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Balance of power has shifted to Allies in 4v4AT (imo)

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29 Apr 2015, 20:13 PM
#21
avatar of BeltFedWombat
Patrion 14

Posts: 951

* shrugs * I've got two sets of guys I play 3v3 and 4v4 with, one mainly Allies one mainly Axis. I've not really noticed a massive difference except the reliable late game Axis armour surge has to be slightly more carefully managed than before if you are Ze Germanz.

However my own personal metric of balance, the hotly disputed Axis / Allies ratio, suggests that *something* happened after the last patch as it is far more equitable than before.

Still want to see the Soviet call-in reliance changed, very powerful in 4 v 4 when for the lulz you simultaneously Zerg rush the enemy with 8 T34/85s...
29 Apr 2015, 20:14 PM
#22
avatar of Australian Magic

Posts: 4630 | Subs: 2



How many maps do you think there are with a single clear lane of 85 range? The Jadgtiger is a waste of time on maps with lots of shot blockers, while the Elefant's mobility at least allows it to handle crowded maps better.

Don't compare medium TD's to super heavy ones, kids.



Forget about pircing rounds?

Catching 60range unit with schrecks is L2P.
Catching 85range unit with 40-60 range is cause by many issues.

#DoubleStandards.
29 Apr 2015, 20:26 PM
#23
avatar of Gdot

Posts: 1136 | Subs: 1



Forget about pircing rounds?

Catching 60range unit with schrecks is L2P.
Catching 85range unit with 40-60 range is cause by many issues.

#DoubleStandards.


Magic, how many maps (besides steppes) allow for the 85 range to be taken advantage of. Jad/Ele can be countered with relative ease. You certainly won't be winning games by taking the 'omg access armor no chance' approach. You need to be a little intuitive.

Again, here are some recent examples of 4v4-match ups where allies were behind, and pushed off late game axis armor.

http://www.coh2.org/replay/33804/top-4v4-allied-comaback
http://www.coh2.org/replay/34070/top-5-or-so-4v4

Just because you haven't had success dealing with them doesn't mean all teams have issues dealing with them.
29 Apr 2015, 20:31 PM
#24
avatar of agse10

Posts: 40

I've been playing 4v4 Randoms as Soviet, USF, OKW and Wehr back and forth the past week. I've lost one game.
29 Apr 2015, 20:37 PM
#25
avatar of Chiro
Donator 11

Posts: 90



Forget about pircing rounds?

Catching 60range unit with schrecks is L2P.
Catching 85range unit with 40-60 range is cause by many issues.

#DoubleStandards.



What a great argument
slowest TD vs fast medium tanks
fastest TD vs (slow) inf with shorter range than medium tanks

also to be fair JT will damage/destroy 1 medium and is almost immune to frontal fire
while the slugger ....
29 Apr 2015, 20:38 PM
#26
avatar of BeltFedWombat
Patrion 14

Posts: 951

I don't think much has changed, as Soviets anyhow, layered defence versus Axis heavies with ZiS, mines, SU85 and call-ins.

You know it's coming so plan for it.

29 Apr 2015, 20:40 PM
#27
avatar of Alexzandvar

Posts: 4951 | Subs: 1



Forget about pircing rounds?

Catching 60range unit with schrecks is L2P.
Catching 85range unit with 40-60 range is cause by many issues.

#DoubleStandards.


You need to pay 90 munitions for them, they are by no means spammable.

The Jadgtiger and Elefant can almost never take advantage of their range, the Elefant has 70 range btw, not 85.

It feels like you never play Axis, at least in team games or utilize certain units because the Jadgtiger is a fairly huge micro test to use as you need to always be paying attention to it to make sure it's shooting and reversing far, far ahead of time due to how slow it is.
29 Apr 2015, 21:02 PM
#28
avatar of TheSleep3r

Posts: 670

hey guise ive just got an idea how to solve call in meta!

guise listen!

guise!

so first i want to tell that this is a guide for soviets because they got da factories and shit, having to use rare vehicles is stoopid

ok the problem is we have these types of units that underperform in the stock red army: infantry, vehicles

and we have to call in some stoopid rare units. its obvious the red army didnt win the war using guard armies is2s t3485s and isus152 but the PEOPLE like you and me.

