Login

russian armor

USF Mid-Late Game Glass Ceiling

6 Dec 2017, 03:54 AM
#1
avatar of razelazz

Posts: 18

usfusf

Recently I've been stuck in a rut using USF, where in most games I can cover my half of the map and outplay/outmicro my opponent from early to 20:00 minute mark until Axis T3/T4 comes out. I feel like I can do everything right but Axis vet infantry and medium/heavy tanks are just too strong.

Below is my most recent match, someone tell me what I'm doing wrong.

https://www.coh2.org/replay/66310/temp-file
6 Dec 2017, 04:03 AM
#2
avatar of Gbpirate
Writer Badge

Posts: 824

I'll take a look at this for you
6 Dec 2017, 13:45 PM
#3
avatar of Joshua85
Senior Strategist Badge

Posts: 605

usfusf

Recently I've been stuck in a rut using USF, where in most games I can cover my half of the map and outplay/outmicro my opponent from early to 20:00 minute mark until Axis T3/T4 comes out. I feel like I can do everything right but Axis vet infantry and medium/heavy tanks are just too strong.

Below is my most recent match, someone tell me what I'm doing wrong.

https://www.coh2.org/replay/66310/temp-file


Hi there.

You will generally find a lot of people in here who are more than willing to help you, but for the sake of consistency please put further replays under the "Replay Reviews" section :)

https://www.coh2.org/forum/109/replay-reviews
6 Dec 2017, 20:16 PM
#4
avatar of razelazz

Posts: 18

I'll take a look at this for you


Thanks mate.



Hi there.

You will generally find a lot of people in here who are more than willing to help you, but for the sake of consistency please put further replays under the "Replay Reviews" section :)

https://www.coh2.org/forum/109/replay-reviews



I was a bit confused about where to post this, but I figured since I wanted a conversation about T3/T4 transition and not a single replay, I thought I'd post here.
7 Dec 2017, 14:23 PM
#5
avatar of FelixTHM

Posts: 377 | Subs: 1

I'm not a strategist but here's my 2 cents. It's actually not a good idea to lump opponents into "Axis" because Ostheer and OKW are so radically different. Strengths, weaknesses, and playstyle of the two Axis factions have almost no similarity tbh.

As USF I find the mid game a struggle. Ostheer snipers cause serious bleed, which often forces me to get an early m20. Panzergrens are ferocious in the mid-game as well, and it's pretty easy to lose a squad to bundled nades. Even a significant fuel lead and getting a tank out way earlier than your opponent doesn't help too much, Stug is cheap and deadly, and PAKs are always excellent. Use smoke grenades to deal with HMGs, and double-bar all your rifles to chew through Ostheer infantry. Late game Ostheer isn't anything special, with the only real worry being a Cp17 Tiger Ace.

Whereas vs OKW the pain comes from the Luchs in the early game (I usually go Captain first), and the very late game when Vet 5 starts to kick in. OKW tech is really expensive so it takes a while for their good stuff to come online. I generally regard that as the window of opportunity - it's 285 fuel between Luchs and P4 (325 if he made a med truck), so make the most of the time when the OKW player has no real armour. Double barred rifles will chew through equal vet volks/unvetted Obers, mg34 etc. You have to reverse the territory gains and mp bleed from the Luchs period, and try to constantly push/deny the good spots for Schwer placement, which will commonly be fuel/vp pts or cut-offs.

If you're behind on fuel cos of the OKW's powerful opening 10 mins, Armour Company lets you get AT and AI tanks without teching. M10s are really cheap fuel-wise, and diving for enemy vehicles in packs can often earn you cost-effective trades. OKW vehicles are super expensive to replace, so you have to be aggressive with forcing the action. Don't sit at 50 range trading shots against each other's frontal armour.

If you're only "covering your half of the map" it's generally not good enough to win. Heck, I've lost lots of games where I had 60 to 70% map control most of the match, but couldn't handle my opponent's late-game army composition.
7 Dec 2017, 17:54 PM
#6
avatar of Kryptic

Posts: 61 | Subs: 2

Hello there,

The 'glass ceiling' as you describe it, is a well know problem as USF. The faction is mainly made around early and mid game, but lategame your units simply don't match the vetted and upgraded axis units (mainly talking about the tanks).

