The One True Change That Must Happen

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  • The One True Change That Must Happen

    This is pretty long, but it regards an urgent issue for as many players to see, so please read through and support this important issue for Call of War.

    I have played in over fifty matches. I have seen many players come and go. I have won matches and I have lost matches. I have observed many different tactics as employed from the most experienced players to the most inept of the truly unimaginative. I have faulted no one when their strategies fail. To each his own and that includes how you play this game. Be it for fun, social interaction, the thrill of the challenge, or simply to pass the time, I've seen so many players play in so many ways and it pleases me to see the creativity that many people employ.

    But there is one way of playing that I can no longer tolerate. It is the methodology of the mediocre strategist who employs a virtual cheat with a failed design element -- an exploit that must be stopped. And that is the usage of the all-powerful tactical bomber. In small numbers, the tac bomber is a normal unit that aids your ground forces in assault of the opposition. That is what the unit is supposed to represent. That is the way it was used in real life.

    However, in Call of War, there are some players...whom I have come to loath...that build nothing but endless tactical bombers accompanying only light tanks. This unrealistic and very basic strategy is designed to quickly conquer land that is unwarranted to have been captured at the speed in which it has been captured. The way the strategy works, is that the player, building a chain of airbases, and focusing almost exclusively on tactical bombers with maybe a few interceptors for their support, use massive fleets of these tac bombers to wipe out almost all opposition so that his few light tanks can sweep through and take all the good land...often bypassing the "useless" provinces that would serve only to drag down their food and goods resources.

    In the process, many players quickly abandon their nation out of frustration before this onslaught. The AI, having taken over, is then kept "alive" by that other player who leaves several of those worthless provinces for the AI to keep rebuilding it's capital in the face of completely hopeless odds...a trick to garner very-unwarranted additional morale boosts. The effect of which can enable a player to keep his entire empire at maxed out morale levels by daily capturing only one or two AI capitals in an artificial and unjust exploit of a pitiably-designed system AI.

    Furthermore, to facilitate the success of this oft-used strategy, those players that do commonly exploit it, will typically employ arrogance tactics against other players in the diplomacy and herald papers...with some even taking to baiting them like prey to be pounced upon. As much as I like Call of War, I find this particular behavior to be very reprehensible.

    Interestingly, the only reason this tactic works -- and the only reason that most players have difficulty fighting back -- is because of the overly-powered strength levels of the tactical bomber. Unlike most other units in the game, the tactical bomber has been given far too much offensive power against ground units while the AA levels of most ground units are too under-powered. Even the AA and self-propelled AA -- at equivalent tech levels -- are severely underpowered against the tactical bomber. Now, I would claim that the nuclear bomber is underpowered against AA units and can frequently get shot down when it would not make sense to do so. But the tactical bomber, when used in large numbers, has a tendency to take out the enemy in numbers at nearly four to one against ground forces guarded even with large numbers of AA.

    As an example, in one match recently, to quantify and test this strength imbalance, I sent out several large armies against an opponent that has been using this strategy throughout the match. Each army was very powerful, with good numbers each of tanks, mechanized infantry, and tank destroyers, all fully upgraded and in good condition and guarded from air attack by large numbers of self-propelled AA. In fact, I sent 5 large armies in a wide front and watched as each one was picked off by the tactical bomber screen. The casualties were at least three to one in his favor. Though the AA did do it's job of shooting down some tac bombers, the fact that everything in each group would be destroyed while the enemy only lost 2 to 3 bombers per battle was -- to say the least -- disappointing. It was a slaughter. I had a superior army, the enemy didn't even have an army nearby...just the bombers. In fact, I had built, just for this experiment, about 80 self-propelled AA's and yet the losses suffered by the other player amounted to about 20 bombers and less than 10 interceptors. I lost nearly 200 units.

    The loss was, of course, devastating and I will lose this match because of this. However, were the tactical bomber not so overly-rated or else had the AA been sufficiently set to counter the bombers, then I would not only have won those battles but would likely be winning the match.

