This topic contains 6 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Khoo Bo Yan 4 years, 6 months ago.
August 15, 2015 at 10:03 #691
Khoo Bo Yan
I think most players would be familiar with this commander already, but like my previous post, this is also meant to help those who are relatively new to this game 🙂
I’ll be covering units, general strategy, and opponent-specific strategy in separate posts. Probably don’t have enough time to go into map-specific strategy, and besides that will get outdated quickly as new maps become available. Let’s start with their units.
UNIT #1 GRUNTS
A cheap, effective, well-rounded addition to any army.
The 17th Guards Grunts play a very different role from those in the 501st and the Iron Raiders. Because the 17th Guards has all types of units available (infantry, armour, artillery, recon and support), their Grunts just fulfil the roles typically assigned to infantry:
1. Defensive meatshields, especially when placed on forests
2. Observation posts (their line of sight is second only to dedicated scouts)
3. Occupying ambush positions along roads to deny enemy armour freedom of movement
4. Attacking and attriting enemy infantry, preferably with artillery support
It comes as no surprise that Grunts are very useful when employed in the roles they excel in. Their ability to soak up damage should not be underestimated, especially considering they can heal themselves! They also do a decent job of scouting in closed terrain where it is too dangerous for Scouts to operate. Grunts don’t do too hot at offense unless they have adequate artillery support. A small detachment of Grunts is capable of significantly slowing an enemy armoured thrust, but will usually get mostly eliminated by artillery if your opponent knows what he is doing. The worst thing the enemy commander can do is to attempt to find and clear out Grunts hiding in a forest with tanks alone- he will suffer disproportionate losses of material, time and momentum. Finally, because Grunts are so cheap and versatile, there is little harm in deploying them when you’re not sure what else to deploy (they can help plug gaps in the front line, if nothing else), or sending 1-2 of them on infiltration missions.
UNIT #2 ANTI-TANK TEAM
Can quickly dispatch enemy armour but is weak to enemy infantry.
The Guards’ AT Team are their principal anti-armour platform, able to destroy a Medium Tank on open ground in 3 hits. They make up for their short range with relatively high health (for a specialised unit) and very low cost. The role of the AT Team in the 17th Guards’ strategy is:
1. To ambush and destroy attacking enemy armour so as to inflict significant economic losses on the enemy while minimising friendly economic losses (in the form of loss of flags, friendly artillery coming under direct fire etc)
2. To attack enemy turrets and tanks within short distances
3. To act as a secondary meatshield along with the Grunts
The combination of high hit points and short range means that the AT Team is best used in the short range ambush role where they can absorb enemy fire while completely destroying an enemy armoured thrust. A well-prepared defensive position with Grunts and AT Teams concealed in ambush can only be overcome with some difficulty by a determined attack supported with artillery and/or specialised units. They should not *usually* be placed on forests/cities directly overlooking an open field, as they will be exposed to tank fire while not having the range to return fire. They should also NEVER be used to attack infantry unless one is absolutely certain that all nearby enemy armour has been eliminated, or as a last resort- doing so gives away their position to enemy armour. Also, they do not do well attacking enemy armour on cities and forts due to their range and them having the lowest damage output of all dedicated anti-armour units. That is, unless you’re prepared to launch an infantry swarm with a massive smokescreen…
UNIT #3 MEDIUM TANK
Provides an extra punch to an infantry assault. Great at moving along roads but cannot enter forests.
