August 9, 2015 at 11:37 #684
Khoo Bo Yan
Guess it’s time to start here. My favourite commander is the 606, and I like it so much I’m not about to give away my secrets just yet, muahaha…
These strategies revolve around a few core principles, which are the current characteristics of the ReconInForce auto-matched multiplayer game. If these change, then the strategies involved will change too, so bear that in mind!
1. The only information you get when you start an auto-matched game is which map you’re playing on. You get no information about the enemy commander’s identity. You also do not know whether you’ll be playing first or second (Green or Tan). The big reveal only comes when the first enemy unit is detected, which more often than not is the same time that the first shots are fired!
The implication is that choosing your commander is a mind game all on its own. If the commander you have in mind has very obvious weaknesses to other commanders (e.g. Bulldogs weak to 606 or Royal Battery), you’ll want to be fairly certain that your opponent isn’t going to choose those commanders! This means that in order to be good at multiplayer, you have to be able to read the map extremely well, and it gets difficult because the preview is so small…
2. Your base generates 500 points per turn. All other flags will only generate income for you if you hold them at the START of the turn. For a flag to change hands, one of your units must either move adjacent to it when no enemy units are adjacent to it, or one of your units must occupy the flag tile. Subsequently, flags continue to generate income at the start of every turn until they change hands. If a flag is contested i.e. at least one unit from both sides is sitting adjacent to it at the beginning of a turn, it generates ZERO income.
This is how the map affects your choice of commander and your gameplay strategy. At the start of the game, commanders that are extremely income-dependent (Royal Battery, Iron Raiders, 606, Bulldogs) GENERALLY need to prioritise securing income above capturing deployment zones/destroying enemy units/occupying other strategic points, in order to have a smooth game. If the map makes this difficult early on, consider a different commander! Likewise, if you’re playing against a very income-dependent commander with, say, the 17th Guards, then make the denial of income a top priority. You only have to TOUCH a flag with a cheap, expendable unit to cause major headache. And of course, since all your opponent’s attention is focused on the flags, send an armoured thrust elsewhere to make him pay for his tunnel vision!
3. For deployment points and helipads, a player can deploy from them at any time as long as he controls them. The game currently still doesn’t allow you to move a unit onto these from another tile.
The implication is that if one of your deployment points/helipads is in danger of imminent capture, you either guard it well with sufficient units placed directly next to it, or you withdraw completely from it! Half-hearted or poorly coordinated attempts that leave 1 unit adjacent to the helipad/deployment point with 1-2 more nearby-but-not-quite-there can end in disaster as your opponent captures the tile and then spawns enough units to wipe out anything nearby.
4. Helipads can generally deploy only infantry units. However, there are a couple of exceptions, the first two of which have major (if self-explanatory :P) implications on game play. These are: 1. Captain 2. Drone 3. Robot 4. Decoys. Also under deployment exceptions is the fact that the Resistance can deploy infantry from any player-controlled flag.
5. ReconInForce gameplay incorporates the fog of war; direct-fire units are limited by range and line-of-sight to the target. All units are able to fire on targets up to one ‘knight’s move’ (one straight and one diagonal) away, regardless of LOS, assuming the targets are spotted by at least one friendly unit. Indirect-fire units do not require LOS to fire on spotted enemy units. As far as game visuals/aesthetics are concerned, LOS is fairly reasonably implemented, though not perfect (it’s an isometric grid, what do you expect?!). All units have a visual range; enemy units beyond the spotted battlefield area will not be visible, but can still be harmed by artillery Barrages. Concealment works in two ways: scouts must get closer to a smoke/city/forest/fort tile in order to spot units on it than they would for a grass/road/river/etc tile. These tiles also block line-of-sight, so units behind them cannot receive direct fire from units in front (and vice versa). All units can always see enemies two squares horizontally/vertically and one square diagonally, unless the enemy unit is a ‘stealthy’ one (Stealth Tanks, Snipers etc). Many units will also give away their position when they fire and remain spotted to the enemy on his turn even if subsequently hidden from direct LOS (look for the round ‘tracking’ icon next to the unit). Finally, players are able to view enemy movements that occur within their spotted battlefield area (!!), as well as the location of artillery fire (including smoke) (!!).
That’s a lot of information, but the last sentence is probably the most important- you’ll be surprised at how much information you can glean just by watching your opponent’s turn, and how vulnerable artillery is in a human vs human match (as opposed to single player) 😉
August 9, 2015 at 22:04 #687
Someday I’ll have to hear more about your infamous 606 blitz strategy! Until then, these are some really good tips for the community. Thanks for posting 😉
August 15, 2015 at 12:17 #692
Khoo Bo Yan
GENERAL STRATEGY #2
Technically some of what is covered here is better described as tactics rather than strategy per se.
