Either do I but the tooltip was something along the lines of "the okw has many aa solutions available to them such as the flak ht, luch's and base 20mm flak's etc"
It makes sense to have it shoot at planes if the ostheer 222 can do aa since the luchs is basically a beefier 222 with the same gun, they probably removed its aa ability in the end since they had so many stock options with the base flak and schwere auto shooting down planes on release.
It doesn't make sense. Luchs has much worse gun elevation than the 221/2/3 scout cars due to turret design. Honestly, the 222 shouldn't be able to shoot planes either with that dumb turret cover. I can see 221 and 223 being AA, though.
On topic: I like the flavor of salvage instead of cache. OKW floats manpower like no other faction, and giving them caches on top of that is a recipe for disaster.
A more interesting approach for Soviet Lend Lease would be:
Universal Carrier w/DsHK: Imagine a Vickers K Carrier but with higher pen and damage, offset by lower moving performance and shorter bursts.
Assault Guards: 3x Thompson + 3x SVT. Can Oorah at vet 1. Halftrack can drop Bazookas. Guards and Shocks receive Elite Bazooka.
IL-2 Rocket Strafe
This brings an interesting and unique LV option for Soviet T2 and focuses the doctrine more around anti-tank, with HVAP Emcha, Bazooka access, and IL-2 rockets. Since IL-2 rockets seem to be a point of contention, I have no qualms substituting that for any other off map; I just thought it would be cool to see some newer abilities in older doctrines.
Hold Fire for AT Weapons (Such as Panzershrek, Bazooka etc) is actually pretty easy to implement. Not sure why it hasn't been done yet.
It is actually not as simple as you would think.
Prioritise Vehicles works fine for PAK40, 43, ZiS, 6lb, and M1 just fine. However, the mechanics simply stop working when garrisoned (e.g., garrisoned raketen will target infantry, and after exiting will continue to ignore Prioritise Vehicles). This holds true for AT infanry squads as well. It would work up until the point when they garrison structures.
Additionally, the ability takes up a precious slot on the command card. The team would need to clear up space for every infantry squad to make room for it, and not all infantry has the space to spare. This becomes very difficult when the team tries to standardize ability locations on the command card, especially due to hidden doctrinal abilities. Look at how many abilities UKF sappers have (or Soviet Conscripts have doctrinally) for example.
The things that made maxim spam scary have all since been nerfed:
1) At the time, the Maxim was just better than a squad of conscripts and cost the same. Conscripts back then were terrible against. Now, conscripts are legitimately capable of scaling into the late game, and are a lot more consistent than the RNG cannons of years past. There is a lot less incentive to produce Maxims as mainline infantry.
2) The Maxim used to have a near instant setup time. Now, the setup time is in-line with all other HMGs. The only mobility advantage it has is a bit faster teardown time.
3) The Maxim used to have a tiny cone, which meant you needed multiple to defend an area anyway. Currently, the Maxim has a respectable arc, so it can actually be used defensively.
4) The Maxim used to have a much lower reinforcement cost than conscripts. Now, it costs the same to reinforce. Again, lower incentive to use Maxims in place of conscripts.
Why is the Maxim bad?
It costs as much as an MG42, comes later than the MG42, cannot deal with infantry blobs or light vehicles as effectively as the MG42, covers less area than the MG42, and unlike an MG42, requires veterancy, munitions, and a spotter unit to effectively perform its job at suppressing.
Plenty of people argue that the MG34 is crap, and yet, the above can mostly still be said about Maxim vs MG34; the only exceptions being that the MG34 is cheaper than the Maxim and the Maxim comes earlier than the MG34 rather than later. The MG34 is still more effective at suppressing and deterring soft skinned vehicles than the Maxim.
What advantages does the Maxim have? A six-man crew so that it survives 2 models longer before the Soviet player loses the machine gun to an unfixable deathloop bug. A faster teardown so that it can escape when it inevitably fails to perform its job if the deathloop isn't triggered. Finally, it has a faster traverse, which is its only true advantage.
Soviet T2 is quite popular nowadays due to the current performance of conscripts, not Maxims. At the moment, the Maxim is not unusable, but the sentiment that "the Maxim is in line with other HMGs" or that "we shouldn't buff Maxim because Maxim spam" is a far stretch.
Nowadays with Pgrens being in T0, Assgren/Pio + multiple MG42s stall is quite common and viable in automatch, but its not like the forum is complaining about that like they did with the Maxim. And people are worried about buffing the Maxim? In what world will Maxim ever be buffed to anywhere near MG42 levels of accessibility and performance? In what world will Maxim spam be more effective than MG42 stall? This whole fearmongering of Maxim spam return doesn't hold any water at all.
I am not saying the Maxim should compare to the MG42, but at its current price of 260, it is quite underwhelming and cannot begin to compare with any of the other 260 cost HMGs. Unfortunately, I don't expect the balance team to have any grand plans with the Maxim. I understand that Ostheer is supposed to have good support weapons, so the MG42 should ultimately be better than Maxim. I get UKF is a defensive oriented faction so the Vickers should ultimately be better than Maxim. Fine, so I propose instead: if it keeps its current stats, its cost should be lowered to the MG34 price of 250 to put it in the "lower class" of MGs. I am all for reverting the fuel cost of T2 back to 20 or even making it more expensive than it used to be (up to 30 fuel) if it means I'm not overpaying for basic tools.
I've said this a few times before, but I'll throw it out again: Soviet Mobilized Reserves only needs to lose the 7th man while keeping everything else to be balanced.
This has several positive effects:
1) No more one-shot volley. 7*12=84 damage. IIRC one-shot volleys were being removed from the game wherever possible. Why should Soviets be special snowflakes?
