New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

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kwok
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New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby kwok » 25 Aug 2019, 20:05

As a few questions came, we wanted to share a bit more about what we've come up with for the new Propaganda doctrine so that we can see what you think about it and you can express your thoughts on the doctrine design.

Any stats mentioned here can change.

Volkssturm.jpg


As we have mentioned before, there will be a new infantry unit - the Volkssturm squad. These will be what is usually known in RTS as a "spam unit". They cost 190MP, can be built at HQ, Barracks and forward HQ and the only condition to build them is to choose the Propaganda doctrine. They are meant to represent conscripted civilians who got only the very basic military training and have absolutely no combat experience at all. This is shown in the game by a unit made of soldiers that have Kar98s as effective (or ineffective?) as Pionners, have 35HP at the start, can only use grenade as an ability and they will actually flee from battle automatically once they have only 3 soldiers in a squad left. Pair this with the fact that Volkssturm squads start as 5-men squads and you will start to see their weaknesses.

Their weaknesses will have a counter-balance. First of all, their Veterancy bonuses are different from other infatry, most notably in the fact that every Veterancy level increases the HP of each soldier which makes the squads grow a lot stronger with veterancy than other squads. They will also only "auto-retreat" when they have no combat experience (a.k.a. "Vet 0") once they gain their first promotion, they will no longer flee from battle unless you order them to.
They will also have a squad upgrage which will allow them to increase squad size...twice. This will be a squad upgrade, not a global upgrade so you will need to spend MP on each squad separately but at the same time it will allow you to upgrade only squads that you need upgraded. Need a cheap recon squad? Build one Volkssturm squad with 5 men and don't upgrade it. Do you need a meat-shield squad? Upgrade them twice. The upgrades are, however available based on the upgraded Phase - after the first Phase upgrade you will be able to get the first extra man, after the last Phase you'll be able to upgrade the other one.

This doctrine will have no access to Grenadiers.

Officer.jpg


An important unit for this doctrine's infantry play will be the Officer. Similarly to the Def doc Officer, the Propaganda Officer will be different too. He will have more abilities, some of which will be locked behind the "Officer unlock" which will give him Binoculars ability as well as make Volkssturms around gain more XP (helping to remove the auto-retreat faster) or an ability that will shrug off suppression from Volkssturms at the cost of Officers's own safety. The Officer will be a great support for your infantry but that also makes him a priority target for the oponent. The officer will come with two "bodyguards", however most of the abilities will only be available if the Officer in the squad is alive, if he dies and the bodyguards still live, you can retreat them and "reinforce" the squad, thus you'll get the commander back faster the squad will also retain its veterancy this way.

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby Tiger1996 » 26 Aug 2019, 16:22

This doctrine will have no access to Grenadiers.


Well, I have no objections on this...
However, does this mean that StormTroops are going to be the only units which still have access to STGs in the entire WH faction?!
I mean; even the Grenadiers in Blitz doc currently have no STGs anymore but only MP40s.

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby MenciusMoldbug » 26 Aug 2019, 18:19

If this doctrine is playing out like it would in my head; It will be the most fun doc to play as Wehrmacht ever.

You know the MP40 path CP upgrade path for Volkssturm? Why not buff the Volksgrenadiers along with it when you reach there. Like giving them the ability to upgrade 1x STG44 on their squad if they want it. Maybe you could also have the Volkssturm panzerfaust upgrade affect them as well by giving the Volksgrenadiers the panzerfaust upgrade for free with that unlock.

This is a bit off-topic but I wish PE could be re-worked like this. I know there was a idea long time ago of making all PE squads smaller so it isn't so crippling to lose them. But what about only changing the starting Panzer Grenadier squad for this concept and leaving the rest the same? Like I'm thinking 4-5man Panzer Grenadier Squads while there could be the 6-7 men Assault Grenadier squads if people need the extra firepower. Just losing the 'builder' unit as PE is a really crippling blow to them because of how much it costs and how long it takes to build them (since it hampers their tiering/tech-up if they lose it too early). Could also rework how they are meant to be used along with that kind of re-work by having them get certain buffs when next to vehicles/tanks; just an idea for the future re-work of British/PE factions.