    I am not saying that I want things to change so that I can have better results. I am just tired of seeing so many players (besides myself) have everything they have employ all kinds of interesting and bad and good have it all shot down by this one strategy.


    This tactic reminds me of something from the game "Starcraft". In that game, in multiplayer matches, there would be two kinds of players...those that followed the various strategies of which that game makes possible and those that would simply build nothing but a basic unit...the "zergling". Those that built only zerglings found them cheap and easy to build and thus would send endless numbers of them against a single enemy to overwhelm them with the death of a thousand cuts. Other players, who refused this strategy for it's unimaginative ways, often derided those players and despised them for "ruining" it for everyone else.

    So too is it true of Call of War, when someone builds only one type of unit -- particularly the light tank or tactical bomber -- that they ruin the experience for everyone else. The worst part about it is the arrogant bragging that these players like to employ. They think they are masters at strategy because they have practiced and perfected one single strategy and reuse it throughout most of the matches that they play. They think that because they win lots of those matches by this method, that they are a superior player.

    The truth is, I am a superior player. I can and do employ all kinds of strategy. I can think inside and outside of the box, so to speak, and I can easily out-think my enemies in this game. And I can use that zerg-like tac bomber strategy...and I have to great affect, but I loath it and despise those that do use it often. Surely, the tactic makes sense in some few circumstances as I have indeed seen. But to constantly rely on this tired old strategy because the developers at Bytro seemingly refuse to nerf the overpowered tactical bomber makes for a miserable gaming experience for the vast majority of us when facing those unimaginative users who refuse to use any creativity in their strategy.

    So I make a call to the people of Bytro. Please, either reduce the power of the tactical bomber or else ramp up the power of the ground-based anti-aircraft units in Call of War. And, the opposite is true of the naval bomber. I won't go into it, here, but the naval bomber needs to be ramped up or else the AA capabilities of naval units needs to be nerfed.

    Please bring better balance to this game. Please "like" to show your support for this.

    "...beating them into submission until payday."

    "...losing the battle of the paychecks on principle...always."
  • Well, there is a lot of truth in your words, tactical bombers are indeed the best unit taking bigger stacks of units. However, they are far from being unstoppable. Yea, there is a point when they they become strong enough to take out doom stacks with both AA and SPAA if combined well with other planes but you forget their main "natural" enemy and that is interceptor. Interceptors kill tactical bombers easily, that is the reason why I have started (especially in more competitive games) employing interceptors as my main plane type, followed by tactical bombers, of course, when enemy air is cleared.

    Far from that that I defend tactical bombers, they are powerful, but they can't do anything until air superiority is accomplished. Most of my enemies (and allies) were aware of that in games we played together. As for light tanks, why are they good? Because they fulfill two important roles. First, they can go individually to conquer undefended territory and second, they are the cheaper 20HP units, which makes them ideal addition to doom stacks (groups that also include AT, normal and SP artillery, normal and SP AA and optionally commandos).

    I repeat, I am not defending tactical bombers, I just want to point out that they are easily tackled with interceptors or (not always easily on high levels but enough to be a distraction at least) doom stacks. You just can't neglect interceptors. They are too important.
  • I don't deny interceptors as a decent deterrent against bombers. But tac bombers seem able to overwhelm ground forces that outnumber the bombers at least 3 to 1, even when a large number of that ground force is well-developed AA or SP-AA.

    I guess it's not quite so much that tac bombers are overpowered, but that the combined AA rating of all ground units in a stack is either not high enough or is being incorrectly calculated due to the number of units combined with an additional error in how multiple unit-types are aggregated for SBDE calculations.