Nothing is more ‘classic’ than the role of the tank. Over the years, tanks have consistently played the same few roles in warfare, and the ReconInForce Medium Tank is no different. Their roles:
1. As the in-game description suggests, to participate in combined-arms assaults with infantry and artillery
2. To act as the decisive mobile arm in blitzkrieg/hammer-and-anvil tactics, by creating and exploiting gaps in the enemy line, breaking through to attack vulnerable artillery/support units and capture flags/deployment points
3. In the defensive role, to provide medium-range defensive firepower against enemy tanks and riflemen, and to anchor the defense by occupying forts where possible
4. To capture critical points in the absence of Scout units
(2) and (4) are self-explanatory. (1) is often overlooked- I suspect so many people have been influenced by German WWII armoured warfare portrayals that they think Medium Tanks will function well on their own. Bear in mind that German Panzers were used with plenty of artillery *and* air support (the latter doesn’t exist in ReconInForce of course)! More importantly, advancing with both tanks and infantry forces the defender to deploy a mix of anti-infantry and anti-tank assets, which dilutes the firepower brought to bear on the attacking forces. The key to winning with the 17th Guards is COMBINED ARMS (I have repeated it many times and will repeat it again later…). As for (3), a Medium Tank on a fort effectively has 2143 hit points. A Medium Tank on a fort with a defensive boost from the Captain effectively has 3750 hit points! (Can you imagine the Iron Raiders’ Heavy Tank with a defensive bonus on a fort?!)
UNIT #4 MLRS
Unleashes a devastating rocket strike. Is effective at long range against enemy soldiers.
Ahhhh…artillery, the king of the battlefield. One MLRS is capable of killing one 900-health infantry unit on a destroyed city or less each turn. It’s fairly mobile (4 tiles on roads) and can deploy smoke. Its role is simple:
1. To assist attacking forces by eliminating enemy infantry in prepared defensive positions
2. To eliminate enemy scout units before they can reach and discover friendly forces’ disposition
3. To screen friendly forces by deploying smokescreens
4. To attack other targets of opportunity, including counter-battery fires
With only 2 Action Points, these must be used carefully. The MLRS has enough range that it can be effective without getting uncomfortably close to the front line, but not so much that you can just sit near your base and pick off targets all day long. A good commander will know exactly when to advance his artillery and when to hang back and focus on firing/smoke-laying. Artillery is a natural choice for eliminating enemy scouts. This is crucial and often overlooked; it can have unprecedented effects because it disrupts both tactical and strategic/economic decision-making.
UNIT #5 SCOUT
Great speed and sight range make it the perfect choice for locating the enemy.
Since the 17th Guards get the most ‘typical’ version of everything, the following list should come as no surprise. The purpose of the Scout is:
1. To secure important objectives ahead of both friendly and enemy main forces
2. To locate targets for friendly units, especially artillery
3. If possible, to penetrate behind enemy lines so as to provide additional and more valuable intelligence, while concealing itself to avoid detection by the enemy
4. To contribute to screening friendly forces with smoke.
Yup. Self-explanatory. I mean, no one leaves their scouts in open terrain, right? …Right?
UNIT #6 CAPTAIN
Uses its abilities to to enhance the effectiveness of nearby units.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. A 30% bonus isn’t a small figure and can make a big difference; the offensive bonus helps to save action points while the defensive bonus can make life a whole lot easier under pressure. Also, the Captain can be deployed from a helipad, which, coupled with its movement range of 4 tiles on a road, can make for some interesting surprises…
August 22, 2015 at 00:27 #698
Khoo Bo Yan
PART 2: GENERAL STRATEGY
To avoid repetition I’ll try to only include things that are specific to the 17th Guards here, so do check out the other written guides as well. And of course I’m only writing these when I have the time 🙂
1. Unit set is the most ‘complete’, making this the most versatile commander, able to take on any opponent with decent chances of winning
2. Able to deploy the largest amount of hit points onto the battlefield (if you do the math)
3. Does not depend on expensive ‘workhorse’ units to win
4. Able to deploy fairly large numbers
5. Therefore (#2-#4), not very dependent on income for early game survival
6. Effective combined-arms tactics require skill and precision to defeat
7. Has two options for laying smoke (either scout or MLRS)
1. Offensive firepower/damage output is either absolutely lower or more dispersed compared to the ‘specialised’ commanders
2. Reliance on combined arms with infantry backbone means that the strongest manoeuvres can only travel at infantry speed
3. All units give away their position when they fire
“First attack your enemy’s strategy, then his cities (income/deployment), and then his armies.”
The key to winning with the 17th Guards is to A) identify and exploit enemy weaknesses, using B) combined-arms tactics (infantry + armour + artillery working in concert). The former will be elaborated on in the next section about commander-specific strategy.
