The Infantry Megathread – Updated, errors fixed!

ShanRevan
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The Infantry Megathread – Updated, errors fixed!

Postby ShanRevan » Thu 1 May 2014 12:59

UPDATED: Errors with Part One have been fixed, new graphs, Check out the primary weapon section for newly discovered oddities!.


Note: Due to the length of this thread I have provided a extremely condensed summary of the thread in a separate post: here.


PART ONE: Infantry Weapons, Stats and Their Balance

Foreword:
A little under two weeks ago, in the early hours of Easter morning, I was buried deep in spreadsheets, pulling out numbers and turning raw data into something usable, something I’m pretty proud of. It spawned my first thread on this site, Why Reservists are great and Deltas aren’t (MG’s are broken). In many ways it was something of a breakthrough, but it was not without flaws. For all the good information and hard data I had, the analysis was too simple, a number of the assumptions were flawed, I didn’t have the knowledge I have now.
Since that thread I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time scraping information from the game through empirical testing, raw game files, researching the work others have done into how the game works and some very appreciated help from FLX . I've done this in order to piece together a far more detailed understanding of infantry mechanics that I suspect has few rivals. I freely admit, that I still don’t know everything, but this is probably as close as anyone is going to get.
I would like to give special thanks to FLX, of Eugen for diving into the depths of the game engine’s code and pulling out some important equations, Vasily Krysov for sharing his wealth of knowledge about the game and even more thanks to SomethingAwful.com’s “Power Crystals” who took the wargame modtools and turned it into a mass data exporter for us – this would have been exceedingly tedious without and probably wouldn’t have happened at all.


Let’s Talk Weapons:
All units in the game have three weapon slots. For the vast majority of infantry, this is distributed as 2x anti-infantry weapons and 1xanti-tank weapon, or 1xAnti-infantry weapon, 1x Specialist weapon. Fortunately, anti-tank weapons are pretty transparent with regards to their performance, but rifles and machine guns, not so much.

-Primary Weapons (Rifles etc)
The rifle is the primary weapon of every infantryman in the game and it comes in three distinct classes and one subclass: Battle Rifles (with a long rifle subclass unique to militia), Assault Rifles, and SMGs. These also come in separate tiers, for each of the training levels: Militia, Regular, Shock and Elite. Finally, when entering Close Quarters Combat (hereafter CQC), different versions of the weapons are used with different baseline accuracy. With few exceptions, weapons within a bracket all perform basically the same. There are minor variations on many of them, especially with suppression, but they are very small; you can mostly expect a particular weapon-type to perform largely the same no matter what it is.

-Machine Guns (SAWS, LMGs)
Infantry units also frequently carry with them a machine gun of some kind. The game categorises them into two types, “LMG” and “SAW”. The first, LMGs are your plain old static machine guns as found on most line infantry. They cannot be fired on the move, and they cannot be fired in CQC situations. SAWs on the other hand are machine guns that can be fired on the move and do not stop firing in CQC combat. They perform exactly the same regardless of the training level of infantry they are attached to and in CQC there is no hidden accuracy change – they either stop working or do not.

Nearly Number Time
So how can we compare them? The most effective way to do this is to look at everyone’s favourite video game statistic, “Damage Per Second” (hereafter DPS). In infantry combat, DPS is a measure of High Explosive per Second or HE/s, where 1HE does 1hitpoint of damage. The game only displays integer hit points, but “under the hood” hit points are actually calculated as decimals, and a fraction of a hit point is a real thing (You can sometimes see this even when the number of hit points does not match the number of men in a squad).
Technically speaking, all HE weapons, including infantry rifles, are small explosions, and indeed each shot has a splash damage associated with it. However in the case of small arms weapons, the splash is so small that it’s effects are rather binary, that is to say it either hits for full damage or misses. For that reason I have chosen to model infantry weapons as non-splash because it produces much more useful information. Suppression behaves similarly but has a much larger splash radius. Where I have included Suppression, it will be measured in HE/m^2/s, which is a measure of the mean suppression, per square metre. I confess, I have no idea what “1 suppression” damage actually equates to and how these values interact with morale states, but I believe it’s fair to assume that bigger is better. Suppression is tied to the calibre of the weapon, with outputs between “40” and “55” suppression damage points. Generally these differences are made irrelevant by rate of fire.

