Airborne Doctrine

Do you have a balancing problem or do you want to make a suggestion for the game? You are at the right place.
Post Reply
User avatar
Sukin-kot (SVT)
Posts: 1119
Joined: 09 Dec 2014, 08:36
Location: Ekaterinburg, Russia

Airborne Doctrine

Post by Sukin-kot (SVT) »

Hey all, since I still don't have posting permission on discord, I will post it here. It will be greatly appreciated if someone could then repost it on discord as well as give me the posting rights.

BK has gone through a lot of transformations in the past couple of years and so far I like it a lot. However, I still don't understand why 101s rangers got such an unfair treatment. They are supposed to be the core of the doc, but they are hands down bad in pretty much aspect. Their HP is low but the price is high. They don't have any cool abilities, no camo, no special grenades. Lastly, when all elite inf got their vet. bonuses buffed 101s were left aside once more.

AB itself is very far from being a popular doc and it extremely lags behind its faction neighbors, Armor and Inf. It is an extremely weird doctrine where you need a plenty of CP to get units which perform worse than most of the non doctrine specific counterparts. Canadian Infantry or Combat Engineers are way more tanky, has higher damage output and abilities that greatly synergize with the rest of the doctrine, despite those not even belong to the infantry oriented doctrine.

Let's have a look at how quick US docs get access to the tools that help to gain momentum. I typically divide unlocks into 2 main categories:
1) Breakthrough ability that helps to cut through defenses (arty call-in, airstrike)
2) Unlock that helps to put raw pressure with units. Let it be something strong and elite (storms/rangers) or price reductions that help to roll out more basic units outnumbering the opponent/ stats boost to the units on field.

I would say that in terms of power creep Inf and Armor are not only the best Allied doctrines, but the best once across the entire mod. The reasoning is simple - they have very quick access to the full unit roster for effective rush. A great combination of units with high damage output backed by solid support abilities.

Let's take 6 CPs as a starting point and compare the doctrines. Six because it's typically as much as players obtain in the early to mid game (15-20 minutes)

2 CP - Sherman Mass production (Raw pressure) = extremely cost effective M4 that annihilates infantry and holds stubby tanks at bay as well
1 CP - Combat Engineers training (Raw pressure) = tanky close quarters inf, that can be beasts in urban combat. Thanks to their special nades and flame throughers. Moreover, they are available by default.
1 CP - Arty strike (breakthrough ability) = long range, precise, can be called in via any units with tank commander.
1 CP - 76mm sherman = greatly synergizes with mass prod unlock and can take on pretty much any tank lower tier than Panther
1 CP - Quicker vet for Shermans = further boosts your army.

I would honestly say that Armor doc with 0 CP is still better than AB with 6 CP. They have Wolverine that is great denial against panzers. Rocket Jeep which is way better than 75mm pak due to the fast salvo and the fact that it can't be so easily countered by arty or nebels. And even special inf with smg's available right away, meaning that you can vet them on volks and pzgrens relatively easy.

2 CP - Arty strike (breakthrough ability) = can be called anywhere
2 CP - Rangers = awesome elite inf, each unit can have upgraded Bazooka, their officer is available right away. On the top of that you get CQB with great breakthrough potential if timed properly. They can also do ambushes and set booby traps.
2 CP - Cheap inf = AT teams with M36 Zooks just for 250 MP is great + you can put enormous pressure with rifles.

Then the Inf doc can take any direction it wants:
- Roll out 76mm to support waves of inf and later build Jackson that is completely ultimative against Axis medium tanks
- Scale up as the arty doc with Howitzers, Priests and Long Tom which is an incredible breakthrough ability
- Play elite inf doc with masses of powerful rangers + infiltration rangers that do not need ammo to be equiped with weapons + have one of the strongest abilities in the game (crawling)
- Play as def doc with pretty decent emplacements

Now, gosh....where do I even start with AB doc? It has literally one good unlock in the early-mid game, obviously it's the Strafe run. I think the best way will be to list down all the problems below, comparing them with similar units from other doctrines. Because my biggest problems with AB is that I don't understand why would you ever pick it over Inf, Armor, Canadians or RAF.

1) 101s are a core unit of the doc, but their loadout is shit and they have no abilities. There is so many docs where MUCH better inf is available without any unlocks: combat engies, canadians, grenadiers. Against true CP inf (storms, luft paratroopers or gebirgs, rangers) 101s are simply a cannon fodder.

2) HQ team requires 4 Inf doc you can get ranger captain right away and it's almost the same. RAF has captain with no unlock as well, he can also camo which makes easy to keep him on the front boosting the commando.

