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Plokite_Wolf

Should you target strong or weak units first?

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This is the latest video by Spirit of the Law, a popular YouTuber who likes investigating many things in Age of Empires II. However, I think this could be interesting for other RTS games as well, and could use a nice discussion for C&C. The units in this video have their stats displayed, so you don't need a PhD in AoE2 to understand the idea.

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In general the same logic presented in the video will be applicable to c&c as well.

Where a difference might come into play is that in c&c or more modern themed games is the following:

Secondary weapons that shift the rock/paper/scissors and hp based logic out of the black and white into a more grey area:

Consider the following scenario:

1. going from the video logic: enemy = 1 heavy tank, 6 light tanks and you have a squad of missile/rocket aka anti armor units. Most of the time he video logic will prevail, kill the light tanks first to reduce the enemies global firepower output and sustain less dmg/losses.

2. More modern weapon loadout/logic: 1 heavy tank, 6 light and you have 1 anti armor squad, BUT the heavy tank has a secondary anti infantry machine gun. That heavy tank will decimate your squad. In this scenario you have to remove that type of weapon (the machinegun on the heavy) from the equation. So focusing the heavy tank becomes a prio.

And in more modern setting games those scenarios happen more often i would guess. What i can recall from most of the more old era or sword and sorcery themed games, they usually focus more on a single weapon loadout. Archers are archers, swordsmen are swordsmen. etc. When they break away from that rock/paper/scissor -ish system  engagements become more complex and not so strait forward.

A second thing that will change the videos scenario is layers. Air layer vs ground layer or sea layer units. A untouchable air unit with a shitty weapon can demolish a awesome ground unit with a godly weapon if its not able to target the air unit.

From a c&c 3 point:

5 venoms vs 6 predators and 1 mammoth -> focusing the mammoth due to its aa missiles is a bigger prio then those predators most of the time?

But if those 5 preds and the mam are attacking your harvester, you might go back to focussing the preds to lower dps on the harvester and give it a chance to survive/return to base and just take the dmg from the mammoth on your venoms?

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IMHO this video is just wrong. 

There is something called unit composition and micromanagement and these are the factors player should focus on. For example, back in the days I was playing TS daily and had some achievements but I've never Point & Click on Strong / Weak units. Thing is the winner is always a player who have more units and better micro them. Better if You can do several things at the same time but choosing Strong / Weak unit? Sorry, no...

13 hours ago, Ravendark said:

1 heavy tank, 6 light tanks and you have a squad of missile/rocket aka anti armor units. Most of the time he video logic will prevail, kill the light tanks first to reduce the enemies global firepower output and sustain less dmg/losses.

3

 If the opponent has just several tanks You always win with anti-armour units. If GDI is advancing with Titans (as they always do because this unit is OP) the best counter is to spam Rocket Infantry because You can make them more and faster. It's not a rocket science - just common sense. 

13 hours ago, Ravendark said:

5 venoms vs 6 predators and 1 mammoth -> focusing the mammoth due to its aa missiles is a bigger prio then those predators most of the time?

If someone gives a time to the opponent to build a Mammoth Tank he simply is a bad player. But let's focus on this scenario. 

 Best way to fight with mech player is to flood him with anti-armour units. Like every other game, TW has a rock-paper-scissors mechanics. Yes, you can build tanks to counter his tanks but in that case, the winner is with more tanks. However, the better counter is to make units less vulnerable to armour attacks and higher damage against them. 

13 hours ago, Ravendark said:

But if those 5 preds and the mam are attacking your harvester, you might go back to focussing the preds to lower dps on the harvester and give it a chance to survive/return to base and just take the dmg from the mammoth on your venoms?

Depends on how good Your economy is. 

Sometimes You might want to gain some time by gathering more and better units to counter opponents Harvester harass. Sometimes You have to defend Harvester at all cost. All it depends on how much Tiberium You've collected and how many units You can build in no time. 

Thing is C&C is a very specific game due to no unit cap and lack of toolbar to manage units in groups. I remember a game in TW where I was spamming Disc Throwers in APC's and the opponent gone wild with Juggernauts. The game was at some point unwinnable for both of us simply because the minor battle began looking like Western Front during WWI - both sides fighting along frontline and couldn't breach the enemy lines. 

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Fair point in general. But i feel the video is more intended to consider a absolute scenario. Unit A vs Unit B strength and weakness. Alot of the tactical nuances that make a great "total"game aren't or shouldn't be considered. Things like player skill, terrain, economy strength, ruses, abilities etc.

That aside something interesting related to this topic:

I was working on my mod yesterday, haven't had alot of time this year so do so, but now i got sometime. so i decided to do a quick skirmish to refresh myself on what i ha done so far and some of the changes  was working on.

I have a infantry unit that basicly has 2 weapons: a rocket weapon (think along the line of a LAW) and a missile weapon (something like a JAVELIN). The rocket weapon is on by default and uses a sort of defragmentation warhead. Its basicly explosive dmg and some aoe dmg. Rather effective vs infantry (if it hits close enough, it isnt accurate vs infantry), light vehicles and medium armor. When the unit enters cover and a garrison it switches to its missile weapon. Shit vs infantry but does amazing dmg vs vehicles.

Due to how the weapons work, the infantry gets decimated out in the open by most vehicles, strength in numbers determines most of the time who wins. But when that unit is in cover or a structure it melts armor like its nothing.

So: open terrain: i it has strength of numbers its rockets can some serious dmg to anything depending on rng how they hit or miss. A good focus fire from something like a apc or buggy can counter that specially if those vehicles have a strength in numbers aswell. Something like a mammoth tank can withstand the rocket onslaught long enough to crush them with some micro. The explosive defrag warhead of the rocket is a treath to rifle infantry even.

But in a urban environment: The missile weapon is 100% accurate to vehicles and 2-3 missiles can kill a apc like armor/hp vehicle. Garrisoned they are protected and cant be crushed, cover i tweaked the armor bonus so they have increased survivability even if you would focus them. But they are absolute shit vs infantry now. And riflemen can advance without effort onto them. I also changed my sniper to be able to clear (shot per shot) garrisons instead of grenadiers. So the sniper is  a serious hardcounter in general to them.

So in a ideal scenario like the above video...yes most in that video is accurate. But when you bring more complexity to a single units design those rules go out of the window partially or fully. Even with disregarding player aptitude.

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It depends on the dps of the strong unit has, + position of them. If we give an example from C&C3, you can imagine your oppoent has mass scorpion tanks and attack bikes.

If you have mechanical units, attack bikes are way to go and kill first. However if have infantry mass, you need to kill the tanks first before they crush your whole infantry.

If your opponent has many predator tanks + juggernauts. Juggernauts are needed to be killed first ofc since their area damage. But if they get railgun upgrade then preds are way to go.

To sum up, there are many different situations, you just need to adapt to it.

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