Rookie Mistakes No. 2: not understanding unit movement speeds

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    • Rookie Mistakes No. 2: not understanding unit movement speeds

      In an effort to help new players, I am going to periodically post a series of topics called "Rookie Mistakes," which will discuss obvious tactical and strategic errors that are common among many new players (and some experienced ones, too). This second post will discuss the consequences of not understanding the different movement speeds of the various unit types.

      Let's start with the basic premise that speed matters. Generally speaking, faster is better, and getting to a destination before your enemy does, or before your enemy can reinforce a weak unit formation, or send troops to an un-garrisoned province, can be the difference between an easy victory and a costly battle. Weaker, but faster units may escape being destroyed by stronger, but slower enemy units (destroyers vs. battleships; armored cars vs. medium tanks). Weaker, slower units may be run down and destroyed by faster, stronger units (infantry vs. tanks). So, yes, speed does matter.

      One of the most fundamental tactics employed in Call of War is combining several units into what is commonly called a "stack," or in more proper military terminology, a "formation." Intuitively, most beginning players understand that a stack of multiple units is stronger than a single unit, and a stack not only allows the player to multiply the strength of combining, say, 5 infantry regiments (5 times stronger than one infantry regiment), but also to combine multiple units of different types (say, 5 infantry regiments, 3 light tank brigades, 3 anti-aircraft regiments, and an anti-tank regiment) to take advantage of their different strengths against enemy infantry, armor and aircraft. So far, so good. But most rookies ignore the fact that these units move at different speeds, and when different types of units are combined into a single stack, they will all move at the speed of the slowest unit in the stack. When getting somewhere before your opponent does is the most important concern, then speed matters most.

      As an example, the fastest unit in the game is the armored car brigade ("AC"); a level 1 AC unit has a top speed of 45 kmh, and AC units get faster with each additional level of research completed up to 75 kmh. The slowest unit in the game is the militia regiment; all militia units (L1-L7) have a top speed of 15 kmh. Thus combining an AC unit with a militia unit will reduce the speed of the AC unit by two thirds. If you're in a hurry to get somewhere, that's not the way to do it when speed matters.

      Every unit's speed, by research level, is listed on the unit spec sheets. If haven't read the unit spec sheets, and aren't referring back to them on a regular basis, you may be left wondering why your opponents are running circles around you. Reading the instructions may be the key to victory. . . .

      The post was edited 3 times, last by MontanaBB ().

    • I could not agree more with this post - I still see quite senior players running around with a stack containing LT's and AT's, two units that are nearly at the opposite ends of the speed spectrum. Now there are situations where this makes sense where you are gingerly edging forward into enemy terrain where you just know there are MT or HT ready to crush your LT's so a bit of AT protection beefs up the potential defenses of your LT force (and you really need to get some sleep so won't be able to see what is happening for some hours!!)

      But always consider the different unit speeds - and if you have decided to go down the motorized artillery route, please also do motorized AA to keep them company in what is probably a hostile air environment

      So you have your stack advancing on the enemy and your really have no idea where they might be - why not detach a single AC or LT and move them towards your objective at "Forced March" speed - they may lose some morale but they may just arrive at the objective before the enemy deploys defenses - this has the dual advantage of slowing the other guy down because he is now moving in "your" province and speeding up your main stack for the same reason.

      Always, always be aware of your unit speeds and the speed of any enemy response units you can locate through recon. Attention to these details always pays off
    • [MontanaBB - Great posting. Maybe link your articles? Maybe one link to the first and another link to the previous (for when the previous isn't the first).]

      While I have often been the beneficiary of poorly combined stacks (I think of "formations" as multiple stacks in close proximity to each other...but that's just my perception of scale), whenever I see anything fast stacked with Militia I feel bad for the other player. He could have just sent me an in-game msg. letting me know what he was going to be doing...tomorrow.

      However, one slow unit can be useful if one wants an otherwise fast stack to proceed slowly (ie. when I'm going to be offline). Some times the "Delay" button isn't what's needed if one wants to the stack to move but slowly (all our drivers have lead feet).

      One thing I would add (and maybe it can be an article subject): the effect of terrain on speed (and Strength). Dividing stacks according to the speed of the unit type *for a given terrain* seems to be something players don't notice. Well, so many just stack everything together so, maybe, that's why.
    • If you're open to possible topic suggestions:

      - creating a stack of one or two types of Day One units (usually starting units) and sending them, via "Add Target", through several towns while offline [and trying to fix things the next day...or giving up because the stacks all died]

      - focusing, on Day One, toward getting nukes [chat, daily, has first week players asking about them]

      - turtling, even on an island, rarely works [vs experience players]...ok, many players will say it can work but there are a lot of caveats required