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Limited High Funds Revisited

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Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  WalkerBoh on Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:40 pm

Original topic here: http://www.amarriner.com/awbw_forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=14478

This game style has a ton of potential, and I wouldn't mind reopening the discussion on it. Unfortunately it seems that there's only one replay available, so if someone else has replays of past LHF games stored somewhere, please share them!

I'm also thinking that it could be very interesting to see some games with Funds per Turn set to 0 (rather than 500), and it would be prudent to ban stealths and megatanks, as they are the only units that require mirroring your opponent to counter effectively. I might make some games on old Mori maps with these settings, so if someone is interested in testing stuff out, let me know.

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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  theether on Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:49 am

I'm interested.
This is too great of a game mode to miss Smile
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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  Blanci on Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:13 am

Of course all this stuff shows how many battle or war types (dimensions) that are possible in AW .
There can be specialist players and champions for all different modalities like the olympics. Different playstyles and tastes or psychology can be better in certain modality than other.

High funds i believe is very interesting particularly as it should give greater number of game decision choices. You ll have many more different ways to potentially spend the money. More ways to go wrong but also more possibilities for creativity.

First ,.. Just wondering about terminology?  Is this thread intended exclusively about having a high initial lump sum / high starting funds (or whatever it s called on the game creation page)
or are we also talking here about high income per property (funds per day) ?

EDIT.  ok.. on create game page it refers to two funds which can be set at awbw
-------------------Starting Funds
-------------------Funds per Turn
the second is about the income from owned properties, so is not clearly expressed. It would be better called Property Income or Salary? or Property funds per turn or per day.
Actually "funds per turn" literally would mean you get some funds per turn regardless of owned properties or anything. Could be an interesting other parameter for a future custom game though.

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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  theether on Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:35 pm

Limited High Funds is specifically about having a lot starting funds, but also a drastically reduced income from properties.
But we could discuss other forms of money manipulation in a new thread.
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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  Blanci on Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:47 am

Couldnt we call this idea simply "High Starting Funds".

Its not clear otherwise what is limited.. initially i thought it was daily income limited to 1500 or 2000 which is higher than usual but not tremendously high  like 4000 daily income off properties.
Also the fact of having low daily income is a special type but I think this can often be a secondary factor.

EG, on a typical AWBW type map if we had say 100,000 start funds and 500 income per day then the biggest wow is definitely High start fund. Having 500 instead of 1000 income i think would be a secondary wow. Also cant we include in this discussion the case of usual  1000 daily income with simply High start funds or is this case specifically excluded ?

Though with zero property income this could be a very special case because of course if you run out of cash and have no infantry or mech left you cannot HQ capture .. possibly there are other game changing cicumstances if you cannot get some particular unit no matter what can be wow situation.


Last edited by Blanci on Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:11 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  theether on Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:11 am

Well, the idea of LHF is to start with a lot of money that'll quickly be gone if you don't handle it carefully.
Having the usual 1000 property income makes it less pure to that, but I guess it doesn't change much in how you tackle this game mode.

I'll be creating a few games with varying starting funds and property income.
If you care to playtest, join one of them Smile

EDIT:
It's a pity you can only choose 0, 500, 1000 or more property income.
Also note that the games I made have no FOW. We'll need another batch of games to test that as well.
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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  Blanci on Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:12 am

yeah you answered while i was editing.. i was thinking similarly...

Though with zero property income this could be a very special case because of course if you run out of cash and have no infantry or mech left you cannot HQ capture .. possibly there are other game changing cicumstances if you cannot get some particular unit no matter what can be wow situation.

So yes i agree. But 500 income is no big deal. The big deal is zero .
Then we are speaking about "Zero Income" games... or "Limited Income" games.

Another factor not yet mentioned is predeployeds, which has some similarities with Starting Fund game.

