Battle Report: Outcapping PE to death

REPLAY: Corkscrewblow vs. LordPixie (Angoville)

You learn a lot by losing, sometimes it’s a little trick or a strange strategy you haven’t run into. Sometimes you learn a lot, like how important a major game mechanic is and you grasp how to apply it. Other times you just learn you’re not as good as your opponent across the board — your micro is a touch slow or you made bad choices picking units to build.

I lost this particular game vs. LordPixie almost entirely because of getting outcapped. If there is any guy that takes shift-queueing capture points to heart, it’s Pixie. I freely admit his US is significantly better than my PE, but in this game it’s the sudden realization that he’s got a ton of resources rather than any single battle or micro mistake that did me in.

VPs for the win! Literally!Pixie has a fairly unconventional cap order on Angoville in that he usually goes for the closest Victory Point with one of his Engies. He builds on the VP lead continuously through the game, and it has a subtle psychological effect of adding pressure and contributing to a general feeling that he’s ahead and at an advantage. It’s surprising how desperate this can make you feel, and how big an effect being frantic has on your micro.

It\'s very common to seize this house to cut off the bottom player\'s strategic pointThe game began with me in the north, so I made an aggressive attempt to strangle the right side of the map while capping the left for myself. 

Amazingly and somewhat amusingly, Pixie ignores this and his Engy keeps capping merrily away up top. You will note the path of points captured and how aggressive it is — capping all the way to the top, including the +5 fuel and +10 ammo points right by my base.

Capping like bunnies in heat!!

Watch your cover, Johnson!At last there is a major encounter between  3 Panzer Grenadiers and 2 Riflemen; it goes badly for Pixie as he has no cover, and I have a 4th PG with G43 rifles attacking him from behind. Of course he is also rushing reinforcements to this fight. His Jeep arrives with an Engy behind it but I still have far more firepower thanks to the G43 PG that left the house by his strategic point to flank his Rifles from behind.

Elite Krauts aren\'t too honorable too shoot Yankees in the back.

It certainly seems like a promising start so far for the boys wearing swastikas. But how can our facist friends hope to last against Pixie’s democratic heroes? Read on!


Amazingly, I make an incredibly stupid mistake here. I accidentally retreated both a health PG squad in addition to the 1-man PG squad I had meant to retreat.

Curse these butterfingers of mine!

This probably contributes substantially to Pixie ultimately winning this engagement. But I’m not done being stupid yet! As additional Rifles move into the critical house by the strategic point, I realize I no longer have enough firepower to challenge this defensive position. So I retreat everyone except my precious G43 squad. I am sure Pixie was chuckling merrily as his Rifles gunned down the 3-man squad which was advancing fearlessly like mindless zombies on his position.

Noooooooooooooooo!

By this point Pixie has the critical +16 fuel and +16 ammo points on his side of the map (the right side) AND the two +16s on my side as well. NOTE TO SELF: Shift-queue points for Kettens next time, dumbass! Of course Kettens are repelled by Engies, which means your entire list of shift-click queue commands are deleted everytime an Engy runs over to your Ketten. So sports fans, be ready to micro that Ketten a lot and keep it busy.

Here’s our next major engagement, and it’s an interesting one. Pixie cuts off my strategic point so I cut off his. I have 4 regular PGs in yellow cover and he has 3 Rifles and a Jeep that arrives late. NOTE: I may be mistaken, but I believe the bushes you see here provide 360-degree yellow cover to units inside the bush. These 4 brave PGs completely decimate Pixie’s first charging Rifle squad. Remember that moving units receive cover penalties and fire weapons with reduced accuracy.

Fix bayonets! Chaaaarrrrrrrrrge!

So naturally the Rifle melts before a barrage of focused fire from the PGs. Luckily Pixie doesn’t retreat the squad and it dies to the last man.

Moving under close, focused rifle fire is very bad for your health.

Pixie’s Rifles take cover in the house, but since only two of the windows face my men, the PGs receive minimal damage and constantly kill Rifles in the windows.

Just stick your gun on the sill and fire, Goddammit!

Focus-fire also kills Pixie’s Jeep, which was blocked from reversing by the hedgerow.

Lost a Jeep out there, somewhere in the void.

Tunk, tunk tunk! Dead men, comin\' right up!You might think that I’m doing well at this point. Negative. I finally produce my Armored Car, and it guns down an Engy squad right out of the starting gate. I know it’s quite late because I’ve done so much micro and the fuel control, while uneven thanks to constant harrassing by both of us, has been in Pixie’s favor. But by this point Pixie has a ridiculous amount of resource income from capping so many points and holding them so long throughout all my carefully micro’d fights with him. Just check out his resource flow in this screenshot. I kill the Engy that is building his Motor Pool, but I know the AC can’t linger.

