[Commentary] US Unit Choices In 1vs1 Ranked (Dec 2016)

ThePriyad
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[Commentary] US Unit Choices In 1vs1 Ranked (Dec 2016)

Postby ThePriyad » Sat 17 Dec 2016 08:13

Hello, ThePriyad here. I've often been asked how I use US in ranked so here I have written about how I chose the units in my ranked US deck and why I don't use some well liked units such as the US Marines, Sheridan ACAV, Super M60, etc.

Current US 1vs1 Ranked Deck:
Spoiler : :
US 1v1 Ranked_2016.PNG
US 1v1 Ranked_2016.PNG (873.37 KiB) Viewed 2766 times


Logistics:
Spoiler : :
    [1] Humvee CP is numerous and 90 kmph off road, super useful for dodging bombs, fleeing from infantry.
    [2] Infantry CV in helicopter, cheapest helicopter as speed doesn't matter to me but cost does. Helicopter will be used as AA detection.
    [3] Lots of resupply value, fast off road.
    [4] Testing the 15 pt truck to resupply on the cheap, can change with a FOB, Tank CV or use activation points elsewhere.


Infantry:
Infantry must be hardened at a minimum to be helpful against the veteran infantry of specialized decks.
Spoiler : :
    [1] Riflemen '90 in M113A3 for general purpose @ 20 points.
    [2] Riflemen in M2A2 Bradley for anti-armor duties @ 45 points and a 10 man fodder squad is a nice bonus.
    [3] SMAW in LVTP-7 for the highest AP RPG available to US @ 25 points.
    [4] Light Riflemen '90 in Humvee for fast fire support spam denial in cities @ 30 points.
    [5] Delta Force in Humvee for fast infantry based anti-infantry @ 35 points.

To answer "Priyad, why don't you use US Marines/US Marines '90?":
Overall, the card doesn't add enough value relative to Delta Force for the babysitter role while being at a similar price point.
    [1] 15 health isn't valuable when my 5th card of infantry's role is to babysit the line infantry in forest fights.
    [2] Slower ground transports than Delta Force which reduces available strategies/tactics. Humvees with Light Riflemen '90 and Delta Force is a good city strike force on the current ranked map pool.
    [3] Can't chase enemy elite infantry.


Support:
Spoiler : :
    [1] M48A3 Chaparral for long range AA.
    [2] Pivads on Veteran to stun lock atgm helos; can help with anti-infantry duties in a pinch. Sacrificial radar unit.
    [3] Patriot on Veteran for ADN backbone; stunning planes before they strike [expensive] equipment is very valuable.
    [4] M106A2 for smoke but also useful to shell enemy stationary infantry, manpads, and atgm squads.

Honorable Mentions:
  • M163 Vulcan - I used to use this because of its helicopter range, but its autonomy was too low that it couldn't keep up with a moving front.
  • I-Hawk - Can get 2 for the price of 1 Patriot, almost doubling your chance to kill a plane if positioned properly. I didn't like it when I used it because of the 35 kmph off-road speed. It doesn't relocate well enough. Also with 3 missiles, its a supply guzzler.
  • Hawk PIP III - Can get this and a HMTT for the price of 1 Patriot. It can be used in place of one of the opening Chaparrals because it has 3500m range against helicopters. I haven't tested it much, but the 35 kmph off-road speed makes me not like it.


Tank:
Spoiler : :
    [1] M1A2 obligatory super heavy.
    [2] M1A1(HA) on hardened for a slightly cheaper 4 top armor tank to dominate mechanized and motorized decks while also having the ability to duke it out with super heavies.
    [3] M1IP on Veteran because a work horse tank is required.