1: Avoiding is better than fixing a problem. USF is one of the most capable faction early on, use this to your advantage. Try to delay or even destroy the axis as much as possible before they get their lategame units out. USF has pretty much the most capability to destroy a forward t4 of OKW for example. Pack howi or AT gun + major artillery can take care of a forward t4 within a minute, make sure to support your AT gun.

2: infanty; Vet 3 rifleman with double bars scale reasonably well lategame with the axis infantry, this shouldn't be your main problem. In case you do struggle with the infantry try to utelize abilitys such a smoke/HE grenade to get close up, this is where USF infantry is the best. Also don't forget about supporting weapons for your rifleman sqauds, mortar/mg etc.

When it comes to tanks it can indeed get diffecult. USF doesn't have non-doctrinal heavy tanks, and only 1 heavy tank (pershing) in its doctrine. This is why you need to find other ways of taking down axis late game armor. Tips for this are:

- Upgrades. Upgrade all non effient combat units with double bazooka, for example all rear echelon squads and major. 1 bazooka is not going to do much, but 2 rear echelon and a major is 6 bazookas stacked thogether.

- Use abilities. the AT gun armor piercing rounds in combi with the fast USF AT gun fire rate can be quite devestating.

- Kite. Since USF lacks the health and armor on tanks, kite your opponent. Most USF tank hunters have a longer range than their axis counterparts. A good example is the M36 Jackson, glass cannon one might say. Use it to damage your opponents tanks from afar, without taking hits on it yourself.

Anyways hope this helps you a little, one learns most by practice.


ps;I might be able to review your replay if i have time tomorrow.

~Krypitc
7 Dec 2017, 18:36 PM
#7
avatar of EtherealDragon

Posts: 1528 | Subs: 1

Luckily the DBP will address a lot of this problem (hopefully) with Jackson buff, better Sherman HE shells, and toning down the worst of the OKW Vet 4-5. Personally I find that aiming for early BARs heads off the worst of this problem as you can use Rifleman pressure in the early game to give you enough early momentum to close out the game. Otherwise from a 1v1 perspective you're pretty much stuck with M10 spam or Pershing for late game strength because otherwise stock USF late game can indeed struggle I find as well.
8 Dec 2017, 08:59 AM
#8
avatar of Gbpirate
Writer Badge

Posts: 824

Hey Razelazz, I've just watched your replay and took copious notes. I've identified a few problems that I'll summarize first and then go in to detail.

Often times, games are decided by singular engagements where too many units were lost at a time or a key piece of armor went over unswept ground and became snared. In this game, I don't think you ever had that moment. I would say that the main issues were your mid-game build order and later army composition. Later, this translated into you having an army ineffective at holding a single position as key units were in other parts of the map. I'm going to talk more about the overarching strategic choices you made rather than specific engagements because I believe that a lot of the engagements you lost were because you didn't make the best strategic choices.

The underlying issue, your mid-game build order, prevented you from applying pressure to your opponent. You built a super early fighting position covering the entrance to the fuel on the right side. This early, that's a waste of mp. That far forward, it's in a dangerous position. If you wanted a FP to be useful, I'd recommend setting it as far back from the capture point you want to defend as possible but ensure that its arc is completely covering the cap zone. This will make it less likely to be detected and easier to fall back to/prevent your enemy from capping the point. Alternatively, you could've placed it near the three houses close to your base so your REs could lob grenades into the houses and deny them those buildings. Still, I'd recommend not building a FP so early in the game.

Your early game build was Rifle Rifle Rifle Mortar. There is merit in direct fire and I won't tell you to never get a USF mortar, but an assault engineer squad with a flamethrower would've been much more effective at denying your opponent houses, green cover, and punishing a volks running up to lob a flame grenade into a house. It would've also given you another frontline combat unit, something you would desperately need.

