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Improving the 4v4 Allied playerbase

9 Nov 2014, 03:07 AM
#1
avatar of Cyanara

Posts: 769 | Subs: 1

I recently had the pleasure of making rank 1 on 4v4 USF random. It was probably one of the most gruelling experiences of my life, taking an insane amount of games with a terrible win/loss ratio. If you want a bitter laugh, have a look at the 4v4 top 10 ladders on the side of the page. Compare the win streaks of allied players vs axis. The usual refrain seems to be that this is because of balance in favour of the axis. While a game with 4 asymmetric teams as complicated as this one will always likely have balance issues, I don’t believe that’s the main problem (although I really do hate jagdtigers).

Since having the pleasure of discovering CELO I’ve found that I’m privy to information that most players apparently don’t have: Everyone’s rank. This is what the average 4v4 random matchup looks like, in my considerable experience:





Simply put, decently ranked Allied players are almost unheard of. This means that when a good Allied player does try to have a match, their teammates tend to be so lowly ranked as to discourage the good player from further games as Allies. It's a bit of a prisoner's dilemma, in a way. The best way around it is to form a team, although this will likely get you a separate AT rank. Bottom line: The matchmaking system has little opportunity to make a fair game, and that probably won't change until a patch that makes people feel like Allies have been buffed. I’ve occasionally had a good run of teammates on some weekends (about the only reason I was able to rank up so much), but that’s about it. The number of times my score at the end of the match had highest damage and kills and yet we still lost was just excruciating. When you have 4 opponents it’s extremely difficult to singlehandedly turn a game around. I’ve also had teammates who couldn’t beat the AIs when most of the other team dropped.

However, I enjoy playing as Allies nonetheless. They are a good exercise in micro. So, in an attempt to attract more decent Allied players back to 4v4 random, and help everyone else improve, here are my best tips for winning:

Bad Maps


Under the current patches teams *always* start on the same side of each map. Maps can be notoriously unbalanced in this game though. So, ensure you always veto as many of these maps as you can:

City 17
Reason: Axis get an awesome building to camp the right fuel, and you don’t. The left fuel is nice and open so that Axis can spam HMGs and kubels.

Faceoff at Rostov
Reason: You have two narrow chokepoint routes to your fuel, at least one of which is red cover. Expect to get kubel-rushed and locked out. You also have to cross a river to get to anything. The Axis fuel is surrounded by excellent buildings and numerous wide entry points. This is probably the single least balanced 4v4 map and in desperate need of reworking. Or at least, you know, randomised starting sides again.

Good Maps:


La Gleize
Reason: Buildings are your friend, especially against OKW. Rush those suckers. Also, easy fuel cut-offs. I can almost always capture the Axis fuel on the left, especially with a little teamwork. Plenty of flanks, and good chokepoints for mines. Also some open areas for your tanks.

Lienne Forest
Reason: Great city on the left and highly flankable forest on the right. Very hard map for OKW to set up on.

Ambiguous Maps


Vielsam
Reason: Still getting a feel for this new map, but it seems to favour OKW base camping at key points. Everything is miles away from everybody else's base and the minefield in the middle limits action in that area.

Steppes
Reason: One of the few relatively balanced maps, its open nature is great for Allied tank swarms late game, but it can be hard to get to that point. The lack of cover is perfect for Axis HMGs and kubelwagons to lock everything down early, not to mention paks. Good luck holding any fuel. Only experienced teammates are likely to be able to micro squads and snipers adequately. Soviet players are probably best suited to this map with their early access to support weapons. USF players should use smoke grenades and tech up to light armour ASAP.

Ettelbruck Station (Not currently a 4v4 automatch map)
Reason: The lack of movement in the narrow corridors can make for a very difficult late game for non-heavy tanks. This is pretty much an artillery map since everyone is more or less forced to put a blob of support weapons in a small area. Get mortars ASAP to blow a hole in their defences and push through so that you're not bunched up when they get stukas. Soviet artillery also has a range advantage on this small map.

