Battle Report: CharlesDarwin (US) vs. Malivos (PE)

REPLAYCharlesDarwin (Airborne) vs. Malivos (Scorched Earth) RETAIL 2.502

[Click link above to download the actual replay]

Vrrrooooom! *makes sputtering propeller noises* rat-tat-tat-tat!

Vrrrooooom! *makes sputtering propeller noises* rat-tat-tat-tat!

So there’ve been a few delays… you try ducking tornadoes while flying westward to the Mile-High City! Anyway, I’m now comfortably ensconced in my 12th floor hotel suite, typing away. This match is a timeless showcase of human mental perseverance. That said, I’ve watched it several times now and it’s clear that the opponent got lazy and careless, which contributed to the comeback.

That doesn’t change things as much as you might think. There was such a tidal wave built up that you can’t fault the guy for taking a breather and floating 800 manpower or so. Anyway, onward to the match.

RelicCOH 2009-06-01 00-06-01-65The game is on Semois, and we’ve got CharlesDarwin, a seasoned and solid player, vs. Malivos, probably some smurf for some guy. Darwin goes for a Weapon Support Center (WSC) start, always risky but less so against the Panzer Elite and even less so on Semois. PE have a hard time countering garrisoned MGs without Mortar Halftracks and Semois lends itself well to MG strongpoints. So this isn’t as butt-in-the-air crazy as it may sound.

Malivos’ strategy becomes clear instantly. He picks Scorched Earth doctrine and sends his initial Schwimmwagen to Darwin’s bottleneck Strategic Point (SP) by the bridge. BAM! The point is destroyed, necessitating repair before it can be recaptured by either player.RelicCOH 2009-06-01 00-06-23-50

Meanwhile, Darwin’s MG takes up position in the civilian building just below Malivos’ SP bridge. He sends a second MG to the hay bales by the +5 fuel point on the top half of Semois. They stop a few Panzer Grenadiers from advancing, but Malivos mainly chooses to avoid them. Darwin goes for a Sniper next, which is a great selling point for going WSC first against the PE.

RelicCOH 2009-05-25 13-56-23-82Snipers are the best way for Americans to counter elite, heavy Axis infantry, including PGs and Wehrmacht Grenadiers and Knights Cross Holders. They’re particularly deadly against the PE’s three-man squads. They are NOT generally the best unit to use for repairing scorched points. But they certainly can, and Darwin takes the risk of doing so with his Sniper. Miraculously he is not butchered where he stands, but completes the repair. It’s interesting to note the Sniper can repair about as fast as a Rifle squad; there’s no disadvantage there to using a Sniper.

You have to wonder whether the guy is taking the game seriously with this kinda stuff; but I guess maybe Darwin figured it was unlikely for Malivos to attack a disabled point, and that if he kept a sharp eye out he’d be alright.

In any case, I’ll stop my second-guessing. I suppose I’d just feel really naked to have a 340 manpower unit sitting all by his lonesome doing repairs, which would cause him to take extra damage in the event of an attack.

RelicCOH 2009-06-01 00-07-26-57But hardly is this point repaired than does Malivos’ Schimmwagen decap and scorch Darwin’s +10 fuel point. Each player has two jugular points on this map: the SP by their respective bridges, and their +10 fuels. Striking and holding either one can induce a fatal hemmorrhage. It’s at this juncture that Darwin begins bitching about PE “abuse.” I don’t wish to unduly inject my opinion, but the game is the game. You can’t expect players not to abuse broken game elements. It’s Relic’s fault, not your opponent’s. So Darwin needs to sit the fuck down, have a Coke and smile — aka DEAL WITH IT. Fortunately he manages to do the latter without breaking stride.

RelicCOH 2009-06-01 00-07-47-77He sends his Engy in to begin restoring the point. But Darwin knows this is a stalling move. On Semois, where the fuel control is so even, you can only seriously hope to slow your opponent’s tech slightly by harrassing his fuel, because it’s easy to fight you off and your own fuel point is equally exposed.

Before Darwin can even decide on a next course of action, Malivos sends an Infantry Halftrack with two PGs directly into his base. As has been well-established, U.S. MG tents are vulnerable to small arms fire, unlike Wehrmacht bunkers. They also have a limited field of fire, unlike PE Flakvierlings. Darwin gets an MG back to his base in time to garrison his HQ, which on Semois, has enough line-of-sight to defend the left-most MG tent.