Honorable Mentions:
  • M1A1 - 17 F.AV still gets chunked by 80 to 90 point work horse tanks. No extra-survive-ability against ATGMs for 25 points more than an M1IP. 3 T.AV also is a little low when LGBs were a big deal.
  • Super M60 - I used to use this tank due to the medium optics and 12 F.AV making it helpful when auto-cannon vehicles were all the rage. This tank doesn't handle the work-horse medium tanks well enough to warrant its use in 1vs1.
  • MBT-70 - I used to use this tank in tandem with the Super M60 for anti-infantry purposes. I stopped because its too expensive points for a 12 F.AV, HE slinging tank. Its a very nice tank for 2vs2+.
  • M8 AGS - This was my first anti-auto-cannon choice, but my testing showed that this tank loses to auto-cannon vehicles if it misses the first shot because of its 3 F.AV. Also the 3 F.AV means rocket pod helicopters and planes will guarantee a kill on it. The M8 AGS is fantastic as a support tank in large numbers and a flanking force which doesn't occur often enough to warrant it in 1vs1.


Recon:
Spoiler : :
    [1] Longbow - Forces the enemy to react; suicide a plane for it or buy more AA. Very fast rate of landing, use it.
    [2] M3A2 Bradley CFV - Very good ATGM slinging Hunter-Killer, hard to pass up with all the ranked map pool favoring open fields.
    [3] Lav-25 Scout - Can lead a motorized push for the greater good. Great flanking unit, has ability to stun helicopters. Let auto-cannon vehicles come to it for any chance of surviving.
    [4] Rangers in M35 @ 25 points for cheap combat capable recon. Great when assisting Delta Force, SMAW.
    [5] Rangers in V-150 @ 35 points for extra recon and flanking.

Honorable Mentions:
  • Sheridan ACAV - Same problem as the M8 AGS tank. Unable to fire on helicopters. I prefer this over the Lav-25 Scout for a 10vs10 deck.
  • AH-1J Cobra - Good helicopter for hunting and killing infantry, in particular in the open. Another unit in the Helicopter tab does a similar same role while not taking a crucial card slot.
  • Kiowa (any) - Can substitute the Longbow for a cheaper recon helicopter. I prefer the Longbow due it having more strength, a faster landing speed, and a more predictable direct impact on the opponent's decisions.
  • Navy Seals - I used to use them when the ranked map pool focused on city fighting because they could flee behind infantry with RPGs instantaneously. I don't really see a place for them right now in any deck besides Marines.


Vehicle:
Spoiler : :
    [1] M163 CS on Hardened - Great support vehicle capable of quickly stunning and then killing infantry and helicopters. Can also stun and critical vehicles. All around useful unit.
    [2] M728 CEV on Hardened - Handles infantry in the open field and forests. Just enough armor to not be picked off by cheap fire support and auto-cannons. Can also take RPGs, although not advisable. I typically call out 1 at a time.

If you need the availability on these units for a 1vs1 match, there is a fundamental problem with your use of combined arms.

Honorable Mentions:
  • Any ATGM carrier - M2A2 Bradley with Riflemen @ 45 points does the role better. Vehicle tab based wheeled ATGM carriers definitely useful in 3vs3+ decks.
  • ONTOS - Cost is too high for the package in a 1vs1 deck. Very nice for 4vs4+.


Helicopter:
Spoiler : :
    [1] MH-60L DAP - Need an AA based helicopter to deny enemy land grabs and protect the recon helicopter. Also useful for taking out cheap fire support.
    [2] AH-1S Cobra - Need a fast response anti-infantry unit since the CEV is slow. Also doubles as an ADN detector when out of rocket pods to protect the Longbow.

Honorable Mentions:
  • AH-1E Cobra - I used to use this over the AH-1S for quick response to an auto-cannon unit that slipped my defenses and it really didn't do the job well. Then I transitioned to using it for CV sniping once the rocket pods were emptied and it made my play style too scrappy; 60 points would do more on the front as infantry or a tank.
  • Any other Cobra - They're all useful and it depends on how you wish to do the US helicopter dance.
  • Apache / Sea Hawk - Either is highly recommended if not using a Longbow or Kiowa Warrior.
  • Little Bird - Great for identifying the ADN to protect the more expensive ATGM helicopter(s). Still dies to auto-cannons rather quickly so I don't recommend for 1vs1.


