Paratrooper Beta Feedback

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  • Let's start discussion off by talking about the mobilization time, probably the most controversial thing.

    Right now mobilization time (the time until a dropped paratrooper can move) is as follows:

    lvl1: 24h
    lvl2: 18h
    lvl3: 12h
    lvl4: 6h

    Our reason for that is that we did not want to make the unit too dominant from the beginning. We see the arguments from the sceptics that the unit might be too disrupting in a game where you cannot be always online. Imagine going to sleep for 6-8h and someone with paratroopers lvl4 can already conquer multiple of your provinces because they only mobilize for 3h. On 2-4x speed maps it is even harsher. That's why our intended use case for the unit is not to conquer multiple provinces but to conquer one specific province, which is already pretty powerful. We have to keep that in mind.

    Still a reduction of the times is possible. So I would like to hear from you guys what you think about it. Think about using them offensively but also think about getting them used against you, potentially while you are offline.
  • I'll start by saying that paratroopers were not my idea, although I notice you used several of my suggestions about making them work :)

    I see paratroopers primary goal as securing an airfield in order for planes to penetrate deep behind enemy lines. Being able to smash the enemy supply lines and units that are still in transit to the front is one of the most effective ways to blunt their ability to react. Very few players have their units grouped with anti air or under the cover of interceptors behind the line. Of course this would only be safe to do when the enemy has gone to bed, as you would need to capture the province, repair the airfield for a few hours, and then pick off targets of opportunity.

    So with that being my intended use of the paratrooper to capture an airfield and hold it against rebellion, the long cooldown periods work well.


    Along the same theme as capturing an airbase, capturing a coastal province and building a naval base will accelerate disembarking significantly. Those 2 hours that could be saved can mean the difference between getting caught and getting safely ashore. The 4.5 hours of disembarking while hoping the enemy is not noticing causes a lot of anxiety.


    An alternate use is for distraction, to cause the enemy to have to leave the front line and recapture provinces. This will weaken and disorganize the front line, hopefully creating an opening or at least a weak spot.


    In all of these cases, I want to use paratroopers to seize and hold a province, so the long wait does not matter. I would leave the paratrooper there in that province for 24 hours or so anyway, at least until morale stabilizes and the area is secure. Why capture a province and then leave it behind to revolt or get recaptured by any single unit?



    Now if the paratroopers are used against me, having them holding the province that they captured is obviously good as it makes them an "easy" target, and I can maneuver forces to recapture the province. However it does seem to be a bit like "shooting fish in a barrel" as there is no sport in hunting down the glued in place paratroopers. If the time that they are fixed in place is lower, part of the excitement is in guessing what the enemy is doing or has done. There might be a better province that is just out of range of the paratroop. I can relax with the knowledge that this province is safe from the air, but if the paratroop can land and roam free overnight it will be frustrating to defend against.


    So I like the original cooldown times:
    lvl1: 24h
    lvl2: 18h
    lvl3: 12h
    lvl4: 6h

    As they fit my anticipated use, and I can deal with having them used against me without completely unbalancing the game.




    All this is entirely theoretical as I have not had time to actually try out these strategies yet.
    War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin keep out of the way til you can. - Winston Churchill



    VorlonFCW
    Main Administrator
    EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh

    >>> Click Here to submit a bug report or support ticket <<<
  • I am developing my first paratroopers still, so I can't speak from practical experience yet.

    a. Cool down times are something to be tested and maybe or not adjusted. I am with Vorlorn on the various aspects of that.

    b. What bothers me more is the very limited range.
    250km max range is something I can cover without paratroopers easily and within a few hours: breach front line with artillery barrage & bombings, slip through with a number ACs on forced march, penetrate enemy hinterland (do you see many people defending their hinterland?) => wanted province taken, rake havoc and a lot more ...
    The forced-marching ACs will cover the 250km in no-time. It is irrelevant if it is a 1x, 2x or 4x speed game, because the faster cool down time of the paratroopers will still be relative to the also increased speed of my ACs.
    For now it seems I can have the same result at a much lower cost with higher flexibility and w/o disrupting other tech developments.