They're coming to pillage the village!

They're coming to pillage the village!

RelicCOH 2009-06-01 00-08-36-89Darwin’s Sniper is very nearly hunted down at least three times by the Infantry HT, which keeps revealing his cloak but can’t turn quickly enough to fire at him.

A noobier player might have lost his nerve and simply retreated the Sniper, but Darwin keeps his cool and his Sniper cloaked. He manages to walk his Sniper calmly in unexpected directions, dodging a brutal death again and again. If you thought this guy liked playing his Sniper to the ever-dangerous precipice before, this kind of baiting game takes the cake and then some.

Drive-by niggas be vicious!
Drive-by niggas be vicious!

Eventually Malivos realizes that it’s not worth the extra time and concentrates his fire against the nearest MG tent. The Sniper, firing from afar, manages to kill three PGs, though no squads are eliminated. Malivos’ Infantry HT spends minutes inside the American base. Eventually he takes too much damage and suffers engine damage, but he’s accomplished his objective: stalled for time to deploy his first Armored Car.

That’s when the pain comes to town. The AC hits with incredible ferocity, cutting down retreating Engies and an MG team.
You bring the meat, the AC brings the cleaver.

You bring the meat, the AC brings the cleaver.

By now Darwin has his Motorpool up and is building an AT gun. The gun crew pops out just soon enough to vaporize the engine-damaged Infantry HT.

Can I get a BAM, SON!?

Can I get a BAM, SON!?

RelicCOH 2009-06-01 00-11-34-17Unfortunately, the crew takes aim at the charging AC, fires — and the shell strikes the hulk of the Infantry HT, which absorbs the damage. The AC flanks gun without a scratch and it’s GGs for three gun-wheeling GIs. If I were Darwin, I’d be saving up my stores of outrage for shit like this. Of course, even if the AT gun had hit the AC, it almost certainly would not have destroyed it. But it may have inflicted engine damage, enough for Engies and other units to finish it off.

Such is the price you pay for randomness in the game. Sometimes it’s on your side, sometimes it’s so against you it hurts. Think of it as a test of your patience and mettle. Only chumps would surrender to fate. Champs would only be encouraged to fight that much harder.

RelicCOH 2009-06-01 00-12-16-89OK, pep talk over. Meanwhile, Darwin drops Paratroopers in the northern area of the map. Yes, I know those yellow arrows pointing downward don’t really do anything. It’s not like you can steer the parachutes, I know this. But what else was I supposed to mark up on that shot? Leave it alone, you say? Not when my mouse hand is going crazy to scribble yellow lines all over everything!

RelicCOH 2009-06-01 00-13-14-88Meanwhile the bad news continues in the American base. Darwin’s second AT gun pops out and is instantly killed. Malivos sacrifices a PG squad to capture one of the AT guns, giving him serious anti-building firepower which he uses to destroy the U.S. Motorpool.

This is not good at all for Darwin. In fact, most observers would say it’s the beginning of the inevitable end for the army of freedom.

More Paratroopers rain from the sky; Darwin’s manpower reserves soar on account of his not being able to build anything in his base.

The graphics in the game still haven't gotten old for me.

The graphics in the game still haven't gotten old for me.

RelicCOH 2009-06-01 00-15-17-29By now Malivos is basically chilling. He sends his troops to methodically destroy all of Darwin’s base structures. In his base, he starts floating large amounts of manpower, not really doing anything with it. He also researches the Marder upgrade, wholly unnecessary given the lack of any armor coming from Darwin.

But let’s not starting digesting the game just yet. It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.

RelicCOH 2009-06-01 00-16-05-86Darwin adapts, nay evolves his strategy. He garrisons the civilian structure overlooking his SP bridge with an MG and starts upgrading it to a Forward HQ. I’d have gone for something a little sturdier, like the massive church right beside this building, but to each his own. This building offers much better MG coverage of the crucial bridge SP and it has no blind spots, unlike the church.

With the Forward HQ up, Darwin starts building Riflemen to supplement his Paratroopers. As it turns out, the two Rifles he winds up training will prove critical in the next few skirmishes.

