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ZEBBEEE

Minimum AO duration?

(Brainstorming) Minimum AO duration - POLL  

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ZEBBEEE

I would like to gather your feedback regarding the current AO duration.

Its minimum duration is currently 15 minutes, which means it can be manually removed after a minimum of 15 minutes attempt to capture the town. The actual removal order is performed in 5 minutes.

My question for you: should that timer be changed? If so, how long should an AO best last before allowing attackers to drawback (manually cancelled), and thus limiting longer deployment tactics as attrition battles? 

Attention, this is NOT about how long a contest should last before Bunker radios appear and close off the AO! But just the duration a side MUST focus on each AO.

 

 

Brainstorming Pros/Cons:

 

Shorter duration constraint:

+ADVANTAGE : gives flexibility to attackers to fallback if they didn't achieve to set a ZOC.

-DRAWBACK : Defenders should expect single offensive attempts mostly, seeing attackers vanish as quickly as they appeared. Hence it can be worthless to deploy troops at the edges of town or building up defensive positions (PPOs).

 

Longer duration constraint:

+ADVANTAGE: Attackers must organize a sustained push to finish off the AO, coming back even when their initial ZOC setup failed, at the risk of being crushed back to their FB, or even their backline town. This allows defenders to invest ressources in defensive tactics and PPO building. The resulting attrition battle offers the opportunity to give back more weight to moveable brigade supply, and more weight to HC decisions.

-DRAWBACK: There would be less preparatory phases where you sneak in MSPs to your next target, offering less easy assaults to players. Supply numbers and/or timers should be audited to balance longer attrition battles vs weaponry fun. Auto-AO would also be more difficult to correct if no HCs were on recently.

 

Thanks all and stay safe during these hard times.

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jwrona

Keep it where it is. 

1) how many times does my 2nd AO timer tick down, and I cant go get the FBs or something in time (thanks unresponsive, just-cares-about-stats playerbase), and have to placeholder to AO. 
2) Or better, the countless times I log in (with multiple muppet HC online) and immediately get message: "System will place AO on [insert town that makes no sense] in 4 minutes." In that scenario I'd have 60 seconds to look at map, find town worth attacking, place AO, then start rushing my truck there (because there WILL be guys out in the fields moment that AO is placed). 
3) If this AO "isn't working" for some reason (all trucks getting intercepted by air, fms's getting instacamped, secondary FMSs intercepted by defenders 2k from town, we lost the FB, etc.), HC has to quickly find a new objective or they lose their guys. It's a known fact that dead time leads to dudes logging off, and that "have the whole side attack the FB to continue the AO" kind of mentality is a bit nonsense due to the current playerbase not giving a shyte about these type of missions AND the way people can precamp your new FB. Just take it right back down again. 

Definitely interesting, but not really the thing I'd be tinkering with. 

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B2K

Drawback - If an attack fails and chances of success are gone (ie defense is out in depth several km from town) - players are stuck either persisting on a dead/stagnant ao to no end, or milling about uselessly waiting out the timer.  At the moment this point is usually reached after the AO can be removed.  Reversing that could potentially lead to players no longer staying logged in.  This would be especially pronounced during 1 AO time periods.

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foe2

what would be the purpose of increasing the AO clear timer, what are you trying to achieve here?

 

I think the current system works ok. Maybe we need to remove the auto-Ao for the 2nd AO. That would give HC more flexibly and tactical choice.  

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sideout
1 hour ago, foe2 said:

what would be the purpose of increasing the AO clear timer, what are you trying to achieve here?

 

I think the current system works ok. Maybe we need to remove the auto-Ao for the 2nd AO. That would give HC more flexibly and tactical choice.  

Hmmmm good idea Foe. My two cents is that the players HATE it when we pull AOs quickly. They don’t understand it and they just wasted twenty minutes game time flying in or driving a tiger e5c. I’m not sure what the compromise. What if the AO options change as more HC come online?

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Kidd27

im not privy to HC challenges when dealing with AOs. -Disclaimer

I went 30min, as the description of

"capture attempts successively fail, how long must attackers continue to fight for their AO before being allowed to abandon it? => Manual AO removal authorized after..."

seems to me it would be difficult to achieve multiple failed attempts within 15 min.