    For example, all land units have at least some AA defensive capabilities. It's not a lot, but cumulatively, the summation of each unit type's total hit value x it's sub-group SBDE rating should be a fair amount for a larger stack. And, when AA are a part of the stack, that total cumulative number should be much higher. However, it acts like it's not. The casualty rate should be divided proportionally among each sub-group based on their total hit points vs. the aircraft's attack-rating for it's unit type. But, the ratio of damages to ground units versus air units demonstrates clearly that each sub-group in the unit stack is getting more than it's fair share of the total casualty percentage.

    In fact, within a large stack, the damages assumed by ground forces more aptly seem to reflect the kind of damages expected by several smaller groups when the enemy bombers would be patrolling over them...except that the larger single group is somehow magnifying the damages based on size (sort of like an inverse to the SBDE percentage).

    In essence, what I'm trying to say is that the damage done to a single larger stack is reflective and similar to the kind of overall damage ratios one would expect when using a single nuclear bomber over several smaller groups...each small group receiving calculations for the full effect of the nuke. But, if those same units had been grouped into one group -- not counting it's AA -- they'd be far-less damaged because the units would sub-divide the strength rating of the nuke per each unit-type according to their numbers, resulting in widespread casualties where each unit type receives some damages, but none are necessarily as damaged as the alternative.

    So, in that, one would expect that tactical bombers, on patrol, would spread out their attack rating on individual smaller groups and do less damage to a single larger group. But in fact this appears not to be so. Thus, the problem may lie in an error in calculating ground casualties.

    "...beating them into submission until payday."

    "...losing the battle of the paychecks on principle...always."
  • I agree to a point with what is being said here. I see that tactic in games all the time and in combination with gold use to pump up the morale of the bombers as they are going back to base as well so they always attack at 100%. I don't think it's as bad as you point out though and as previously mentioned the interceptor is your counter measure. I don't have too much trouble with these types of players myself because they are easily identified. They build 100 bombers, I'll build 100 interceptors and I will have plenty left when it is all said and done. You keep patrols on them over your ground forces and you mitigate the damage. You will lose some but then again bombs dropped from planes are serious weapons, ever see what one A-10 is capable of ?

    Buff\Nerf complaints will never end no matter what Bytro does cause you can't keep 100% of the people happy 100% of the time, someone will always complain. Let's not forget that this is a business before it's a game and maybe unit imbalances are by design as you know what you have the ability to do to get rid of any mass produced unit right?
    "It is even better to act quickly and err than to hesitate until the time of action is past." - Karl Von Clausewitz

  • I can't speak to the game mechanics but I can speak to the importance of air superiority and the ineffectiveness of AA.

    First the AA gun. The WWII versions were (eventually) marvelous point defense systems. There in lies the inherent problem. Point defense on a battleship is reasonable. Point defense on a battle field still leaves an awful lot of troops exposed. Attempting to defend an army with AA guns is not the best approach, IMHO. Apparently the game mechanic seems to duplicate this problem.

    Air superiority is the real defense against TacAir. It has been shown to be rather fool hardy to attempt Ground Support missions while the other guy still has Air to Air capability in the area. The game mechanic seems to reflect this by giving an attack/defense ratio between the Interceptor and the Tac Bomber of 4:1.

    As mentioned earlier, the easiest response to the Tac Bomber saturation wave would be a 1:1 match in numbers with Interceptors. I suspect even a 2:3 ratio would still be enough to end the Tac Bomber waves. Any surviving Interceptors are a 0.5 to 0.5 match versus Light Tanks. If you happened to have a few Tac Bombers of your own in your back pocket, those Light Tanks might suddenly look a lot like lighters. The Ronson brand comes to mind.
  • we formed a 5 man coalition against S. india in a 100 player map, he heavily bombarded us with stacks and stacks AND STACKS OF TACTICAL BOMBERS. then he would capture the provinces with 5 light tank divisions. he conquered ALL OF ASIA in just 6 days.