SHUT UP ALREADY! JUST TELL ME HOW THEY COMPARE
NOTE: At the bottom of the thread there will be a link where you can view/download the spreadsheet these are taken from. The spreadsheet contains much more detail than I felt necessary to present here. NOTE: The following graphs represent weapons at “rookie” veterancy performance. Increasing veterancy will increase effective accuracy – this will move their starting DPS to a higher point, and let them reach the DPS cap from hitting 100% chance to hit at a greater distance, but does not change the rate of scaling, nor the total achievable DPS (except in weapons which could not otherwise reach the cap)

Primary weapons:
Prior to DLC2 of ALB, primary weapons got a major redesign. Since then, they are all based around standard forms for each bracket and then slightly tweaked beyond that.
NOTE: For the sake of being able to see the differences between weapontypes at each training level, I have left the DPS axis unnormalised. This means care must be taken to observe the relative values on the axis when comparing graphs of different training levels. In the spreadsheet, you can find both these graphs and axis normalised graphs for better comparison.

NOTE: Due to the limitations of my knowledge on excel graphs, all weapons have a leading trail up to the point where they start. They actually instantly jump from 0 DPS to their starting DPS at their maximum range.


Image
In my previous thread, I asserted that Long Rifles were the best Militia weapon and that SMGs were the best all round weapon. As we can see, at all ranges outside of CQC, the long weapon does perform the best, closely followed by the battle rifle. This makes it very effective when fighting in forests or shooting at infantry in the open, but a poor choice in block-to-block fighting. SMGs on the other hand perform exceptionally well in urban combat, and surprisingly, better in than the Assault rifle in most situations - in CQC, better than the regular level assault rifle even. There is some weirdness due to their much higher RoF that gets exageratted later. I would therefore recommend SMG militia and Long Rifle militia once more as being very excellent choices where available, so long as you play to their strengths. Other militia don’t really stand out but, they’re still militia – cheap and plentiful, so they don’t actually need to.


Image
Once more we see battle rifles outperforming the other options, but it's all very tightly packed until you get into CQC. Nothing really distinguishes itself here, except the Battle rifles are best outside of ~100m and SMGs are best in CQC ranges.


Image
Things start to get a bit surprising here. As you can see, Battle Rifles flatline at about 245, having hit 100% Acc and subsequently maximised their DPS. Assault Rifles over take them at about this point and continue to grow. The weird part however are the SMGs - because of their much higher rate of fire, (BR=17.1rpm, AR=22.5rpm, SMG=32rpm), the SMGs actually outperform all other weapons from their maximum range onwards. I've actually gone and tested this in game. It's really WTF. Suffice to say, SMGs are goooooood.


Image
Finally we come to elite weapons. Battle Rifles flatline earlier, Assault Rifles flatline at around 175. SMGs behave much more normally here, performing close to, but slightly under the others, until both BRs and ARs have reached their maximum potential and they continue to grow.

I should note that there are a number of weapons that stand out as performing differently than their bracket would indicate, like the G11, the Type 85 SMG, AK-74SU. You can view the full spreadsheet later to get an idea of how different weapons perform and which ones stand out from the pack. On the whole, we can say that Elite weapons perform approximately twice as well as Shock weapons, which in turn perform twice as well as regular weapons, which in turn perform twice as militia weapons… well approximately. The numbers appear unchanged between ALB and RD generally and on the whole I have to say the rebalance was reasonably well done but the rather odd inconsistancies in SMG performance should probably be addressed. Previously I concluded with "good job Eugen", but uhhh maybe not so much in light of the new more accurate results.



Machine guns
I should note that machine guns remain unchanged throughout ALB and RD. They were not touched by the infantry rebalance. I will also note that there has been much speculation as to the performance of machine guns, the value of extra range and RoF. Finally we have the hard numbers to truly compare them.


Image
I have taken a small selection of the machine guns, of high-performing, middle-performing and poor-performing flavours, from both LMG and SAW categories. As you can see, the differences are pretty huge. The Bren L4 is the worst Machine Gun over all at any range except CQC, at which point it beats out all LMG type weapons despite its pathetic damage by having any at all. The M60 and PKM are both abysmal and render their infantry, primarily USA and Warsaw Pact forces, much weaker than their competition.