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby MarKr » 26 Aug 2019, 18:38

Tiger1996 wrote:However, does this mean that StormTroops are going to be the only units which still have access to STGs in the entire WH faction?!
Yes, that's what it means.

MenciusMoldbug wrote:You know the MP40 path CP upgrade path for Volkssturm? Why not buff the Volksgrenadiers along with it when you reach there. Like giving them the ability to upgrade 1x STG44 on their squad if they want it. Maybe you could also have the Volkssturm panzerfaust upgrade affect them as well by giving the Volksgrenadiers the panzerfaust upgrade for free with that unlock.
The unlock path is meant to focus on Volkssturm squads, not Volks grenadiers. Actually, the whole doctrine's infantry play should revolve around the Volkssturms, if we give an StG44 and free panzerfaust to Volksgrenadiers, it will only encourage to use Vgrens over Volkssturms.
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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby Black Panther » 26 Aug 2019, 19:55

Then give MP44 to the volksturm squadleader
you can't just leave the massed weapon only to the grenadiers

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby Warhawks97 » 27 Aug 2019, 00:16

MarKr wrote: The unlock path is meant to focus on Volkssturm squads, not Volks grenadiers. Actually, the whole doctrine's infantry play should revolve around the Volkssturms, if we give an StG44 and free panzerfaust to Volksgrenadiers, it will only encourage to use Vgrens over Volkssturms.


I would say they are complementary. This doc shouldnt completely forget about the Volksgrens. But it depends how future K98 will look like. But the general idea to give Volksgrens something to play with in this doc wouldnt be wrong.

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby MarKr » 27 Aug 2019, 08:56

I seriously doubt Volksgrens would become "forgotten" in this doctrine. They are still relatively cheap and compared to Volkssturm they can get LMG, have more effective rifles (no matter if the stats stay or get reverted), start with 6 men, have more HP, more suppression-resistant. They are strong enough complementary unit to your main force even without StG44.
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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby Black Panther » 27 Aug 2019, 10:54

Also, a question, can we get a helmets for the volksgrens, like in Normandy44 mod, so they won't look like a volksturm

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby Tiger1996 » 27 Aug 2019, 11:44

Honestly, 4x MP40s for 50 ammo won't do anything against enemy units with 6x Grease/Sten/Thompson SMGs... What i'm trying to say is; i think no StGs will be a global net nerf to Axis inf, given the fact that StormTroops are rarely used due to their high cost, as you need to spend too many CPs and so much munition upgrades to make them finally as effective as they should.. which is a huge risk to invest so hard into StormTroops, because they will be outclassed really quickly as soon as the first Sherman arrives anyway.. not to mention they can't reinforce from the air as Airborne units do, that's why i think paratroopers are often more durable despite being probably weaker stats-wise, but durability and deadly flame nades keep para units more superior in the long term.

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby fronex » 28 Aug 2019, 10:12

First of all, interesting changes, that will be made in the mod.
I just got one idea in mind, as I saw the models of the Volkssturm. They look very military in their outfits.
But if you just look for pics of the Volkssturm in Google, you always found also people on it with civilian clothes.

Image

Image

I dont know, if already some civilian skins exists, and I know, that its really difficult to make some. The Volksstorm was, like it was here
mentioned before, not a well trained military unit, it was a bunch of mixed people, that didnt even had any unitary uniform. And maybe this
could also be shown in the game.