    All in all the current limitations mostly seem to leave useful deployment especially in the area of speeding up naval landings (ref. Vorlorn).
    That is: if the paratroopers can also start off from a CV, because again the 250km max range is a severe limitation here, as it hardly allows for any island hopping or of crossing many of the straights.

    As it is, with the limited range, I do not foresee any forced changes in my play style, because the paratroopers cannot really penetrate far and will not be many (because of cost), thus will be easily dispatched of by swiftly produced artillery in the surrounding area or a few bombers, temporarily relieved from front duties.

    Nevertheless, I do love the addition of this unit, since they just should be there and I am looking forward to the further development of its capacities.
  • Construction: An interesting set of tradeoffs for the person who wants paratroopers early. I calculate just over 6 1/2 days to build the infrastructure required to build a paratrooper if you do that in your capital and forgo the resources your starting capital produces. I am trying an alternate route of building the infrastructure required (lvl 3 Airbase and Barracks) in a different province and then moving my capital there (add another 12 hours). Of course you loose the resource production bonuses there as well so add 2 more days for an industrial complex in a non resource producing province. This will coincide nicely with the research time beginning on day 8 for the paratrooper, both the infrastructure and research should complete about the same time. All this assumes no hurrying of production times and adequate resource availability.

    Range: I am concerned about 200 KM as it is not very far at level one. Lets face it Naval Bombers have greater range then that and they can't even make it to the next airbase half the time at level one. The range increase per level of 25 KM seem in line with other aircraft range increases by level. You might tweak it to start at 225 or 250. One drawback I have with the air ranges is not knowing how far X is on the map, where X is the range of the aircraft I am building an airbase for. A tool that would be helpful is a button "show range for selected province" when you click on it, it produces an aircraft range circle from the province dot. You would need to populate a drop down of the various paratrooper range circles for the player to select from. This would be a great feature for airbase planning purposes as well as research purposes.

    Cool down: Not a concern for me. I don't plan on moving them once dropped. In my experimental game I am planning to use them to capture some islands off my coast. Crete will be one of them, if I have the range.

    Non reusable: A good way to make them limited. Though if they are to steep a price to build, an option to move them back to the capital and refurbish them at a reduced cost wold be nice. I will let you know on this in about 9 days when the first one rolls off the assembly line.

    Planned Roll-out Note: You might want to leave this in Beta for a longer period of time, as those of us playing at normal speed will just be getting the feel of the unit when your announced plan for rolling out to new games occurs.
    "A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week." - General George S. Patton, Jr.

    "Do, or do not. There is no try" - Yoda
  • Think mobilization time (the time until a dropped paratrooper can move) should be cut in 1/2 as follows:

    lvl1: 12h
    lvl2: 9h
    lvl3: 6h
    lvl4: 3h

    Because you can only create them in one place.
    Requires so much, just to build one.
    The range is so short, more airports have to be built and
    You can not jump very far behind lines.

    Out of 8 Paratrooper that I have employed, 7 have been killed before mobilization was half done.
    The other 1 reached half mobilization, but was destroyed before mobilization was done.

    The post was edited 2 times, last by NashBean ().

  • based on feedback we received so far we are thinking about reducing the mobilization times for the earlier levels, but not for the max level, as everything below 6h would be too low for a game where you cannot be online 24/7:

    Level 1 = 12 hours
    Level 2 = 10 hours
    Level 3 = 8 hours
    Level 4 = 6 hours

    This still suits our design that they are meant to take specific provinces instead of taking multiple provinces in a short time.


    Other than that the 3 other topics to be discussed are range, combat stats and terrain.

    Range: Is the current range too small? We feel like it should not be that much bigger as it also multiplies the provinces that can potentially be reached, and probably no player has defending troops everywhere in his main land territory. It would make it incredibly hard to defend against Paratroopers in that case and there would be a constant threat of losing provinces deep in your own territory. A very slight increase in range would be possible though if players cannot get them to use properly right now.