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jwrona
22 minutes ago, Kidd27 said:

im not privy to HC challenges when dealing with AOs. -Disclaimer

I went 30min, as the description of

"capture attempts successively fail, how long must attackers continue to fight for their AO before being allowed to abandon it? => Manual AO removal authorized after..."

seems to me it would be difficult to achieve multiple failed attempts within 15 min.

Multiple attempts... correct. 

A little "timeline":
1. (4mins) Trucks leave FB, waiting a bit to mass or flank around to their ZOC, get to 1k from town
2. (4mins) AO proposed with EWS, 4mins till the timer begins and AO placed, FMSs Set
3. (10mins) CPs go hot.
4. (5mins) Till minimum reached to pull AO, AO proposed to clear
5. (4mins) "So-and-so withdrawing Attack Objective"
6. (4mins) AO finally withdrawn.

29 minutes. 

Some AOs... all (all three of them, lazy players not driving!!) FMS gone before CPs even hot. Some AOs a big ATG like an 88 or a tank or air locks down the FB, both scenarios very hard to keep "attempting." Even a rogue armored car out 1k from town who snuck down the road unnoticed... sits there and listens, chases down trucks going to town (Solution: flank FAAAAR out, but that pisses off all the "on-sides rules" weirdos). 

Let's pretend you get that kind of situation, 15 mins into AO, youve got 2 planes strafing the FB like mad, something 1k from town to get anyone leaking out. Your DO is secure, you own the FB, have a defender there, and they can't change their AO. 

What's the short-attentionspan playerbase gonna do for whatever the "rest of the time" is? Go grab a tea? Log off because "nothing is happening" (should've seen the guy who sent me a pm "shoot me a message on discord when the action starts again")? 

Now all that being said... I'm one of the guys who likes to prolong an AO. I'll get crafty with dropping a few paras in town to draw defense back. I'll grab a truck from Town rather than the Fb and do a 9k drive to get a good flank around defenses. I'll try to clear out something thats in the way between town and FB, even if that means me and my trackpad getting in a plane to shoot up (read: distract) whatever is strafing us. But there are some situations where you truly just want a fresh start, correct what went wrong last time:

Did a 232 come out and camp all your stuff to smithereens? Maybe this time tow up an ATG or bring a piece of armor to help support the FMS and establish ZOC (a huge part of the game people miss... you should use FMS as a way to set up ZOC, not just a quicker run to town. You have to almost "defend" the FMS like you're defending a position on map, hence why you'll see me hanging back building PPOs, watching for EI, pulling out a light ATG and sitting around FMS to pop any tanks trying to get. a few kills while they roast marshmallows at the campfest). Did EA come from the airfield 1 town over and cause havoc? See if you have any pilots online, if not pick an AO where the enemy planes will take longer to get to. Did you set off EWS with 1 truck and the defenses were already coming into the field before the other ones got close? Try to mass up at FB and roll in numbers. 

Hope this kinda helps the whole "painting the picture" of what the HC are dealing with on this front, and why we pull stuff early etc.

 

Edited by jwrona
elaboration.

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fidd
4 hours ago, B2K said:

Drawback - If an attack fails and chances of success are gone (ie defense is out in depth several km from town) - players are stuck either persisting on a dead/stagnant ao to no end, or milling about uselessly waiting out the timer.  At the moment this point is usually reached after the AO can be removed.  Reversing that could potentially lead to players no longer staying logged in.  This would be especially pronounced during 1 AO time periods.

ironically, that'd actually be a  good thing in TZ3.

The problem is we've all got used to one type of battle, the opening phase of which is characterized by a total absence of defending players, unless someone is very quick off the mark. We need to learn how to attack without the crutch of an absent enemy. Abandoning an attack because you're no longer able to maintain the foothold you achieved when there were no enemy to prevent it, is not a sign of good judgment or leadership, it merely demonstrates you have nether the wit to break a standing defence nor patience it necessarily takes to capture an urban area. The best battles are always long with ebb and flow of fortune. Short AO's are crap. The encourage crap tactics, crap leadership, crap battles because they're optimise for map movement, not the quality of the battle. Unsurprisingly, the map still moves, but overall numbers decline. The reason is not hard to find.

Edited by fidd
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ZEBBEEE

Everyone here is correct. Hence the question of the best balance.

