1.5 Railroad gun unbalanced

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  • 1.5 Railroad gun unbalanced

    Hi all,

    After playing the 1.5 maps for a while, I've come to realize that the railroad gun in 1.5 is overpowered. They are far too dominant in the early-mid game - especially with the pan-Asian doctrine. They have massive +50% terrain boosts in this case in addition to the massive view range for armored cars (otherwise 25%). Also they move too quickly given this power (moves faster than small artillery pieces). When coupled with stacks of AA and ACs, the user of this strategy may neglect the stack of 10 sbde optimization and simply win due to seeing all enemies (stealth units seen by cars), and then the quick rail gun destruction every 30 minutes. This almost can't be countered unless one has prepared many rockets and is willing to take on massive losses. The other method I can foresee to counter this is to rush the rail gun stacks with a big medium/heavy tank attack.

    So my feelings are, the current state of the rail gun defeats the spirit of 1.5 in diversifying strategies used in Call of War.
  • The Railroad Gun actually has a lower speed than lvl1 Artillery (within the same Doctrine). One also has to realize that the cost of 1 Railroad Gun is still 10% higher than that of an Artillery on the highest level, which is quite a burden in the early game. For 1 Railroad Gun you could nearly produce 3 Light Tanks lvl1 for example. Sure we can do some more slight tweaks, like making it even more expensive or lowering terrain bonuses.

    But the main issue is that the Railroad Gun only has 1 level. So no matter how we balance it, it will be either too overpowered in the early game or totally useless in mid-game and lategame. The solution would be to add a second level to it so that the first level can be made weaker and the second level can be made stronger.

    We are currently in the process of reviewing our current historical unit models and pictures, when that is done we will have another look if it can be historically justified somehow to add a second Railroad Gun level. But no promises and if we do it, it won't happen in the next weeks.
  • Thanks for the reply freezy, I think it's the combination with the Pan-Asian doctrine that makes the rail gun pretty much in invincible. It travels at a speed of 37 on plains, while in COW 1.0, it travelled at about a third of this speed. So firing rockets at the rail guns would often miss, when playing against a very active player. The issue about making troops to rush the rail guns are that the enemy could just simply split a portion of units to block. With the firing rate at every half hour compared to an hour in the old game, it quickly shreds anything coming at it. Possibly, one would need to outnumber the rail gun stack significantly and approach from multiple angles to have a chance to eliminate such a stack.

    Making a huge stack containing 10+ rail guns, with loads of anti-air, several spotting AC's, shreds almost any light tank rush quickly. Especially that the spotting AC's have such a massive view range (160). That combination of bonus speed, view range, and movement speed, makes it almost impossible to beat. The stack I'm facing is a stack of 41 - it seems to be me that the sbde penalty is insufficient to discourage over stacking. In my view, it appears that stack running rail guns, with anti-air in huge stacks will have to become to norm. Before I had rail guns of my own (Comintern), couldn't stop that rail gun attack using other methods. The old 1.0 limit was 3 rail guns which quickly weakened the units upon overstacking. I just think it feels historically inaccurate to have rail guns be the backbone of the army, since they played a very minor role historically.

    But for sure, I understand why it is difficult to balance. What I think would be suitable as a balance is to slow down the rail guns further, to a point where it is maybe slightly faster than the 1.0 speeds. After all railroad guns need to be moved on railroads, and I guess infrastructure suits that task. Right now in 1.5, it seems that infrastructure is almost an unimportant investment.
  • I'm having the same issues in a FFA 1.5 match, while the cost comparisons in resources for 1 railroad gun and 3 tanks is fair to say it does not take into consideration the build costs for 3 tank plants vs 1 secret lab or the expense of upgrading which is unneccesary with the railroad guns.

    With a little buying and selling on the market and perhaps a modest investment in gold it isn't hard to get a doomsday stack of 6 or 8 railroad guns then add the armoured cars and cheap AAs and ATs and go on a rampage. The only early game counter I can think of is a doomsday stack of your own.

    Yes it is not hard to spread LTs and ACs and go all around them. My expirience is that the players building these monstrosities just go straight for your core and wreck everything if you do manage to carve up their homeland.

    As Adrian said that sort of defeats the purpose of diversification for different combinations of units and strategies as early and mid game the railroad gun doomsday stack reigns supreme as it exists now.

    They railroad guns are now too fast, overpowered and easily mass produced imo.
  • AdrianTheStrategist wrote:

    Thanks for the reply freezy, I think it's the combination with the Pan-Asian doctrine that makes the rail gun pretty much in invincible. It travels at a speed of 37 on plains, while in COW 1.0, it travelled at about a third of this speed. So firing rockets at the rail guns would often miss, when playing against a very active player. The issue about making troops to rush the rail guns are that the enemy could just simply split a portion of units to block. With the firing rate at every half hour compared to an hour in the old game, it quickly shreds anything coming at it. Possibly, one would need to outnumber the rail gun stack significantly and approach from multiple angles to have a chance to eliminate such a stack.