And one more suggestion, that could maybe have a to big impact for the game. The Panzerfaust was mentioned for easy use, also later
for the Volkstorm and also civilians. Maybe if the Volkssturm unit reached max vet, they could get the possibility to use a Panzerfaust?
Last edited by fronex on 05 Sep 2019, 10:25, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby MarKr » 28 Aug 2019, 11:28

We are aware of the fact that many of the Volkssturm members had more or less civilian clothes but we decided to go with the retextured Volksgren uniforms. Volkssturm also had all sorts of military uniforms (if Wikipedia is to be trusted):
Wikipedia wrote:The German government tried to issue as many of its members as possible with military uniforms of all sorts, ranging from field-gray to camouflage types. Most members of the Volkssturm, especially elderly members, had no uniform and were not supplied, so they generally wore either work-attire (including railway workers, policemen and firemen) or their civilian clothing and usually carried with them their own personal rucksacks, blankets and cooking-equipment, etc.
One of the reasons why we also decided not to go with civilian skins is that we would like to avoid people complaining to Steam that our mod "promotes murdering of civilians" and similar delusional claims. You may think "waaaaat? nobody would do that" but you would be surprised what sort of crap people came up with over the years :roll:

As for the Pantzerfausts - Volkssturms can upgrade Panzerfaust (upgrade requires unlock) and then use it same way as Volksgrenadiers ;)
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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby fronex » 28 Aug 2019, 11:34

MarKr wrote:promotes murdering of civilians"


I didnt know that. Yeah, that makes it more complicated.

MarKr wrote:As for the Pantzerfausts - Volkssturms can upgrade Panzerfaust (upgrade requires unlock) and then use it same way as Volksgrenadiers ;)


Nice to read! ^^

Thank for your answer! :)

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby XAHTEP39 » 28 Aug 2019, 20:58

ronex , I sure, that "Historical addon" make some helments and civilian clothes for Volkssturm :twisted:

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby CGarr » 05 Sep 2019, 04:44

Having the vgrens be upgraded along the vstrums sounds like the best choice to me if grens are going to be removed from terror. Vgrens would fill the support role in this doc in the same way that storms and grens do in blitz/def. As for STG's, I'd rather see them be available in small quantities (1 per combat squad with no upgrade cost) after teching up to a certain point. It'd make fresh built squads more relevant as combat units late game without forcing them to get a weapon upgrade immediately, but it wouldn't be stupidly strong in the way that fully STG upgraded grens used to be.

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby fronex » 05 Sep 2019, 10:25

I know, its difficult to use historical facts as an argument for a video game. And so its just an idea.

In the tech tree its seen, that the Volkssturm gets a MP40 Upgrade. But in real, the Volkssturm was really bad equipped
with weapons and ammunition. So maybe not the Volkssturm as squad get the possibility to get MP40, but the
Officer and his bodyguards get the StG/MP 44?

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby MarKr » 05 Sep 2019, 11:39

@fronex: I am not sure how well would that work. You can only have one Officer squad at a time and its role is not really to dish out damage but to provide bonuses and support to the squads around - especially so with Volkssturms, which are weak without veterancy or other buffs. Officer will be a high-value target for your opponents. The "bodyguards" are there not to increase firepower of the squad but to act like a "meatshield" for the Officer so that a sniper or one mortar round doesn't kill the Officer immediately (or at least no so often), so equipping them StG44 is not something required for their purpose.

Also, the Volkssturms can only upgrade the MP40 once and gain 2x MP40, so you cannot get a squad with 4 or more SMGs - this is to, at least partially, represent the fact they were underequipped.
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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby kwok » 05 Sep 2019, 14:35

To respond to some other points contrasting volkssturm with volksgrens, this is something we thought about A LOT. We want to say that by intended design right now there is a significant difference in role between the two units even if they might have similar names and weapon loadouts.

The volksgrens have frequently and will continue to be something likened to a parallel to riflemen, basic infantry units with combat capability that will hold up through all stages of the game but not necessarily be game ending.