    Combat stats: There are discussions going on if the unit shall have a defensive focus or an offensive focus, or be equal in both. Right now the unit has twice as high attacking values as defending values. This makes this unit more suited to attack provinces even if they are lightly guarded, as they use their attacking values during their "drop attack". Afterwards, once the initial battle is over and they go into mobilization mode, they will use their defense values only, making them easier to be picked off. Basically it gives the enemy an easier time to react after they were dropped on him. There are also arguments to reverse this, then they would be more suited to land in empty provinces and then block and defend from incoming enemy troops.

    Terrain: Currently the unit has a bonus in forests, as we think off them as operating behind enemy frontlines, and a forest would give them good cover for making surprise strikes. Counter point would be: Landing in forested terrain is harder for them. Also a penalty for urban terrain could be discussed.The question is if unit stats shall resemble their use after landing or their difficulty of landing in the first place.


    Tell us what you guys think on these topics.
  • Think on Combat stats:

    When they are dropped and are floating down they should be at a disadvantage. On D-Day many 101st were shredded in air. Best way to do this, would be switch attack and defence stats to give this affect. This would also help prevent taking multiple provinces by having twice as high defence values.

    At level 4, their attack and defence should be equal to that of a commando, with Attack and Defence stats switched.

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

  • As already posted, I believe the range will be to short at level 1. The extra 25 to 50 KM I suggested might get them to a usable distance, assuming they have to drop on the province center, which brings up a question.

    Will they only be able to drop on a province center or can you target their drop to be onto a non moving unit? One possible employment I was thinking about is dropping them on RRG's or ART that are sitting behind beaches but not on province centers defending beachheads at range. This would make them useful for invasions, assuming you have an airport close enough to the beach (England/France).

    Combat stats: At level 1 they have the same defensive value as a regular infantry unit (3). This seems a little low as they are better trained, have higher morale and better leadership. The performance of the 101 at the Battle of the Bulge where they were being used as infantry to occupy part of the line would tend to value them higher for defense then what is currently given.

    The attack value of 6 I am not sure about. How much is the element of surprise worth? Leadership, morale and training will all be pluses over the standard Inf that has an attack value of 2 at level one. Unit cohesion, injuries sustained on the jump and limited supplies will tend to further downgrade their offensive value until relieved, at which point we are treating them as an infantry.

    If you feel the combat factors are currently out of line, my recommendation would be to bump the defensive value to say a 4 or a 5, and lower the offensive value to either a 3 or a 4 at level one. This makes them an elite infantry unit after the drop that will be valued somewhere between a regular infantry and a Commando.
    "A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week." - General George S. Patton, Jr.

    "Do, or do not. There is no try" - Yoda

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Peter Mat ().

  • freezy wrote:

    Range: Is the current range too small? We feel like it should not be that much bigger as it also multiplies the provinces that can potentially be reached, and probably no player has defending troops everywhere in his main land territory. It would make it incredibly hard to defend against Paratroopers in that case and there would be a constant threat of losing provinces deep in your own territory. A very slight increase in range would be possible though if players cannot get them to use properly right now.
    My humble opinion on range:

    - taking multiple provinces is somewhat unrealistic, since it takes quite some effort to have multiple paratroopers. Even when having multiple paratroopers, it seems more wise to secure 1 point of strategic interest with multiple para's, than to split them over a few targets, since they will be isolated, stuck and vulnerable in that spot for a while anyway.

    - the advent of paratroopers brings along the very interesting fact that you may have to protect strategic assets behind the front line. This is a 'deepening' of the game game play and should be welcomed instead of feared. People like me scandalously exploit that other players (practically) never have troops behind the front line (which then soon leaves them with only that front line). An increased range of the paratroopers may force everyone (who is still alive on the map by that time) to reconsider.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by _Pontus_ ().

  • EZ Dolittle wrote:

    Everyone is ignoring the most vicious of combinations: Paratroops with Gold

    Erhhh.... well... In the peculiar case you meet someone who is willing to do that, he is already able to do many other things now with that same gold, which will anyway sway the game his way. In such a case there are the same 3 obvious things you can do as always.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by _Pontus_ ().