    Africa, Europe and Half of America (both North and south America) were split by 3 African states who have been using the same strategy (same map, the same time we got defeated)
    This player may have been reactivated in October 27th 2017
  • F. Marion wrote:

    Five of you and no one built Interceptors???
    Korea did....but was surprised by India and lost 90% of his interceptors before they even got to the airfields

    Korea was the only one with a air force, 2 of our members in central Asia were already at collapse, I (North Ural) had no air force due to low resources, And Siberia did not even have air-ports.
    This player may have been reactivated in October 27th 2017
  • The fact that tactical bombers are the queens of CoW has long been noted.
    Miech, for one, has typed his fingerprints off on this topic.
    Unfortunately, the "elite" game players here (you know who you are) are set in their patterns, and bystro is reluctant to disturb their predominance. You can easily test this hypothesis by setting up an honor game with no TB, see how many of them show up.
  • That TacBomb is so effective in the game is simply reflecting what happened on the battlefield.

    All the tank columns in the world are just nice little targets for TacBomb if air superiority is not achieved. If the game mechanic reflects that, it is doing a good job.

    This is similar to the rant about submarines. Again, in WWII submarines were very powerful weapons. US submarines made it impossible for the Japanese to even ship enough food to feed their people, much less oil or materials for sustaining a war effort. The German submarines forces a massive anti-submarine commitment from the US in order to gain enough sea control to move troops and material to England. Even at the end of the war, German submarines were still inflicting casualties in the Atlantic.

    The German attack in what the US forces called the "Battle of the Bulge" was notable in that it occurred while bad weather grounded US TacBomb. Once the weather cleared, it was all over.

    We might ask for tweaks around the edges. Perhaps AA units can be made individually stronger against TacBomb. Perhaps NavBomb can be made a little more effective against submarines. The larger picture should not change if we want to replicate the tactical and strategic choices faced by the contestants in WWII.

    If "fair" is what you want to play, go play Tactics II.

    It is as balanced as you might want and includes rules for nukes, weather, amphib landings, paratroopers, mountain divisions and so on.
  • As I reported earlier, the problem may not just lie with over-powered tac could have to do with a possible error in how the accumulated AA rating of all units in a stack is calculated. If 1000 soldiers are firing machine guns at a dive-bomber all at once, they are bound to shoot it down just by saturation luck alone...the pilot should have a dozen holes in his head from small-caliber plugs piercing the cockpit window.

    The point that I tested was that I had a set of forces -- each huge in their own right -- and each had a lot of AA Guns to supplement the total ground force AA rating...enough to overcome the "historical" values. I had deliberately over-built AA just for this reason. That they STILL failed is why I'm upset.

    Before the battle, when I ran the the system claims them to be...I should have won, hands-down. Instead I had my ass handed to me. This is a part of the frustration. The system clearly didn't perform the way it claims...but I still say it's because the tac bomber needs to be nerfed. Perhaps the summation mechanics of AA for a whole stack needs to be tested by the dev team, also, but I want to nerf the bombers.

    "...beating them into submission until payday."

    "...losing the battle of the paychecks on principle...always."
  • Diabolical wrote:

    Before the battle, when I ran the the system claims them to be...I should have won, hands-down. Instead I had my ass handed to me. This is a part of the frustration. The system clearly didn't perform the way it claims...but I still say it's because the tac bomber needs to be nerfed. Perhaps the summation mechanics of AA for a whole stack needs to be tested by the dev team, also, but I want to nerf the bombers.
    The best way to reinforce your statement is to show us some of those numbers. Without numbers, conversation often remains just pure guessing.
  • It's hard to report on specific numbers when I didn't bother to save them. I fully expected the battle to go in my favor. Why then would it occur to me to save the numbers?

    All I can do is relate -- after the fact -- to the best of my ability.

    "...beating them into submission until payday."