So let’s look at them in a bit more detail.
Image
In the above image the results are not scaled to ranges, so it’s a bit deceptive, but still useful. All of those represent DPS at max range. DPS 100%CTH represents DPS at 100% chance to hit (shocking I know) which happens at about 175m for all machine guns. We can also see, that besides the armoury lying about the rate of fire significantly (a depressingly common thing), true RPM is one of, if not the most important statistic because it defines the maximum DPS. This is why the MG3 and L.MG3 are at the top of the list. We can also see that the RoF completely over powers any differences in suppression values for weapons making the weapons with high RoF both the best at damage dealing and the best at suppressing.
I previously mentioned that the previous table is not the full story. So what happens when we look at them with range scaling taken into account?


Image
It’s different, but the key messages stay the same. Note how, for example, the L86 LMG, which previously seemed to be the best static LMG, is over-taken by the MG3 before the L86 even gets into range - putting it squarely in the middle performance bracket. The M60 and PKM variants do get a range advantage, for what little that is worth, but once more they are completely and utterly outclassed by the MG3.

-What about suppression? The M60 and PKM should be good at that right?
Image


In short: No. Suppression is tied to calibre, and ranges between “40” for 5.56mm weapons to 55 for 7.62mm weapons. We can pretty easily see that Rate of Fire generally compensates for the lower baseline suppression and then some. The cherry on top of course is the MG3 and LMG3 are both 7.62mm, so they not only have the best DPS, they have the best RoF and best Suppression.

So what do I think about Machine Guns?
I feel it’s pretty fair to say there are problems. The MG3 and LMG3 variants seem pretty Over Powered on their own, and in truth, they probably are. That they are almost exclusively paired with battle rifle infantry helps keep them pretty fair with other primary weapon types at least. The MG3 accentuates the strengths of the BR, but leaves open their weaknesses. In fact it probably makes West German Jager line infantry among the best at block-to-block combat of all nations most of the time (generally ~100m+, occasionally less, CQC kicks in at about 80m, cutting off the MG3 and penalising battle rifle accuracy), and kings of the forest fight, which tend to happen at around ~300m.
On the other hand, I believe many machine guns are just of plain old bad value. Many infantry suffer unfairly from bad machine guns, particularly the M60 variants and PKM variants which make up much of Warsaw Pact infantry and SA infantry. Raising the minimum performance also allows the MG3 to remain kick of the pack, which I am fine with, but not so overwhelmingly so.
Finally, where BLUEFOR gets several high end machine guns, mostly paired with shock and elite infantry, REDFOR is largely left in machinegun mediocrity, making Morskaya Pehota for example, significantly worse than US marines (of bother ’75 and ‘90s varieties).
I would strongly recommend leaving top end machine guns where they are, and compressing the low/middle end upwards in performance so the gap isn’t so huge. Suppression probably shouldn’t be tied solely to calibre either.


So is the current meta the results of the basic infantry stats? Do Special forces need a nerf etc
Honestly? No. The machine gun problems exaggerate some of the issues a little bit, by reducing their value efficiency of their wielders, but on the whole it’s not the source of Red Dragons infantry meta problems. How can I say that? Let’s take a look into the past.

Back to the Past :Airland Battle
Not so long ago, many of us were playing a game that used lots of reservists, lots of line infantry, lots of shock infantry and lots of elite infantry, but at the core of each infantry row, was the regular rifleman. It wasn’t always so however, it took many balance patches, including the great rifle rebalance of 2013 which gave us the exact stats we are using today. Okay fair enough I haven’t actually gone and checked every single unit, but the ones I have are the same and there’s no indication that they’ve gone and reinvented the wheel here. Some of you may remember a time however when it wasn’t quite so diverse. Every “competitive” deck consisted of Mixed-NATO, Probably Cat B or C for the availability bonus, because of all the damn reservists you could get. Someone had caught on that in large enough numbers, these guys outperform line infantry for price, and had incredibly good AP efficiency. It created a meta based around meat grinders on a colossal scale. First to run out of infantry loses. There was a pretty simple fix though; they made militia units national only. Prototypes. No longer could they come in the numbers to overwhelm line infantry and a sensible infantry meta developed afterwards.
This is actually pretty reminiscent of the situation we have now, except with the availability bonuses being tied to nation choice, no longer do you have to downgrade category. I’ll touch more on this later but as in ALB, Militia units are now more cost efficient and activation point (AP) efficient than line units. So when you think about it, the popularity of reservists isn’t all that surprising.

