Using Light Infantry in ALB (Light Riflemen, Mountaineers etc)

This is written for Wargame: AirLand Battle (ALB), and doesn’t factor in changes made in Wargame: Red Dragon.

 

The sentiment among some Wargame players seems to be that this class of units is useless, or at least pointless to actually use. The argument goes something like this:

  • They’re outclassed against tanks by their dedicated anti-tank counterparts.
  • They’re outclassed against infantry by stronger standard infantry or Special Forces.

While both of of these points are true, some experimentation has still found an excellent home for these jack-of-all-trade infantry squads in my decks.

US Light Riflemen and East German Leighte Schutzen are two of the handful of Light Infantry units available in Wargame: AirLand Battle.

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Patriots and Generals: Everything You Need to Know

Most veteran Rise of Nations players are aware that Patriots / Generals are an essential addition to an army at virtually every stage of the game.

Among less experienced players, it can be common to see these units conspicuously absent within an army, greatly reducing the army’s overall strength. However, even when included in an army, their full potential is often left untapped, and strong tactical maneuvers (..and exceedingly entertaining cheese strategies) are not utilised.

Let’s run through the fundamentals and then move onto some more advanced uses for these powerful units.

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Hidden Power: Attack Animations and Projectile Speed

Unique units are generally intended to be a stronger version of the unit they replace. They typically have superior stats and/or are cheaper or faster to produce. A few (such as American Marines) gain a unique ability.

The Korean-specific Royal Hwarang, which replace Crossbowmen, have +10 hit points and +2 attack strength. Despite these benefits, Royal Hwarang actually lose a fight to an equal number of Crossbowmen.

Fire Lances, a Chinese unique unit, are one of the strongest units in the game on paper. Compared to the Elite Javelineers which they replace, they boast +1 attack strength, +4 attack range, +3 line of sight, and a +33% damage boost against all units because they qualify as being gunpowder infantry. Despite their vastly superior damage, they usually only just outperform Elite Javelineers in non-melee combat when you discount their range and line of sight advantage.

Let’s explore why. Continue reading “Hidden Power: Attack Animations and Projectile Speed”

Everything is Roughly Balanced

This concept is applicable near universally: games, economics, computer parts, whatever. If the category exists, the things within it are almost certain to be roughly balanced.

For “quick and dirty” comparisons between two things, this concept is incredibly valuable to understand. When you just need to know roughly whether something’s worthwhile, you can save a lot of time by keeping the deep analysis for later.

Let’s use some examples to illustrate.

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So Like, How Do You Build an Army Fast?

This question was originally posted on the RoN subreddit, and this article has been adapted from my reply.

There’s two things that this question could be tackling, either rushing, or general unit production. For the purpose of my answer I’m assuming the latter.

In that case, there’s 3 bottlenecks:

  1. The speed at which each individual unit is produced.
  2. The number of units being produced at the same time (i.e. 2x barracks will pump out infantry at 2x speed).
  3. If you have the resources to continue building with no downtime.

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Army Strength Scales Non-Linearly: 1+1=3

Armies are greater than the sum of their parts:

2 Dragoons go even against 2 Dragoons.

4 Dragoons will beat 2 Dragoons twice and then some.

An army that is twice as powerful as its opposition — whether due to size, unit upgrades, General/Patriot buffs or something else — can deal with a half-strength army more than twice. An army that is ten times as powerful (think Machine Guns vs Crossbows or something) can face the tenth-strength army a near-infinite amount of times in practical terms.

The application of an army’s power against an opposing force does not scale linearly with the army’s apparent power. Whenever you increase an army’s strength, you increase its fighting capability by more than what you added. Army strength increases non-linearly.

This simple concept is one of the most important aspects of successful combat in RoN, and is applicable to both symmetrical and asymmetrical fights. Continue reading “Army Strength Scales Non-Linearly: 1+1=3”

Rainbow Six Siege: Using Steam Free Weekend Game Files on Uplay

Image credit: Ubisoft AU

Perhaps, like me, you decided to try out Rainbow Six Siege on Steam during a free weekend.

Perhaps you found that you liked the game.

Perhaps at the end of the Free Weekend you purchased the game outside of Steam, using your new key to activate the game on Uplay.

Perhaps Uplay asked you to re-download ~35GB of game files, refusing to use your existing game files from Steam (error validating files).

Perhaps you think that that’s silly, and would like a way to not have to download everything again.

You’re in luck.

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Online PvP in RoN: 3 Games In

Apparently I’m an anomaly.

As of writing this article, I have played only three games of Rise of Nations against human opponents other than my friends. Crucially important in this distinction is that my friends are all less experienced players than me: the friend I have played against the most started playing the game just two months ago. I helped him learn basic economic optimisations (don’t rush a temple on your first city there friendo), serviceable army compositions (anti-tank rifles when facing completely infantry: never again), and other core game concepts.

Until two months ago, I had only played against a human opponent in Rise of Nations once or twice.

In a picture, this is how I used to play Rise of Nations. Image credit: Jonathan Zander/Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

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Alien Swarm – Loadouts 101 (Classes and Characters)

Note: I highly recommend playing Alien Swarm: Reactive Drop instead of the base game Alien Swarm. It’s a fan-made upgrade that’s better in basically every way – and just like the original, it’s free!

 

Alien Swarm lets you choose from a roster of 8 characters spread across 4 distinct classes. There are 21 selectable weapons (25 in Reactive Drop) to equip as either a primary or secondary weapon, and 17 additional equipment choices for your third item. All up, that makes a lot of combinations possible, particularly when you have a full squad of 4 people – and RD even lets you go up to a squad size of 8!

Ready to roll out! Image credit: Valve

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The Stealth Insta-Win

First, the strat: use a compact team of Elite Special Forces and Assault Infantry under the cover of a General’s Ambush to instantly capture the enemy’s capital with no warning. Combined with the Super Collider and World Government, this eliminates the enemy player within seconds of your Elite Special Forces becoming visible, and provides no obvious visual or audio queue for your opponent to react to until it’s too late.

Don’t mind us, we’re just a non-suspicious cluster of infantry.

Although difficult to accomplish, this is a cheese strat I find quite rewarding to pull off. I imagine it would also be somewhat tilting to lose against, because to some players it’ll feel as though there’s no counter (which for the record I don’t think is true).

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