Volkssturm are essentially militia units designed to be more "filler" with a unique macro advantage that we hope to see in the beta tests. That being said, don't want to give out TOO much info because I like to see how meta's build up organically without specific direction. But, some hints on how we intended volkssturm to be used is to gain a numerical advantage because of their cheap costs plus build order availability and stay alive only through the support of other units, not as standalone fighters.
So like Markr said, they are not fighters thus will likely not have stg44s.

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby mofetagalactica » 29 Sep 2019, 15:43

I think this unit had a failed design, in their current state they haven't been able to provide any worth strategy from early to mid game, they only become a little better at latest HQ stage (lol yeah) when you can upgrade them to a 7 man squad and almost all of them are equiped with mp40 and zeal.
I wouldn't recommend anyone (even if they're god at micro) to use this unit from early to mid stage, except as a point cap unit at the start of the game.
In their current state this unit only makes you loss MP/Muni and micro that you should have put on other units so the concept of "high risk - high reward" is totally a lie.
I had some ideas on how this unit could be more usefull:

-Get rid of the pay to upgrade squad size replacing it for a general upgrade on the HQ (available at assault phase) that makes the squad to get 2 new models (squad price rises up to 200mp after getting the upgrade)
-MP 40 cp unlock gives 2 free mp40's to all volksturm squads wich would make them a better unit overall in assault phase when you have 7 man volksturmm squad (5 kars - 2 mp40) with also the option to buy a pair of mp40's.
-Faust CP unlock will make the unit to be able to use Faust ability without having to pay for the upgrade (it will only be a pay to use ability)
-Faster reinforce speed
-Sturms will retreat when having 2 models alive (from 3) at vet 0
-Fixing vet requirements for each vet level (currently too high)
-Nerfing the XP that you give to the enemy when losing Vsturm models to 1xp (from 2xp)

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby MarKr » 29 Sep 2019, 18:44

I would like to ask you and all the players who've played the beta to post some replays. Sofar I've seen only about one of mofeta and wald. People complain here about issues of the new Propaganda doctrine but without checking those replays it is hard to check the functionality of the doctrine.

From the posts here I have a feeling that people use the Vsturms like:
1) Build Vsturms
2) move around the map until I run into enemies
3) if possible move the Vsturms into cover
4) wait and see how the RNG plays out and see who wins the firefight
So pretty much like any other infantry in the game.
However, when designing the doctrine the expectation was that most of the firefights in the early game would be supported by the Officer (so some buffs for the Vsturms) and his propaganda ability would be used between the points 3) and 4) fairly often to gain the upper hand in combat rather than situationally.
I suspect this is not what happens and as I said - without the replays it is hard to tell if people use them as intended or not and if they do, if the strategy is objectivelly working, and if not then why (e.g. too high costs, cooldowns) etc.

If anyone has beta with the Propaganda doctrine in action, please upload them.
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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby kwok » 29 Sep 2019, 18:46

I like these ideas so far. Because they still keep the volkssturm as the intended units/how they were designed instead of just making volkssturm = volksgrens and volksgrens = grens. Here are the ones I like so far (doesn't mean we do just means I personally like it):

-Faster reinforce speed
-Sturms will retreat when having 2 models alive (from 3) at vet 0
-Fixing vet requirements for each vet level (currently too high)
-Nerfing the XP that you give to the enemy when losing Vsturm models to 1xp (from 2xp)
-Faust CP unlock will make the unit to be able to use Faust ability without having to pay for the upgrade (it will only be a pay to use ability)
NOTE: We may have this faust cost a bit more than the regular faust ability (i.e. instead of 35mu to shoot, maybe costs 45mu to shoot)


Few things I only somewhat like:
-Get rid of the pay to upgrade squad size replacing it for a general upgrade on the HQ (available at assault phase) that makes the squad to get 2 new models (squad price rises up to 200mp after getting the upgrade)
NOTE: The intent of having it as a squad upgrade is so that players can have more specific control in their unit investments. the volkssturm can retain their extremely low costs instead of having a blanket increase to the unit. We understand the "issue" though and we are looking at different ways to address it. We tried having it so the upgrade comes with a free reinforce, had some issues there.