    Making a huge stack containing 10+ rail guns, with loads of anti-air, several spotting AC's, shreds almost any light tank rush quickly. Especially that the spotting AC's have such a massive view range (160). That combination of bonus speed, view range, and movement speed, makes it almost impossible to beat. The stack I'm facing is a stack of 41 - it seems to be me that the sbde penalty is insufficient to discourage over stacking. In my view, it appears that stack running rail guns, with anti-air in huge stacks will have to become to norm. Before I had rail guns of my own (Comintern), couldn't stop that rail gun attack using other methods. The old 1.0 limit was 3 rail guns which quickly weakened the units upon overstacking. I just think it feels historically inaccurate to have rail guns be the backbone of the army, since they played a very minor role historically.

    But for sure, I understand why it is difficult to balance. What I think would be suitable as a balance is to slow down the rail guns further, to a point where it is maybe slightly faster than the 1.0 speeds. After all railroad guns need to be moved on railroads, and I guess infrastructure suits that task. Right now in 1.5, it seems that infrastructure is almost an unimportant investment.
    Thanks for the additional insights.

    Keep in mind that all movement speeds were increased by 1.5, not only that of Railroad Guns. So a Railroad Gun in 1.5 moves at the same relative speed as it does 1.0, in relation to other units like tanks or rockets. That's why I can't imagine the problem being with the base movement speed. If anything it it must be the combination with the Panasian Doctrine bonus specifically, but we cant really remove the Panasian bonuses without becoming inconsistent. So that it not an option. If we lowered the base movement speed of the railroad gun to 1.0 levels, it will still be 20% faster for Panasian, while it may feel too slow for all other Doctrines. So not so sure about this suggestion yet.
    Sidenote: The range of the railroad Gun in 1.5 is smaller than in 1.0 (120 vs. 150).

    The loss in damage potential for overstacking is actually quite big, but I think the communication how much damage potential is lost was missing in the past. We rectify this by introducing a new army bar in the next update that shows more info about inefficient stacks.
    Stacking limits for ranged units can always be circumvented easily though by splitting a stack, even if its basically in the same location.

    If you face such a doomstack with your own doomstack I recommend to you splitting your own one into multiple armies, even if you are fighting in the same spot with all units. You can keep them split by giving those armies different orders. That way you can prevent your stacks from losing damage efficiency and speed up the battle time tremendously, making you able to catch the enemy railroad guns faster.
    And if the enemy splits off some troops to block your incoming troops, maybe the railroad stack is vulnerable to attacks from attack bombers at that moment.

    All this said, we actually nerf Railroad Guns in the update this week a bit by removing the terrain bonus in Plains and by making its research and production and upkeep costs slighty more expensive. Maybe this alleviates some issues already.

    We will keep monitoring it and may add further nerfs in future updates as well.

    Ruy Diaz de Bivar wrote:

    I'm having the same issues in a FFA 1.5 match, while the cost comparisons in resources for 1 railroad gun and 3 tanks is fair to say it does not take into consideration the build costs for 3 tank plants vs 1 secret lab or the expense of upgrading which is unneccesary with the railroad guns.

    With a little buying and selling on the market and perhaps a modest investment in gold it isn't hard to get a doomsday stack of 6 or 8 railroad guns then add the armoured cars and cheap AAs and ATs and go on a rampage. The only early game counter I can think of is a doomsday stack of your own.

    Yes it is not hard to spread LTs and ACs and go all around them. My expirience is that the players building these monstrosities just go straight for your core and wreck everything if you do manage to carve up their homeland.

    As Adrian said that sort of defeats the purpose of diversification for different combinations of units and strategies as early and mid game the railroad gun doomsday stack reigns supreme as it exists now.

    They railroad guns are now too fast, overpowered and easily mass produced imo.
    Thanks for the feedback! I want to comment on one thing in your post: To optimally produce a Railroad Gun (without wasting production time), you need a Secret lab level 3. While for building light tanks lvl1 optimally, you only need a Tank plant lvl1. In the production time of 1 Railroad Gun you are able to produce 3 Light Tanks lvl1 with only 1 Tank Plant lvl 1. With 3 Tank Plants lvl1 you could actually pump out 9 Light tanks in the same time 1 Railroad Gun is finished. So the expenses for production buildings is actually bigger for the Railroad Gun in the early game.