About the data
Using a modified version of the wargame modtools, I am able to mass-extract the raw data tables from the game. In particular this information almost entirely comes from the TAmmunition table and the English localisation files. After importing the data into excel, there is an awful lot of copying, sorting, replacing and typing of values to produce useful tables. Although I have made a reasonable effort to be as accurate as possible, there is a non-zero possibility that small typo’s or other errors exist within the spreadsheets. If you notice something is wrong, please let me know. You can get a copy of the spreadsheet used to generate these graphs from my dropbox here:
infweapons.xlsx
Last edited by ShanRevan on Fri 2 May 2014 16:34, edited 9 times in total.

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Re: The Infantry Megathread – Weapons, Hard Data, Meta, Anal

Postby ShanRevan » Thu 1 May 2014 13:00

PART TWO: Why are things the way they are, and what might we do about them?

LETS GET META
There’s already been a dozen or so threads on this, and honestly I’m loathe to add to that list but without trying to sound condescending, most of them miss the bigger picture. We’ve already seen that these unit stats can achieve a perfectly nice balance as in WALB. So what has actually changed then?

-HE is more effective than ever
It’s a pretty universal thing to all infantry, but it has the universal effect of reducing survivability of infantry. As a result, their value is lower than it was in ALB and availability is more important than ever. “So what?!” you say, “It applies to all of them evenly!” but you would be wrong. Reducing the value of infantry biases towards reservists (If they’re going to die faster, why pay the extra?) which not only have more HP and are thus more resilient to HE damage, but have significantly greater baseline availability, which is often paired with national bonuses to make it even bigger, and with coalitions, we’re back to being able to take multiple cards of reservists!

-No more cheap transports
Removing transports less than 10pts for line infantry is an understandable consequence of the disposable truck meta, but it has the consequence of raising the minimum price of all infantry. Reservists come out okay, because they get special access to 5pt vehicles, and Shock and Elite infantry come out okay because they were mostly taken, and available in more expensive transports more suitable to their role. It does however have the real effect of increasing the minimum price on line infantry, when their value is at an all-time low, compounding the problem further. To be honest it’s not such a huge deal for the fast transports, like VABs and SKOT2 at 10pts, but what about the tracked, 1AV transports with nothing heavier than a machine gun? Does anyone really think an MT-LBV or M113 is worth 10pts? It’s harmful on specialised decks, especially mechanised, where this might be your only realistic, if not only, option for many support units!
Additionally, many militia transports are armed, armoured, fast and availably in vast quantities. It seems a somewhat unfair comparison that a Humvee is twice the price of a SPW-152K. Sure, the SPW has less autonomy, but it has enough not to be a downside, and yes it has “medium” size instead of “small”, but being 5% harder to hit doesn’t really compensate for the lack of armour on the Humvee. The only standout feature of the Humvee vs the SPW-152K is the off road speed, but once more the SPW is “good enough”. I, personally, would rate the bullet resistance of the SPW-152K to be of higher value than all the other advantages the Humvee has over it combined ; unlike the SPW’s disadvantages, it actually has significant impact on the use-cases of the transport.
If the desire to prevent ALB’s truck spam is the root cause, then I would argue that giving reservists, the cheapest, most available transports, was counter-productive. In reality though, there is a huge difference between the old 1pt trucks, and 5pt transports. 120pts could buy 20 ALB reservists in 20 trucks, in Red Dragon that 120 points will only buy you 12 reservists, in transports that might vaguely be worth using for something more than missile bait. That’s nearly halved. Meanwhile, 120pts buys you 6 line troops in 10pt transports, or 8 in the theoretical 5pt transport - hardly an overwhelming number of extra left over transports.
Did I mention that the AMX-13 VTT, a 5pt, 1AV, transport with a browning M2, is available to just about all French infantry? Has anyone seen the AMXpocalypse yet?
—A brief derail on amphibious capabilities
The new amphibious features of Red Dragon provide yet another area to differentiate units from one another, and this extra capability is often cited as a justification for an otherwise similar units cost over another unit without the capability. In truth this is a useful capability to have, but its value does not scale linearly. At the price and performance points that the MT-LBV, M113, etc. operate on, the ability to cross a river is nice but adds very little to the actual value of the unit. Insisting they be worth 5 more points than an AMX-13 VTT which is a stat-clone of the M113A1 in all but amphibious capabilities, is ludicrous. If on the other hand a heavy tank was given amphibious capabilities (many can after all snorkel across small rivers) , that added capability would be worth quite a bit because it brings so much more to the table.