-MP 40 cp unlock gives 2 free mp40's to all volksturm squads wich would make them a better unit overall in assault phase when you have 7 man volksturmm squad (5 kars - 2 mp40) with also the option to buy a pair of mp40's.
NOTE: I'm not 100% sure if this can be done without running into bugs. slot items get tricky. I also don't know if this will have too much of an impact on the game where volkssturm won't be able to be taken on by basic units in a 1v1 scenario. These units are intended to be the bottom of the power levels of units where it needs at least 2 volkssturm to match a single rifleman, maybe 3 to actually out match. The cost of volkssturm is justified not by their ability to fight but their macro presence (essentially double cap speed available without any buildings, map vision, flanking ability, etc.). There's also the indirect effects of the propaganda abilities which we are still tweaking. This will HEAVILY affect the viability of volkssturm. In my opinion, the real choke point on the effectiveness of the doctrine and this particular unit is the MU costs. This was discussed and we are looking to make changes indirectly before making direct changes to volkssturm.

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby Warhawks97 » 29 Sep 2019, 19:39

Ehm, global squad size increase doesnt mean that build cost increase. In corsix you just add a unit cost reduction modifier, easy as that. When i tested 3 and 4 men squads that got upgraded to 4 or 5 men in PE via upgrade, i managed to maintain build cost (and even build time cost) to stay at the exact same level.

For example. In my testings i made a 4 men inf squad costing 220 MP. Via global squad size increase one men got added. I simply added a squad_cost_manpower_modifier of 0.8. So the fifth men would have increased cost to 275 but that modified by 0.8 dropped it back down to 220. I think reinforce cost dropped as well per men as the total reinforce cost is based on total build cost and then distributed over the ammount of men.


In this case you just need to add a 0.71429 modifier to maintain build cost at 190 MP. Or rather, 0.712428571428571266. The Build cost will then be 189,99999999999. The game will likely round it up to 190 MP and here we go.


Also increase squad size via multiplier of max and default squad size. The modifier would be 1.4 (5x1.4=7 men). Addition didnt work so well for me.
As you can see, its this simple to increase squad size globally without changing squad cost.

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby kwok » 29 Sep 2019, 19:42

You missed the point warhawks.

We can make it so that the cost can be whatever we want. We know how to do that. We don't WANT to use global squad increase right now.

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby MenciusMoldbug » 09 Oct 2019, 02:18

I'm going to come back to this because I think volkstrumm are incredibly weak to AOE weapons thanks to their low HP pool. Like so weak they die to the outer (long-distant) blast radius of stuff like grenades, artillery, rockets, etc. Making it very easy to squad wipe them just using AOE weapons (which kind of makes it hard to have them in 'mass' when they all die so easily like that). My thought is instead of having the veterancy provide HP buffs to make them stronger they should already start with good amount of HP per model(except at vet 5 maybe) but have a received accuracy malus until they get their veterancy. So they could have 65 HP per model and 25% increased received accuracy on them or something like that. Just so they don't get squad wiped so easily by AOE stuff but are still weak in infantry fights where it matters (and susceptible to machineguns and other stuff).

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby CGarr » 10 Oct 2019, 23:15

kwok wrote:To respond to some other points contrasting volkssturm with volksgrens, this is something we thought about A LOT. We want to say that by intended design right now there is a significant difference in role between the two units even if they might have similar names and weapon loadouts.

The volksgrens have frequently and will continue to be something likened to a parallel to riflemen, basic infantry units with combat capability that will hold up through all stages of the game but not necessarily be game ending.

Volkssturm are essentially militia units designed to be more "filler" with a unique macro advantage that we hope to see in the beta tests. That being said, don't want to give out TOO much info because I like to see how meta's build up organically without specific direction. But, some hints on how we intended volkssturm to be used is to gain a numerical advantage because of their cheap costs plus build order availability and stay alive only through the support of other units, not as standalone fighters.
So like Markr said, they are not fighters thus will likely not have stg44s.