2) 14.3% less damage and 14.3% less survivability. This tones down the raw power significantly without sacrificing any of the amazing utility benefits conscripts need.
3) The removal of the sergeant model. This model is not only historically innacurate (shoulder boards are far, FAR past 1945), but also has no winter model, and is really deform-happy with team weapons.
4) Bolster on top of a 6-man squad plays even more into the stupid "sOvIeTs hAVe iNfiNte mEn" stereotype. Stereotypes should be avoided whenever possible to be fair to all parties.
If this strikes you as an over-nerf, feel free to tone the actual buff modifiers to hit the sweet spot if necessary. I, for one, would welcome the lowering of the benefits (alongside removal of the 7th man) in exchange for global upgrade + freed up weapon slot as an example.
T-34/85's are the safe choice for generalist medium that can deal with OKW PzIV's. Its got more health and better gun than Axis vehicles of the same cost, so in theory you can reach pairity and even overpower Axis medium play (except Panthers). In comparison to the T-34/76, it is again a safer choice because it has more health and is more capable when it is caught in a disadvantaged position (rounding corner into shreck blob because more health, meeting PzIV with armor skirts without SU-85 support because more pen, able to deter a Panther from diving better because better health and pen, etc)
Wait The devs want Grens to loose at all ranges against Rifles. Wow... no wonder the game is a total cluster fuck in terms of balance. Then there's no point talking about it then. The devs really want ost to suck.
Did you forget how how much cheaper Grenadiers are per squad compared to Riflemen?
Likewise, stock Volksgrenadiers stomp stock Conscripts because Volks are more expensive.
There are plenty of abilities which provide combat bonuses that don't require a "warm up" animation such as Take Aim, Combat Blitz, and the paratrooper suppressing fire.
In terms of suppression, this ability brings the maxim on par with its contemporaries, I don't agree it would end up being the penultimate infantry suppression tool. And even if it were slightly superior at dealing with blobs, it still lacks the anti vehicular capabilities of the other machine guns through their abilities.
The fact that the ability is cancelled upon pack up also means you are greatly rewarded for flanking an already engaged maxim.
I agree with OP on most points.
I think Sustained Fire would be fair vet 0 ability with muni similar cost of 30 but gets cost reduced at vet 1 without the forced reload. The forced reload makes sense on the German MGs because they are swapping an ammo type and (gameplay-wise) become absolute monsters vs infantry in cover and light vehicles, whereas the Maxim only gets to be on-par with other HMGs for a limited time.
It should be noted that the other Soviet support weapons already have no vet requirements on their ability (Mortar flare, ZiS barrage) so it would be a nice consistency change as well.
I don't think that the +5 range during the ability is necessary though.
If a HMG costs the same as its contemporaries, requires an ability to bring it up to par with its counterparts, has a deathloop, isn't the earliest MG, with its biggest saving grace being that it is more durable just to partially cover up for deathloop, how is that fair?
Besides that, there's always the risk of enabling the infamous Maxim spam again, which is something I'm sure everyone would like to avoid.
I think the fear of Maxim spam returning is simply fearmongering. At that time, Conscripts were absolute trash and Maxims had near instant setup. With current changes to conscripts, there would be far less incentive to spam Maxims. Also, since then, Maxim has had its setup nerfed to match the other HMGs. Current lackluster performance actually facilitates people to build multiple as you require multiple to do the job.
The t0 Panzergrenadier change encouraged assgren/pio+MG42 stall strats. MG42 is more capable than Maxim, costs the same as Maxim, and starts at t0. I don't see people calling for the removal of MG42 spam, so why is everyone afraid of the return Maxim spam now that everything that made it cancer have since changed? Why should the Maxim be so frustrating to use?
OKW on the other hand has nothing at T0 except infantry spam. On maps where they can't flank, they need either a Luchs or an LeIG to counter Maxim spam effectively (especially if Maxims would get buffed), which don't come until 4-6 minutes into the game, which would mean early Maxim spam on certain teamgames maps could push OKW off the resources quite easily and right at the start of the match.
Following the same line of logic, why doesn't UKF get their Vickers nerfed? Why should only Soviets bear the brunt of OKW's shortcomings? While OKW's stock options to deal with MGs is limited, OKW already has sizable DPS advantages over Soviet Cons + T2 opening. Stock Volks has ~150% the DPS of stock Cons while only being 10% less durable while being only 20 manpower more (but also requires no sidegrades to have molly 2.0 and snare), and Sturms smoke CEngies. That's why before 7-man Cons everyone went for Penals against OKW.
Might I also point out how cost inefficient the Maxim is compared to its counterparts. The other MGs are 250-260 manpower for reasons such as high damage (.50 and Vickers), high suppression (.50), t0 availability (Vickers, MG42), wide arcs (Vickers, MG42, MG34), and useful vet 1 ala AP rounds (.50, MG42, MG34). What does the Maxim get? Worse stats, slightly faster teardown, a durability buff to compensate for its deathloop, and a vet 1 ability that allows it to be as good as a MG34 for a few seconds if you spend muni and spot for it first. okay.jpg.
My suggested changes would be to simply lower its cost to match the MG34 (250) and make the following changes to the Sustained Fire ability:
-Vet 0, costs 30 muni
-No reload at the beginning of the ability
-Lower the duration of the ability slightly if needed
-Lower cost of ability at vet1
-Maybe also increase ability accuracy at vet 1? ghetto AP rounds without the AP kappa
The Maxim would still be less capable than most other machine guns without the muni ability, but can at least reach some level of parity with OKW MG34 in terms of cost-effectiveness. It still costs more than the currently (very) meta Conscripts, so it's not like we're going back to old Maxim spam era costs.
Alternatively, a more radical suggestion:
EDIT: fixed some mistakes
EDIT 2: added alternative suggestion