Lanzerath Ambush
Reason: This is not a balanced map, but Allies can win at it. P47s are particularly effective on it. The catch is that the fuel points are not symmetrical. The Allied fuel point is near ammo and a VP, so it's constantly under threat. The Axis fuel point sits back in a quiet area. The middle VP also requires the Allies to pass through chokepoints and can be tricky to defend, although the barriers can suit indirect fire and forward retreat points. Open areas tend to favour Axis HMGs, so get Soviet players to go for support weapons early on.

General Allied tips:


  • Make sure *at least* one USF player goes airborne. When it gets to late game, those p42 anti-tank strafing runs are the difference between winning and being crushed under the treads of a battalion of 70-tonne heavy tanks. Plus, you can drop heavy weapons to desperate teammates. This also makes it less risky for other USF players to go with the early-advantage commanders that lack late-game power.

  • Win early and often. Even with p47s, you don’t want the game to get to King Tigers and Jagdtigers if you can help it. By focusing on the early Allied infantry close-combat spam advantage you can often hold all 3 VPs for long enough to watch that last VP tick over just as a KT rolls in. Very satisfying. If not, you can at least force them to spend fuel on lighter tanks out of desperation.

  • Fuel first. Allies have so much to gain by starving the Axis of fuel, so go for both of them. Don’t assume your teammates know that fuel is more important than anything else. Take charge and give them some firm (but polite) orders. On Steppes in particular, the top teammate will often try to camp the double ammo up top. They’ll feel like they’re helping as they sit there unopposed while your 3 remaining team members get pushed out of both fuel points. Educate them before they commit to doing so.

  • Non-wood buildings are your friend. OKW have pretty much nothing to get you out of them and Ostheer are limited to mortars unless they can spare the ammo on flamethrowers. A Soviet forward HQ in a city will also make your whole team nearly invincible in that area for the early game.

  • If you see an OKW halftrack setting up, let your teammates know immediately and focus fire on that sucker. They can’t get that fuel back and it is oh-so-rewarding. Buys you a lot of time and map control as well. Do it enough times and you can probably expect a ragequit.


General all-round team play tips:


  • Diversify. Communicate with teammates of the same faction about what you tech you are going so that they can go a different one. Diverse arms are very difficult to fight because it’s hard to decide what to attack first.

  • Look at the player list. You can see what commander your teammates have chosen and make your decision around that. Much easier than asking them to type it, especially given their generic names.

  • Make sure you have individual team colours turned on in options so you can easily tell different players apart.

  • Communicate. Let your team know if you’re being attacked by multiple players. Effective teams will try to gang up against a smaller number of opponents and crush them quickly before returning to their own area. This can be much more effective than frontline stalemates.

  • I know this game can get people worked up (it’s a sign of an engaging game really) but swearing at your teammates will not help. They’ll simply take satisfaction in ignoring you or doing the opposite of what you say. Be constructive and friendly. They’ll be more willing to learn, and you’ll likely have a better teammate come next match.

  • If you have spare manpower, build fuel and ammo caches. Try to go for an even number of each. Both are useful in late game. Be wary of building caches before you have a useful number of troops though.


Anybody else have any suggestions? No faction balance complaints please.
9 Nov 2014, 04:02 AM
#2
avatar of Napalm

Posts: 1595 | Subs: 2

Find a regular good groups of folks to play with.

Know when to call it quits. If they have held both fuels for more than 5 minutes straights its time to call it GG's.
9 Nov 2014, 06:55 AM
#3
avatar of NinjaWJ

Posts: 2070

I recently had the pleasure of making rank 1 on 4v4 USF random. It was probably one of the most gruelling experiences of my life, taking an insane amount of games with a terrible win/loss ratio. If you want a bitter laugh, have a look at the 4v4 top 10 ladders on the side of the page. Compare the win streaks of allied players vs axis. The usual refrain seems to be that this is because of balance in favour of the axis. While a game with 4 asymmetric teams as complicated as this one will always likely have balance issues, I don’t believe that’s the main problem (although I really do hate jagdtigers).