One issue for High (or any) Starting Funds games is balance. The first player gets first chance to spend possibly a large sum on deployment. There might be a few ways we could try to balance this. But each map and Fund situation may need individual attention.
However after scanning the link given above by walker there seems initially to be little worry about fta because there are many other issues like CO choice etc which are important.
Probably best to worry about fta after the community gets some experience of what kinds of things happen in these unusual games.
Yeah count me in for some games.



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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  theether on Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:20 am

Mori / Best Sakuya has a great way of countering FTA in LHF:
Both players start with 2 Infantry but 0 factories.
The first player can only reach 1 factory in the first turn and needs an additional one for the next, while the second player can start both captures immediately.
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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  Blanci on Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:03 am

Yeah that sounds pretty good usually.
However on some maps it might be best to first buy just one rocket followed by tanks say.  In this case or similar we could still have fta.
It might also be possible to have sta , for example if getting two tanks to the centre first would dominate maybe sideby side while a lone tank could be too exposed. These things would be quite map dependent.
Anyway whichever i think these type of games are worth trying to get more idea how they go.

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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  WalkerBoh on Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:58 am

I don't think LHF games would have any more inherent FTA than normal games. The same FTA counter as for High Funds games (which theether mentioned) applies just fine, as it properly enforces a "half-turn ahead" balance where each player is half a turn ahead at the end of their turns. There may be new map-specific nuances that are discovered (similar to FTA caused by being able to disrupt base or airport capture using a recon), but that is more dependent on how the metagame develops than anything and can be addressed as it comes up. Otherwise all of the same FTA principles as normal games apply and can mostly be taken care of with careful map design.

I'm not really going to comment on the metagame too much until I play around with a few games. There are a few too many variables to be able to really say anything meaningful about what units should be built, what tactics should be employed, etc.

Blanci, would you be interested in playing some test games with me in this format?


Last edited by WalkerBoh on Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:48 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  Blanci on Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:35 am

"There may be new map-specific nuances... " . Yeah and I think I just meant that the big start funds may  make it a little more likely for this to happen. Still its a very worthy modality imo.
Yeah im ok for test games though i might have periods of slowness as got tons of real life  hassles (thankfully all minor) at moment.

PS.  what exactly do people mean by meta game ? The google search doesnt totally help too much in AW context.  Some other users asked me before but i never know what to say really. Wikipedia gives .....
wikipedia wrote:Metagaming is any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game. Another definition refers to the game universe outside of the game itself.
In simple terms, it is the use of out-of-game information or resources to affect one's in-game decisions.

I dont follow the two line opening definition.. maybe i get dyslexic with long sentences or something. And the the explanation in simple terms i find even more obscure.
Perhaps an example in AW might help us.  Good luck with that Smile.  
Sorry if this PS is a digression ... we can cut and paste into a seperate thread if this question is worth keeping.

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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  theether on Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:48 am

metagame as in "Always build from all factories!" or the CO tiers?
I think that just means useful knowledge about a game that makes for better decisions.
Usually this kind of knowledge is built from experience and may change over time.
I'm not a native speaker, though, so if somebody can give a better explanation I'll be thankful as well.

map specific nuances that lead to FTA or STA might be harder to find with this format, as players have a bigger pool of viable choices.
On the other hand that should also make the problem smaller because the other player potentially has more ways to counter.
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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  JakeSamiRulz on Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:04 am

The best definition of how metagame is used today is "the game play tactics and strategies that are used by most players in an controlled area." For a quick example in AW, if most players decided to start with a recon first then chances are the enemy player's game would start with a recon. So "playing the metagame" is saving up for a tank to counter early knowing most players will perform the early recon.

The "controlled area" part basically means how different groups play. In our case, it'll be the difference between how AWBW opens a game vs. how Weewar opens. Metagaming is far more important in offline games, because online gaming environments are barely stable. However, information is valuable anyway you slice it which is why learning the metagame is so important. Luck favors the prepared.
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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  WalkerBoh on Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:51 pm

I'm not really going to comment on the metagame too much until I play around with a few games.