Combined arms tactics are strong because they force your opponent to either knock out one arm very quickly (e.g. with large anti-tank barrages or counter-battery fire) or fight three different types of units at once. Both options tend to encourage errors in enemy unit deployment which create weaknesses (e.g. having insufficient anti-infantry firepower deployed) that are then exploited by the corresponding arm, assuming you’ve played correctly 🙂 Or at the very least, this will dilute the enemy’s defensive firepower, giving the assault a bit more longevity. Neither of these is as sexy as having the sheer offensive firepower to blast through any enemy position (which the 17th Guards doesn’t have), but experienced players will appreciate the value of a slower, more calculated game in which superior unit-level tactics and long-term planning bear more fruit.
Also important is the 17th Guards’ strength in defense. This again stems from their possession of all three combat arms- infantry for the close-range ambush and to absorb damage, long-range artillery for fire support, and armour for the mobile counterattack. Once the Guards take an objective, it is fairly difficult to dislodge them compared to other commanders. This makes them pretty good at ‘income-denial’ against income-dependent opponents.
Regarding initial unit deployment, don’t forget to deploy at least 1 scout and 1 MLRS unit at the beginning! Especially the MLRS- trust me, you will need it soon enough 🙂 And yes, going all-tanks at the beginning is generally still a very bad idea. Also, you can accurately predict which units you are likely to lose to enemy fire every turn (since they reveal their position by firing). Use that knowledge to guide your deployment choices accordingly.
1. Adapt your strategy to your opponent (see next section on opponent-specific strategy for more details).
2. Deploy and manoeuvre in such as way that will enable you to use combined arms effectively.
3. Your attacks will take time to materialise. Be patient and methodical.
4. Deny your opponent income, utilising your superior numbers & strength in defense.
August 24, 2015 at 07:47 #700
Khoo Bo Yan
PART 3: OPPONENT-SPECIFIC STRATEGY
17TH GUARDS MIRROR MATCH
Mirror matches are probably the most exciting because you have the least idea of what’s going to happen. And with the 17th Guards being the versatile, a-bit-of-everything commander, it is its own best antidote. The outcome of this matchup will probably be decided by the following:
1. Good scouting
2. Deploying just the right mix of units for the situation
3. Fighting aggressively for income (income becomes more of a deciding factor in a mirror match)
4. Efficient unit positioning and targeting
In short, a test of who really is the better player!
17TH GUARDS VS 501ST BULLDOGS
Since the 17th Guards are the only free-to-play commander, a majority of multiplayer matches will theoretically involve them on at least one side. That means whoever is choosing the 501st believes a win against the 17th is possible, if indeed they are matched. That in turn means the map is likely to have plenty of urban/forested areas such that visibility is significantly reduced and armour significantly slowed.
The key factor here is the 17th Guards’ use of artillery. If they can get enough artillery on the map and into firing position before the 501st secures a tangible income advantage/destroys the front line, victory is practically assured. This is important, because the 501st WILL steamroller the front line sooner or later- flamethrowers and Javelins are simply too powerful.
Usually the first sign that one is up against the 501st is the detection of an enemy LAV unit. It is difficult to confuse the 501st with the Iron Raiders given the terrain prerequisites, although some maps exist that give both equal opportunities (especially if the Raiders get tweaked in the future). At first contact, the 17th Guards player has probably deployed a typical opening mix- 2-3 scouts or medium tanks, 1-2 MLRS, and the remainder Grunts:AT Teams in a ~3:1 ratio.
The immediate priorities are:
1. Attempt to secure the income advantage by controlling a majority of the flags every turn. If that means completely abandoning the remaining minority of flags, it’s probably worth it. Income is important because the 501st is pretty much the only commander that the 17th Guards won’t have a numerical advantage over! Simply contesting flags to deny income isn’t enough, because you need income for #3 (see below)
2. Stop deploying AT teams and deploy relatively few medium tanks. LAVs are weak enough to be handled by Grunts and MLRS, while medium tanks will get killed very quickly by Javelins and are not worth the relatively high price. Deploy just enough tanks to force the 501st to spend points on Javelins as you eliminate them with artillery, but not more.