Listen up, paras! Point, and shoot that thing!I was right to retreat, though it’s not in time; an Airborne squad with Recoilless Rifles materializes seemingly out of nowhere and lands a lucky engine critical. Now remember ACs mow Paratroopers down very fast, but Recoilless Rifle rounds move like lightning and these bastards didn’t miss the AC. BOOM, GG Armored Car. This should’ve been avoided, despite Pixie’s forethought in placing that Paratrooper squad near the AC’s escape route. I mean, I rarely find my own Paratroopers killing an AC in one exchange like that. But, fair is fair. Shit happens in life, and COH, it would seem.

I am afraid at this point the game is over. I have little fuel remaining and the VPs are like 70 vs. 450 for Pixie — just check the VP tickers in the shot below. One absolutely KEY mechanic I took away from this loss is this: you absolutely CANNOT lose a fight to defend your strategic points. Angoville has very pronounced strategic points that are all-or-nothing deals; you can control the entire map but if you lose those 2 key strategic points, you are cut off from everything. Now this seems obvious. But if you do lose those points, you lose all the population provided by all those sectors. So it’s a double whammy: you no longer have popcap to reinforce your units or bring in additional ones; you must fight back the enemy with what you’ve got. Typically this means you will have slightly less than your enemy, and you’ll keep losing while he cements his hold of the map and brings in more men. This slippery-slope mechanic doomed me in this game.

Stand firm, Allies!

CorkscrewBlow:
PROS:
– Many instances of good infantry micro, including focusing fire to eliminate enemy squads.
– Good use of cover.

CONS:
– Two huge, retarded mistakes that really hurt (losing entire G43 squad for free, retreating healthy PG in the middle of a pitched firefight).
– Got outcapped and did nothing about it. Ideally I should’ve been less aggressive and held my own side of the map; that would still result in an AC that’s earlier than Pixie’s first M8.
– Too much idle time for the Kettenrad.

LordPixie:
PROS:
– Aggressive capping strategy that absolutely maximized resource income.
– Right on cue with appropriate counters like Paratroopers packing Recoilless Rifles.

CONS:
– Occasional poor Rifle micro.
– Occasional poor cover usage.

Advertisements

7 Responses to Battle Report: Outcapping PE to death

  1. barit says:

    Feels like an RR of the quantity and qaulity of the earlier days of vCoH on gr.org!

    I happened to come across your site a few days ago and it has some great write-ups! It was bookmarked a week or so ago and I check here every day for new content.

    Great stuff, keep up the mixed posts as it is fantastic to see a variety of information rather than a single focus on one topic or style.

  2. thank you for the positive feedback, tell everyone you know to check us out!

  3. jodonnell says:

    These battle reports are great, keep ’em coming!

    What do you think about the Jeep in this match up? I’ve tried getting a starting jeep on occasion, but I’ve never been satisfied with it. If I can catch the Ketten early on, it’s really great, but I have to find it first, and if the PE player is on the ball, he can get his Ketten away before I close to guaranteed kill range. Even then, I’ve only cost him 160MP to my 220, and the Jeep never seems to pull its weight for me against PGs.

    The VP strategy is interesting – I think there are several useful aspects of psychological warfare you can use in CoH, and that is certainly one of them. I tend to be fond of snipers for just that reason – it puts pressure on an opponent to deal with it and might cause them to set their priorities poorly in a tense battle.

  4. adrock2xander says:

    You can hear where the ketten is by hovering the mouse over the fog of war. The ketten caps fast, but the engine noise gives its position away. Most PE players send their ketten (or capping unit) to one side, and their first combat unit the other. Just rally point the jeep to the side where the ketten is, and you’ll be able to hurt the ketten without taking any for the first couple of encounters.

  5. In that particular game the Jeep didn’t really bother me at all, but I have seen well-microed Jeeps used to block infantry HTs and so Rifles can close and kill them.

    Jeeps can also charge into squads, forcing them out of cover while your Rifles keep shooting.

    The jeep also costs nothing to repair, so the more damage the enemy focuses on it, the better — it’s fire not directed at your Rifles, who can’t heal without a Triage Center.

    Nevertheless it takes a ton of micro to get the Jeep’s full worth, so you’re just as well off doing pure Riflespam vs. PE.

  6. adrock2xander says:

    I’m curious. How do you ‘micro’ a jeep to block HTs and kettens? I know the pathing’s a little screwed, but I wana exploit it before the patch removes it.

    Also, charging into squads with jeep. That’s a good idea. Gota find a replay of that.

  7. jodonnell says:

    To block Kettens, just close in to point blank range, and then constantly give move orders wherever the Ketten tries to escape to. The Ketten’s pathing is based on predictions of where other units will be, so rapidly giving the Jeep move orders ahead and behind the Ketten will confuse it’s AI and render it immobile. To block HTs, I assume you just park your Jeep behind it – I don’t think the IHT’s AI is nearly as brittle as the Kettens.

    Pushing squads out of cover with the Jeep is hilarious fun, but it’s very micro intensive. I think ZeroCrack uses it quite frequently, so try looking up his replays. It’s quite useful for pushing around Volks, but G43s do quite a bit more damage and make it harder to pull off.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: