The addition of the schreck upgrade on Sturpioneers will have the following effects:
- It will be able to spam Sturmpioneers; now with near impunity, as they get access to anti-vehicle
- Schrecks will allow SPs to reach Vet5 at astronomical speeds, simply by breathing (I had 3 Vet5 Sturmsquads by the minute 28 on Rails and Metal, even though my opponents fielded no light vehicles).
This immediately becomes a major issue when somebody takes a look at the Veterancy achieved by Sturmpioneers. I am breaking that Vet down into pieces.
I know that this is a test patch, and the whole point is to actually try out things. However, I feel that there is no reason to squander testers' time like this, when the problem is so immediately obvious:
- If Sturmpioneers are supposed to get the schreck, their Veterancy has to be significantly slashed.
- Achievable at Vet3
When that grenade hits any member of an enemy squad, the entire squad gets stunned for 5 seconds
First of all, this grenade is bugged as hell:
- Retreat becomes unavailable during those 5 seconds
- If you were retreating, retreat becomes cancelled (and you get stunned)
- The nade also occasionally derps and causes issues with weapon teams and the like.
This easily becomes a terminator grenade, the moment you realise you can use it to chainstun any collection of enemy squads. Already with 3 squads chainstunning you, this amounts to 15 seconds of non-breakable stun. This will cause your infantry to bleed a lot, when you are supposed to be fighting -- what should have been -- a dedicated AT squad.
Actually, I wasn't aware of this, but in Miragefla's competitive edition mod, stun/concussion grenades have been changed to have the following effect:
Concussion and Stun Grenades
No longer stops units from retreating but will still slow the target momentarily when hit.
-Stun grenades now reduce speed rather than forcing units to the ground where they are unable to act.
That should address the (bug-borne) broken-ness of stun nades. However, it will also make them near-useless vs weapon teams/garrisons.
If schrecks remain on SPs, changing stun nades in that way is probably a good thing:
- It forces the player to also invest in Volks for garrison-clearing (thus, we move away from the "1 single unit that does everything" situation which was a feature of the Volksblob)
- Compared to PGrens, Sturms will have a disadvantage in that they have inferior grenades (even if PGren nades are overpriced).
- If OKW wants to invest in a schreck-heavy blob, they are making themselves extremely vulnerable to MG spam.
If Stun grenade wasn't as big of an issue, just look at the Veterancy bonuses. Cummulatively, Sturmpioneers achieve:
- -48% received accuracy (Vet4)
- +68% accuracy (Vet5)
- (-30% cooldown)
(PS: if somebody could convert the cooldown/accuracy changes into a single + percent-DPS increase, please do so )
When we compare that veterancy to other, dedicated AI squads, we have:
- -40% received accuracy (including Vet0)
- +30% accuracy
- (-20% cooldown)
- -29% received accuracy
- +50% accuracy
- (-20% cooldown)
Suppose you try to kill each of these squads using only small arms fire. If we factor received-accuracy-per-model AND the squad size, we have that:
A Sturmpioneer squad (4-man)
- is 35% more tanky than a Volksgrenadier squad (5-man)
- is only 7% less tanky than a (vet3) Rifleman squad (5-man)
(Tank-iness is important, when all you have to do is yolorush and spam stun grenades to get free wipes)
Not only Sturmpioneers start strong (that's supposed to be the early-game advantage of OKW), they will scale better, and also vet faster than dedicated AI squads.
When we factor the Schrecks, the tankiness and the stun-grenades, you are going to be killing that blob, how?
Veterancy aside, the newly-introduced Mech HQ repairs upgrade is going to be a slap to the face to whoever does NOT want to blob schrecks with the current OKW. It is completely unnecessary when you can have 3+ anti-everything SP squads.
Comparison to other Schreck-equiped squads
If we try to compare Sturmpioneers to Panzergrenadiers in a vacuum (just by looking at the bare stats), we have:
Sturmpioneers (300MP cost, 30 reinforce):
- Stun grenades (gained indirectly, when upgraded with Schrecks)
- Insane combat veterancy
- Repairs, mines
- (maybe minesweepers too, on top of that)
Panzergrenadiers (340MP, 34 reinforce):
- They lose a significant portion of their AI when upgraded with double Schrecks.
- Only have access to overpriced normal grenades.
However, there is more to that. If you must absolutely build a schreck blob, OKW will let you build up your critical mass immediately, the moment the game starts. With OST Pgrens, you still have to spend your initial manpower on something else to hold out. That something is probably going to be AI. Thus, by the time Pgrens become available you probably have to invest on something that's dedicated AT.
With OKW, there is no lossage. You can spam sturmpioneers as long as you manage the bleed. By the time the first enemy vehicle hits the field, it's a blessing; you can now begin vetting your blob, and steamrolling over enemy infantry.
Finally, I'll close this post with a quiz. Assume you have 3 Riflemen squads, and you see the enemy approaching with one Obers squad, one Sturms Schreck squad and you also spot one MG34 setting up in the distance to suppress you. Who do you focus fire on, first?
Recommended build order for 2v2 and up:
(initial SP) - SP - kubel - SP - Volks - (doesn't matter which truck; prolly Med for healing) - MG34 - MG34
- If the enemy fields an early light vehicle vs you, try NOT to finish it off. Instead keep it alive so that you can accumulate veterancy faster.