    Still balancing wise Light Tanks are of course not the best option to fight Railroad Guns, it was just an example to highlight the differences in production time & costs.

    As said above we nerf Railroad Guns slightly in this week's update (for new game rounds only), and we may do further adjustments down the road.
  • freezy wrote:

    Thanks for the additional insights.
    Keep in mind that all movement speeds were increased by 1.5, not only that of Railroad Guns. So a Railroad Gun in 1.5 moves at the same relative speed as it does 1.0, in relation to other units like tanks or rockets. That's why I can't imagine the problem being with the base movement speed. If anything it it must be the combination with the Panasian Doctrine bonus specifically, but we cant really remove the Panasian bonuses without becoming inconsistent. So that it not an option. If we lowered the base movement speed of the railroad gun to 1.0 levels, it will still be 20% faster for Panasian, while it may feel too slow for all other Doctrines. So not so sure about this suggestion yet.
    Sidenote: The range of the r



    Thanks for the feedback! I want to comment on one thing in your post: To optimally produce a Railroad Gun (without wasting production time), you need a Secret lab level 3. While for building light tanks lvl1 optimally, you only need a Tank plant lvl1. In the production time of 1 Railroad Gun you are able to produce 3 Light Tanks lvl1 with only 1 Tank Plant lvl 1. With 3 Tank Plants lvl1 you could actually pump out 9 Light tanks in the same time 1 Railroad Gun is finished. So the expenses for production buildings is actually bigger for the Railroad Gun in the early game.
    Still balancing wise Light Tanks are of course not the best option to fight Railroad Guns, it was just an example to highlight the differences in production time & costs.

    As said above we nerf Railroad Guns slightly in this week's update (for new game rounds only), and we may do further adjustments down the road.
  • Thanks for the reply. I think probably what caused this misperception on my part is the relative speed of the game in it's entirety compared to 1.0v. I was focused on railroadguns in particular because in 1.5v they can cover far more ground and do a tremendous amount of damage in the same period of time that they could in 1.0v, but then so can all the other units.

    Now if HC provided auto attack for rockets with pinpoint precision while I was afk I would be a happy camper! Just dreaming here I'll have to get used to the higher paced game and adjust accordingly.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Ruy Diaz de Bivar: spelling ().

  • I have seen what would be called a Death Star or Doom stack of 10 Railguns, with 5 AT and 6+ AA and some infantry.
    They vaporize things.

    Historically the railgun was used just as a gun not as a grand battery in the true sense of the word.

    The simplest solution would be to turn back the limitation to make them only built at your capital and that would go a long way to solving the problem, though a Gold user could produce a mass quickly, it would solve most of the problems and make them more of a specialized unit.
    \

    If you want to get historic about equipment suddenly then get rid of the Atomic Missile as totally out of character with a World War 2 background.
  • Uhm Railroad Guns never had the limitation that they can only built in the capital though? :D
    Wouldnt want to make an exception, wouldnt feel right if the Railroad Gun is the only unit tied to the capital.

    Balancing the game in a way that ingame army compositions always match historic army compositions is also not really our goal here, as we want to give players enough freedom to choose their strategies and to use a wide range of units. Every unit should have a counter though.
    For Railroad Guns the biggest counter is probably Attack Bombers. For the same price that the player built to have 10 Railroad Guns, 5 AT and 6 AA in a stack, another player could have built 15-20 attack bombers as well, who would have won vs. such a stack even with AA.
  • freezy wrote:

    Uhm Railroad Guns never had the limitation that they can only built in the capital though? :D
    Wouldnt want to make an exception, wouldnt feel right if the Railroad Gun is the only unit tied to the capital.

    Balancing the game in a way that ingame army compositions always match historic army compositions is also not really our goal here, as we want to give players enough freedom to choose their strategies and to use a wide range of units. Every unit should have a counter though.
    For Railroad Guns the biggest counter is probably Attack Bombers. For the same price that the player built to have 10 Railroad Guns, 5 AT and 6 AA in a stack, another player could have built 15-20 attack bombers as well, who would have won vs. such a stack even with AA.
    There have been attempts using attack bombers, however the attack bombers start taking so much damage such that their damage output is reduced by condition based SBDE. Moreover, the railgun user could simply patrol with fighters of his own to further counter this strategy.