I appreciated the LT tech and the AAHT. It's a powerful unit and one that's hard to counter if an OKW player goes med truck. Unfortunately, by the time your AAHT hit the field, your forces were so incapable of causing real mp attrition that your opponent queued up two Rakatenwerfers immediately. However, you were much too aggressive with it. AT 8:50 you ran into a volksgrenadier blob of three squads that all could've fausted you. Fortunately, they retreated and the rakatens were not in position. Eventually, you lost your AAHT to camouflaged Rakatens that crept up to it. You ran it over there to save a squad in trouble and it got out OK but you then failed to withdraw the halftrack while the rest of your squads were in base reinforcing.

After your AAHT choice, there were some issues. You elected to get an M2HB. I think that's a great choice. However, I would've recommended that you get BARs first. You had enough munitions at 9:45 (when the MG hit the field) that you could've afforded three; waited a few seconds and you could've got four. This would've made it easier for you to win engagements and vet up faster and cause more mp loss to your opponent. Instead, four minutes later, you get BARs and an ambulance but between your grenades and upgrading a FP on the left side vp/fuel, you only have enough muni for one or two.

Really, this is where you started losing, the mid game, traditionally the strongest part for USF. You had a resource disadvantage because in the first six or seven minutes, your opponent was able to cap the left side of the map with their Kubel while engaging all of your forces with the rest of theirs on the right hand side of the map. A med truck just outside the base cut a significant time out of the hard retreat of frontline squads, giving the OKW player an advantage with field presence. Also, the player got medics very soon after, putting you at a medic disadvantage for at least four, probably five or even six minutes. AT the 11:35 mark you had an RE, three rifles, and an LT. The RE was at nearly full health, but every other squad was at most at 75% health. Two of your rifles had just at or above 50% health and you had no BARs. There's almost no way you're winning an engagement without suffering severe mp bleed.

To summarize: too slow on getting Ambulance/BARS, poor micro with your AAHT, wasteful mp/mu spending on fighting positions that were so easily destroyed by rakatenwerfers.

At around the 15:00 minute mark, your build order starts to get real wonky. At around 12:30 you lost a rifle squad, putting you down to an RE, LT, and two rifles plus your support teams. You lost your first MG in a poor engagement and was captured by Fallschirmjägers. You've built a second one and decide to build a third M2HB, bringing you up to two plus the one your opponent captured. You also chose to get a second mortar around this time. Getting the second MG (really, third) and the second mortar was a poor decision. You needed infantry to keep up the frontline. Another rifle squad or two (or one rifle/Assault Engineer) would've been good for you. But by this time, the Volks already have StGs and vet. Your lack of infantry allowed your opponent to bully you around the map.

at 16:50, the only thing stopping your opponent from capping the right side of the map was their fear and a 4-man LT squad at 50% health which attempted to 1v1 a squad of falls. You lobbed a nade, one of many which failed to do damage or change an engagement, and then were forced to retreat.

at 18:00, your mortars are forced to retreat because there is no support. Both of your MGs are on the left side of the map, not even set up, doing nothing. Not capping points, not holding the hole between the hedges, just standing around. At the very least, they could've been capping or, rather, should've been behind your mortars and supporting your rifles.

at 20:00 the same thing happens. Your mortars have no MGs to keep back the infantry and one of them goes down and the weapon salvaged.

Summary: you need more infantry and not double MGs/Mortars. Your positioning and use of your weapon teams was not beneficial to you and your opponent continually ran you off the field.

Now, in the late game (not sure how "late" 20 minutes is, though) you've teched to captain. You've had the CPs for the M10 and as soon as you see the panther you call it in. That's great. However, your next fuel purchase is the sherman dozer. With only one source of AT -- an M10 -- and an enemy panther, two rakatenwerfers, and fausts on virtually every squad, you're in for a tough time. Unsurprisingly, the next engagement goes absolutely poorly and you lose the M10. You have 75 fuel and only a bazooka to fend off the panther. your opponent is about to build a P4. At this point, the game nearly lost but you made a decent choice in getting yourself an ATG and a second M10 at 90 fuel. At this point I think you had about 100-150 munitions. That's terrific! I would've recommended that you put two zooks on your RE squad and, if you could, get a BAR on your captain. Treating the captain as a front-line, anti-infantry squad is something I've been doing for a few years now as the Captain's Thompson + 2x BAR dps is pretty good. Regardless of your munition state around the 22:00 minute mark, putting a BAR on your captain wouldn't have been a bad idea so long as you got those bazookas first.

