This topic contains 7 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Khoo Bo Yan 4 years, 1 month ago.
September 13, 2015 at 07:05 #714
Khoo Bo Yan
PART 1: UNITS
UNIT #1 ROBOT
2. Mopping up almost-dead units
3. To zerg-swarm and overwhelm numerically disadvantaged opponents e.g. Royal Battery
The Robot is the best scouting unit the Mongrels have. Compared with other dedicated scout units, it makes up for its inferior mobility and sight range with very low cost and relatively high firepower. However, it is also very, very easy to destroy, to the point where you’ll probably not want to have them operate alone (which somewhat negates the cost advantage). This also means they cannot really function as a backbone unit, and are restricted to supporting tanks and filling in gaps at the front line. Generally speaking, a swarm of Robots won’t do you much good unless the enemy cannot kill them efficiently (i.e. the Royal Battery, see Part 2 of this guide.)
UNIT #2 STEALTH TANK
1. Ambushes! Especially those overlooking open terrain due to its long range.
2. Anti-armour and anti-building role
3. Infiltration & flank attacks (same as LAV, only more effective)
Stealth Tanks are the Mongrels’ backbone unit, albeit a very expensive one. They aren’t very well-protected (only 900 HP), but make up for this by being able to enter forests, fire without being tracked, and also having a slightly longer range than Medium Tanks. This makes them deadly when laid in ambush as a group overlooking an open-ground “kill zone”. In contrast, the usual strategy of advancing over open ground under cover of smoke won’t work because their low health makes engaging them with artillery a viable option (unlike with Medium Tanks). And since a human opponent can tell their location from the smoke trails given off while firing, one has to expect that they will get bombarded to death by artillery blind-fires every now and then!
Stealth Tanks’ ability to enter forests makes them suitable for LAV-style infiltration/flanking missions. Although proficient at engaging all types of targets, Stealth Tanks are the primary anti-armour and anti-building platform of the Mongrels. As such, they should preferentially target armoured units while leaving infantry to the Rocket Artillery and Flame Tanks.
UNIT #3 FLAME TANK
1. Attacking infantry from roads
2. Defending a position with Cities against infantry
At first glance the Flame Tank appears terribly attractive but also very difficult to use. The main problem is its poor mobility, of course- being able to move only two tiles on grass (and just one diagonally!!) is a PITA when your firing range isn’t terribly large to begin with! Actually, the Flame Tank is at its best when rushing along roads to assault a position heavily defended by infantry. Use the first action point to get within range, and then the remaining two to dish out spectacular damage! This reduces the amount of action points spent on, and thus increases the efficiency of, an assault. When that position is cleared, assuming the tank survives, just rinse and repeat 🙂 Of course you can’t exactly deploy these as the mainstay of your force- more likely just 1 or 2 in each sector- but then they are force-multipliers, not backbone units…
One can also try using the Flame Tank to defend a position against an infantry assault (e.g. the left and right flags in Operation Bayonet), but like most other units in the Mongrels’ armoury, taking damage isn’t exactly its strong suit.
UNIT #4 ROCKET ARTILLERY
1. Anti-infantry role (due to relative disadvantage against armour)
3. Counter-battery fire
4. Grabbing flags (early game, due to superior mobility)
The Rocket Artillery is an awesome unit; 50% more action points with similar stats than the MLRS, but only 12.5% more expensive. Sure, they’re glass cannons, but how often does a good player let his artillery get hit anyway?! (Well, unless the opponent uses counter-battery fire…) Everything in the above list should be self-explanatory except #4- and on that note it is useful to remember that the Rocket Artillery has the largest vision range and best mobility of all Mongrels units. Weird, but I’m not complaining 😀 If you think about it, a highly mobile artillery unit is ideal for grabbing deployment points and flags close to your starting positions, because it can then fire on the front lines straightaway without needing to spend action points advancing further.