What I meant here specifically is how games develop in LHF. For instance, the metagame in "standard" AWBW involves building a lot of infantry, then teching up to tanks and artilleries, and trying to control the contested cities. In a LHF format, I'm not sure at all what type of build orders are viable or what the main goals of the players should be. It seems possible that contested cities will not matter at all (especially in a $0/property setup), and it seems reasonable that things like neotanks will be quite useful. But I can't comment on these metagame aspects in more detail without game experience.

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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  theether on Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:34 am

My game against Everdan ended and he kindly accepted a public discussion.
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Commentary

I commented it myself, so please correct me where needed.

With Mori's commentary we now have 2 games available for discussion.
More are coming.
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Commentary on my game with theether

Post  Everdan on Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:14 pm

Hey, so I played Amber Blaze against Grey Sky in the match shown above. And as you can see I lost pretty badly. Well, you win some, you lose some. Anyway, I have some things to say about the game too.

Lesson 1: In LHF, neotanks are actually a good unit because they are very difficult to deal with, have 6 movement and dish out a ton of damage.

So I will say it's my first time in this format, and I wasn't sure about what to do in my first few turns. I decided that since I had a limited pool of money, I wouldn't spend it all at once. This turned out to be probably quite a decisive mistake, because the 2 tanks and artillery I built in the first few turns were rather ineffectual against the neotank and rockets. Looking back, I probably should have built a turn 2 neotank on the western base. This would have let me reach the front lines first and potentially prevent such a far advance of that rocket from the northwest.

Lesson 2: Infantry spam isn't meaningful in LHF.

One of the reasons for infantry spam is to capture properties. As you can see, Grey Sky spent the early game aiming to capture the surrounding neutral territories, postponing the building of big units in favour of infantry. I don't personally agree with this, because: 1. each city gives a measly 500 gold and 2. the high starting funds of 200k makes any incremental income gain pretty meaningless. IMO, capturing neutral cities takes a backseat to building up a decent vehicle army.

The other reason for infantry spam is meatshielding. But in LHF, the game is so fast-paced that you won't have a chance to build any sizable infantry force without sacrificing valuable building slots for neotanks, rockets and md tanks. Instead I'd recommend building infantry on turn 1 to capture the nearby base and airport then immediately going for tech. Even turn 1 neotank might not be a bad idea in some matchups. Take the initiative in the early game.

Lesson 3. All FTA is amplified

And I will say that in this scenario, I believe any FTA on the map is amplified, just because the first player gets to bring out the neotank first, move the neotank first, and wind up controlling more territory than the second player. LHF probably needs more special maps to minimise FTA, e.g. by giving both players some pre-deployed units.

Lesson 4. More emphasis on defensive lines

As you can see, after the capture of the second lab failed, I immediately tried to rush in with tech units, trying to crack open his forces. Unfortunately, I got mauled by the combination of artillery and neotank fire. The idea was to try to keep some big units alive and prevent GS from consolidating. Unfortunately I pretty much got destroyed instead. His defensive line with 2 rockets and 2 arties held pretty well against my mad rush. Though, it was actually pretty difficult for me to do the same thing because of Javier enjoying that +20% defense against indirect fire, which kinda sucked. But if I'd hunkered down with some rockets and stuff, maybe I could have made gains elsewhere while his forces were cooped up trying to stop the capture of that one lab.

Maybe this is just because I was trying to be aggressive with a not-so-aggressive CO. But still, when you have the funds to build rockets and neotanks from day 1, you have to admit that defensive playing becomes more of a thing.

EDIT: Until I've had chances to playtest more, I'm going to avoid saying anything definitive about the various COs in LHF format.

Conclusion

Sorry if I've been rambling, just some thoughts I had after going over the game myself. I'd love to hear comments about the game from others as well, and I'll definitely be playing this format again.

Until next time, then. Ciao.

- Everdan

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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  WalkerBoh on Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:43 pm

Really interesting game, thanks theether for posting it and thanks Everdan for the commentary. Some thoughts...