Plane:
Spoiler : :
    [1] ASF: Must be able to kill a plane seeking to snipe the recon helicopter.
  • My preference is the F-16C Block 52 as its 1 card for 2 hardened ASF.
    [2] Attack Bomber: Must be able to get payload off, and have a decent chance of surviving at least 1 Radar AA piece.
  • My preference is the F-15D Eagle as has a high ECM, along with a devastating payload capable of even killing tanks.
    [3] AGM: Must be able to kill a Super Heavy with its payload.
  • My preference is the A-10 Thunderbolt for its survive-ability, versatility, and ToT. Works best with the Longbow. Little weak on a per-missile basis, but the job gets done.
    [4] SEAD: Must have stealth, high ECM, long range SEAD payload, and cheap.
  • My preference is the EA-6B Prowler as it has good base stats and can get 1 on elite; I am currently testing 2 on rookie because sometimes the enemy gets really lucky.
    [5] Multi-role: Can kill the target and has fast re-arm time. Preferably used to protect controlled territory.
  • Many options, but I have been favoring the AV-8C Harrier on Veteran. It guarantees damage to targets if clicked on even infantry in buildings, rearms quickly, has ECM, and can be used for anti-helicopter operations.

Honorable Mentions:
  • F-117 Nighthawk - You know why. Counter-play is predictable, so that can help. For me, it doesn't fill the multi-role as I am defining it. I also happen to be very hit or miss with its effectiveness.
  • F/A-18C Hornet - Would fill the role of AGM, but with my play-style I don't really need to KILL a super heavy on sight, I just need to threaten it.
  • EF-111A Raven - Would fill the role of SEAD, but I don't like its cost. I do like its missile's range though.
  • A-6A Intruder - Would fill the role of Multi-role as it re-arms about as fast as a rocket pod plane but its attack pattern makes it vulnerable to the cheapest of radar AA and can't be used to snipe lone AA pieces like a rocket pod plane. This plane is pretty nice as its bombs drop accurately, and has the potential to kill a 4 top armor tank in 1 pass.
  • F-4S Phantom II - Wouldfill the role of Multi-role as it provides quick and relatively predictable impassable terrain while also capable of anti-helo operations. Unfortunately it is very expensive.

At this point, I don't consider any other planes viable for US ranked. The other bombers are not accurate enough to provide a predictable infantry wipe thus rendering the bombing run moot. The other ASF are either not enough per card or unable to guarantee the plane attacking a Longbow will die.


Now that you've seen my reasoning for specific units, let me talk about combined arms, which is why I like US so much.

US plays like a mechanized deck so recognize that for your opener when deciding where to strike. The fire support units are all 20 points or higher and thus shouldn't be traded lightly; their absence will be felt. Recon is a pretty big deal as counter play is not as simple.

The Land Grab:
    [1] DAPs are your wheeled transports' escort. Bring as many as you feel necessary to take the objective. Typically this means a minimum of 1 per opener. Avoid suiciding DAPs if similar points were spent on helicopters. If your wheeled vehicles were headed there, choose a new place to deploy them at or wait for the mechanized forces.
    [2] Typically starting with 1 HA Abrams or 2 M1IPs is good enough so long as there are enough Bradleys to supplement/threaten anything bigger for open field matches. Be aware that the enemy may have their own ATGM units.
    [3] During the opener, do what you can to avoid trading your units willy-nilly. It is usually better to retreat and regroup then thrust than to go through an infantry shit-show with a Meta Deck as they're more efficient with less and less on the field.
    [4] Deploy 1 mortar if you expect enemy ATGMs or are deploying a very expensive unit.
    [5] The enemy likely has a major investment in infantry and cheap fire support, that means they move slowly once they lose their transports so its okay to lose areas that are isolated by large open fields - you have a mortar to deal with ATGMs.
    [6] Lav-25 Scouts are great for monitoring locations. They are also monstrously dangerous when conducting flanking operations. Don't engage auto-cannon vehicles with medium or better optics with 'em unless from behind.
    [7] Tell your Bradleys what to do, don't waste ATGMs on MG transports.
    [8] Having recon across your front line is extremely important, but that's for all decks.

