On upcoming patch 2.600 and delays

June 1, 2009

Relic upgrades to honesty 2.0.

The days go rolling by...

Alright, so the Battle Report I promised has yet to materialize. There’s a couple of reasons, one of which is some kind of Fraps bug that is preventing sounds from being converted when I upload gameplay video clips to YouTube. Extremely annoying, because I had no problems with this until recently.

The second excuse is that work (real work) has been mounting, while my social life is starting to deplete my reserves of free time. I’ve also got to fly out to Denver, Colorado this coming weekend for a work-related conference. I guarantee the Battle Report will be done before I leave. Most likely I’ll post it sometime mid-week.

Meanwhile, Relic made a post on the status of retail patch 2.600 on May 20, but there hasn’t been much news since then. It’s mainly a bug patch, though the T17 is getting nerfed. Here are the highlights so far:

– Heavy Machine Guns. We will be introducing a fix to the current delay for an HMG switching windows when in a building and return proper operation for British emplacements and other units that were affected by patch 2.502.

This bug seems to affect American HMGs as well. You will notice this in the Battle Report I’ll post this week. It seems to cause the MG gunner not to relocate for as long as 7-8 seconds at a time, resulting in the MG getting slaughtered.

– Fix the Pak 38 camouflage stacking bonus modifier that increases the gun’s damage beyond the intended effect.

Pretty self-explanatory. It’s a pretty outrageous bug, but my old bones are weary from having yelled at Relic so many times for unimaginably stupid shit in the past.

– Commonly known as the ‘burst fire bug’, we will address an issue that allowed some units to ignore their weapon cooldowns.

I think this affects the Strafing Run primarily; again the Battle Report shows this off (though I think in that game, it didn’t really do anything that was ridiculously overpowered… you’ll see).

Once again, I apologize for my own delay and failure to keep promises, but real life just really seems to enjoy disrupting my time and motivation here. But fear not, sports fans — I’ll never give up on Rifles Ready! I intend to be absolutely Churchillian about keeping this blog alive. You can take that to the bank.

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Review: Online casino games (seriously)

May 16, 2009
Sexy womens not included

Sexy womens not included

First off, quick update on the next Battle Report: it’ll come tomorrow, I promise and pinky-swear on it. But first — the titular review!

If you’re ever stuck on a business trip somewhere with just a laptop and wi-fi (though these days you’ve got a slew of other options like smart phones and PSPs), whaddya do to pass the time?

You can’t play COH, or any other serious RTS. You’re left with a wide assortment of Flash, Shockwave or Java-powered games. Here’s my recommendation: get your blood pumping with some online Blackjack or roulette.

Feelin' like Vegas yet?

Feelin' like Vegas yet?

You can find an entire lineup of applet-powered casino games at www.888.com, though my favorite offerings are free roulette and free Blackjack.

888-logoThere’s an awful lot of free, applet-powered casino games, but 888 separates itself from the pack by pretty much the slickest, quickest and most ad-free. There’s an awful lot of smart phones, but none can match Apple’s iPhone in terms design elegance and pure slickness. There’s a whole lot of hack & slash RPGs and overhead RTS games, but Blizzard continues to stand out by having the best-of-class titles in both genres. And the same applies to 888.

And let’s underline the second-best thing. It’s all ad-free. That’s right, ADVERTISEMENT-FREE. No spam, pop-ups or adware or spyware. Just look at that little angelic stick figure!

888_adwarepolicy

I support this movement and so should you!

Having played through these games quite a few times, I can assure you it is indeed true. And this from a guy who has Windows Defender and AVG running 24/7 in the background.

Every game is easy to play and very straight-forward; the graphics are crisp and clean the sound effects are simple and remind you of the casino. All you need is a sexy blond in a slinky dress on your arm, and a martini in your hand, and you’re practically James Bond in Casino Royale.

That could be real money if you were a bettin' man.

That could be real money if you were a bettin' man.

Rest easy: If you don’t have Bond’s skills with the dice, or if you’re totally clueless, 888.com has an entire section dedicated to tutorials for each game. It’s a great way to learn them.


Battle Report: Quacks (US) vs. NiceSirotaSan (PE)

May 4, 2009
REPLAYQuacks (Infantry) vs. NiceSirotaSan (Luftwaffe) RETAIL 2.502

[Click link above to download the actual replay]

It's a regular demo derby!

It's a regular demo derby!