RelicCOH 2009-06-01 00-16-51-03Up north, Darwin has his first Paratrooper squad harrassing Malivos’ +10 fuel point. The entire squad is slaughtered by MP44 PGs while Darwin wasn’t looking. Given the few units he has, there is just about no excuse for letting that happen.

Moments later, Darwin multiples his misfortune by losing his second Paratrooper squad, this time to hostile fire by the civilian building in the top left of the map, near the hay bales.

It’s a combination of an Armored Car and advancing PGs that does in our brave airborne soldiers.

RelicCOH 2009-06-01 00-17-49-22

Oh noes, General!

The MG garrisoning the building is also eliminated by the AC’s fast-firing cannon. It’s three very severe losses for Darwin, who was already on the ropes. If this didn’t put Malivos (or anyone in his position) in a festive mood, I dunno what will.

Actually, I do. His AC randomly runs into Darwin’s famous, Kraut-dodging Sniper and kills him almost as an afterthought. But wait, there’s more! At this point in the game, every single structure in the American base is toast, including the HQ, which reduces Darwin’s manpower income by 50%.

While he’s busy in Darwin’s base, Malivos finally gets careless and lets his second AC run randomly into Darwin’s garrisoned Forward HQ MG and Rifle squads. It gets peaced out with a minimum of fanfare. NOTE: As of patch 2.502, the MG window-switching delay bug is alive and well. Sometimes the MGs switch windows quickly enough so there’s no real impact; other times I have seen the MG basically never switch while enemy squads pour bullets through the opposite windows. Be careful when deploying garrisoned MGs.

RelicCOH 2009-06-01 00-19-25-26OK. Now let’s review where we stand. To the left you see a complete list of all the units at Darwin’s disposal. He’s got an Engy, two Rifles and an MG. He can no longer drop Paratroopers because his HQ is toast. Arrayed against him is the army you see below.

More is good.

More is good.

Now obviously the Flakvierling crews do not really count as part of Malivos’ army, but they do show up when you hover the cursor over his army “shield” icon. How can Malivos possibly lose with this? Let’s not forget, he also has access to Sector Artillery and will soon have Hummels. I will add a few caveats that are worth mentioning. Darwin has been far more aggressive with capping (most good U.S. players are, especially vs. a slow-capping PE army). As a result, he has a significant Victory Point (VP) advantage. Malivos actually says at this point “GG,” figuring that there’s no way in hell Darwin can come back from this. The remark isn’t insulting or even unreasonable given the situation, though you could also argue it was premature. Darwin goes ballistic over it. Sigh.

RelicCOH 2009-06-01 00-20-08-32Moving on, Malivos gets a little bold and sends his troops at Darwin’s FHQ stronghold. Unfortunately a direct attack against Riflemen in green cover, who can reinforce from the FHQ, is not smart. Malivos kills a lot of Rifle squaddies, but fails to eliminate any squads and his light vehicles limp away with heavy damage.

Inviting targets.

Inviting targets.

Darwin is maximizing every last asset he has and recaptures one of his old 57mm AT guns from his base, recrewing it with Riflemen. This affords his FHQ a nice defensive setup, with an AT gun and MG guarding it.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

This building has its defensive advantages.

This building has its defensive advantages.

Meanwhile, he starts repairing his actual HQ building with an Engineer squad. Malivos plays rather conservatively, choosing to recapture territory and reverse his VP bleeding rather than teching up to Panzer IV infantry support tanks or renewing his attacks. He does attack the FHQ a few more times with his PGs and an AC, but the narrow angles of attack, combined with Darwin’s well-placed defenses, result in no real gains.

RelicCOH 2009-06-01 00-21-52-26He slaughters two more entire squads of Rifles, which really shouldn’t have happened. Darwin has some difficulty with multi-tasking. But he’s got a plan, and the plan is simple: get a T17, ASAP. He manages to get his Motorpool up because Malivos focuses his assaults on the FHQ, not on the actual American base. This can be tricky for Malivos; he knows the FHQ is a perfectly attainable target, but he shouldn’t have neglected the real base. A Schwimmwagen could’ve checked on the status of the destroyed HQ.RelicCOH 2009-06-01 00-22-35-07

By the time he realizes his mistake, the T-17 is in production and he desperately focuses all fire on it. Needless to say, he should be 90% of the way to the Panther Battlegroup by now, but it’s a lesson to all of us NOT TO SLACK OFF even when we have the upper hand. Good players come back when given half a chance. OK, I know, it was a tough mistake

Argh! Hans, speed up the guns!