15man infantry price nerf
I think it’s important that we understand what bonuses a 15man squad actually gets before we discuss how the price increase has been detrimental. In simplest terms, a 15man squad gets 15HP and a DPS bonus in the form of lowered reload time. The HP bonus is pretty straight forward, but what about that DPS bonus? How does that work. Quite simply the equation is:

True Reload time = (base reload time)/(number of men)*10

For example, if a 15 unit has a bse reload time of 1s, it would look like this:
True reload time = 1/15*10
True reload time = 0.67s

A 10 man squad with a 1s reload time would look like this:
True reload time = 1/10*10
True reload time = 1s

When either of those squads is down to 2 men, their reload time would look like this:
True reload time = 1/2*10
True reload time = 5s
Ouch.

-That’s pretty straight forward, but DPS is a lot more than reload time, actually how good is the bonus?
Let’s take a look at the Kustjagare, a pretty standard, 15man Elite squad. At elite veterancy, shooting at the max range of their AK4, these units will put out 0.69 HE/s. That makes them a pretty decent, upper-middle level elite infantry unit. What would happen if they only had 10 men though? Well their DPS drops down to 0.66HE/s, which puts them down a few ranks, but still leaves them pretty solidly in the middle. We would get a much bigger change by simply changing the machine gun to the next closest performing machinegun -in the area of 0.1HE/s or more. It doesn’t really matter where you look, the difference will amount to a couple of hundredths of a point of HE/s.

Essentially the 15man squad bonus adds up to 150% hitpoints and an almost negligible damage bonus.

Now, that we understand what effect it actually has, let’s talk about the nerf itself. Simply put it applied +5pts to the cost of all non-militia infantry with 15 men in them. Ostensibly this was to improve upon the infantry meta but I believe it has simply made it worse. The majority of these units were marines, shock infantry, with a few, like the kustjagare being Elites. This has the effect of pricing 15man shock infantry as high as elite infantry, despite performing significantly worse in combat, and 15man elite infantry, priced higher than the undeniably best Elite teams in the game. Previously they offered a third choice against Special Forces and reservists, having both the combat powers (HP and DPS) to gun down the hordes of reserves, and the Cost and Availability advantages to outnumber and outlast all the elite infantry. Sadly the price increase has torn them further away from their actual value and for many (but certainly not all), of these units, their performance just doesn’t match up to the price any more.

New Deck Balance mechanics – vehicle and infantry availability interactions, category hard limits
This is one here is really the crux of the issue but it’s a bit broad so I’m going to break it up. However the sum of it is that these mechanics each generally increase AP pressure on the infantry section dramatically.

—Baseline Availability
Swapping Activation Point bonuses and availability bonuses from National and Era restrictions is an interesting idea but a bit backward in practice. Era restrictions reduce the number of cards you have available in the first place, so giving them the ability to take more seems poorly conceived. More importantly however the national/coalition availability bonuses can have a massive impact on infantry availability. Line infantry like USSR’s motostrelki become very sparse, very quickly in anything but the lowest transports, but a Commonwealth deck? It has fusiliers in IFVs and Diggers ‘90 (which are incredibly good value because of their high performing machine gun and great availability) in fast transports out the ass. Swedish STRF-9040’s are an excellent choice in a mechanised deck because you can get 10 of them, at veteran, per card. And if the base availability of militia wasn’t enough, it’s now probably gained another ten or twenty from national bonuses.
It’s not just as simple as more being better though. Availability, when reasonably priced (no one wants to buy a $100 turd, no matter how many of them the salesmen is willing to pop out for you) has a value all on its own. 2 militia vs 1 regular isn’t just a matter of being roughly equal combat power, but those two militia represent a greater coverage of line of sight. It’s greater coverage in a forest to detect incursions. It’s pinning more enemies for your specialists to mop up. It’s drawing, and splitting more fire. It’s filling every back corner with something so they can’t walk between forest clumps in your back field right up to your command. There’s a lot to be said for having more discrete units, even when their combat powers are equalled.