Here we go sports fans, our very first post-Tales of Valor Battle Report! The game is between Quacks — aka Kodachrome — and NiceSirotaSan, who may or may not be some smurf. Highlights include some astoundingly effective Jeep usage in the beginning, epic and sudden turns of fate, perhaps the most massive base attacks mounted post-patch 2.301, and to top it off, a huge comeback. While both players are exemplary, this replay isn’t an example of perfect play. In fact, both Kodachrome and Sirota make major mistakes. What makes it interesting is how they hang on in the face of long odds and react to rapidly shifting fortunes. So, to the match! The map is St. Mere Dumont, doubtless a welcome change from the all-too familiar killing fields of Angoville. St. Mere, or Dumont as some call it, is generally regarded as rather unfair to American players, due largely to the huge number of buildings. Axis MG42s or G43 Panzer Grenadiers can quickly garrison buildings and be extremely difficult for Riflemen to dislodge without incurring significant casualties early on. We open with Koda down south; he begins the match by building a Jeep first, which is nearly unheard of, particularly in U.S. vs. PE matches. Most good players don’t get a Jeep first against PE, especially now that the Kettenrad pathfinding bug has been fixedand you can’t get guaranteed Ketten kills in the first minutes of a game. But Koda goes for a Jeep and sends it screaming into downtown St. Mere Dumont, where it charges into a pack of PGs.

Cruisin' for a bruisin'...

Cruisin' for a bruisin'...

reliccoh-2009-05-02-09-47-59-39Right away Koda uses the Jeep to distract them as they go about capping; his Engineers go for the top +10 fuel right above the Cafe Normandy building and barb it up with wire. This is always a good move on Dumont, especially early on against PE, who have no wire cutters and can’t do jack about wire until they get their first Infantry Halftrack. Next up the real Jeep action begins. Using his Jeep, Koda gets in the way of a moving PG squad, forcing the 3-man squad to scatter its members. When individual squad members are separated from their squad, they receive the brunt of any focused fire and die quickly as a result. Fire on a clumped-together squad and the gunfire won’t necessarily target a single individual; rather they’ll lower the entire squad’s health by hitting several squad members.reliccoh-2009-05-02-09-44-50-58 Here the Jeep forcibly separates the men by simply getting in the way. It takes some practice to do this effectively, and you’ll need to watch your Jeep carefully and retreat it when taking focused fire. Keeping the Jeep alive is crucial, because you can’t spare the extra time to build a second Jeep when you need to be massing up to your preferred complement of 3-4 Rifle squads. Always retreat with a margin of error to minimize the chance of suffering engine damageand giving the PGs a free kill. reliccoh-2009-05-02-09-45-12-46When done successfully, studied Jeep movements  can scatter a squad very widely, making it take much longer for all the members to consolidate behind cover. As you can see here, the extra time needed became fatal for one unfortunate Kraut. Koda actually killed that particular PG with a combination of Jeep fire and fire from his first Engy squad; Sirota largely ignores these two “weak” units in favor of capping the crucial middle strategic point (SP), though he pivots afterward to prioritize the +10 north fuel point. You can scroll down and click the link to expand the full post to watch the YouTube video of this amazing, Jeep-centered initial skirmish. But before that, check out our very own Rifles Ready! illustrated analysis of the Willys-Overland Jeep as depicted in COH:

Cupholders optional with the EX version.

Cupholders optional with the EX version.

thumb_bannerHere’s a little teaser from the Mind of a Master audio strategy series featuring Surprise talking about how he uses the Jeep. Remember to check back later this week for an update when Volume I of the MoM series becomes available on Amazon.com.https://riflesready.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/jeep-usage-teaser.mp3″ Read the rest of this entry »


Site Update: Covering McCain

September 29, 2008
I endorse this blog. I also endorse all COH tips and tricks written by Corkscrewblow.

I endorse this blog. I endorse all COH tips and tricks by Corkscrewblow. I also endorse free-market Axis doctrines.

Just a head’s up to our loyal readers — this week will be extremely busy for me professionally. Along with a fellow reporter, I’m working on an in-depth story on the U.S. presidential candidates’ proposed health care policies. Specifically, I’m covering the McCain campaign and finally heard back from their press office after a series of increasingly impertinent demands on my part. As a result, I won’t be posting as much as usual this week, not until after I’ve filed my story, anyway. Still, this week you can look forward to a book review by our star tactician, the Rifles Ready! resident dean of strategy and chair of the Surprise Institute of COH Metagamery, Mr. Steven “Surprise” Uray. The book will be made available for purchase in our Store when the review is posted.