Since having the pleasure of discovering CELO I’ve found that I’m privy to information that most players apparently don’t have: Everyone’s rank. This is what the average 4v4 random matchup looks like, in my considerable experience:





Simply put, decently ranked Allied players are almost unheard of. The matchmaking system has no choice in making a fair game. I’ve occasionally had a good run of teammates on some weekends (about the only reason I was able to rank up so much), but that’s about it. The number of times my score at the end of the match had highest damage and kills and yet we still lost was just excruciating. When you have 4 opponents it’s extremely difficult to singlehandedly turn a game around. I’ve also had teammates who couldn’t beat the AIs when most of the other team dropped.

However, I enjoy playing as Allies nonetheless. They are a good exercise in micro. So, in an attempt to attract more decent Allied players back to 4v4 random, and help everyone else improve, here are my best tips for winning:

Bad Maps


Under the current patches teams *always* start on the same side of each map. Maps can be notoriously unbalanced in this game though. So, ensure you always veto as many of these maps as you can:

Ettelbruck Station
Reason: More like ‘Stuka Barrage’ Station. Zero flanking combined with creeping barrages on narrow streets makes pretty much everything but Soviet heavy tanks useless.

Steppes
Reason: The open map is great for Allied tank swarms late game, but it can be hard to get to that point. The lack of cover is perfect for Axis HMGs and kubelwagons to lock everything down early, not to mention paks. Good luck holding any fuel. Only experienced teammates are likely to be able to micro squads and snipers adequately.

City 17
Reason: Axis get an awesome building to camp the right fuel, and you don’t. The left fuel is nice and open so that Axis can spam HMGs and kubels.

Faceoff at Rostov
Reason: You have two narrow chokepoint routes to your fuel, at least one of which is red cover. Expect to get kubel-rushed and locked out. You also have to cross a river to get to anything. The Axis fuel is surrounded by excellent buildings and numerous wide entry points. This is probably the single least balanced 4v4 map and in desperate need of reworking. Or at least, you know, randomised starting sides again.

Vielsam
Reason: Still getting a feel for this new map, but it seems to favour OKW base camping at key points.




Hi very nice post Cyanara. Thank you for taking the time to write it up.

I would like to give my theory on matchmaking and why it is so dreadful. Generally, you may have already noticed, there are more players searching as Axis than Allies. It is quite normal to see something like 70% Axis - 30% Allies search rates in 4v4. Since Axis teams have to wait longer to get a match due to the smaller amount of Allies players, the matchmaker expands their search criteria to incorporate even newbies. This is why bad matchups end up happening, probably to Allied players more than Axis, i assume.

I also believe that it is common knowledge to 4v4 players that Axis have it better in big team games. This may lead to players leaving the 4v4 mode altogether or switching to Axis. This dilutes the playerbase even further.

Good info on the maps, and i totally agree. Why Rostov still in the rotation, i will never know



jump backJump back to quoted post9 Nov 2014, 04:02 AMNapalm
Find a regular good groups of folks to play with.

Know when to call it quits. If they have held both fuels for more than 5 minutes straights its time to call it GG's.


That is actually a very bad attitude when approaching games, Napalm, although it is somewhat true in a sick way.

10 Nov 2014, 18:02 PM
#4
avatar of nigo
Senior Editor Badge

Posts: 2149 | Subs: 15

you forgot the best advice for all allies random players in 4v4:


DONT BUILD CACHES in the first 15 minutes of the match.
10 Nov 2014, 18:10 PM
#5
avatar of Romeo
Honorary Member Badge
Benefactor 115

Posts: 1970 | Subs: 5

That is actually a very bad attitude when approaching games, Napalm, although it is somewhat true in a sick way.


I rarely surrender but I think this is great advice for team games. 10% of the time you might pull off an amazing comeback. 90% of the time you will endure pain and suffering for half an hour for no reason. For the sake of your sanity, just surrender.

When the game is balanced, you can re-evaluate your attitude :)
10 Nov 2014, 18:17 PM
#6
avatar of Sarantini
Honorary Member Badge
Donator 22

Posts: 2181

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2014, 18:02 PMnigo
you forgot the best advice for all allies random players in 4v4:


DONT BUILD CACHES in the first 15 minutes of the match.