UNIT #5 ENGINEER
1. Defending far-back positions with a wall of turrets, as in an asymmetric strategy where one pushes hard on one side and defends the other side with just a single Engineer + turrets
2. Repairing units (assuming they can even survive enemy fire to begin with…)
Honestly, I’ve not seen a single instance of the Engineer-spam tactic working well in a multiplayer match. Engineers are just too expensive and too fragile, and too-high-priority targets! I estimate that you only really get your money’s worth when a single Engineer has built 3 or more turrets in its lifespan, which isn’t very likely when you’re up against an aggressive player who knows what he’s doing. For that reason, I firmly believe that Engineers don’t belong near the front line. And that if you invest in one to ‘block’ a flank with turrets, you’d better have a damn good plan on the other side of the map to capture all your objectives before your opponent kills all your turrets and your Engineer. But if the strategy works, your opponent will find himself severely delayed by your turret wall, while taking heavy losses on the other side of the map.
September 15, 2015 at 07:17 #728
Khoo Bo Yan
PART 2: GENERAL STRATEGY
The Mongrels are an extremely flexible commander; only less flexible than the 17th Guards due to their specific weaknesses.
1. Units as a whole are well-adapted to a variety of roles and have high damage output for their cost
2. Very efficient at killing infantry
3. Does not depend on expensive ‘workhorse’ units to win
4. Relatively non-income-dependent
5. Has a viable ‘turtling’ strategy in the form of Engineers
6. Excel at medium-range combat, especially with ambushes
1. Relatively poor scouting
2. All-armoured units makes hard countering very easy
3. Artillery extremely vulnerable to counter-battery fire
4. Expensive backbone units
5. Very little capacity to take damage due to combination of low unit HP and high cost
6. Most units cannot cross rivers
Playing as the Mongrels is all about using each individual unit to the best of its ability, as well as becoming very good at finding and killing anti-tank units. A large part of your strategy also revolves around how to position your units so that you don’t get hit too often! It is very difficult to write a guide on how to place your units properly, so I’ll just say that considering line of sight and terrain are key. If played well, your opponent will find himself:
1. Constantly harassed by Robots
2. Constantly ambushed by Stealth Tanks while being largely unable to find and kill them
3. Taking infantry losses at critical positions from Flame Tanks
4. Constantly losing anti-tank units to Rocket Artillery
5. Occasionally running into turret walls.
As mentioned earlier, Rocket Artillery should preferentially target infantry while Stealth Tanks target armour. Rocket Artillery should also preferentially target any enemy artillery (except Mortar Carriers) in range FIRST, or they will die to counter-battery fire in 1 hit next turn. To be even more efficient, here are some ideal combinations:
1. 900-health infantry on forests die to 2 hits from a Stealth Tank/Rocket Artillery (337 + 337) PLUS 1 hit from a Robot (+ 262, total 936)
2. 900-health infantry on cities die to 1 hit from a Stealth Tank/Rocket Artillery (360) PLUS 2 hits from a Robot (+ 280 + 280, total 920)
3. 900-health infantry on destroyed cities die to 3 hits from a Robot (315 + 315 + 315, total 945)
4. Medium Tanks on grass die to 2 hits from a Stealth Tank and 2 hits from a Rocket Artillery (exactly 1500 damage received)
…and you can work out the rest yourself, I think you get the idea xD And yes, I play this game with a calculator.
The best thing about the Robot unit is that they are impossible to ignore. One might be content to leave a unit of Grunts alone, even if it could fire directly on one’s own units next turn- after all, how much damage can a single unit of Grunts do? But ignoring a Robot would likely have far worse consequences, especially since there’s probably more than 1 around (due to their cost), and it’s like ignoring an enemy scout- they’re likely spotting for other units that can fire undetected (Stealth Tank) or have massive firepower (Rocket Artillery)! This is why the Robot is integral to Mechanized Mongrels strategy- they make up for their fragility with superior numbers, a relatively powerful attack, and by spotting for other units with high offensive firepower. You can’t expect them to hold the front line for you- they’ll just get mowed down- but they play their specific role very well. Their vision range still isn’t fantastic so you still have to be careful not to run into enemy ambushes yourself (since Robots aren’t very good at locating ambushes unless it’s the hard way).
I suspect many people will not have noticed the relatively long range of the Stealth Tank. This attribute allows them to cover a large area and makes them perfect for setting up kill-zones in front of patches of forest. Supplement this with the excellent smoke-laying ability of Rocket Artillery and don’t forget to drop a fake smokescreen or two away from your main force every now and then. (Rocket Artillery have 3 action points, what’s there to complain about?)