  • freezy wrote:

    Combat stats: There are discussions going on if the unit shall have a defensive focus or an offensive focus,
    I would be in favour of maintaining or even increasing the element of surprise (range... but I am repeating myself), combined with strong def values, bc this seems most realistic.

    During Operation Market Garden the para's proved to be very strong defenders of the positions taken after their surprise landing.
  • Now that I have my 1st paratroopers:
    - tech level developing times are extremely long (2 days+ for each level)
    - cost are very high
    - production times are very long


    The research slot occupation time and the accumulated costs lead to very high 'opportunity costs' (= all that you didn't achieve, but could have, if you hadn't developed this unit)

    I am testing the unit, but as it is, I it still doesn't seem to be a unit I would soon develop in a regular game. In any case not early.
  • _Pontus_ wrote:

    very high 'opportunity costs' (= all that you didn't achieve, but could have, if you hadn't developed this unit)


    Yes, this is much like other secret level technologies. Consider the number of games that are over before atomic research is completed, or the cost to research rocket fighters and build the level 3 airbases necessary to produce them plus the close together airbases to get them to the front line.

    What do you find yourself cutting out of the research cycle in order to produce paratroopers?
    War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin keep out of the way til you can. - Winston Churchill



    VorlonFCW
    Main Administrator
    EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh

    >>> Click Here to submit a bug report or support ticket <<<
  • _Pontus_ wrote:

    Now that I have my 1st paratroopers:
    - tech level developing times are extremely long (2 days+ for each level)
    - cost are very high
    - production times are very long


    The research slot occupation time and the accumulated costs lead to very high 'opportunity costs' (= all that you didn't achieve, but could have, if you hadn't developed this unit)

    I am testing the unit, but as it is, I it still doesn't seem to be a unit I would soon develop in a regular game. In any case not early.
    Again a gold player can easily exploit by spending gold to overcome these. So, could research quicker than others. High cost less likely to deter them. Can speed up production times if they spend gold.
  • As a player who has opposed para's like FOREVER, I'm pleasantly surprised by the current implementation. They're surely not too overpowered, just a bit "odd" from a realism viewpoint (an EXTREMELY strong unit compared to regular inf, and attack/defense focus shifted). Their small range is the best limiter for OP-ness; enemy airports and vital installations are usually out of reach; cooldown makes sure they're not a breakthrough unit ON THEIR OWN, capital build requirement makes sure they don't swarm the battlefield. You can sometimes grab an important strategic objective with them, but these cases are rare and could have been taken in enemy sleep hours as well.

    Leaves the tactical role, supporting the actual frontline battle; and they certainly have some use there. Getting a prov early so your other units don't get the movement penalty is very valuable, particularly in mountains, areas where provinces are BIG (Siberia, NW Territories), and getting beachheads for naval invasions. Swapping focus to defensive would make them even more valuable in this role, cause they would better be able to hinder enemy reionforments getting to the vital battle (which was exactly their strategic role in many cases). Tactics should be "land in unoccupied zone, then dig in and block". As an opponent, it would also allow lighter defense of key areas (that vital city or air base close to the front; just an AA and an inf is not enough to defend now), which is good I think.

    As for terrain, I'd say they don' t fight in any different way than infantry after landing, so terrain bonuses should be the same. Someone said they would fight covert/guerilla style in one of these threads; I don't agree, these were regular combat formations with mostly regular infantry tactical doctrines. yeah they performed well in Arnhem (city); but so did infantry defenders in many other cities (Stalingrad, Caen, etc). If there would be ANY differnce, it would be negative bonuses for landing zones (gliders don't land well in forests, cities, and mountains... actually a PLAINS landing bonus would be just about the only viable of those).
    When the enemy is driven back, we have failed. When he is cut off, encircled and dispersed, we have succeeded. - Aleksandr Suvorov.
  • Lawrence Czl wrote:

    Again a gold player can easily exploit by spending gold to overcome these.
    I am not concerned with true gold players. They are exceptions and do not determine the overal outcome of anyone's game outcome's. When encountering a true gold player, there are 3 standard options for you of what to do.
    None of it has any baring on the development of paratroopers specifically.