so we wont use guard or shock or rare vehicle doctrines. choose something like irregulars because this is the closest equiasomething to the PEOPLE. so now that we have our intelligent engineers, courageous riflemen, and brave penal units we have to give them better weapons because when obers or lmg vet 3 grens hit the field its over. so the thing is: we are going to give them... german weapons! just kill enemies and take their weapons! its easy! ok if you have any problem with stealing their weaponz u need to use something that kills them faster so pick guards or shock doctrine. this way u will give the PEOPLE better weapons such as PANZYARSZREK or MASZINYENGEWIER CTERIEDIESJAT DWA.

good now that we have solved the infantry problem time to solve the vehicles. its so simple! u just need to build a TIER building. our brave engineers are able to build wonderful things like walls or benches so we can call our indestructible TE TRIDESIAT CTERYIE or ES U SIEMSIAT SZAST. these will destroy german panzers 1 or 2 with no problem.

ok sometimes u see bigger vehicles. such as halftracks or scout cars. these will give u the biggest trouble. sometimes u can also spot shit like tigers or panthers but do not worry only 5000 or so was made so 70000 of our machines will get them without a trouble. if you are however in a situation, where our best infantry (covered in the previous part) is destroying armies of pioneers but cannot deal with panzer 4s u need something that will give u the advantage. ok so choose is2 or t3485 doctrine and win

i hope you guise now know how to win as the KRASNYA ARMYA without using stoopid units. for mother russia comrades and remember the war was won by ordinary men and women and this game is ultra realistic so we need to reflect that. good lock comrades
29 Apr 2015, 21:22 PM
#29
avatar of Katitof

Posts: 13793 | Subs: 7

its obvious the red army didnt win the war using guard armies


Actually, they kind of did. :snfAmi:
29 Apr 2015, 21:30 PM
#30
avatar of Jadame!

Posts: 1122

I think streaks changed because OKW no longer can blob unbeatable infantry into kt and get away with this after patch and need to adapt. Anyway, streaks is not a good way to measure balance (so as replay lost hardcore by our opponents mistakes).

Axis still have edge over Allies. Jagdpanzers completely shutdown jacksons, Axis airstrikes vastly superior, vet 2 panthers remain the same, elefant still laughs at allied armor and extremely hard to take out, rifle grenades destroy rifles and guards, med hq with forward retreat gives enormous advantage in early game.

And then their command panthers and panzers, which i believe, most op things in 4v4. Want two-shot jackson? Here is old 50%(and incoming accuracy increase on top of it) 35 muni mark target with extremely low cooldown in unit which buffs all armor around it. Seems balanced.
29 Apr 2015, 21:47 PM
#31
avatar of Pamark

Posts: 10

CAS all day every day in 3v3 and 4v4. Its very hard to play against it now when everybody got it and there is no good counter to it. Usf aaht is bullpudding in aa mode



29 Apr 2015, 22:28 PM
#32
avatar of Australian Magic

Posts: 4630 | Subs: 2

Just finished 4v4 with Jadgtiger trolling ISU with pircing rounds, chasing E8s and 3v3 with Jadgpanzer sniping Jacksons and 2 KTs rolling over everything and giving garden about IS2 backed up by Jacksons :drool:

Against King Tiger, Tiger or Tiger Ace covered by Jadgpanzer or Jadgtiger allies cant do much, unless Axis players make a misteake.
29 Apr 2015, 22:32 PM
#33
avatar of Alexzandvar

Posts: 4951 | Subs: 1

Just finished 4v4 with Jadgtiger trolling ISU with pircing rounds, chasing E8s and 3v3 with Jadgpanzer sniping Jacksons and 2 KTs rolling over everything and giving garden about IS2 backed up by Jacksons :drool:

Against King Tiger, Tiger or Tiger Ace covered by Jadgpanzer or Jadgtiger allies cant do much, unless Axis players make a misteake.


Replay?
29 Apr 2015, 22:34 PM
#34
avatar of NinjaWJ

Posts: 2070

win streaks is a bad indicator. one very low number or one very high number can skew the average. Also, some of the top teams play both Axis and Allies, so skill levels can be impacted. Additionally, we do not know how active these teams are (okay maybe decay can push top teams out, but still). Maybe a team had a 20 game win streak before the patch and stopped playing after the recent patch.

Better indication is win ratio over a certain period of time; a number for randoms and a number for ATs. A good example of this is Legends' data.
29 Apr 2015, 22:41 PM
#35
avatar of Australian Magic

Posts: 4630 | Subs: 2



Replay?


I have only replay of the last game (3v3) with Jadgpanzer (25kdmg vs vehicles) 2 KTs (16k dmg vs vehicles). Overall 75k dmg and over 300 kills. 2 KTs + Tiger Ace with A-Move into IS2, Jacksons and AT Guns.