A few minutes later, after more lost engagemetns, you build a second ATG. at 28:47, your captain goes down, the M10 has already died, and the sherman dozer becomes abandoned.

At 31:40, you have a push on the left side consisting of... 2x M2HB and 2x ATG and another M10... This combat group didn't do anything meaningful and wasn't able to push on towards the fuel/VP because your opponent came in from the right side with their armor and a few infantry squads. After keeping your LT in the fight against the panther and P4 and nearly losing it, a hero rifleman squad comes to crew the sherman just before it's destroyed (killing themselves in the process). You surrender and the game ends. I'd hate to write the letters back to the parents of those boys who died for nothing... I don't envy you there ;)

Summary: Your late game army comp was a mess and your vehicles didn't bring a good return on investment.

I know I've basically written a whole bunch of negative words and I am sorry about that. Here's something positive: You had one notable success with a grenade! It went in a perfect spot and reduced the captured M2HB team to 3 men and 10% health! You also wiped the rakatens a few times!

Okay more negatives: That engagement with the captured M2HB was really going in your favor. You had your own MG set up and was about to shoot at your opponent's MG. The other falls squad supporting it was also in the arc and your squad that threw the nade was at 4 men and a decent chunk of health. You didn't have to retreat it! Overall, you lost a lot of engagements. Not to bad micro, but because you didn't have BARs or you didn't get an ambulance soon enough or because you just got out DPS'd by the OKW elite squads/veterancy. The losing of engagements and thus territory is really what set you back. Sure, you had some poor engagements where you misclicked or forgot about a squad and it died. Luckily, that really only happened twice. Once, when your first rifle died at 12:28, and when you had your first M2HB in the house with the LT, then ate a flame nade and it got captured. Late game, you were just stressed and had to manage more units.

Overall, here are the changes I would recommend:

Getting another infantry squad earlier (not getting such an early and easily flankable FP)
Not getting double team weapons (MG & Mortar; zooks on RE squad(s - if you got a second one) to keep you from needing double AT guns)
Getting BAR/Ambulance earlier
Making the right choices for fuel (didn't need Sherman bulldozer if you had more infantry with BARs).
Using your team weapons effectively + supporting your army (AAHT included)

I hope this is helpful!

8 Dec 2017, 21:20 PM
#9
avatar of razelazz

Posts: 18

I would say that the main issues were your mid-game build order and later army composition. Later, this translated into you having an army ineffective at holding a single position as key units were in other parts of the map.


I've typically relied on using Armor Company to match Axis tanks with M10s, with AT guns as a stop-gap measure if I don't have enough CP. But I'm wondering if M10s are themselves a stop-gap measure for T4 and Jacksons. I've been getting the feeling that M10s are not very effective against Panthers. Moreover, I feel that Scotts are more viable than 105 Shermans due to their cheapness, high RoF, speed, and smoke barrage. At this point I'm not sure how what to build.

Your early game build was Rifle Rifle Rifle Mortar. There is merit in direct fire and I won't tell you to never get a USF mortar, but an assault engineer squad with a flamethrower would've been much more effective at denying your opponent houses, green cover, and punishing a volks running up to lob a flame grenade into a house. It would've also given you another frontline combat unit, something you would desperately need.


I definitely did think of using engineers, but at the time of the battle over the houses, I didn't have enough munitions for a flamethrower, so I decided to get the mortar as a stop-gap measure.

I know I've basically written a whole bunch of negative words and I am sorry about that.


Well if I wanted to be pandered to I'd watch a Coke commercial. Your analysis was much more detailed than I was expecting, and I'm glad you didn't hold back any criticism.
8 Dec 2017, 23:18 PM
#10
avatar of Gbpirate
Writer Badge

Posts: 824


I definitely did think of using engineers, but at the time of the battle over the houses, I didn't have enough munitions for a flamethrower, so I decided to get the mortar as a stop-gap measure.