Using US - Combined Arms:
    [1] Handling Armor on Open Fields
  • 2 M2A2 Bradleys and an M1IP will be able to deal with 80 - 90 point tanks on an open field without forcing the enemy player to react with a plane.
  • M3A2 Bradley CFV and an M1A2 or M1A1 (HA) will be able to deal with Super Heavies but expect the enemy player to react with a plane and smoke.
  • Longbow & A-10 Thunderbolt will deal with entire pushes. Expect planes which can take down both units; be ready to buy an ASF or retreat.

    [2] Handling Infantry Fights
  • Your base infantry unit is the Rifleman '90, use them in pairs. These guys are your anti-vehicle squad when SMAW aren't around. Keep the transports behind the infantry and bring them up to engage after enemy MGs are firing. They can handle most line troop threats and pause shock ones just enough. Be ready to micro your transport(s) to keep them alive as they add a lot of damage.
  • Bring Delta Force if enemy Shock with high AP RPG or commandos are nearby. Have a mortar ready for good measure. Let their transports die on top of the enemy infantry.
  • Bring SMAW and/or M1IP(s) if enemy tanks or similarly armored threats are expected. These two cards will also help against shock infantry and commandos.
  • NEVER bring Light Riflemen '90 to fight inside of a forest. They really only do well in city sectors. I tend to pair them up to 2 tap IFVs.
  • Rangers can take the place of Riflemen '90, but I don't recommend stacks as they are your front-line eyes and also flankers.
  • Bring a CEV only to forest areas that you expect to fight a lot of infantry (4+ squads). Also make sure to reinforce with a CEV to positions the enemy may send a lot of infantry on foot towards during a push. Typically may only need up to 2, at any one time.
  • Bring a CS to forest areas for protection against helicopters. They can support Riflemen '90s against most infantry squads.
  • Remember those Riflemen that come with the Bradley? Use the Riflemen as a screen to identify where the enemy is or you know, as fodder. Bring the Bradley to the action.

Did you notice how much effort it takes to handle threats? Very few 1 Card Suits Most Situations. This is why trading evenly isn't always advisable. You'll also notice that most units have a lot of ammo to handle sustained fighting.

A great example of everything I explain in this post is probably showcased in a match I played recently, "MajG-Yugo vs BrG US" uploaded to the Wargame Tools site.

Well, lets discuss unit selections and how to improve US's ability to handle 1vs1 ranked without making it even more powerful for other settings where I think it does really well.
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Re: [Commentary] US Unit Choices In 1vs1 Ranked (Dec 2016)

Postby Killertomato » Sat 17 Dec 2016 09:28

Would you still take the M1IP if it became the K1 stat copy it should be? Or would you move to a 2275 M1 or what?
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Re: [Commentary] US Unit Choices In 1vs1 Ranked (Dec 2016)

Postby HrcAk47 » Sat 17 Dec 2016 13:13

Pretty nice read, thanks.

US can be played competitively after all.
The SEAD never bothered me anyway.

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Re: [Commentary] US Unit Choices In 1vs1 Ranked (Dec 2016)

Postby Sleksa » Sat 17 Dec 2016 13:15

Looks more or less like a okay deck

Personally I would consider removing either the m3a2 or the infantry m2a2 as they do pretty much the same job for roughly same price and get something else instead (marines+lvtp?).
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Re: [Commentary] US Unit Choices In 1vs1 Ranked (Dec 2016)

Postby nande » Sat 17 Dec 2016 13:41

they don't have the same jobs in my experience. m2a2 is an offensive unit for backing up tanks/pushes while the m3a2 is too expensive for that

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Re: [Commentary] US Unit Choices In 1vs1 Ranked (Dec 2016)

Postby HrcAk47 » Sat 17 Dec 2016 13:53

M3A2 and M2A2 are not interchangeable by role.
The SEAD never bothered me anyway.