Finally, a bit about the Engineer strategy. I know it seems fairly obvious that you just need to turret-spam, but the question is, when should you stop placing turrets in one spot and move your Engineer elsewhere? Given that the best way to counter the Engineer turret spam on one flank is simply to ignore that flank completely (turrets cannot serve their purpose if there’s nothing to fire at, right?) I personally feel that after laying down 3-4 turrets, if no enemy attack materialises on that flank, the Engineer should be relocated to assist with either repairs or more turret-building elsewhere. If the enemy does attack your turrets, then you can be happy that he’s playing right into your strategy and keep spamming.
1. Low HP + high damage output = AMBUSHES!
2. Deploy plenty of Robots to scout and harass…but remember that they are NOT the backbone unit. They are sacrificed to spot targets for artillery/tanks while doing as much damage as they can on their own.
3. Protect your Rocket Artillery!
4. Income is still important but don’t try to occupy and then defend a position. Constantly attack and ambush enemy units instead, you are far better suited to that style.
September 18, 2015 at 11:34 #738
Khoo Bo Yan
PART 3: OPPONENT-SPECIFIC STRATEGY
I apologise if these are getting a little sloppier compared to my first guide for the 17th Guards. I just can’t spend as much time in front of the screen tidying things up anymore 🙂
MECHANIZED MONGRELS VS 17TH GUARDS
As mentioned in my 17th Guards guide, the Mongrels are heavily disadvantaged if the Guards player is intelligent and deploys mostly AT Teams, MLRS and enough Scouts, AND picks close-quarters fights on closed terrain where the primary advantages of Stealth Tanks (concealment and range) are nullified. Robots are also minimally effective because the Guards have the numbers to match.
On an open field the contest is much more even, but the Mongrels must somehow maintain enough Rocket Artillery to keep their Stealth Tanks behind smoke while also dealing with the threat posed by MLRS counter-battery fire. MLRS reveal their position whenever they fire, but… 1. there’s nothing stopping the Guards from sneaking an MLRS into range and then taking out two Rocket Artillery at once…and it’s not like the Mongrels’ scouting is usually good enough to prevent this, either; 2. The Guards can lay smoke too, and they can use Scouts to do it; 3. Some of the ‘open’ maps have cities and forests at the sides which contain flags, so those need to be fought over anyway.
In conclusion, if you do end up in a Mongrels vs Guards matchup (pretty common, right?!), do the following:
1. Try to engage at the maximum range of your Stealth Tanks where the Guards can’t shoot back, and hide them in the forest if you can, of course!
2. Build enough Robots to scout but not so many that you don’t have enough for Stealth Tanks. If your Rocket Artillery ever get close enough to the front to come within shooting range of enemy MLRS, make sure they’re the ones shooting first!
3. Don’t bother with Flame Tanks unless you have spare points; they will not be as useful as the three Robots that can replace them. Engineers are likewise a bad idea.
4. Your attacks need to hurt as much as possible. It is usually worth concentrating all your firepower at one spot to deal unrecoverable damage than it is to spread damage out evenly across the battlefield. Having highly mobile artillery and long-ranged tanks certainly makes this easier!
MECHANIZED MONGRELS VS 501ST BULLDOGS
At first this matchup seems like a piece of cake. The Bulldogs are an all-infantry opponent and are weak to artillery, right? And the Mongrels have an excellent artillery unit plus the Flame Tank, right? Well, the Bulldogs also have the best anti-armour unit in the game in the form of the Javelin, and boy is it a pain in the a** to deal with. Plus, they have the same incredible ability to take damage like the 17th Guards do. So it’s not exactly a bed of roses…
What the Bulldogs DON’T have is a long-range answer to Rocket Artillery. The keyword is ‘long-range’; as long as the Mongrels can keep the Bulldogs at a distance and minimise/prevent tank and artillery casualties (Robots are always expendable), they will be able to hold the front line. And as with any match against the Bulldogs, it’s game over once the Mongrels accumulate enough artillery. But never, NEVER underestimate the Javelin.