3) Mortar strike by HQ is the biggest joke, who even came up with that? While Armor doc can call in a 105mm arty strike from any vehicle with commander at huge range, AB needs 6 CP, 400 MP fragile unit on a frontline with limited range, and it's gonna be a mortar strike, lol.

4) No momentum abilities when opponents aren't dumb and can set up AA. RAF also has a tough time in that scenario, but at least their inf is tanky + smoke saves the day. They also don't struggle against vehicles that much, thanks to 17p and elite AT teams.

I can go on for much longer, but the main point is that it feels like AB has to unlock more than a half of it's command tree in order to get what other docs have by default or almost immediately. Pak drops? Trucks can quickly get to the front and deploy paks. Mortar call in? Prop Officer and BK Storm officers have it by default. Flame nades and camo? Again, most of the inf have special abilities by default.

Imagine that RAF would need to spend 2 CP to unlock commando, then 2 CP to unlock their captain, then another 2 CP to unlock their smoke and gammon bombs, and then extra 2 CP for the heavy glider since you can build paks and arty there. How boring and weak would that be?

Let's get to solutions. We need to pull this doctrine up so it matches other doctrines in terms versatility - meaning that it has to be able of gathering a unit roster that is capable of answering any kind of threat and make breakthroughs without completely relying on doctrines of teammates.

If we keep the current stats of their inf as is then:

1) 101s and HQ team become become CP free essentially being available once you pick the doctrine. They will be buildable in barracks first. The Airdrop becomes available once the Motorpool gets upgraded.

2) 101s HP increased by 5

3) Instead of 101s unlock --> advanced paratrooper equipment (2CP), 101s can now purchase weapon packages: long range (75 ammo, x2 Johnsons + x4 Garands) short range (50 ammo, x2 Shotguns + x4 Thompsons), tank buster (75 ammo, x2 recoiless rifle M36 Zook + x1 M36 Zook).

4) Instead of HQ team unlock (2CP) --> HQ team upgrade, their command aura range increases, they can heal soldiers around and their team member gets a sniper rifle.

5) New unlock - AB observation squad (1 CP), they can call airdrop of MG and mortar, next unlock is called heavy equipment airdrop (2 CP) allows them to drop 57mm and 76mm paks. But all have to cost a bit more to avoid the defence spam.

6) Mortar Strike Call In by HQ team is separate 1 CP unlock. When HQ team reaches vet 1 the range gets increased, at vet 2 the amount of shells increase (should be similar to Prop officer) at vet 3 it turns to 105mm.

7) Rocket strike removed, Bomb run is buffed against tanks a bit. The last unlock in the plane branch will be Thunderbolt formation bomb run for 250 ammo. Essentially the old Patrol ability, but without strafe runs, so it's not that ultimate.

8) 76mm Sherman removed, tank busting training is added instead. 101s with AT packages and 82nd throw 2 stickies instead of one, shoot with handled AT more accurate, recoiless rifle has significantly higher chance of criting the vehicles

9) 82nd air drop cool down decreased to 30 seconds.

10) New unlock - smoke the area, the entire sector will be bombarded with smoke.

Everyone is welcome to voice their opinion about the ideas mentioned here and AB doc in general.

User avatar
Posts: 5394
Joined: 23 Nov 2014, 21:45
Location: Germany

Re: Airborne Doctrine

Post by Warhawks97 »

Long but good Post. I basically support all of these ideas. I think you cant make posts and points more clear than this.

The thing is that i dont have the will or power to keep arguing about doctrines and many nonsense-upgrades.

Bottom line is: The game lacks a clear faction design and doctrines are even more weird. Some docs have to spend like 4 CP´s to unlock some usless rubish stuff, other, as you mentioned, have lots of powerfull asstes by default or have a powerfull unlock somewhere for just 1 or 2 CP (or even multiple independent powerfull unlocks). You brought armor doc up as a good example and BK doc that are badass even with a few CP´s while docs like AB keep unlocking crap or basic survival stuff like M10´s.

I would scrap most docs and would first create factions properly (what are they supposed to have by default, what should require doc unlocks, how is research organized) to create a common ground on which docs will be build up on.

But as much as i would like to support you actively, my batteries are just empty and currently i find for some reason more joy to keep an eye on coh3 and its progress rather than going deep into BK again.

PS: I wonder how many AB posts have been made over the years without anything really being changed. I appreciate your will to fight for this many years for this doctrine.

And btw, if you check the AB Kampagne of the vanilla game, you gotta find some really cool unlock ideas for AB doc. EAW mod has picked up on a few.
Build more AA Walderschmidt

Post Reply