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Re: [Commentary] US Unit Choices In 1vs1 Ranked (Dec 2016)

Postby axnone » Sat 17 Dec 2016 14:53

Overall nice guide!

in most of the cases you never really nead a superheavy in 1v1,too micro-heavy and (most of the time)not worth the price,easily countered,too.

a sub-heavy(hc and ha in this case)is enough IMHO
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Re: [Commentary] US Unit Choices In 1vs1 Ranked (Dec 2016)

Postby Razzmann » Sat 17 Dec 2016 15:18

axnone wrote:in most of the cases you never really nead a superheavy in 1v1,too micro-heavy and (most of the time)not worth the price,easily countered,too.

A year ago, the most expensive tank you usually saw in rank was around the T-72B1. (There were always players trying to use superheavies, but that barely worked out)

Then when people started playing Bluefor Mech in ranked, some people (including me) started using 120-ish tanks. I for one was playing Eastern Block Mech which was pretty good agaisnt Bluefor Mech.

As a reaction to that the superheavies came out. People started playing a lot more with them and many changed their playstyle to focus around them. With ASFs and smoke, you can usually keep them alive pretty well.

At least that is what happened from my POV.

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Re: [Commentary] US Unit Choices In 1vs1 Ranked (Dec 2016)

Postby ThePriyad » Sat 17 Dec 2016 16:52

Killertomato wrote:Would you still take the M1IP if it became the K1 stat copy it should be? Or would you move to a 2275 M1 or what?


I take the M1IP for the purpose of tanking damage so that the M2A2s can kill stuff. If the M1IP became a K1 stat copy, its price goes up and I would still be forced to use it as that would still be the cheapest tank available to handle 80-90 point tanks while also taking RPGs to the front in a forest.

I don't know the reality of the US tank situation, but the M60A1 ERA is the only tank with 2275m range and over 10 F.AV for less than 100 points. Unfortunately it can't handle most of the opposition currently fielded with its 15 AP and 12 F.AV.

The M8 AGS is in a good place and shouldn't be touched.

HrcAk47 wrote:Pretty nice read, thanks.

US can be played competitively after all.


You're welcome.

Indeed it can, just don't blindly follow the meta; pick units that handle it reasonably well (usually a pair of units...).

Razzmann wrote:
axnone wrote:in most of the cases you never really nead a superheavy in 1v1,too micro-heavy and (most of the time)not worth the price,easily countered,too.

A year ago, the most expensive tank you usually saw in rank was around the T-72B1. (There were always players trying to use superheavies, but that barely worked out)

Then when people started playing Bluefor Mech in ranked, some people (including me) started using 120-ish tanks. I for one was playing Eastern Block Mech which was pretty good agaisnt Bluefor Mech.

As a reaction to that the superheavies came out. People started playing a lot more with them and many changed their playstyle to focus around them. With ASFs and smoke, you can usually keep them alive pretty well.

At least that is what happened from my POV.


I had M1A1s since M1IPs couldn't touch T-72B1. M2A2 Bradleys had 3 F.AV or something at the time resulting in them being one shot at near max tank range.

Don't forget that most maps on the ranked map pool back then had objectives at large cities where as now they're more towards smaller cities and open fields.

Edits: Combining post responses into one.
Last edited by ThePriyad on Sat 17 Dec 2016 17:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Commentary] US Unit Choices In 1vs1 Ranked (Dec 2016)

Postby Medan » Sat 17 Dec 2016 17:01

A nice look into playing US in 1v1s. Great guide Priyad.
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