    "...losing the battle of the paychecks on principle...always."
  • Tac Bombers are to powerful, anyone who has suffered an onslaught of them can see this for themselves - numbers or no. Sure, fighters are the natural antidote... but who in there right mind is going to build them to the exclusion of ground forces, because that is what the tactic calls for on the other side (Tacs for forces). Not to mention the Tacs incomprehensible ability to attack while patrolling... an attack scenario I have recently encountered. I have no idea where the enemy got a teleporter to refill the bomb bays, but they did to the tune of the original force and 24 hours of SPAA's incoming.

    Tac Bombers (from WWII) are relatively weak planes, barely more then a fighter, only truly useful after air supremacy has been established. Because of there close air support role and slow speeds they were highly susceptible to ground fire. I don't know what we have here, but they are not what they claim to represent.
    Killings my business, and business is good!
  • Well, in larger battles that include air units on at least on of the sides, I usually compare the difference between the starting HP level of both sides and new HP levels after multiple patrol cycles (at least after first few cycles) in order to see if everything goes as planned or to check if enemy has some hidden patrols in fog of war. I don't consider (most of) the results I gathered to deviate too much from my expectations. That is why I ask about the numbers. My numbers didn't look too bad to me.
  • This is classic RTS though and in any RTS you build to counter. If enemy is attacking with A, C, and E and their counters are B, D and F then you build B, D and F, this isn't rocket science! If you go with what you want to do instead of what the game situation and the position tells you to do then don't cry when you get your ass kicked!
    "It is even better to act quickly and err than to hesitate until the time of action is past." - Karl Von Clausewitz

  • ATownGtr wrote:

    This is classic RTS though and in any RTS you build to counter. If enemy is attacking with A, C, and E and their counters are B, D and F then you build B, D and F, this isn't rocket science! If you go with what you want to do instead of what the game situation and the position tells you to do then don't cry when you get your ass kicked!

    If Anti-aircraft guns aren't designed to sufficiently counter aircraft, then what's the point in having them in the game? It's in their name "anti..." and their power ratings are set for aircraft. I based my experiment on the numbers. I should have done better. The game mechanics are imbalanced. There is no other acceptable explanation.

    "...beating them into submission until payday."

    "...losing the battle of the paychecks on principle...always."
  • Well written Diabolical, couldnt have done it better myself.

    For people wanting to know more (and it includes other units as well), check this topic. Many intelligent replies from multiple people for and against, or neutral.

    Diversity of effective units

    Now I have seen a few flaws in some of the replies.

    The 'expert' Zergplayer obviously doesnt do anything but tacs. Heck, I would smile if I saw such an idiot on the battlefield. No, the expert Zerg player combines it with other aircraft as tanks (MMO analogy, not the vehicle) to protect the almighty tactical bomber.

    Strat bombers utterly useless aside as a damage soaker for tacs. They dont actually really harm infrastructure...

    Though recently, after this months PL game, I actually have found a way to deal with waves and waves of nuke bombers (for which they should be named, actual nuke bombers blow chunks) and company plus the zombie LT rush. And I found the way with the combination of good luck and also persistance (Ive tried at least 15 different approaches)

    Im not going to reveal all, but here is a taste.

    Use big stacks
    Prioritise AA units. Have loads of them, but not too much (or you get hit by the SBDE penalty). They die easily, but are also more easily replaced. Your stack is weak in melee...but lets say there are ways around that - I leave that up to the individual players tactical insight
    Build ints/tacs yourself. You dont need as many as the opponent, but a decent sized airforce
    Support your own doomstacks with them. Pick off LTs that advance too far with tacs - especially if the opponent cant reach it with his airforce. If you let them run amok, you are screwed (your economy is hurting)
    Your enemies are cash and especially manpower, manage those with care

    Lastly...but thats inherent to the game - be as active as the tac player. tacs are useless in the hands of someone who logs in once a day for a quickie

    Mind you, this tactic will probably not work on the 100 map after 40 days, but it does on the smaller maps (tacs are expensive, oil is hard to come by).

    Concluding, a nerf is needed one way or another to see more unit variety. Be it the damage output of the bomber, or its cost/upkeep