About trolling ISU and chasing E8, it was Lienne Forest, south spawn. I ve killed 2 ISUs thanks to pircing rounds and I was fighting with E8 in their range - since shock is broken/not working as it should be :foreveralone:
30 Apr 2015, 00:30 AM
#36
avatar of Ohme
Honorary Member Badge
Donator 11

Posts: 889 | Subs: 1

TLDR: Read it you dolt. This is an in depth look at problems which arise in 4v4, if you don't want to look at the issue in depth you should just move on.

I can't see how one could possibly conclude that Axis synergy in 4v4 is inferior to Allied synergy. It is true, that in any given game, Allies or Axis have roughly equal chance of winning. In this case we are not examining one game in a vacuum - but rather, larger trends that have profound effects on perceived and actual balance in the long run.

Perceived vs. Actual

Perceived balance is biased, affected by short-term trends, determined through anecdote, but remains nonetheless a factor in determining how balance plays out.

Actual balance, on the other hand, is quite elusive in discussions of balance. No player is objective enough to accurately determine balance.(hint: objectivity is an ideal, and not an actuality)

AT vs. Randoms - Flawed Data Interpretation

The biggest flaw in the argument of this thread lies in its assumption that win streaks are a reliable indicator of balance for AT games. Any active AT player can tell you with certainty that the most common enemy they face is random teams. Thus, any quantitative analysis of AT balance is inherently flawed. This is not to say that such data is useless, but that extreme care must be taken when analyzing and interpreting the data.

The granular nature of arranged teams is problematic in assessing balance. Due to the fact that AT's are entirely discrete combinations of players, the data is skewed because very few teams play enough games for the law of large numbers to even out the data. In this case, the only people with enough data to interpret accurately the balance of 4v4 AT, is Relic. Questions necessary to interpret such data:

  • What is the win rate of Arranged Teams vs. other Arranged Teams?
  • What is the win rate of AT vs. AT games which last longer than, say, 45m?
  • Does each map represent roughly equal win percentages for both factions?
  • Is there a quantifiable link between particular commander choices and the win ratios of those games?


This list can quite frankly, be endless. Data interpretation is an ongoing process whereby one must constantly create interpretations, test those assumptions, re-check data, re-interpret, make changes, and begin again. I have chosen these four questions in order to explore the hypothesis of this post, which is as follows:

Competitive games between Arranged Teams of roughly equal skill and coordination favor Axis teams due to the length of matches, map design, and superior commander synergy. I will explore each of these individually, and then tie them together in the end.

Length of Matches

A truly competitive game between two teams should last a long time. Although the outcome of any particular game is profoundly affected by player choices, the balance of the game as a system provides players with a set of choices to pick from. What units you choose to fight with and where you choose to fight are within the players control, but in the system, there are far fewer choices than we perceive. Freedom of choice in systems (in this case, COH2) is an inflated illusion.

As an example, lets say you want to buy a hamburger - where do you go? Taco bell won't serve you a hamburger, but McDonalds will. So will Burger King, or a local restaurant. You have the ability to exercise choice over where you buy your hamburger, but you choose from a set of options you have no direct control over. The "invisible hand" of the market is still attached to the "invisible body" of the system.

This concept is also true in COH2. You can choose to play any faction you want, from the set of choices available. You can purchase any unit you want, from the set of choices afforded to each faction by design. You can fight over any territory you like, but you choose from a set of options created by the map designer. At the end of this process, your options are far more limited than you can perceive without taking a deeper look at the system as a whole.

Having detailed the concept of choices within a system, lets circle back around to the topic of this section of my post - Length of Matches. Throughout a game, each individual as well as the team as a collective, make an incredibly large number of decisions. I have established that these decisions are all made from a set of options, and in COH2 the list of options is greater for the Axis factions than they are for Allied factions. For now, my analysis will ignore commander options (which I will fold in later). How many combat options does Axis start with, compared to Allies?

Wehrmacht - Pioneers + T1 units (Grenadier, MG42, Mortar, Sniper) - a total of 5 units.
OKW - Sturmpioneer, Volksgrenadier, Kubelwagon, Raketenwerfer - a total of 4 units.

USF - Riflemen, Rear Echelon - a total of 2 units.
Soviet - Combat Engineer, Conscripts, + T1 (Penals, M3 Car, Sniper) OR T2 (Maxim, Mortar, ZiS) - a total of 2 choices without a tier, 5 with.