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Kilemall

A lot of issues this ties to- spawnlists, pop neutrality, comms, content.

 

The right answer depends in large measure on whether you are going to mess with any other settings.

 

I'm not sure what the point is of the stated reason for increasing attrition achieves.

 

Edited by Kilemall

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fidd

That's astute of you. The whole poll is predicated on the establishment and maintenance of a "ZOC" being, as currently practiced, being the thing which determines if the AO should be abandonable or not. It doesn't question if the "as currently practiced" is optimal - or part of the problem. If the latter, then basing an amendment to minimal AO length on an already disfunctional aspect is, I contend, silly.

It would be amusing if our battles were translated to Hollywood films.

First 5 minutes learning the chracters, who is just married, has a kid they've never seen etc (by an immutable Hollywood law writer's law destined to be slain)

The script of "Battleground"

G2: "Colonel, you should attack here there's no enemy there are at all!"

Col: "Good Idea, get the grizzled sargeant"

Grizzled Sargaeant: "whaddayawant?"

Col. "Don't you salute"?

Grizzled Sargeant: (waves) "Hi!"

Col. "Go and attack Waterloo, the FB is ours and the enemy won't expect it"

Grizzled Sargeant: "Yo!"

5 minutes later

Colonel's radio operator (brightly): "The Grizzled-sargeant reports all 3 bedfords (encircling town, large column of Shermans bearing down in it"

5 minutes later still

Colonel's radio operator (sadly): "The conflicted-corporal begs to report the grizzled sargaent has been sapped"

Col. (spits in spitoon) "well sheeeeeeeeeet!"

Col to Brigadier: "The Waterloo attack has fallen on  it's arse, there's no hope. We need to attack elsewhere."

The End

See "Battleground" now, 20 minutes long, rated ADHD at a cinema near you. Anywhere in fact, except  Waterloo.

Edited by fidd
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tater

The fast AO change seems to facilitate the current attack paradigm (as @fidd  said well).

The goal of course is for the attack to control a large chunk of town before the defenders who were supposedly massed in that town climb out of bed and decide to defend (to get murdered leaving their houses).

The reality is that everything is connected. If the goal is spawn to spawn in town free for alls, then the current system is great. If the goal is combined arms "battles" that have any sense of battle vs deathmatch? The current system of incentives and rules is entirely wrong.

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fidd

Exactly. If everyone knew from the word go that an AO was going to last 2 hours minimum, then the initial means of attack would be completely different, as the establishment of an unsustainable  ZOC so close in that it could not be supported without attriting the attackers armour and infantry, would be nuts.

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delems

*** The fast AO change seems to facilitate the current attack paradigm (as @fidd  said well).

I really think some of you have no idea what HC goes through and how we see / deal with it.

 

If you think HC sits around and purposely tries to move AOs around quickly... well, that is completely false imo.

Yes, we do often have a primary attack and a diversion attack... but that is NOT fast moving AOs.

 

HC wants to fast move AOs for one MAIN reason.... the current AO didn't gain traction.

Slow setup, error on EWS going off, too few attackers, lost FB.... maybe.

Over pop defense, excellent response by defenders... maybe.

 

jwrona seems to get it.

I and squad rarely attack, because we need people who will actually guard spawn CPs, which are often empty.

However, Sunday, axis had an attack on Montr going; our squad decided we were going to join the attack, regardless of other towns falling.

Now, without going into detail, we did exactly what jwrona described, we setup MS, we had point and flank guards; we brought out ATGs, we had the FB guarded.

But it took a lot of work and the squad working as a team. (actually had some numbers on)

Then, other players joined and assisted us.  The attack grew quite big, we even captured E AB as I recall.

(and all this with just 1 FB, had we got either of the other 2 FBs, the town may have fallen)

At some point, the attack died as most players moved to Boul... but we mainted our ZOC and attack for like another hour or so.

That AO lasted some 5 hours I think (we were only on last 2 or 3 hours of it), before allies finally overran the FB.

 

The point of my story is, HC wants battles to last, we don't like changing AOs either, but it has to be done sometimes.

And, to 'create' a good battle, you have to have a squad (imo) running it, and enough players doing the right basic jobs.. not just running into town to CPs.