Argh! Hans, speed up the guns!

And the T-17 bursts forth from the loins of the Motorpool like a rampaging bull and destroys both ACs. My God, is that Phosphorous Round good or what?

Ah, bright explosions. They make it all good.

Ah, bright explosions. They make it all good.

RelicCOH 2009-06-01 00-24-02-26Unfortunately Malivos has his captured 57mm AT gun in position and slaps that T-17 awfully good, twice. It gets peaced out and winds up a blackened ruin right on the American HQ’s doorstep. The T-17 is the perfect example of an unbalanced unit. Its single weakness (low health without veterancy) is astoundingly severe; its strengths (AT stun, high rate-of-fire and anti-infantry lethality) are outrageously good. There is absolutely no middle ground with this unit.

After this exchange, Malivos retreats his men to the strip of land just above the American HQ and begins repairing his damage vehicles with his PGs. Right at this time, Darwin gets enough Command Points for the Strafing Run. You know from the title banner of this Battle Report what’s coming next. Deva-fucking-station. Everything dies. Here’s a YouTube clip with some amusing musical accompaniment (partly because I still can’t get YouTube to preserve the audio in the Fraps videos I take).

This is probably far from the worst Strafing Run in COH history, or even in the brief history of patch 2.502. But it’s still pretty friggin’ bad. To the left you see the list of units in the path of the Strafing Run. These units are all lost after the P47 flies into the sunset.

Just to capture what it looked like from ground level, I offer the following carefully captured screens:

RelicCOH 2009-06-02 23-31-08-80

Ow...

Owwwww....

Owwwww....

AAARRGHH!

...AAARRGHH!

No, seriously, AAAAARRRR-WTF-GGGGHHH!

No, seriously, AAAAARRRR-WTF-GGGGHHH!

Seriously, use that scroll wheel on your mouse (or the good ol’ arrow keys on your keyboard if you don’t gots a scroll-y mouse) and flip through these shots fast. Tell me your eyes don’t start to bleed!

RelicCOH 2009-06-07 01-55-54-05This is just about GGz, in my opinion. Malivos deploys a Marder to counter the inevitable additional T-17s, but it races to far to the front (God, I hate it when my Marders do that). Unsupported, the Marder has a very tragic encounter with a newly dropped Paratrooper squad that just finished getting its Recoilless Rifle package.

The game concludes with two T-17s racing into Malivos’ base and slaughtering every PG in sight.

Oh, the humanity.

Oh, the humanity.

I should note that this match saw some very nasty exchanges between two good players, which is very disappointing, in my opinion. At a really high skill level, you should know people will abuse shit regularly and you should know how to deal with it. As I reiterated earlier, it’s pretty childish to go nuts when the predictable bullshit hits you in your plump, cherubic cheek.

If you’re any good, you should’ve seen that coming. Getting pissed just makes you look like a whiny bitch. And when I say “you” I don’t necessarily mean Darwin — I’m talking about anybody. At least Darwin won in the end. Anyway, I’m done opinion-nating. Here’s the concluding breakdown.

CharlesDarwin
PROS:
– Great Sniper maneuvers early on, keeping him alive
– Effective MG placement/use throughout the game
– Great job capping territory and maintaining VP advantage
– Maintained decent resource parity with opponent despite getting points scorched early on
– Great mental stamina, fighting on with a solid plan despite very bad odds
– Extremely well-placed and well-timed Strafing Run

LUCKY SHIT FOR WHICH YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED:
– I don’t care if you have heat-seeking .50 cal bullets, there is no way in God’s name that the Strafing Run should’ve been as devastating as it was

CONS
:
– Lost way too many squads because he wasn’t paying attention; total of four squads (including 2 Paras and 2 Rifles) melted by the enemy for no good reason, with minimal effort from Malivos
– Pretty shitty attitude for a good player to have

Malivos
PROS:
– Had an excellent strategy planned, and executed it flawlessly early on
– Pretty good squad survivability, though not perfect
– Very fast with ACs

LUCKY SHIT FOR WHICH YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED:
– You are so friggin’ lucky that 57mm AT shell hit the wreckage in front of your AC rather than the AC itself

CONS:
– Lost an AC and a Marder due to pure carelessness
– Failed to build Panzer IV infantry support tanks, which would’ve almost guaranteed victory
– Didn’t really use abilities like Booby Traps and Sector Artillery
– Got lazy and floated manpower; too confident of victory
– Ignored VPs for too long, even when he gained map control

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19 Responses to Battle Report: CharlesDarwin (US) vs. Malivos (PE)

  1. The Hat says:

    The kittens die.