3. Start accumulating artillery, at least 1 MLRS per turn. The only reason not to deploy artillery is if the front line is in danger of imminent collapse next to a flag.
4. Maintain a coherent front line and protect your artillery. Don’t leave any areas relatively undefended. All it takes is for a single Javelin unit to sneak through and start OHKO-ing your MLRS for you to lose a lot of progress.
Throughout the game, make Javelins and Flamethrowers priority targets for your artillery. Medics can be ignored if you play correctly and don’t leave any damaged enemy units lying around that aren’t finished off. Scouting probably isn’t so important in this matchup- there are plenty of targets everywhere and they always reveal themselves when they fire. And don’t forget to fight for income!
17TH GUARDS VS ROYAL BATTERY
Again, because the Royal Battery player has already factored in the likelihood of coming up against the 17th Guards, expect to meet the Battery on larger maps with stretches of open ground and occasional patches of forest/city, where their AT Guns will excel.
The 17th Guards’ key advantages over the Royal Battery include early game numerical superiority and being less income-dependent. Their key weaknesses are their relatively poor offensive capability/sheer damage output and combat range. As such, victory depends on 1. Early-game income denial tactics 2. Effective concentration of force against the Royal Battery’s front line. And whereas in a matchup with the Bulldogs it is the Guards who will seek to prolong the game so they can mass artillery, a matchup with the Royal Battery produces the reverse scenario. The 17th Guards must be swift and precise in order to quickly overwhelm the Royal Battery’s defenses while not being so hasty and uncoordinated that they take heavy losses from the Battery’s superior firepower. This is arguably difficult to do on large maps with one flag that can be captured on the first turn- this gives the Royal Battery more income to play with.
In rugged terrain, the 17th Guards does better than the Royal Battery despite the fact that Machine Gunners seem ‘ideal’ for this sort of fighting. This stems from their sheer numbers of infantry and artillery- paradoxically, their dispersed offensive firepower becomes an advantage as losing 1 action point to Machine Gunner ambushes doesn’t hurt much. Also, Heavy Artillery cannot kill infantry on woods in 1 hit (only 862 damage), which just makes the Royal Battery’s life harder. It is important to note that the Royal Battery excels at defense because it can demolish an attacking force rapidly if it gets to fire first, NOT because it is good at taking damage (in fact the Battery deploys the least amount of hit points onto the battlefield of any commander).
There are two options as far as the ‘grand plan’ is concerned:
1. A massive all-armored rush at the beginning aimed at knocking out one sector of the map before the Royal Battery’s relatively slow offense makes any significant gains on the other side. Risky because all the Battery player needs to do is deploy two AT Guns in good positions and the entire assault can stall. But it will at least prevent him from grabbing income elsewhere.
2. A slower advance relying more on infantry and artillery, which involves attempting to deny income across the entire map while avoiding AT Guns and getting in some counter-battery fire if possible.
Throughout the battle:
1. Deploy extra scouts. These are essential to avoiding ambushes.
2. Don’t deploy AT Teams, you won’t need them.
3. Don’t forget to deploy MLRS! These are very useful for killing AT Guns and Spotters, both of which are absolutely deadly and should be high-priority targets.
4. MLRS are fodder for AT Guns if you are careless enough to let them get fired upon. Be careful!
5. NEVER advance Medium Tanks alone ahead of the front line unless you are ABSOLUTELY SURE (from scouting or otherwise) that there are no AT Guns able to fire on them.
