6 Apr 2021, 22:36 PMApplejack
The purpose of this post is to figure out what changes need to be made to balance 4v4s without affecting 1v1 balance.
I saw an interesting post mentioning Axis win rates and how they are skewed in team games such as 3v3/4v4 since the last patch. It cited this webpage for statistics: https://coh2stats.com/stats/week/1616976000/4v4/wermacht
Unfortunately the stats don't go far back but it shows Axis have a clear win rate advantage over Allies at a high level. Heavy tank destroyers such as the elefant and jagdtiger are dominating team games at the moment. Elefant/Jagdtiger (e/j) commanders are by far the most represented along with artillery commanders and I think I can figure out why.
1. T-34 ram nerf and removal of IL-2 bombing runs. The most popular counter to heavy tanks was the t34 and IL-2 bombing combo. The removal of the stun from the t-34 ram and the removal of IL-2 bombing runs from some commanders without offering any good alternative options has had the unintended side effect of increasing the potency of heavy tanks and to an extent, heavy tank destroyers. Lightly armoured allied tank destroyers are unable to counter e/j in a direct confrontation without taking major damage and more often than not, being unable to penetrate the armour due to the vet 2 nerf on most tank destroyers. A heavy armour push onto e/j is a huge risk and investment that rarely pays off especially if the area around e/j has been mined. The intended counter (artillery) is easily dodged by e/j's by moving and more often than not, a waste of a cooldown on the artillery piece. There is no effective counter to e/j's at the moment and it is clear.
Suggested change: Revert T-34 ram nerf and reimplement IL-2 bombing run on the commanders missing them.
Alternate suggested change: Remove spotting scope from elefant commander and remove artillery barrage from jagdtiger (which helps it counter anti-tank guns). There needs to be more counters to heavy tank destroyers.
2. Artillery over-representation. Again, the removal of IL-2 bombing run on some commanders has removed the ability of those same commanders to counter artillery. The need to use artillery on heavy tank destroyers also means that Axis artillery does not get countered barraged as often. There are less counters to static artillery. It was already an expensive option to counter them before, now its rare and expensive.
its undeniable: Axis static emplacements and artillery has become more powerful with last patches changes.
Suggested change: Reintroduce IL-2 bombing runs to more commanders (the same amount as the ones removed) or lower the potency of Axis static arty which is mainly used in 4v4s anyway. There needs to be more counters to static arty.
3. Pack howie & ISU-152 HE nerf. The pack howie nerf has completely neutered this unit. This unit is now, no longer able to counter barrage an enemy IG due to its high scatter and low damage. All the while the IG has now become supreme on the battlefield with its better accuracy and no longer countered. The ISU-152 HE nerf was not needed and has made this unit countered by j/e by exposing itself even more to use HE rounds.
With the nerf of these two tools to deal with Axis blobs, Axis blobbing has become more durable and thus more powerful. Gren/Ober blobs with non-doctrine high long range damage are becoming too dominant in 4v4s.
Suggested change: Revert Pack howie changes or lower scatter and revert ISU-152 HE range back to normal.
Alternate suggested change: Increase potency of default Allied grenades (Rifleman grenade, IS grenade and cons molotov). There needs to be more counters to Axis blobs. I think the change to land mattress in the 2021 commander update patch is a step in the right direction however.
On the topic of blobbing. Both Axis factions have a non-doctrinal tool to deal with blobbing (Stuka/Werfer) however only Soviets have a non-doctrine tool to deal with blobbing (Katy). Lowering the power of anti-blobbing tools and offering nothing in exchange has made blobbing more powerful.
4. Lowering Allied tank destroyer vet pen. While I do not have the numbers infront of me right now. I'm not a fan of lowering pen on all tank destroyers across the board. This effectively means Axis heavy tanks are more durable. If the pen bonuses are absurb or unnecessarily then they did not have to be changed. This is a blatant buff for all Axis armour. Its already fairly easy to keep Panthers alive, making it even easier to keep them alive helps Axis snowball late game with their superior number of panthers. Feel free to prove me wrong on this one though.
The fact that all Allies factions must rely on tank destroyers to deal with panthers and heavy armour means tank destroyers are over represented yes but a nerf without giving any alternative option is not good or fun. The reason why all allied factions rely on tank destroyers is because there are no alternatives. They have no non-doctrinal heavy tanks for 4v4s. The balance team is nerfing the only playstyle available.
Suggested change: Revert all previous TD vet pen changes back to previous values.
tl;dr. Axis have become very effective at controlling the battlefield in 4v4s while most/all Allied counters have been neutered in some way or another. Its easier to blob as Axis since there are less counters to them now.
You know, at this point in will be much easier to just nerf ele/jt than buffing allies counters as issue isnt counters being underpowered but ele/jt being overpowered. If ISU was nerfed because its 70 range HE was deemed uncounterable in team games, same logic should be applied to axis heavy TDs.