Seeing as how the unit isn't meant for fighting 1v1 and how grouping them can be an issue due to their low durability, I think I can agree with the last part of this post regarding the notion that the doctrine's core inf should be more heavily reliant on supports rather than their own (lacking) strength. As such, I think we should look into ironing out the supporting roster of units rather than focusing on Vsturms themselves, and in saying this I still stand by the idea of having a defensively oriented heavy officer support squad as a complement to these weak filler units and the relatively high micro normal officer squads would allow for players to at least have a firm grip on whatever area said heavy squad is in through firepower rather than use of abilities, allowing players to use the doc in a similar fashion to how airborne docs are used in the other factions while still retaining its unique nature. You would still be stuck with weak core infantry options that are made viable through the presence of officers, but the skill barrier would be slightly lowered by at least giving players a safety net of at least one forward area that they can fall to if they aren't able to hold out on other fronts with Vsturms and the other (more offensive oriented) officer squad.

This heavy officer squad shouldn't have any abilities other than passive buffs and some sort of "hunker down" ability that provides a large durability buff (at the cost of significantly reduced firepower, the intent being to hold out in their position until support can arrive) to units in cover and binos, instead using it's high long range anti inf firepower to stave off incoming attacks while still retaining some sort of vulnerability (anything with wheels/tracks) to prevent it from being some sort of super unit. I suggested the hunker down idea as a means of mirroring the utility of "heroic charge" abilities but flipping the priority to defense instead of offense. In addition to this I think a decrease in movement speed outside of friendly territory (similar to brit inf) would make sense for this unit, as again the main point in having it would be to help secure a foothold to hold out from assuming the player fails to hold any ground with the Vsturms (most likely the case with their given stats). Terror would still be forced to be on the defense with its main fighting force while trying to envelope the enemy or at least hold ground using the Vsturms as a wall of meat rather than a precise tool for breaking through lines.

From what I've interpreted of the devteam's responses, the new doc revolves around being able to survive into late game despite having the worst mainline inf roster of any doctrine. This goal is intended to be achieved through the use of very strong support units that are limited in number either due to unit cap (officers) or high cost (heavies, arty). The unit I'm proposing would fall in line with that concept, and seeing as how the airborne command squad and PE heavy SS squads aren't game breakingly strong, I don't see how a copy of the latter with an officer aura, decreased mobility and less abilities would cause many issues even at a higher level of play, yet it's addition would make the doctrine much more attractive to players of average or low skill than it currently is. The doctrine would still retain it's high-risk/high-reward nature at higher levels of play through its ability to take large amounts of ground by capping around the enemy, helping it snowball into heavy tanks and powerful arty, but until that late stage, the doctrine would be on the backfoot in the majority of engagements, especially against light vehicles and allied elite troops which come at a much earlier stage than terror can get it's signature heavies and arty. Even in the late game their inf would have trouble taking ground if the armor support is nullified, as many allied doctrines outshine it in terms of volume of indirect fire, and the inf themselves would be hot garbage in a fight against vetted elite allied inf. They would be relegated to defensive roles aside from maybe the act of capping resource points and scouting, where they are safe within trenches and supported by the proposed heavy command squad in the event of a concentrated enemy infantry attack. They would still be extremely vulnerable to armor without the aid of their own armor support, again going back to the doctrines reliance on investing large amounts of resources into very few units to support their otherwise weak force.

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Re: New Terror/Propaganda Doc: Volkssturm

Postby Walderschmidt » 19 Oct 2019, 19:26

Why not add abilities late game so that volks get buffed or something so that Terror has a more reliable front line infantry that doesn't melt in the face of Combat Engies, Rangers, and Airborne?

Not a damage increase maybe, but received accuracy or health?

Maybe change vet structure for terror inf/support?

Wald


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