if the faction I play is American, German, British or whatever, I'm just concerned about gameplay and from my perspective those changes would decrease diversity instead of increasing it. I guess there are some other people who think similar because as you said, this passed the Alpha ;p
6 Jul 2014, 17:03 PM
avatar of Mr. Someguy

Posts: 4928

Why not 76mm Sherman for T4 instead? The Americans never used the Sherman Firefly, that was a British invention used by the British Army, and it didn't fit well in American tank doctrine.

I don't like Riflemen in T2 though, it'd make the Americans feel rather naked at the start of the game.
6 Jul 2014, 17:16 PM
avatar of coh2player

Posts: 1571

I would like to see either the Sherman 76mm or the US 90mm gun on the cruciform mount as being non-doctrinal.
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