    Regarding the speed of railguns. In 1.0 it was 12/12/9/12 for plains, hills, mountains, and urban terrain, respectively. While for artilleries, for example, it was 20/20/15/20 to 25/25/19/25 depending on level. For 1.5, the speeds are 32/19/13/25 for the railgun, and 30/30/15/30 for the artillery. It's evident by eye that railguns have sped up relative to units like artillery.
  • AdrianTheStrategist wrote:

    There have been attempts using attack bombers, however the attack bombers start taking so much damage such that their damage output is reduced by condition based SBDE. Moreover, the railgun user could simply patrol with fighters of his own to further counter this strategy.
    Regarding the speed of railguns. In 1.0 it was 12/12/9/12 for plains, hills, mountains, and urban terrain, respectively. While for artilleries, for example, it was 20/20/15/20 to 25/25/19/25 depending on level. For 1.5, the speeds are 32/19/13/25 for the railgun, and 30/30/15/30 for the artillery. It's evident by eye that railguns have sped up relative to units like artillery.
    Yes but you always have to compare the costs of both armies to keep the comparison fair.

    Since the issue arises mostly in the early game, lets go with lvl2 units for this comparison (except the railroad gun):
    For an army of 10 RRG, 5 lvl2 AT, 6 lvl2 AA the other player could produce 12 lvl 2 Attack Bombers and 12 lvl2 Tactical Bombers for example (used the sum of all production costs). I am pretty sure that the 24 Bombers would win.

    If you now add like 10 fighters or so to the Railroad Gun user, then you could also add 10 fighters to the other player to cancel it out.

    If you have to fight a fat RRG stack with a smaller army then the issue is not that much that the RRG stack is overpowered, but that the enemy player outproduced you or concentrated more resources into this attack.

    Yes the fighting efficiency of the Attack Bombers will degrade over the course of the attack, but so does the fighting efficiency of the enemy army.

    And please also keep the adjustments in mind that we just made with today's release.


    Regarding the speed: Yes you are correct that on early levels the Railroad Gun certainly has a higher relative speed value. But the speed value of the Railroad Gun stays the same, while all other units have their speed increased with rising level in CoW1.5. On the highest level, normal Artilleries for example have a speed of 48. Because of that it is natural that the starting speed of the Railroad Gun must be higher to be a viable option in the later game. That's the problem of only having 1 unit level that I alluded to earlier. Also keep in mind that the production requirements of the Railroad Gun are comparable to a level 3 unit.
  • freezy wrote:

    Regarding the speed: Yes you are correct that on early levels the Railroad Gun certainly has a higher relative speed value. But the speed value of the Railroad Gun stays the same, while all other units have their speed increased with rising level in CoW1.5.
    If you live that long :) .

    The FFA we were fighting in our neighbor had 23 RRGs (PanA super guns) in 2 stacks on day seven. By day eight three neighboring players were completely vanquished. I know ..it happens it was just a shocker to me it being only my second try at 1.5 and both rounds the RRG doomsday stacks ruled the world.
  • Ruy Diaz de Bivar wrote:

    freezy wrote:

    Regarding the speed: Yes you are correct that on early levels the Railroad Gun certainly has a higher relative speed value. But the speed value of the Railroad Gun stays the same, while all other units have their speed increased with rising level in CoW1.5.
    If you live that long :) .
    The FFA we were fighting in our neighbor had 23 RRGs (PanA super guns) in 2 stacks on day seven. By day eight three neighboring players were completely vanquished. I know ..it happens it was just a shocker to me it being only my second try at 1.5 and both rounds the RRG doomsday stacks ruled the world.
    Well "if you live that long" the same applies to the RRG user, because in order to build them he has to invest more upfront (higher production cost, higher cost of production building levels) than other players who use regular lvl1 units.

    In the current version (after last update), for the total resource costs of 23 RRGs you could also produce 42 Attack Bombers lvl2. Or you could produce 29 Heavy Tanks lvl1. Probably most players would get crushed by that as well. It is not so much the unit but the resource amount that was concentrated. You have to match the resource investment to make a comparison.

    As said, we just made adjustments in the recent update and some more adjustments can follow in the next update. Probably you are right that the Railroad Gun is still slightly too strong, but I would not call it overpowered in an unmatchable way. So slightly more adjustments probably incoming.
  • Tibbles wrote:

    Overall, I find it difficult to attack any artillery units that are not placed on the intersection of country. It's strange, even undefended artillery, especially rail guns, seem invulnerable in certain positions to ground attacks. Same with battleships in certain coastal spaces seem glitches and unattackable.
    Exactly what I thought about the intersections in province pathways.
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  • I think the main reason railroad gun is overpowered is because its range its more than double than other artillery and can shoot twyce or even three times before the enemy can retaliate, and only if you dont move your railroad gun. Also i disagree with freezy about the railroad gun become useless in late, just because its range still worth any invest in railroad, even in the lastest days.


    solutions could be reduce their range maybe the same range as battleships or make it appear later in the game or made them a specialist unit in take down structures. For now my only solution to counter railroad guns is with my railroad guns.
    "Si crees que esto tendrá un final feliz, es que no has estado prestando atención"