A typical tactic would be this: let’s say you have a flag within reach of sizeable forces from both sides. With any other commander it might make perfect sense to attempt to occupy the flag in force; even if those units are destroyed next turn, this would waste enemy action points and reveal their position for a retaliatory attack. The Mongrels can’t do the same because their units are too fragile and expensive. Better not to touch the flag at all (or just contest it with a single Robot), position several Stealth Tanks within range, and wait for the opponent to walk into the killzone.
MECHANIZED MONGRELS VS THE ROYAL BATTERY
This one is fun because you get to Robot-spam! The Royal Battery simply won’t be able to handle the numbers- they’re optimised for dealing high damage to a few units at a time. Just deploy lots of Robots and Rocket Artillery, drop lots of smoke, and watch the steamroller happen. Easy!
MECHANIZED MONGRELS VS IRON RAIDERS
Just like with the Guards and Bulldogs, the key is to keep a distance. The Iron Raiders are easy to handle as long as you smother the battlefield with smoke and kill off Armoured Scouts quickly. And the concealment of Stealth Tanks is perfect for ambushing Heavy Tanks. Don’t bother with Engineers since Turrets are easy to take down with boosted Heavy Tank fire.
MECHANIZED MONGRELS VS 606 SPECIAL FORCES
MECHANIZED MONGRELS MIRROR MATCH
THIS one is interesting. The funny thing about the Mongrels is that they are ideally suited to play against themselves xD I mean, consider the following:
1. Rocket Artillery can kill 3 of each other in one turn
2. Stealth Tanks are armoured units, and the Mongrels don’t have a hard counter to armour…but Stealth Tanks can kill each other in two hits on open ground
3. Turrets can likewise kill Stealth Tanks in two hits, but tanks are the best anti-building weapons.
4. The best counter to a swarm of cheap, hard-hitting Robots is…
…yeah. I think you get the idea.
So as if it isn’t already blatantly obvious, the #1 rule here is WHO SHOOTS FIRST, WINS. Never mind income, never mind terrain…all the advantages/disadvantages in these areas can be reversed instantly if anyone loses 1000 points’ worth of units in one turn. And it may well happen!
There’s no way to write a guide for how to play because one could potentially do ANYTHING just to get the first strike, including a never-ending cycle of ambushes and counter-ambushes. The funniest thing I’ve seen is both sides turtling at the start with turret walls. Guess what happened once I realised that no one was going for the flags? xD
So in conclusion, the Mechanized Mongrels turn out exactly as the game describes them to be- glass cannons that will do an excellent job against a passive player, but that will potentially suffer at the hands of infantry walls that can absorb lots of damage and then give it all back.
September 18, 2015 at 23:35 #741
AH, I love that you will not give an inch on your 606 strategy. Totally classified!
As usual, I really enjoy reading your strategy guides. One thing I might add is that an offensive engineer can be quite a lot of fun. Once your opponent has decided to ignore the half of the map with the turret wall I really like to sneak the engineer right up to his base and build a turret. Surprise!
September 19, 2015 at 04:21 #752
Khoo Bo Yan
Well I’m not that evil so I think I might write a guide for the 606 after all once I’m done with everything else, hehe…
Before I say anything else I want to thank you for all the work put into this game. For you to do this, it has to be about more than just the money 🙂 Thank you for listening to feedback from the ground and spending all that time thinking through how to make the game better for everyone. I really appreciate it!
(continued)… but the Engineer just got more expensive 🙁 hahaha I’m not complaining, I don’t use them very much anyway :X just not my temperament I think.
September 24, 2015 at 06:29 #761
Khoo Bo Yan
One more thing that I missed out: suggested opening deployments.
Unfortunately with the Mongrels this is very difficult to do. The two big questions you have at the beginning are 1. Do I deploy Flame Tanks at all? 2. How many Rocket Artillery do I need to deploy on the first turn? Once these two questions are answered, the remainder of your income will invariably be spent mostly on Stealth Tanks, with Robots filling in the gaps.
If the answer to question 1 is uncertain, the best course of action is to stick with Stealth Tanks. Remember, Flame Tanks are currently only useful when 1. they can be active on roads 2. your opponent deploys infantry.
Question 2 is mostly a question about artillery-dropped smokescreens; if you need those early on, you might need Rocket Artillery on your first turn.