From the on set, Axis has more potential choices. These choices create opportunities for synergy which are not available to Allies in the same degree. Furthermore, the combat value of Sturmpioneers and Pioneers means the game opens with Axis having more value. Sturmpioneers + Kubel or Pioneer + MG42 synergy make each of these units more valuable in the context of early game battles where the two units are present together. Extending past the early game, the first tech choices for Axis factions provide access to an increase in firepower for their basic infantry (LMG42/Rifle Grenade for Grens, Shrek/Grenade for Volks). In addition, OKW choices also unlock access to a tier specific bonus - a healing base with a forward retreat upgrade, or a munitions/fuel conversion mechanic.

Conversely, Allied tier choices provide less bonuses and less synergy. Although the USF Lieutenant/Captain do provide an increase in army firepower, USF grenades, BAR, and Bazookas are all locked behind additional layers of cost. Allied anti-tank options are locked behind tiers which they are forced to choose from. Conscripts must tech up to gain Molotov's or AT Grenades, both of which come as part of the natural teching process for Axis factions.

The OKW Raketenwerfer is available to every OKW player with no choices to be made, Shrek's are available to every player (as Tiering is a necessary and structural part of the game, there is no realistic choice in tiering or not tiering for any faction. The exception is tiering for tanks and call-in meta.). Similarly, Wehrmacht have access to Pak40 and PGren Shrek's as a part of their natural (and necessary) teching behavior. There is no choice to be made, T2 is a fundamental part of the faction, which grants access to AT gun and handheld AT.

At this point, the choice disparity already begins to grow. Allied players can make grave mistakes in choosing to tech down the wrong path, whereas Axis players have decidedly less potential for making fundamental errors. This problem is relevant on many levels, but at its most fundamental, is an AT problem.

The system provides Axis players with the ability to field a variety of Anti-Tank measures without adversely being effected by choice. This adds value to an army as a system because the synergy of having AT weapons (Shrek's + AT Guns) makes armor choices easier. The Ostwind, Luchs, Flak HT, Brumbar, Panzerwerfer, and Walking Stuka are afforded extra viability because it is not necessary to choose between AT and AI (especially as a first armored unit).

On the flip side, a Soviet T1 player must cover their lack of AT by choosing something whose AT capability is strongest (this is almost always an SU85). The choice to tech T1 has restricted their next choice. The same is true for Lieutenant tech choice by USF. You must tech for Bazookas, or choose a Jackson to cover your anti tank needs. The Sherman and the T34 are inferior anti-tank options, especially when confronted with the Shrek + AT Gun synergy offered to Axis without making meaningful choices.

The question then, in order to ascertain how these choices play out during the course of the game, is: How do these choices become amplified over the course of a long game?

If an Allied player loses their armored anti-tank options, they must choose to save fuel for another, or spend fuel to back tech to the other AT options. Axis armies can be supplemented with additional AT without making this choice. The problem grows wider when you consider the existence of a Tank/Tank Destroyer paradigm created by these choices. Axis players can choose generalized tanks or anti-infantry tanks (P4, Stug, Tiger, Ostwind, Luchs, Brumbar, Panther [to a degree]) because many of them are reasonably effective at anti-armor duty and can be bolstered with any one of the easily accessible anti-tank options. This problem reaches an additional level when you factor in the best tank destroyers (Elefant + Jadgtiger) can then trump the Allied tank destroyer options.

Allied tanks, being generally cheaper, with less health and armor than Axis tanks, also create more opportunities for the wrong choices to be made. If a Sherman/Jackson/Scott stumble in front of Axis anti-tank, their death can be much swifter than Axis armor. This means more losses for Allied players, and more punishment for bad choices. Over the course of a long game, poor decision making by Allied players is punished much more severely than poor decisions by Axis players. Fewer tanks to micro and more variety in Anti-tank options make it easier for Axis players to escape from a mistake, and maintain army strength.

Commander Choices

The last section was rather exhaustive, and this one won't take as much to prove. Commander choices in 4v4 AT are an essential aspect of balance that is not given enough discussion. Axis commander choices offer an additional layer of firepower and survivability that are not necessarily present in Allied options. I will outline these problems by examining some of the stand-out commanders, and their effect on the game.

Close Air Support (CAS)
This commander is the bane of Allied players. Although it is not impossible to dodge the strafes of this commander, it adds an additional layer of micro-intensive behavior for Allied players. The normal restriction on air support provided by Munitions choices is lost due to the conversion ability. If you aren't constantly watching your units, especially things like Katuyshas and Priests, you can very abruptly lose units without much warning. There is no onus on Axis players to flank or infiltrate enemy lines, especially when CAS strafes can come from an edge of the map close to Allied units. This creates a situation where bleeding of army value for Allied players is greater than that of Axis players. The dive bomb in particular creates a situation where fixed artillery positions become useless (especially the B4, which was once a very viable and often necessary counter to Axis heavy armor).