I just watched the replay again and at the 4:00 mark, when your mortar fired its first shot, the sturmpioneers had already been evicted from the house and you had 58 munitions :/
You probably could've called the AE squad in and capped the neutral point right outside the spawn and started upgrading the flamers ten or fifteen seconds before the mortar opened up :unsure:
9 Dec 2017, 20:46 PM
#11
avatar of razelazz

Posts: 18



I just watched the replay again and at the 4:00 mark, when your mortar fired its first shot, the sturmpioneers had already been evicted from the house and you had 58 munitions :/
You probably could've called the AE squad in and capped the neutral point right outside the spawn and started upgrading the flamers ten or fifteen seconds before the mortar opened up :unsure:


I honestly wasn't sure I could even hold on to the houses that long, so the mortars were a panic buy. That's why I had to resort to that crazy house-jumping micro while getting my mortar set up.

Of course, hindsight it also 20-20.
11 Dec 2017, 21:47 PM
#12
avatar of Esxile

Posts: 2822 | Subs: 1



I honestly wasn't sure I could even hold on to the houses that long, so the mortars were a panic buy. That's why I had to resort to that crazy house-jumping micro while getting my mortar set up.

Of course, hindsight it also 20-20.


I have watched your replay.
To me your first fighting position is too early and doesn't cover the right thing. You should have build it close to your cutoff so RE can shoot nade into the house.
Then I'm maybe a weird player, dunno, but vs OKW I never rush fuel points when they are so explosed in the middle. Instead there are 4 neutral points around your base and capping them give you around the same amount of fuel than a fuel point. And they also give you munition. Once I have capped them I see how is presenting the situation and decide for one or the other fuel point to push.

Then your opponent is a blobby one, and not particularly good, he could have wipe your AAHT when you run it into his blob. Dual HMG.50 was indeed a good choice vs him. Since he was playing a lot infantry, you should have equip dual BARs sooner and skip grenade since you had one mortar and then two, grenades weren't really necessary to counter him. And when he decided to pick Luftwaffe doctrine, the dual BAR was more than needed to keep his falls at bay and bleed him as much as you could.

Your second fighting position wasn't necessary and the moment you see that he has a raketen, you know your position life time is going to drop very fast, he can flank your position with its camo ability and reduce it to ashes in a blink of eyes.

Not seeing a early HT or Luch should have warn you, he was kind enough to not build a Pz4 and decimate your infantry sooner. He probably thought you would insta-call a M10 and he was right :D. but with his two raketen, you could have done nothing with a M10.

Which make me come to my last point. You should unload the armor commander from your loadout. This commander is toxic. Learning to play without it is a good for improving your USF play.

You could have tech T3 and build a sherman before he get his panther. You had manpower also to build a cache next to your base to speed it up. A sherman well supported by infantry is a bleeder and when the Panther is out you just switch to at amo. A sherman always moving is not an easy target for a panther that need to stop to fire. I play a lot with sherman and once you get two, OKW is getting trouble to stop you.
Or you could have tech T2 much sooner and have at least a Atgun ready and when you see the panther, insta build a second one.

So my recommandation to break the glass ceiling: remove the Armor Commander from your loadout so you are not tempted to rely on it as a panic commander when you see a tank and aren't prepared. You must be prepared, you must have your own tank fighting and wiping around before him, sherman are great for that.
1 user is browsing this thread: 1 guest

Ladders Top 10

  • #
    Steam Alias
    W
    L
    %
    Streak
Data provided by Relic Relic Entertainment

Replay highlight

VS
  • Ostheer flag borobadger
  • U.S. Forces flag DaPopeCOH
uploaded by borobadger

Board Info

129 users are online: 129 guests
83 posts in the last 24h
1060 posts in the last week
4851 posts in the last month
Registered members: 21187
Welcome our newest member, mbbsinchina
Most online: 1221 users on 25 Feb 2020, 12:03 PM