I disagree, an early fuel cache for USF is great for getting the m20 out faster.
10 Nov 2014, 18:19 PM
#7
avatar of Romeo
Honorary Member Badge
Benefactor 115

Posts: 1970 | Subs: 5

I build at least three every game :D
10 Nov 2014, 18:22 PM
#8
avatar of nigo
Senior Editor Badge

Posts: 2149 | Subs: 15


I disagree, an early fuel cache for USF is great for getting the m20 out faster.



the allies cache players dont go for fuel in 4v4. They build only caches and expect what.... win?


10 Nov 2014, 18:24 PM
#9
avatar of sneakking

Posts: 655

Permanently Banned
I would really like to see more skilled Allied players in 4v4 automatching but it seems that everyone who plays that mode prefers Axis because it's far easier, and when occasionally they do play Allies, they don't have enough experience as them to out-micro the Axis early MGs, Grens, Sturmpios, and Kubels. All that remains for the Allies is the common rabble and people ignorant of the meta. Meanwhile Axis is populated with career 4v4 players, hordes of "PanzerGrenadier 2. SS Division"s, etc, and the 2pro4u 4v4 Arranged Teams, which randomly searching Allies players will often encounter.

Basically, the game mode is broken beyond design problems.
10 Nov 2014, 18:33 PM
#10
avatar of Unshavenbackman

Posts: 680

Nice thread you made. Good reading!
10 Nov 2014, 20:26 PM
#11
avatar of ludd3emm

Posts: 292

I would really like to see more skilled Allied players in 4v4 automatching but it seems that everyone who plays that mode prefers Axis because it's far easier, and when occasionally they do play Allies, they don't have enough experience as them to out-micro the Axis early MGs, Grens, Sturmpios, and Kubels. All that remains for the Allies is the common rabble and people ignorant of the meta. Meanwhile Axis is populated with career 4v4 players, hordes of "PanzerGrenadier 2. SS Division"s, etc, and the 2pro4u 4v4 Arranged Teams, which randomly searching Allies players will often encounter.

Basically, the game mode is broken beyond design problems.


That is so true. The funny thing is that most of them really suck and that they have no clue about if their names have any historical relevance.

I even went ahead once and played some games as OKW under the name "okwokwPzAbtokwokw Josef Fritzl" and not one single person reacted to it. I don't know if it was because of ignorance or stupidity but it was remarkable anyway.

I've also had the disgraceful opportunity to speak with some of these players with such names and an average of 1.5K games with Axis and about three with Allies. They all agree that Allies are very OP (in team games) and when I propose that we should play some with them to get some "easy wins", they simply don't want to because they are boring apparently.

So Allies are very OP in 3v3 / 4v4 and boring at the same time? :lolol:
10 Nov 2014, 21:02 PM
#12
avatar of BeltFedWombat
Patrion 14

Posts: 951

Very very occasionally a group of very good allied players will let me join them in a 4v4 and we roflstomp all the SEEG HEYL!!! 2SS DEATHKOMMANDO losers.

It almost makes the rest of the nightmares of being a CoH2 fan bearable for a few minutes.
10 Nov 2014, 21:34 PM
#13
avatar of sneakking

Posts: 655

Permanently Banned


That is so true. The funny thing is that most of them really suck and that they have no clue about if their names have any historical relevance.

I even went ahead once and played some games as OKW under the name "okwokwPzAbtokwokw Josef Fritzl" and not one single person reacted to it. I don't know if it was because of ignorance or stupidity but it was remarkable anyway.

I've also had the disgraceful opportunity to speak with some of these players with such names and an average of 1.5K games with Axis and about three with Allies. They all agree that Allies are very OP (in team games) and when I propose that we should play some with them to get some "easy wins", they simply don't want to because they are boring apparently.

So Allies are very OP in 3v3 / 4v4 and boring at the same time? :lolol:


I've recently changed my steam name to "Patton Was Better Than Rommel" and it has done a good job of stirring up butthurt in the 3v3/4v4 ladders :snfCHVGame:

And yeah, you gotta love the "boring" argument. I don't see how camping a VP/Fuel point combo, as are common in 4v4 maps, with MG42s and Obers, is more entertaining than what the Allies have to offer.
10 Nov 2014, 22:43 PM
#14
avatar of NinjaWJ

Posts: 2070

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2014, 18:02 PMnigo
you forgot the best advice for all allies random players in 4v4:


DONT BUILD CACHES in the first 15 minutes of the match.