For goodness’ sake, move your scout units before you move anything else!! Granted, there may be some situations where you would have to blast 1-2 enemies out of the path of your scout first, but any other excuse is silly. The whole purpose of scouts is to discover the enemy positions so that you don’t do silly things like running into ambushes or wasting all your artillery fire on Robots only to discover an Engineer immediately afterward. And be careful not to let your scout itself get ambushed- that would be even more embarrassing…
This should be pretty obvious to experienced players. Half of ReconInForce is about positioning your units correctly to avoid taking damage while doing as much damage as possible. Needless to say, infantry generally don’t belong on open ground! The best offensive dispositions ensure that units are close enough to the enemy to do maximum damage next turn, while taking some return fire that isn’t enough to significantly blunt the offensive before they get to start shooting. The best defensive dispositions give enemy scouts a hard time locating friendly units, or utilise concepts such as defense-in-depth so that an attacker is constantly surprised by new units appearing through the fog of war as he advances. A massive, concentrated, visible brick wall isn’t always the best solution, especially since the attacking commander usually brings enough firepower to deal with whatever he thinks he’s up against. Much better to make attackers waste action points on moving instead. As opposing sides exchange fire, the unit dispositions will constantly change until one side breaks (often due to errors in positioning causing wasted action points). To master positioning, one must be extremely familiar with the stats of both friendly and enemy units, ESPECIALLY their firing ranges! Good unit positioning also takes into the account the use of smoke.
RTS game fans will know that build order is critically important one’s success XD. Likewise, success in ReconInForce requires players to carefully think ahead with regards to their deployment choices. In case it isn’t obvious by now, starting the battle with nothing but tanks (or whatever your most expensive and powerful unit is) is a VERY BAD IDEA. You may capture an extra flag or two, or perhaps blow up a turret before your opponent realises what’s happening, but then you will be swamped by superior numbers and most likely unable to recover from the sudden massive loss of material and territory. Deploy the units that you need to take AND HOLD your objectives. (Commander/unit-specific deployment advice is better discussed elsewhere.)
GENERAL EARLY & MIDDLE GAME PRIORITIES
Different commanders have different ways of doing it, but the initial goal in ReconInForce is always to secure a steady source of income, occupy important territory, and prevent the enemy from doing the same. That means eliminating enemy recon, too! To adapt a quote from the Rome: Total War tutorial, “First attack your enemy’s strategy, then his cities (income/deployment), and then his armies.” A strategy that focuses solely on finding and destroying enemy units is doomed to backfire at some point. In fact, destroying enemy units only rises to the top of my priority list if I am confident that I can destroy more points’ worth of units than my opponent will receive next turn.
Owing to the fact that all current maps are symmetrical, there unfortunately isn’t a lot of room for creativity in this respect. In fact, rushing down one side of the map while leaving the other side relatively undefended is very risky and should only be attempted against less-experienced players or commanders with relatively poor scouting capability. The risk does not stem from getting overwhelmed by your opponent’s counter-thrust on your ‘weak’ side (assuming you’re playing properly); rather, it comes from exposing the units on your attacking side to flanking attacks. These can be devastating, especially because when playing aggressively one often accidentally leaves gaps in the front line that can be exploited. The only exception is the Royal Battery, whose artillery can easily shift targets to squash a flank attack. “Defensive offense”, I call it…
This is really common sense that somehow isn’t very common. Obviously, it is a good idea to only do as much damage to units as they have hit points i.e. avoid ‘overkill’. That means you have to pay attention to which units go where and fire on what as you fire-and-manoeuvre. For example, it is better to kill a Medium Tank with two Javelin hits and one Grunt hit than with three Javelin hits, particularly if there’s another armoured unit nearby than the Javelin can target (if you can see the logic…).
August 16, 2015 at 00:32 #695
My favorite topic you mentioned here is the Deployment order. ReconInForce is a strategy game that doesn’t enforce tiers or tech. However, more experienced players will still understand and appreciate the resource of time. They can predict how to deploy their forces so they engage the enemy with all their own troops simultaneously. I think that a good commander treats the elements of their army as one whole; either they are all attacking or they are all maneuvering. For example, if they choose a poor deployment order then some of their force will be moving while the remainder are attacking; and this lack of cohesion will essentially give your opponent strength in numbers.
Your topic of Targeting is sort of the same thing. Just like true warfare, ReconInForce is a struggle of players attempting to maximize destructive efficiency at key times and locations. Often that means committing no more and no less resources than what is required to win each individual battle.
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