--Hard category limits
Without going into the issues associated with specialised decks, the hard category limit in RD is a vice, amping up the pressure applied to Activation Point efficiency to all-new levels. It’s designed to require hard choices in your deck, and that’s fine, but hard choices mean choosing the best options. It means choosing the most efficient options at each role. It means mins more minmaxing. Now I don’t have a problem with that, but the harder we apply pressure, the more it squeezes out the middle. It means militia to pin, to fill in and to be cheap chaff and Special Forces to do the killing. Often decks forgo MANPADS to try and get a little extra and sometimes even ATGM infantry, which were a cornerstone of EE and ALB. The five card limit is fine, but we need to think about what we want those five slots to look like in a normal deck, and then release the pressure elsewhere to make that the new sweet spot. Personally I’d like to see something like <1x Militia, 1xLine, 3xOther> or <2x Line, 3x Other> as a more common configuration

--Vehicle availability (and their modifiers on infantry)
In theory I really like the ideas behind these, and in closed beta, where the vehicle availability was less but the infantry availability penalties were lesser or non-existent I feel the system performed a lot better overall. Mostly because it made vehicle choices interesting, but it didn’t apply so much AP pressure to so many units that basically rules them out of the game. The BMP-3 for example, you can take two cards of 6, at trained. Yes it has a very nice price, but it’s in the INF category and when you clamp down so hard on AP efficiency, 6 regulars just isn’t a good use of card space. Worse still is 12 for 2 cards. The BMP-3 is nice, but in its current configuration it’s a terrible use of a card slot. Why would I take that when I can get 6 Spetsnaz in a BTR-80A? Not only will that be a lot more efficient at killing infantry, it’s more meta appropriate (speed counts on these big maps) and gets arguably the best weapon from the BMP-3 anyway. It would be better served getting a bump up in price and veteran, and moved to VEH, where the pressure isn’t so great, if you we insist on such low numbers. Meanwhile, as the infantry reduction modifiers have been used a lot, the far more interesting transport cards have basically been abandoned – giving just about everything more than you’re likely to ever want. I believe there could be happy balance struck here. Give fewer cards of IFVs, but a higher availability per card.

Oh god I just wrote 4700 words about the meta of a unit subtype in a video game and I’m not even getting paid for it. I better write a summary and then jump off a bridge or something
I believe, that although the machine gun system is flawed and needs normalising, infantry stats on the whole are not the source of the current meta balance, although that does contribute to decreasing the value of certain units even further. Rather the source is a number of changes to systems in RD that have been applied on top of the ALB balance, some of which actively undo necessary balance decisions made in ALB, without adjusting for the new values. Knee-jerk price increases to 15man shock units which served as an acceptable middle-ground option in availability, performance and price against reservists and Special Forces were misdirected. You will not be able to restore a normal balance via price balancing without taking it to a ludicrous extreme. This is because at a time when the game has been squeezing ever tighter on activation point efficiency, infantry have been particularly hit with performance reductions, price increases and most importantly, AP efficiency nerfs, leaving Militia and Special Forces as the most cost effective options under the new regime.

Quick Shan, before you jump off that bridge, is there anything we can do?
Ultimately that’s for Eugen to decide. What do they want infantry use to actually look like? Personally there are a few things I would try, but I certainly doubt some of them are options open to Eugen.
-Think very hard about the consequence of tying availability to national choice. I’m not against the idea but it tends to make the biggest differences in infantry and at the moment it can swing things from being a terrible waste of a slot if it were in another nation’s deck to a good value deal Once again, not bad idea on paper, but seriously needs to be thought about. I don’t really expect much to come in this area though.
-Change 1AV, tracked transports with only an MG down to 5pts. This reduces price pressure on support options mostly, on mechanised decks, and to a much lesser extent on general decks.
-Make line infantry cost 5pts, not 10. This helps offset the minimum price hike, and makes a number of APCs more viable. Yes, this is the same price as reservists, but reservists are much more AP efficient under the new 5pt system and can now, because of coalitions, be taken as multiple cards again. Line infantry need to be more price efficient and gain leverage out of their transports to compete with reservists and be more price and AP efficient to compete with the special forces.
-remove the price increase to 15man teams.
-Increase the base availability of line infantry. Perhaps especially so in nations that do not have reservists as options (unsure about this, if done, should definitely not be a huge bonus above nations with militia).