Everdan wrote:Lesson 1: In LHF, neotanks are actually a good unit because they are very difficult to deal with, have 6 movement and dish out a ton of damage.
I agree, especially if megatanks are banned. Unlike normal games, where the capture phase is important because of maximizing funding and positioning, you don't have to worry about funding at all in LHF games. It seems like the goal of the capture phase is to get as much unit value into threatening positions as fast as possible. Neotanks seem best for that, so it seems like a good idea to get them to the front as fast as possible.

Everdan wrote:Lesson 2: Infantry spam isn't meaningful in LHF... the game is so fast-paced that you won't have a chance to build any sizable infantry force without sacrificing valuable building slots for neotanks, rockets and md tanks.
I think this follows naturally from what I mentioned in #1. Also it's worth pointing out that most of the high tech units have OHKOs on infantry, which makes them useless as meatshields. Essentially you want to use infantry to grab key defensive properties on the fronts (for defense and repairs) and capture things like towers and airports. I wouldn't use them as meatshields at all.

Everdan wrote:Lesson 3. All FTA is amplified
I don't think this is true. The way the map is setup, each player gets a chance to build a neotank from one base first. I will say there is more potential for FTA issues due to imbalanced fronts. However there is a lot of potential for ways to tweak maps to make LHF more interesting, and I have some ideas. I firmly believe it's a mistake to play them on standard maps (like the one you guys played on).

Everdan wrote:Lesson 4. More emphasis on defensive lines
This is an astute observation and something I was thinking about originally. Because you have finite reinforcements and no real reason to press forward (normally you want to control key areas because funding advantages can turn into big advantages down the line, but in LHF this isn't a concern), there seems to be a large potential for stalemates. Once again, I have some ideas how maps can be designed to discourage defensive walling, but I'll have to see more games to really have a good idea what will work.

Needless to say, I'll be playing around with some map ideas over the next couple weeks.

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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  WalkerBoh on Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:51 am

Just a few random thoughts:

- If having the ability to buy high tech units from Day 1 causes some issues, one possibility is to designate the following units as lab units: Neotank, Rocket, Bomber, Fighter, and maaaaybe MD tank. Then make sure to include a neutral lab on the map within maybe 3 turns' capture of the preowned bases. Maybe this would cause games to evolve a bit more normally for the first 5-6 days, and bring the high-tech units out at around the time vehicles normally start coming out. Of course, FTA might be a big problem here since whoever captures the lab first can produce the first high-tech units...

- I think blanci made this argument before, but it really shouldn't be called Limited High Funds. It's a thoroughly misleading name. The major staple of this setup is the starting funds, not reducing the funding from 1000 to 500 per property. I don't have particularly good ideas for replacement names though (High Starting Funds, Initial Income, MAX FUNDS TO THE XTREME - all bad names).

- I actually think the games are better off with 1000/property rather than 500 or 0. This keeps games looking similar to normal games, just with a handful of high-tech units thrown in, whereas at 500 or 0 it's basically just a bunch of high tech units and not much else.

- One thing I still want to convince myself of is that the best strategy is to rush high-value units into dangerous positions. Whether this is true or not really influences a lot of decisions with regards to how games and maps need to be set up.

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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  theether on Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:31 pm

It's not actually that great having only High Tech units because of the equalizer called "Black Bomb".
I haven't used this unit much before, because it's banned most of the time but boy does it work well against a few Megatanks.

I actually liked 500 income the most because it doesn't make properties worthless, but still changes their importance significantly.
With 1000 income I'd say it's too similar to what we play already.

For names, how about "Low Income High Funds"?
Barely changes LHF to LIHF.
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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  WalkerBoh on Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:06 pm

theether wrote:It's not actually that great having only High Tech units because of the equalizer called "Black Bomb".
I haven't used this unit much before, because it's banned most of the time but boy does it work well against a few Megatanks.

