Love is in the air. This season, 2v2 lovers should all proudly display their affection for each other by giving each other a big XOXO.
While many players love the Russian Roulette-style of 2v2 and plunge headlong into the game relying solely on Luck to get them through, a growing number (a large figure, but small compared to the majority) of players are developing ‘online relationships’ that grow with each passing game.
I liken the development of a 2v2 team to the Russian Army fighting the war on the Eastern Front against the all-conquering Germans in WW2. At the start of the theater of war in 1941, the Red Army had troops with little or no combat experience and were given primitive weapons and little training. Yet by 1943, the army had learnt how to deal with the tactics employed by the Germans and were backed up with an almost inexhaustible amount of manpower and industrial strength.
Likewise, no great team starts out with telepathic understanding of each other’s movements and unit selection. When a new team forms, players tend to build units that they’re comfortable with. Most likely they’ll start with a set strategy in mind eg. Player A focuses on anti-tank and Player B focuses on anti-infantry.
Their strategy fails. Somewhere along the lines, as manpower shortage catches up on them and concentration begins to waver, they scrap their strategy and begin to play the game on their own.
This carries on for a few more games, and they suffer more unexpected losses. Blaming each other, the team is disbanded and each go about their separate ways, looking for a ‘better’ partner.
Lots of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’, but heaping blame on each other surely isn’t the way to go.
Great teamwork and understanding takes time. A peek at the 2v2 AT ladder suggests the good 2v2 AT teams (level 9 and above) have all chalked up a minimum of 60 games to get to where they are. These teams have invested a lot of their own time into developing a friendship with this ‘stranger’. More often than not, even when the team isn’t playing a competitive game, they’re either on Ventrilo or TeamSpeak, chatting about everything under the sun. Movies, jobs, video games, what’s your city like. Or just plainly playing a basic game with others and having fun arty spamming on Vire River. Along the way, a common bond and a decent level of teamwork, intrinsic to any good team, is born.
Just like how you know your girlfriend likes her french fries with sauerkraut or your best mate likes strawberry ice cream with beer, in game you can always expect your partner to, say, get a fast M8. Because you ‘know’ your partner’s teching fast, it’s your responsibility to delay your teching, and hold out the front lines with more T1 troops than your partner. And because no words need to be mentioned, you save time talking/typing, allowing yourself to focus on the more important aspects of the game such as micro and retreat paths.
While sticking to a ‘knowing’ tactic works like a charm, the team should always be flexible. For eg, Axis teams are also capable of fielding fast AT (shrecks and/or mardars) and a dead fast M8 or Stuart would quite likely throw the allied tactics into disarray. A great understanding is one thing, but being able to adapt is another. It’s up to the team to find a solution to the problem. If it fails, try again. If you fail again, try again. Eventually, you’ll find a way to crack the fast AT.
There’s a solution to every problem; because the team dynamics is already set in stone, there’s a fluidity in the way your team plays and moves. The team relationship builds upon itself, and every time the team suffers a setback, the two of you learn together. The beauty of a great relationship is it has its ups and downs, but eventually with time, patience and lots of TLC, the team always works.