Come the weekend, expect a new Battle Report, featuring Sepha and PvtRusty in a death-defying duel on Langres that sees Stormtroopers dueling Rangers, a Tiger dueling a ridiculous number of M-10s and of course, Pioneers dueling Engineers. ‘Twas truly the most explosive game I’ve ever seen, and it will be the first Battle Report written from a Wehrmacht player’s perspective.

Next week I plan to start adding detailed unit usage articles to our Advanced Tips section, starting with a unit that was conspicuously absent from the Sepha/PvtRusty matchup: the 57mm AT gun.


Site Update: Expert Battle Reports coming

August 30, 2008
Pro-style, baby.
Pro-style, baby.

Due to overwhelming popular request, I’ve decided to go ahead and do Battle Reports of replays between expert players from GR.org. While my commentary will be somewhat limited (can’t know exactly what other players are thinking), you’ll continue to get the blow-by-blow, detailed recap and analysis you’ve come to love. We’re going to kickstart this new initiative with an utterly thrilling game between two pro-tastic players, Sweix (aka Telekinez) and the legendary Sepha (aka Seph). This is a rollicking retail match between Seph’s talented Panzer Elite and Sweix’s plucky Americans on the bloodiest, most back-and-forth map in COH, Angoville. Stay tuned for our first PRO Battle Report between Sepha and Sweix, coming later this Labor Day weekend!


Miscellaneous: Where my hundreds at?

August 21, 2008

This is probably the most off-topic post ever on Rifles Ready!, but there’s just not a whole lot to post about at the moment. No news on what changes might be in the next beta patch, while the current beta patch remains devoid of players. I myself just haven’t had the heart to really get in the game. Nevertheless, you can count on another Battle Report sometime next week.

For now, I submit the following amusing video, which is a minor robbery I covered while working as a reporter at the Maryland Gazette, a small community newspaper in America’s heartland — by which I mean Glen Burnie, Maryland.

If you watch carefully, you’ll notice the robber actually fires a round into the row of cigarette packs behind the clerk. You’ll also notice that the robber casually tells a female customer entering the store to “leave, miss. Leave.” And she, without saying an audible word, leaves. You can see her actually get back in her car calmly and drive off. One hopes a call to 911 followed as her vehicle was pulling out of the parking lot.

As far as I know, the boys in blue never caught this fearless individual, who acts like he’s in a rapper biopic. “Where my hundreds at?” he demands of the terrified young man behind the counter.

I might make the same demand of Relic. Where my hundreds at, eh?


Battle Report: All-out Armor vs. Luftwaffe

July 18, 2008

REPLAY: CorkscrewBlow vs. xFeuerfrei (Beta version 2.408 )

Battle royale!
Battle royale!

EDITOR’S NOTE: I was still writing this Battle Report when patch 2.500 came out and rocked my world. So I will be boiling this down to what I learned about Armor vs. Luftwaffe, in bullet points under the “Take-aways” section. More on patch 2.500 to come!

This was one of the longest and craziest matches I’ve ever played. I gave it pretty much my best effort against a very solid Panzer Elite player, one xFeuerfrei. It’s an hour-long battle royale that includes four separate epic tank battles with a lone Pershing trying to hold its own against Panther Battlegroups, with Calliope and Henschel support respectively. There’s infantry dying in storms of rocket fire, there’s Henschels smashing tanks apart and there’s some real heartbreakers, like a Pershing that was killed when Allied War Machine was on, but only exploded after AWM ended because its engine was damaged and it took too long to hit a tree and explode.

TAKE-AWAYS:
Calliope first, then Pershing, is almost always preferable to going down the left-hand side (LHS) of Armor Company. Calliopes kill tier 2 Wehr with no problems, they also slaughter PE infantry and light vehicles. Pershing comes 2 CPs later than Calliope and you will have a hard time maintaining a strong-enough foothold to reach Pershing.
– Look for points to defend VPs and establish defenses, which could be as simple as laying mines and barbed wire or sandbags.
– In a long game, always be ready for the double-Panther, especially when you see Assault Grenadiers or Marders, Panzershrecks and either the Light AT Halftrack or Panzer IV Infantry Support Tank. These units means your opponent has all the necessary buildings to pull out his Panther Battlegroup.
Panther Battlegroup could probably be safely nerfed to cost an additional 200MP for a total 1200MP per call-in.
Rifle veterancy is crucial to survive in the late game, now you have no excuse not to have veteran Rifles given the veterancy buffs that accompany Rifle upgrades (Grenades, BARs, Stickies, Supply Depot upgrades all increase veterancy rate of Rifle squads)