 

HC wants to set and clear AOs fast for one reason.... it is to keep action going so players don't log.

It has NOTHING to do with trying to place AOs so fast that we confuse the defenders.  At least from my perspective.

Yes, I think sometimes we pull AOs to quick, but that is rare in general.

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tater
10 minutes ago, delems said:

I really think some of you have no idea what HC goes through and how we see / deal with it.

I think one of us needs to learn to use the quote button, it makes replies substantially harder if we don't want to conflate other replies with yours.

I know I have no idea about HC, and HC workload is certainly a concern—but lousy gameplay is not a goal anyone should want.

12 minutes ago, delems said:

If you think HC sits around and purposely tries to move AOs around quickly... well, that is completely false imo.

Yes, we do often have a primary attack and a diversion attack... but that is NOT fast moving AOs.

HC wants to fast move AOs for one MAIN reason.... the current AO didn't gain traction.

If there are only 1-2 AOs to chose from, traction doesn't really matter if it's there for 2 hours (whatever), does it? The other AO will end, and the only game in town is the AO without traction.

 

14 minutes ago, delems said:

Over pop defense, excellent response by defenders... maybe.

Where "excellent response" is often described as "any large response at all."

In my experience really successful attacks seem to be fait accompli. By the time the defenders start actually defending, it's too late. This is typical when OP at all, though every so often the defense can zerg in and reverse it.

It always comes down to the goal. IMO the goal is battles. Not captures, not moving the map, battles. Not hide and seek with guns, battles.

 

19 minutes ago, delems said:

At some point, the attack died as most players moved to Boul... but we mainted our ZOC and attack for like another hour or so.

That AO lasted some 5 hours I think (we were only on last 2 or 3 hours of it), before allies finally overran the FB.

 

The point of my story is, HC wants battles to last, we don't like changing AOs either, but it has to be done sometimes.

And, to 'create' a good battle, you have to have a squad (imo) running it, enough players doing the right basic jobs.. not just running into town to CPs.

Why did the players move? Was that a defense where they were needed, or another attack? If the latter, why have a second attack at all? (I realize you might have to have 2).

This underlines a general problem with the game. IMHO the more players the better—in a single AO. I have no idea what the visible players limit is, but IMO that's the only point at which more than 1 AO ever makes sense. Not more than 1 AO per side, more than one AO on the entire map. I'd rather play out serial AO, then DO, AO, then DO, than have a fun attack I am on stall because a critical town elsewhere is under attack, and some of us need to move. If the DO gets zerged, it might get saved, but at the expense of the AO we are on having any chance. If a few levae to defend, we might lose the defense, and have no chance on attack, etc.

 

23 minutes ago, delems said:

HC wants to set and clear AOs fast for one reason.... it is to keep action going so players don't log.

It has NOTHING to do with trying to place AOs so fast that we confuse the defenders.  At least from my perspective.

Yes, I think sometimes we pull AOs to quick, but that is rare in general.

If that's the case we need a change in some basic game mechanics.

 

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fidd

You've used that phrase before "HC wants to set and clear AOs fast for one reason.... it is to keep action going so players don't log."

The problem is, that this is the thing clearing AO's manifestly DOES NOT DO. It is the antithesis of "creating more action", as it means moving the action to a new town, likely with few if any defenders there initially. No "action" there.

When you say "action" what you actually mean is "captures", or "movement uninterrupted by the enemy".

This is not your fault. The game has ended-up in this charlie-fox from the mixed ministrations of an un-muzzled marketing manager, [censored]-poor design driven by "not losing customers" and as an indirect consequence of not dealing with player imbalances, especially off-peak. That said, arguing for shorter AO clearance times is self-evidently promoting a style of play which encourages AO's to be pulled at the first sign of "trouble". I'd have thought a player of your experience would recognise that.

One way to prevent you being harassed by players who always want a new AO, is simply to increase the clearance time. Not your fault. No point in giving you grief over it. By arguing for shorter clearances you invite the very thing you affect to be bothered by!

 

 

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tater
18 minutes ago, fidd said:

When you say "action" what you actually mean is "captures", or "movement uninterrupted by the enemy".

This.

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jwrona
44 minutes ago, delems said:

HC wants to fast move AOs for one MAIN reason.... the current AO didn't gain traction.