6. Keep your infantry on woods if possible, and remember that Heavy Artillery fire destroys woods in 1 hit which can also alter line-of-sight
7. If advancing over open ground, use smoke to blind enemy AT Guns, and be prepared to take very heavy infantry losses
8. Study the terrain carefully and avoid likely ‘kill zones’ if you can
August 31, 2015 at 02:23 #703
Khoo Bo Yan
17TH GUARDS VS IRON RAIDERS
Until my suggested changes get implemented (*if* they do), the following will suffice:
1. Lots and lots of smoke!
2. Kill all Armoured Scouts immediately upon sight.
3. Lots and lots of AT Teams! Medium Tanks will just get murdered in 2 hits…
4. Enough MLRS to accomplish #1 and eliminate Supply Trucks and Grunts/Transports (these are also high-priority targets)
17TH GUARDS VS 606 SPECIAL FORCES
17TH GUARDS VS MECHANIZED MONGRELS
Despite the Mongrels’ powerful units, this is actually a very favourable matchup for the Guards player. This is because ALL of the Mongrels’ units are armoured units, which makes deploying against them a no-brainer. Just do the following:
1. The bulk of your army should consist of AT Teams.
2. Only employ Medium Tanks in wide-open-field battles, especially to take out Turrets.
3. Deploy enough MLRS to take out enemy Rocket Artillery, but not so many that you compromise your anti-armour firepower.
4. That being said, it is absolutely essential to kill off those pesky Rocket Artillery ASAP, and the MLRS is the ideal unit for the job, even though you will likely lose quite a few in the process. Massed Rocket Artillery will make it impossible for your AT Teams to make progress.
5. You have better scouting, and you will need it to find those Stealth Tanks!
The odds are heavily stacked in favour of the Guards winning by a simple steamroller of superior numbers of cheaper units. The Mongrels either have to pull off a spectacular ambush or flood the front line with Robots just to survive, let alone win…
September 18, 2015 at 23:24 #740
Haha, 17th Guards vs. 606: That is my favorite strategy too! 😉
November 10, 2015 at 05:06 #821
Khoo Bo Yan
***VERSION 2.0 UPDATE: MECHANIZED MONGRELS VS IRON RAIDERS***
The changes to the Iron Raiders in v2.0 make them a more difficult enemy, but fortunately this doesn’t affect the 17th Guards’ strategy against them too much. Note the following changes:
1. The Iron Raiders now have the ability to rush a Heavy Tank onto a strategic fort/flag and cover it with smoke from a Mortar Carrier (previously this would require an Armoured Scout and too many action point/Supply Trucks to be feasible). The Mortar Carrier can also efficiently pick off any infantry that are approaching the Heavy Tank on open ground, as long as they have been spotted (behind smoke or otherwise).
2. Armoured Scouts are no longer overextended and can be used to hunt MLRS, trading favourably in terms of economic (175 vs 200 points) and strategic impact
3. Expect to see fewer LAVs as some points get spent on Mortar Carriers instead.
As a result, on open ground, the most effective weapon against Heavy Tanks is now the Medium Tank instead of the AT Team. The latter’s short range, slow movement and vulnerability to artillery mean that they are less likely to trade favourably against the Iron Raiders’ units than Medium Tanks are. A smaller, more nimble group of Medium Tanks will be easier to protect with smoke and can probably get more shots off before being blown up by Heavy Tank fire, in addition to not being outranged by LAVs and Armoured Scouts. (It may also be worth a try to boost Medium Tanks with a Captain).
On urban terrain, where Heavy Tanks are unlikely to be found, Medium Tanks are strong against Transport infantry and relatively immune to mortar fire, unlike Grunts. This doesn’t mean Grunts are now useless; it just means the 17th Guards player should be deploying less of them from now on. Forested areas that cannot accommodate Medium Tanks will have to be secured with Grunts and MLRS.
The overall strategy for the 17th Guards remains the same. The Iron Raiders will lose any serious engagement in closed terrain, and more likely than not decisively win (or secure a strong income advantage) on open terrain. Victory with the 17th Guards requires the player to protect his MLRS artillery while pushing hard on areas of urban/forested terrain to secure the income advantage or present a strong counter-threat to the Iron Raiders’ base, while doing one’s best to blunt the inevitable armoured punch through the open terrain against the friendly base.
November 10, 2015 at 05:06 #822
Khoo Bo Yan
oops, that should read “17TH GUARDS VS IRON RAIDERS”
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