Jaegar Armor
The Elefant is a hard counter to Allied tank destroyers. One shot from an Elefant + another tank or AT gun will kill USF armor, and this commander allows self-spotting for this purpose. The dive bomb also allows this commander to hard counter one of its biggest challengers, which is fixed artillery positions.

Breakthrough Doctrine
The Jadgtiger, much like the Elefant, allows Axis to trump any Allied armor with superior range and damage. The commander also provides OKW with a potent infantry unit in the Panzerfusilier, which softens the mid-game lull of OKW manpower float.

For both this commander and Elefant commanders, the simple statement of suggesting one "need only flank them" does little to consider the fact that this unit is never alone when fighting competent players. We have already examined how easy it is to access AT options; The firepower and coordination necessary to take on these ultra-heavy tank destroyers and the generalist tanks, shreks, and AT guns which support them makes it much easier for Allied choices to lose them the game.

Wehrmacht Tank Smoke
Any Wehrmacht commander with tank smoke provides an extremely easy "get out of jail free" care. Yes, you can attack ground once the tank has smoked. It is less accurate, which also necessitates a player to be very adept with the command and predicting where the tank will be in relation to its speed and terrain conditions. This ability singlehandedly gives Wehrmacht players the ability to conserve tanks that should otherwise die. It makes negative outcome of choices less severe, and significantly alters the micro requirements of players to achieve successful engagements without losses.

Map Design

The final nail in the coffin is map design. Virtually every map gives an advantage to the greater armor and health values of Axis armor, where lane-based play allows only so many tanks to move at once through narrow spaces. The concentration of firepower in Axis tanks, being greater than Allied tanks, means flanking is a necessary tactic to overcome Axis armor. The ability to flank is severely limited on virtually every 4v4 map due to narrow passages, movement blockers, and general map design. Without spending another thousand words examining every detail of this problem, anyone who plays 4v4 regularly can understand how limited flanking really is. Mines provide easy cover from flanks, and the slow approach of tanks backed with minesweepers and infantry takes away any shock value afforded to a good flank.

The size of 4v4 maps also affords OKW players with a significant advantage in forward retreat points. Although USF can also use the Major for a forward retreat point, it is significantly less durable and more vulnerable to elite Axis infiltration units (Fallschrimjaeger, Jaegar Light Infantry, Stormtrooper) as well as the prevalence of a variety of Axis air support. If you are looking elsewhere, a well timed dive bomb will wipe out your entire retreating force. Although Allied call-ins can also perform this action against OKW bases, the base itself can take a hit without needing to be replaced. The prevalence of CAS and Dive Bomb commanders in several of the best 4v4 Wehrmacht commander choices means the tool is more readily available, where Allied call ins are limited to artillery which often takes longer to strike and is not as readily bundled with scouting planes.

Conclusion

The concept I have attempted to prove here is that Allied choices are systemically worse than most Axis choices. Allied players are forced into more specific routes of teching choices, which can then be punished by less specific choices which are made by Axis players. These types of balance problems are much less prevalent in smaller game modes, as well as games where arranged teams play against random players or other AT teams which are not on the same skill level. The first part of my analysis is the most important, and you should consider in the future how your choices are decided for you, and how this plays out over time in a long game. When it is harder for one faction to make bad choices, and easier to recover from them, it creates a situation where you must examine in more depth how these choices impact the outcome of a game.
30 Apr 2015, 00:48 AM
#37
avatar of Gdot

Posts: 1136 | Subs: 1

30 Apr 2015, 00:53 AM
#38
avatar of Midconflict

Posts: 204

jump backJump back to quoted post30 Apr 2015, 00:48 AMGdot


I am missing the meaning here?
30 Apr 2015, 01:23 AM
#39
avatar of pigsoup
Patrion 14

Posts: 4290 | Subs: 2

jump backJump back to quoted post30 Apr 2015, 00:30 AMOhme
book


and the final copy will be published on PCMag next month.

anyway, agree 100%.
30 Apr 2015, 14:05 PM
#40
avatar of Imagelessbean

Posts: 1585 | Subs: 1

jump backJump back to quoted post30 Apr 2015, 00:30 AMOhme
Amazing post.


Wow, nailed it!

I play both factions in 4v4 and I agree with this analysis 100%.
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