Slow setup, error on EWS going off, too few attackers, lost FB.... maybe.

Over pop defense, excellent response by defenders... maybe.

 

jwrona seems to get it.

I and squad rarely attack, because we need people who will actually guard spawn CPs, which are often empty.

However, Sunday, axis had an attack on Montr going; our squad decided we were going to join the attack, regardless of other towns falling.

Now, without going into detail, we did exactly what jwrona described, we setup MS, we had point and flank guards; we brought out ATGs, we had the FB guarded.

But it took a lot of work and the squad working as a team. (actually had some numbers on)

Then, other players joined and assisted us.  The attack grew quite big, we even captured E AB as I recall.

(and all this with just 1 FB, had we got either of the other 2 FBs, the town may have fallen)

At some point, the attack died as most players moved to Boul... but we mainted our ZOC and attack for like another hour or so.

That AO lasted some 5 hours I think (we were only on last 2 or 3 hours of it), before allies finally overran the FB.

 

The point of my story is, HC wants battles to last, we don't like changing AOs either, but it has to be done sometimes.

And, to 'create' a good battle, you have to have a squad (imo) running it, and enough players doing the right basic jobs.. not just running into town to CPs.

 

HC wants to set and clear AOs fast for one reason.... it is to keep action going so players don't log.

It has NOTHING to do with trying to place AOs so fast that we confuse the defenders.  At least from my perspective.

Yes, I think sometimes we pull AOs to quick, but that is rare in general.

Delems gets it (holy F, I agree with Delems). And this is a reason why a "fight your way back into town" AO is hard to do. Our current playerbase, hell, even my own squad, isn't coordinated enough on the big picture 75% of the time: most towns are just taken by sheer overpop (whether thats 9:10 odds or 9:1). How many times is there a good ZOC, tank column with views on the outskirts of town to pick off anything coming out, and there's still an idiot driving a tank right up next to an enemy CP to get sapped to kingdom come.

However... I can't not poke fun....

46 minutes ago, delems said:

Yes, we do often have a primary attack and a diversion attack... but that is NOT fast moving AOs.

Translation: We put a paratrooper in england, 800m from town exactly to set off EWS for hours, sometimes days, then put an AO there to tie up 4 allies watching for JU52s, boats, protecting spawn, with no intention to make a fight... only to [censored], moan, and gripe when we have SD and slow cap timers, not realizing a % of our playerbase is afk in a bush. Boring as hell.

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delems

*** really successful attacks seem to be fait accompli

idk, I call our attack on Montr for 5 hours successful, we just never got the town in the end.

 

*** Why did the players move?

Multiple items, a) AO was a few hours old,  b) axis captured entire town but 2 facilities and we couldn't finish it,  c) we only had 1 FB and were running low on supply,  d) we tried over 30 min to get another FB... couldn't,  e) allies recapped entire town back but last spawn,   and f) spawns came up at the other AO, so players moved there.

 

*** When you say "action" what you actually mean is "captures"

Action to me isn't captures, but that for sure helps; action is players actively attacking and trying.  But, to sustain that you need a fair number of attackers working together - we often don't have that (either not enough players or not working as team).

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jwrona
19 minutes ago, fidd said:

When you say "action" what you actually mean is "captures", or "movement uninterrupted by the enemy".

For me, capture is a big part of it, but not exactly necessary. My favorite kind of AO or DO...

One side holds half of town, maybe its a few CPs or even just a ZOC. Wear it down, 1-2 hours. Whoever is properly SKILLED in their killing is going to prevail (if HC picked a smart AO with their supply at hand). If you start running out of supply wasting troops or lose your ZOC, that's pretty much game over. If you start hearing more rifles and few autos, inching further into town to make the capture, you win the town, side chat goes "WOOOOOT" and you type vulgarities over .allied to keep guys fired up. 

Action, for me, is not "Hey, we have 1 fru 1k out, start walking in and see what happens." Action, for me, is not "Wait 30 more mins then I can clear that and we can get a good setup on the next one." Action is a proper, fair, combined arms fight, win or lose the actual objective.