I actually liked 500 income the most because it doesn't make properties worthless, but still changes their importance significantly.
With 1000 income I'd say it's too similar to what we play already.

For names, how about "Low Income High Funds"?
Barely changes LHF to LIHF.
Well I'm just assuming that black bombs, mega tanks, and stealths should be banned at all times in these games. I could maybe see a case for megas being unbanned, but I would always ban the other two.

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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  theether on Sat Jan 10, 2015 4:16 pm

Ah, I see.
Yeah, Black Bombs can make the game a bit too random, I guess.
For the few games I set up I never banned a unit, though.

I even allowed Sensei and Grit, but as expected they're still too good in this format.
It's just that I don't want to exclude something without at least testing it.

So far Megas, Stealths and Black Bombs haven't been overused but I can see that changing after a few more games.
We'll see how it develops.
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Thoughts

Post  Everdan on Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:57 am

Regarding what walker said:

- This isn't an original idea, but a good FTA counter is to have 2 neutral bases per side, and pre-deploy 2 infantry such that P1 has a backwards infantry. This way P1 gets a base, then P2 gets 2 bases, then P1 gets his other base. Might fix the FTA issues.

- The way I see it, making income 1000 per property will make games longer, and might also reduce the emphasis on managing your finances well. As it is, a player's starting army is likely to be the main army he will ever get, and cost efficiency reigns supreme over other things like building efficiency. With higher income, the losing side benefits more from dragging out the game so he can gather resources to mount a comeback, while 500 income makes this hard to do. Neither is definitely better but I think 500 income makes for a more unique style of play, which requires different skills and strategies.

- I like Limited Income High Funds. Smile

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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  WalkerBoh on Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:06 am

Everdan wrote:This isn't an original idea, but a good FTA counter is to have 2 neutral bases per side, and pre-deploy 2 infantry such that P1 has a backwards infantry. This way P1 gets a base, then P2 gets 2 bases, then P1 gets his other base. Might fix the FTA issues.

I actually developed that FTA counter for high funds games. =)
That wasn't quite the FTA issue I was talking about though. Perhaps you confused labs with bases in my post?

Everdan wrote:The way I see it, making income 1000 per property will make games longer, and might also reduce the emphasis on managing your finances well. As it is, a player's starting army is likely to be the main army he will ever get, and cost efficiency reigns supreme over other things like building efficiency. With higher income, the losing side benefits more from dragging out the game so he can gather resources to mount a comeback, while 500 income makes this hard to do. Neither is definitely better but I think 500 income makes for a more unique style of play, which requires different skills and strategies.
A valid point. I suppose I'd have to really just create some 500/property and 1000/property games on the same map and see how the differences shake out. In the end, I suspect both are perfectly valid setups and it just comes down to personal preference.

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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  theether on Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:53 am

Another LHF game between Everdan and me ended:
http://awbw.amarriner.com/game.php?games_id=220459&do=4f1b104e07b82792299a7250eeef37c0
This one really showed me how annoying Stealths can be Mad

Would somebody be willing to make an image series with comments on it like the other two?
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Re: Limited High Funds Revisited

Post  Xmo5 on Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:51 pm

So I just read through this in full for the first time and I have to say it sounds really interesting. Javier might be a tricky CO to consider for LIHF. Apart from towers, his strength is in defense against indirect units. In LIHF, units like Md. Tanks and Neotanks would be more prevalent and are some of the juiciest targets for indirects because of how much damage is dealt with no counterattack. Based on that and the results of theether/Everdan's test game I'm just thinking Javier might be more dangerous than normal.

On the other hand, maybe the battles will be more open because of how easy it is to get powerful, highly mobile direct units such as bombers and neotanks; who knows? Regardless, the CO Tiers will probably shuffle quite a bit I imagine (COs like Sami and Jess come to mind) and it will take quite a bit of work to get them straightened out.

EDIT: Oh! I should also add that I'd be interested in playing some test games too! Don't want to miss out on all the fun before we get it figured out Razz

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