November 5, 2015 at 08:55 #816
Khoo Bo Yan
***VERSION 2.0 UPDATE: MECHANIZED MONGRELS VS IRON RAIDERS***
With the changes to the Iron Raiders in v2.0, they have become a much harder foe to deal with for the Mongrels, chiefly because Armoured Scouts aren’t their only smoke machine! This means a few things:
1. Armoured Scouts are now much more dangerous because they are freed up to become lightning-fast hunters of Rocket Artillery. They can also afford to spend their action points OHKO-ing Robots.
2. Rocket Artillery must spread their already heavily-taxed action points to targeting an additional unit- the Mortar Carriers.
3. Heavy Tanks are better protected and thus live longer.
The implications are fairly major and mainly centred around point (2). Since Armoured Scouts are now bigger threats to Rocket Artillery, it is even more urgent to take them down (with Rocket Artillery, since they’re usually behind smoke). Since Heavy Tanks live longer, more smoke has to be laid to keep the Mongrels’ forces protected. Since Mortar Carriers are the ones creating all the defensive smoke, Rocket Artillery have to target them as well. The net effect is a potentially drastic dilution of the artillery firepower available to the Mongrels, which necessitates building more of them (and they are more expensive now!), which reduces the amount of points left to spend on Stealth Tanks, which further reduces the threat to the Iron Raiders’ armour…
My suggestions are as follows:
1. Don’t play the Mongrels on a very open map- your Stealth Tanks function optimally when there’s cover anyway, especially forests
2. If the Iron Raiders player bull-rushes with Armoured Scouts and LAVs (see the Iron Raiders guide for details), try to execute counter-pushes in other sectors and ambushes. NEVER allow your Stealth Tanks to leave cover unless it’s for a very good reason. And forget about Robots- just deploy Stealth Tanks and Rocket Artillery and try to keep losses to a minimum.
3. Suddenly, using the Engineer to build a wall of turrets becomes a viable strategy! This stems from the fact that the Iron Raiders no longer have the Captain unit, which makes it impossible to boost Heavy Tanks to take down turrets in 3 hits. Secondly, the increase in Engineer prices in v2.0 only represents a small percentage increment. Thirdly, the bull-rush strategy mentioned above has poor-anti-building firepower.
For this to work, you’ll ideally want to keep a single Engineer (two is still too expensive) building turrets under cover of smoke for as long as you can, within range of the map’s central/important income sources. It’s not easy to do, but at the very least it might delay the Iron Raiders long enough for you to secure the overall income advantage. The other thing Engineers can do is construct forts to protect your Stealth Tanks. It’s unlikely that the Iron Raiders will get a Mortar Carrier within range to kill your Engineer, so you don’t have to worry too much about the opponent picking up your Engineer’s location from the smoke patterns.
4. On closed maps, your Rocket Artillery stand a better chance of surviving, but only if you make sure that no Armoured Scouts sneak through the front lines. Be careful! Robots can survive a single hit from Armoured Scouts if on forests and cities, so deploying them in closed terrain is still feasible.
January 9, 2016 at 04:02 #860
Khoo Bo Yan
Unfortunately this forum seems to be dead, which is a pity since people are still playing the game. I’ll just do one round of brief updates to my posts and will only continue posting comprehensive content if this revives.
Here are further amendments/addendum from my own playing experience:
Mechanized Mongrels vs 17th Guards
1. On any map with closed terrain in an important place, the Mongrels have zero chance of winning against the 17th Guards. You can forget about my earlier tips xD Their close combat ability is simply terrible because their unit survivability and scouting is terrible.
2. Flame Tanks ARE as useful as the 3 robots that can replace them, provided they are used correctly as per part 1 of the guide. The extra survivability helps.
Mechanized Mongrels vs Royal Battery
1. The Robot spam works, but it only works if you do it early i.e. when income is still roughly equal. It will not save the Mongrels in a situation where the Royal Battery has managed to equalise numbers.
Mechanized Mongrels vs Iron Raiders
1. Robots are a bad idea since they die in 1 hit to Armoured Scouts.
2. Engineers are a better-than-usual idea because the Iron Raiders don’t have long-range artillery that can easily kill them. Besides, Mortar Carriers are on smoke duty half the time. None of this may be true if the opponent has a robust chain of Supply Trucks, but if you’re playing correctly you shouldn’t even let the Raiders get to that stage at all.
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