Hi nigo, i disagree with your statement. Now caches in the first 5 minutes are not very good because you need the units to capture points and make pushes. You should build a cache from 6-12 minutes because by that time, you should have a decent, balanced army composition. Some of that spare MP you have should be used as caches. This helps you and your allies tech a bit faster and get a medium tank on the field a bit sooner.

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2014, 18:10 PMRomeo


I rarely surrender but I think this is great advice for team games. 10% of the time you might pull off an amazing comeback. 90% of the time you will endure pain and suffering for half an hour for no reason. For the sake of your sanity, just surrender.

When the game is balanced, you can re-evaluate your attitude :)


Of course there is a point where you can save some time and frustration by surrendering (like if you are base pinned), but there some instances where your team should just play on. Losing a couple of points early doesn't exactly mean GG (even though it may be fuel points.. but just try another push and see).

Negative behavior like wanting to surrender immediately is actually quite toxic. I play 4v4 At almost 90 percent of the time, and that negative behavior is very demoralizing for our team. WE have players who, immediately seeing 4 OKW on the loading screen, want to surrender or tell their teammates to alt F4. Now you could probably ignore players like that when playing randoms (unless they drop..which sucks), but when playing AT, negative attitudes affect the entire team and is demoralizing

11 Nov 2014, 00:38 AM
#15
avatar of van Voort
Honorary Member Badge

Posts: 3545 | Subs: 2

I recently had the pleasure of making rank 1 on 4v4 USF random. It was probably one of the most gruelling experiences of my life, taking an insane amount of games with a terrible win/loss ratio.


Kudos; that would be a long slog.


I would take issue with however:

Ettelbruck Station
Reason: More like ‘Stuka Barrage’ Station. Zero flanking combined with creeping barrages on narrow streets makes pretty much everything but Soviet heavy tanks useless.

It's a close narrow battle that allows early infantry action in which the US are good

More importantly, it's a small map with very restricted movement; so on map artillery becomes very, very, good because Axis units cannot retreat out of range and have very restricted movement

Best 4v4 random I had there was when we came back from 450-50 to get the win purely through Priests, B4s, Howitzers and Katys blasting the Axis off the map

11 Nov 2014, 01:51 AM
#16
avatar of Cyanara

Posts: 769 | Subs: 1

Thanks for the suggestions guys. I've made a number of edits based on those that I personally agree with. I've also just improved some stuff in general to better make my points. I originally wrote it under a bit of time pressure.

It would probably help if I added suggested build orders or detailed map tactics, but that's a whole other kettle of fish.
11 Nov 2014, 02:38 AM
#17
avatar of UGBEAR

Posts: 954

Let relic finally realise that allied need some more toys that is not doctrinal. AKA T-34/85 and M4A3, and elite infantry for allied.

Improving player base without make the faction fun to use is hard.Me prefer allied but I always found Axis more fun and more option to play with.
11 Nov 2014, 11:35 AM
#18
avatar of nigo
Senior Editor Badge

Posts: 2149 | Subs: 15

the 15 minutes cache mark is just "metaphorical" :P


almost all my games as allies in 4v4, I see allies players make early cache rather riflemans/cons or any other unit.
11 Nov 2014, 17:26 PM
#19
avatar of ludd3emm

Posts: 292

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Nov 2014, 22:43 PMNinjaWJ
Negative behavior like wanting to surrender immediately is actually quite toxic. I play 4v4 At almost 90 percent of the time, and that negative behavior is very demoralizing for our team. WE have players who, immediately seeing 4 OKW on the loading screen, want to surrender or tell their teammates to alt F4. Now you could probably ignore players like that when playing randoms (unless they drop..which sucks), but when playing AT, negative attitudes affect the entire team and is demoralizing



That is why you don't play with such people. Never. Only play with people that won't surrender until they can't sit straight and can't type properly on their keyboards.
11 Nov 2014, 18:20 PM
#20
avatar of NinjaWJ

Posts: 2070



That is why you don't play with such people. Never. Only play with people that won't surrender until they can't sit straight and can't type properly on their keyboards.


wait what....
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