Adventures of a new 1v1 player: Control Groups

This is my first post touching on 1v1 aspects played from a brand new 1v1 player. It’ll be great reading if you’re a 1v1 noob, or new to the game. Don’t bother reading it if you’re a seasoned 1v1 player.  :O Dedicated readers of Rifles Ready! would be aware of my recent ‘side project’ of attempting 1v1. Having spent a year playing just 2v2 (both RT and AT), it got to a point where I was really bored with the game. It’s always the same units, same maps and same everything. Over the course of the last twelve months I have dabbled – without much enthusiasm really – in 1v1, but I mostly got there ‘coz I had accidentally pressed the PLAY button or I was just killing time, waitng for a mate to get online. No prizes for guessing how shitty I was.

I’m still a shitty player. But then it happened. Around the time I got myself involved in Rifles Ready!, I started to muck around with the idea of focusing more of my COH time on 1v1s. And focused I did. And oh boy how refreshing it is! I’ve always seen players talk about maps like ‘Angoville’ and ‘Langres’ and their ilk, but it was all gibberish to me.

Now, thirteen months after starting COH and in the cold Australian winter of 2008, I finally know what these maps are. I don’t know them intrinsically well yet (i.e. where the best spots to take cover or the best way to flank), but with each passing day, and with a few 1v1 games under my belt, I grow with confidence and skill.

My 1v1 career – if you can put it that nicely – started with PE. I had read with much interest how PE will be nerfed (to oblivion, many might add) in the next patch, so I was keen to try the much vaunted T2 – T3 strat created infamously by Seph.

I got to level 8 rather easily. There’s a rumour among the COH community that you can get to level 8 smashing noobs and loosing to pros. Well whatever. I was rather pleased with myself. Sure I was still finding out about the nuances of each map, and I stuffed up many times with bad micro and wrong unit movements (brought over from 2v2), but I was learning.

Then it happened. I hit a wall.

I was having a lot of problems with USA’s riflespam. It’s about the 10 minute mark, and my 2 IHT and 3PG squads are doing well. I have map control and I’m sitting tight. It was the lull before the storm. Before I knew it, the USA player charged at me with 4 full HP rifle squads with a flamer eng for support from 2 directions. Suffice to say, I was instagibbed.

I read on the forums that the only way to counter what you can’t beat is to play that particular faction and try the same strategy. So I stopped playing PE and started USA.

I got to level 8 again rather quickly. I have yet to face anyone using Seph’s 2 IHT and 1 MHT strat on me, so it was so far so good. Then I hit another wall.

This time, I realised I was having trouble with Wehr’s volks spam with HMG support. I know it sounds funny and you’ll be screaming noob at me, but when you have a 2v2 background and faced with the abovementioned threat, I always had my ally to assist. Flank – Bait – Nade/Focus Fire from near. Or just get a sniper. It always works.

I applied the same formula in 1v1 but it NEVER works. I was getting frustrated and couldn’t understand it. It got to a point where for several games, I built a WSC just to get a sniper to kill the HMG. This meant I delayed my BARS/NADES or a Motopool. Which also meant a faster way to lose. Sure I watched replays, but I was still watching it from a 2v2 standpoint. I didn’t understand how a 1v1 player thinks. Then a chance encounter with one of COH’s eminent players, Kashll, made me see daylight. I told him I was having problems with early Wehr game. He gave me one very simple advice, so simple I laugh now at my stupidity.

“Just spread your rifles out to the furthest points and converge upon the middle.”

Kashll also addressed my problem with rifles getting pinned en massed. He advised me not to use control groups. With a 2v2 background, I always bunched my ‘same’ units together, coz I only had to worry about this side of the map or a specific counter. My ally would handle my deficiencies. With USA, my control groups always look like this:

#1 – Riflemen/Snipers
#2 – Engineers
#3 – Jeep/M8 or extra Engineers
#4 – Rangers/Airborne
#5 – Tanks
#6 – Mortars
#7 to #0 – Artillery

With the grouping, all my ‘same’ units are bunched together. It works well in 2v2, but it’s suicide in 1v1. I’ve since played five games vs Wehr, and lost only one. My control group now looks like this:

#1 – Rifleman
#2 – Rifleman
#3 – Rifleman
#4 – Rifleman
#5 – Ranger/Airborne/M8
#6 – Ranger/Airborne
#7 to #0 – *insert other units*

Yes! Amazing! As you can see, I’ve now assigned one unit to just one control group. I now have more control over each unit, allowing greater flexibility and movement. No longer am I restricted to (a 2v2 mentality) just moving together from Point A to B. I am now everywhere across the map.

With this mantra in mind, I have for the first time, got to level 9 and found the HMG + volks spam combo rather easy to defeat.


2 Responses to Adventures of a new 1v1 player: Control Groups

  1. jobiasRKD says:

    The strategy and analysis posts on this blog are great, but it’s these posts that are the most useful to a novice player like me. Outlining how you approach the game and including things like control group setups along with explanations behind both are far more useful.

    That said, I’d still love more US or Wehr matchup strats. 😀

  2. […] the same flanking tactics as I’ve learnt and described in my previous post, I find the success rate to be around 70%. I say 70% as smart Wehr players plant a HMG further […]

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