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tater
2 minutes ago, jwrona said:

Delems gets it (holy F, I agree with Delems). And this is a reason why a "fight your way back into town" AO is hard to do. Our current playerbase, hell, even my own squad, isn't coordinated enough on the big picture 75% of the time: most towns are just taken by sheer overpop (whether thats 9:10 odds or 9:1). How many times is there a good ZOC, tank column with views on the outskirts of town to pick off anything coming out, and there's still an idiot driving a tank right up next to an enemy CP to get sapped to kingdom come.

"Fight your way BACK into town" implies they had to fight their way into town in the first place.

We all know that's not a thing. By the time there are any defenders around to fight, the attackers are already in town.

So the complaint about having to fight "back into town" is really a complaint about having to actually fight to capture anything in town at all from outside town. If attacking actual defenders already in place is impossible, then other mechanics should change to allow attack—but we should not have the dumb gameplay where the defense have to fight to get to their defensive positions with the enemy already literally killing them inside the AB.

 

2 minutes ago, jwrona said:

However... I can't not poke fun....

Translation: We put a paratrooper in england, 800m from town exactly to set off EWS for hours, sometimes days, then put an AO there to tie up 4 allies watching for JU52s, boats, protecting spawn, with no intention to make a fight... only to [censored], moan, and gripe when we have SD and slow cap timers, not realizing a % of our playerbase is afk in a bush. Boring as hell.

LOL

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tater
2 minutes ago, delems said:

Action to me isn't captures, but that for sure helps; action is players actively attacking and trying.  But, to sustain that you need a fair number of attackers working together - we often don't have that (either not enough players or not working as team).

This is a different gameplay issue. Part of it is the 360 degree nature of attacks. If people were all strating near each other, even with unherded cats it feels more like a team effort.

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jwrona
Just now, tater said:

"Fight your way BACK into town" implies they had to fight their way into town in the first place.

We all know that's not a thing. By the time there are any defenders around to fight, the attackers are already in town.

Not when we play smart defense.... 

Last map a few AOs I recall... WHIPS were on, eesti can tell you how many opels I killed:

Axis pulled some AO and I looked at the map and went "they're going to X, 2 links, 2 flags against 1 garrison." I drove a fru about 400m NE of town, in the direction of N and E FBs. Grabbed my rifleman and started listening. There was action in town, I couldn't get to every fru. I marked 3, took down 2. Killed a handful of dumb opels. Altho they set up a secondary ZOC from 1-2 frus south, I held the north ZOC pretty much solo. They capped about half of town and our boots fought back. 

There's an element in this again of players being lazy-donkeys. EWS goes off and we wait till CPs are hot to get to town. If you spawn in early, a lot of guys just get in a CP. Someone lately taught me to listen/watch AI twitch. Find direction of fru, start to work on takedown/picking off runners in/etc. 

If the PB was the same as it apparently used to be (remember, I'm a started-in-2019 player), then this long AO model would be fine. Guys know they gotta work together to get on a beddy and drive to town. Our game has changed since.

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tater
3 minutes ago, jwrona said:

One side holds half of town, maybe its a few CPs or even just a ZOC. Wear it down, 1-2 hours. Whoever is properly SKILLED in their killing is going to prevail (if HC picked a smart AO with their supply at hand). If you start running out of supply wasting troops or lose your ZOC, that's pretty much game over. If you start hearing more rifles and few autos, inching further into town to make the capture, you win the town, side chat goes "WOOOOOT" and you type vulgarities over .allied to keep guys fired up. 

I agree that separated towns (either CPs far from the rest of town, or an overpass, river, or other geographic constraint) are best. They are best because there is some sense of lines. The lines move, this or that section switches control, but you get the feeling that you have friendlies on your flanks, and the enemy is broadly speaking THAT WAY —>

This allows a kind of play that is impossible when the enemy is every direction at the same time. Note that if people like the every direction play, that;s still a think in play with "lines" at any point where you punch through. As soon as you overwhelm a local area, and make a hole, it's now a mixed zone.

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tater
1 minute ago, jwrona said:

Not when we play smart defense.... 

Extremely difficult without persistent DFMS being a thing. First responders need to drive around in trucks and set DFMS all around town. Of course the first responders need to not get killed doing that. The reality of course is that rifleman you were should have been in the field before the EWS ever went off—ALL the forces in town should be in positions to do that.

We need persistent FMS, that exist until destroyed, or the town/facility changes hands (even with no players in town at all).

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