    Okay, in all seriousness, that was one hell of a game, and a great battle report. Awesome stuff.

  2. M0nk3yK0ng says:

    Hell of a game, amazing come back I surely would’ve given up seeing units totally destroy my base but kudos to this guy for sticking it through and showing who had the wider game strategy

  3. weslanator44 says:

    Battle report was kick ass! Loved the epic strafe. I’m sure the guys on the road and in the armored car had different oppinions. Cant wait for more BR’s! Maybe get back into the faction specific stuff. Whatever… its not my website. Rock On!

  4. TD says:

    Shame I can’t watch this, now that 2.600 is out.

  5. Thanks guys. I’m trying to focus more on other factions, but my expertise is mainly in the Americans. Surprise will be adding his commentary to future Battle Reports, particularly for non-U.S. armies.

    And I’m sorry about the delay leading to this post coming out post-patch 2.600 (post/post, get it?).

    That said most people don’t watch the replay anyway, they just read the report. The timing will be better next time, I promise!

  6. Bitter Boy says:

    OH no not this game… But before I rant let me say that this is a great battle report. And in fairness this was nominated to a hall of fame on gr.org, but the sportsmanship and bug abuse prevented it from making it in, as you have no doubt noticed while watching.

    If I were you I would have skipped 2.5 reports altogether. Nothing but bugs and imba units.

    People are giving Darwin props for hanging in there even though his base was dead, but the only reason he was hanging in there was because he knew the t17 would dominate PE. Any American player with ToV easy dominated PE in 2.5, and for all I know might still be able to in 2.6. Yeah, PIV or Panthers should have been out, but 2 t17s can dominate one of those tanks if caught alone.

    Now that 2.6 is out we could see some good, clean, honest matches between some of the real top players. Who knows maybe even DrHorse will come back…

  7. Yeah, it did allow me a commentary on sportsmanship, but the sheer comebackiness of this replay made it worthy of immortality on WordPress.

    Stay tuned for 2.600 Battle Reports!

  8. nice-strafing ruuuuun

    ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬
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    shame the 50 cal isnt a buildable unit
    that would just be far too OP!!

  9. LunaticFringe says:

    ‘the T17 burst forth from the loins of the motorpool like a raging bull’ LMAO! Great writeup man. Goes to show you should never surrender.

  10. Eric says:

    Entertaining read, keep them coming 😀

  11. Jawe says:

    I’m still saying that Malivos was playing ridicules. VP games are not annihalation games. You’re not supposed to destroy the others base like that. It’s ok to harrase, but this was just ridicules. And about the 50.cal straffing run. I can see why it’s unfair, but in a realistic view, that is exactly what would have happened. And while we are on the topic of OP things, then what about the very OP Wher Ostwind.

  12. That may be some inspirational stuff. In no way knew that opinions may be this varied. Thanks for every one of the enthusiasm to provide such useful information the following.
    13:15

  13. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up!
    And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! 🙂
    11:43

  14. I agree with what you say in this blog, the most important is how you can trust the online shop or repair shop online, but earlier would be better if you review the first in choosing case
    10:25

  15. I did like the article really much, was really informative and the best part was that only the required part was elaborated, to the point concise information always helps and keeps readers running around digging for the information’s will never require a reread. I really wish spammers read these articles and check how easy it is to be human and respect knowledge.
    02:44

  16. CB1610 says:

    Great read 🙂

  17. wit says:

    really? OP’d strafe? those pgrens were in red cover repairing and you expect them to not die?

  18. vroegtijdige ejaculatie voorkomen…

    […]Battle Report: CharlesDarwin (US) vs. Malivos (PE) « Rifles Ready![…]…

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