-Rework the transport availability/card system to be more friendly to the abnormally high AP pressure in the infantry section such that there is a higher availability than present, but few cards, where appropriate.
Honestly beyond that I don’t know. It’s not my job to sort this out, so I’m going to defer that to FLX and the other Eugen devs, before I hit 5.5k words and really decide to jump…
Last edited by ShanRevan on Thu 1 May 2014 13:19, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Infantry Megathread – Weapons, Hard Data, Meta, Anal

Postby ShanRevan » Thu 1 May 2014 13:00

PART THREE: TOO LONG; DIDN'T READ.


I understand that ~5200 words is an awful lot to read for some. Honestly I wish it were much shorter but I'm simply not good enough at writing to condense my points much further without losing the reasoning and links behind them.


Part One:
-Primary Infantry weapons are mostly in a good place, SMGs behave better than they should at Militia and Shock levels at range. Otherwise well done Eugen.
-Machine Guns, not really in a good place. Recommend compress the performance upwards, leaving the top end where they are. Perhaps consider standardising them similar to what was done with rifle weapons.

-Do the combat powers of infantry need rebalancing to restore a sensible balance? Conclusion: No, see: ALB.

Part Two:
-HE is more effective in RD, this reduces the value of all infantry, and biases heavily towards reservists.
-The 10pt minimum for line infantry transports is dumb, applied inconsistently, and worst of all icreases price pressure, which tends to edge out line infantry more.
-15man price nerf was misdirected and makes the meta worse
-New deck building mechanics massively increase the requirement to make "hard choices", mostly putting a very large squeeze on Activation point Efficiency. Hard choices are fine, but hard choices means more min-maxing, and beyond a certain point, minmaxing doesn't have room for the middle and they get squeezed out. The interactions are pretty detailed, read the full section to get a proper understanding.

-What should we do about it? I dunno but here are some ideas. It's up to Eugen really though:
--M113, MT-LBV and anything similar down to 5pts
--Line Infantry, down to 5pts. They need to leverage price/performance efficiency and transports to be more worthwhile than Militia, and leverage Price and Activation Point efficiency to be worth more than Shock/Elite infantry.
--Incraese baseline availability of line infantry, perhaps give a small availability bonus to nations without reservists - maybe.
--Reconsider the transport availability/card system. High end IFVs should probably be changed to someting like 1 card of 10 or 12 baseline, to improve AP efficiency in a part of the deck with really high AP pressure. Availability should probably be higher across the board, adjust with vehicle cards as appropriate.
--Remove price increase to 15 man teams.

Read the appropriate part, or the full thing for more information/reasoning.
Last edited by ShanRevan on Fri 2 May 2014 15:21, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: The Infantry Megathread – Weapons, Hard Data, Meta, Anal

Postby DelroyMonjo » Thu 1 May 2014 13:14

Nice research job, ShanRevan. If one cares to read between the lines it seems to me that it also points out the 5pt increment balancing mess.
Illegitimi non carborundum.

ShanRevan
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Re: The Infantry Megathread – Weapons, Hard Data, Meta, Anal

Postby ShanRevan » Thu 1 May 2014 13:16

DelroyMonjo wrote:Nice research job, ShanRevan. If one cares to read between the lines it seems to me that it also points out the 5pt increment balancing mess.

Well that's not really my intention but is it really a secret that they don't have the granularity to properly price things on the low end of their 5-180pt scale?

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Re: The Infantry Megathread – Weapons, Hard Data, Meta, Anal

Postby Stelz » Thu 1 May 2014 13:19

Wow, just wow. Hope devs will consider to use ur research to balance infantry/

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Re: The Infantry Megathread – Weapons, Hard Data, Meta, Anal

Postby duro909 » Thu 1 May 2014 13:27

Nice analysis
+1
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ShanRevan
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Re: The Infantry Megathread – Weapons, Hard Data, Meta, Anal

Postby ShanRevan » Thu 1 May 2014 13:35

Oh yeah, before I forget: The elusive range scaling formula!
rangescalemodifier=1+3*(1-(currentrange/maxrange))^3

So:

True Chance to hit =(base accuracy)*(veterancy modifier)*(Moralepenalties)*(ECM Modifiers)-(size modifiers)
... off the top of my head anyway

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Re: The Infantry Megathread – Weapons, Hard Data, Meta, Anal

Postby hammerfist » Thu 1 May 2014 13:39

+10000000000000000000000

This is the most insightful and enjoyable analysis

I've ever seen here!!!!
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