Recon: Arguably the most valueable part of a strategy

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Recon: Arguably the most valueable part of a strategy

Postby kwok » 24 Jun 2016, 06:38

"Scientia potentia est" = Knowledge is Power

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle." - Art of War

One of the most powerful weapons in BK doesn't fire a bullet or a shell. Binoculars are one of the most valuable tools because they give you insight on the opponent. I want to break down the Art of War quote piece by piece backwards to prove my claim.

"If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle"
This is somewhere most new people will struggle. Their first struggle is not knowing themselves in the sense that if they are new to BK, they do not know the mechanics, units, and factions. They lack the knowledge in the game and intuition to understand their own potential. The easiest way to overcome this challenge is to just play vs AI and instead of focusing on winning, focus on exploring what units and factions have to offer. Experiment and learn rather than trying to beat an enemy that will more or less play the same way every time.
The second struggle is not knowing the enemy. A new player to the community will naturally not know the veteraned frequent players, so they MUST use reconnaissance to grasp and understanding of their enemy. Where they fall short often is not recognizing the reconnaissance options available in BK. In vCoH there are not many recon options, so players are use to relying on that equal asymmetry of information. In BK, with the availability of recon, the player who invests to see the opponent will win over the player who plays blindly.

"If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat."
A friend, sgt. toni, was okay with me reviewing a replay, so I want to show this as an example to explain the next part of the quote. The replay can be found here:
Sgt. Toni shows to be an experienced player, enough to know about what units his faction has, so he knows himself. He bought recon units and sent planes a few times, but he did not have a consistent stream or understanding of his opponent. Watching the replay from his PoV (cuz that's the only way to fairly review a person), I was aching to know more about his opponent. I knew Tiger as a player, so I had some idea of how he would play, but not well enough that I could walk make a call in what he was doing behind the fog of war. Notice how much back and forth there was in this game. From the looks of it, neither Sgt. Toni nor Tiger had a lot of recon. Instead, both sides had waves and waves of losses. A large force would build up, clash, then get annihilated in quick moments. One example happened near the beginning, when Sgt. Toni chose to build a 17pdr when Tiger had no tanks to begin with. That's 360mp put into a unit that wouldn't contribute to defeating his opponent in the moment. You could make the case that the 17pdr was to counter IN CASE Tiger pulled a vehicle out. But, Toni lost nearly everything in a single attack from Tiger because he had no recon to tell him the attack was coming, therefor no time to react to the attack and set up an appropriate formation to defend, meanwhile his 17pdr sat useless on the side. A stronger move would be to send a plane (which he had available at the time) over Tiger's base, learned what Tiger was building, then work on building a counter instead of the 17pdr which can be postponed until Tiger makes at least a tank factory.

"If you know the enemy and yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles."
Imagine if you knew exactly what your opponent would throw out in a game of rock paper scissors. You would always win. You can play a hundred games of rock paper scissors and win every single one with confidence. This extreme example must be carried out in the game if possible. Unfortunately, I don't have a good replay to prove this because I don't have many games on the new patch. Instead, I'll pull up a good story with my main man Shadow to testify.
Shadow and I are probably the cutest couple in this community. I know him so fucking well, that he would always build LT then AT Boys in his opening. Every 1v1 I have against him, I throw back two inf squads because I know for sure he will bring out AT Boys. Naturally, I won almost every 1v1 against him. Until one day... that fucker changed on me and instead of getting AT boys, he made an MG instead. He KNEW I would go double inf to counter his LT+AT Boys.
See how knowledge can make such an impact on the game? Of course you won't have that level of knowledge on other players if you're starting new or meeting a stranger. So the best thing you can do in those moments is gather knowledge, learn, and analyze. That's where binoculars, flight recon, or even recon in force becomes so important.

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