Company of Heroes: Eastern Front

Author Topic: [Steam-Version] AI BALANCING ISSUE  (Read 1823 times)


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« on: September 06, 2017, 02:35:54 AM »

first let me say how much i appreciate this mod and all the work that hast gone into it!  :)
EF is my most favourite CoH mod and even if there are some balancing-issius i play it very often and enjoy it alot!
i don´t want to diminish anybodies work with this critisism.

i would like to split up my critisism into three different components ans also would like to try to find a possible solution:
strong russia

Whatever happens, we have got
The Maxim gun, and they have not.

- Hilaire Belloc
i noticed the missing of mostly any artillery on the german side - PE and OH. they have mortar-ht and the leig18. but that is medium ranged artillery - somhow between a rifle grenade and a howitzer and the russians also have 2 (!) kinds of mortars. when talking about long-range artillery the OH or PE don´t seem to have anything that would match the russion KV2, katjuscha or SU76. this weakens the OH and PE substantialy and during many different games i noticed that flaw. german infantry would attack over and over again strongly defended russian positions without any result. they would be brought to a halt by russian tanks and HMGs and then shelled by russian mortars. those would be invulnerable to any german weapon. mortar-hts would be sniped by pak or tanks before in fire range - and contrary to the russian mortars they would cost fuel! so even if with the back to the wall the russians could stil spam mortars as long as they have enough manpower whereas the PE and OH has to capture and hold a fuel position to be able to build their mortar-hts.
the same happens in the anti-tank-gun-compartment. russians have a quite good anti-tank-gun that seems to be very long reaching and sometimes even effective against infantry. it costs only manpower, because it is an anti-tank-gun. where would you need fuel for it...? besides the production, it´s transport and the transport of the ammo.  ;D BUT in CoH all anti-tank-guns do not cost any fuel and that is fair! here is why: when an enemy attacks you and drives you back to your base and has a huge number of tanks it is just fair to have something in the paper-scissor-stone-principle of strategy games that could destroy his tanks but is e.g. extremely vulnerable to infantry. this would be the anti-tank-gun and it is fuel-free.
in EF the PE does not have an anti-tank-gun, but it has the marder III. it looks like a tank, so it is a tank, so it costs fuel, right??? NO! the marder was a tank-hunter and basicly a self propelled anti-tank-gun and mostly it was used in that role. The OH on the other side has an anti-tank-gun but the AI does NEVER make use of it.  ???

possible solutions:
  • remove all mortars and mortar-hts. instead establish call-in-artillery. light mortars (30 sec reload/3 grenades/20 ammo), heavy mortars (45 sec reload/3 grenades/35 ammo), mortar battery (180 sec reload/9 grenades/80 ammo); light artillery - about 75 or 76mm (45 sec reload/3 grenades/ 40 ammo), medium artillery - 100mm (120 sec reload/3 grenades/60 ammo); heavy artillery - 122 or 150mm (240 sec reload/3 grenades/80 ammo), artillery drum fire- 3 light, 3 medium and 3 heavy grenades (300 sec reload/9 grenades/110 ammo). get also rid of the leig18 and the indirect-fire-ability of the su76. the light/medium/heavy mortar call ins could be used after the building of T1. the artillery after T2 or T3 and the batteries would require a certain tech. all of them could be fired into the FoW but none of them onto the enemies base! 
  • reduce the marder IIIs fuel-costs and let all anti-tank-guns on the other hand let cost additional 5 fuel. that wouldn´t hurt anyone and it would balance out the russians and the PE.

You hit somebody with your fist and not with your fingers spread.
- Heinz Guderian
the russian tanks are very versatile and usefull! the BT7 is available quite early in the game and does - in the sessions i played - an incredible good work. and also later in the game the russian tanks are extremely strong. the IS2 is overwhelmingly strong against infantry and tanks both. so nothing to critisize on the russian side so far.
on the other side, there is a lot to critisize.  :-\
let me split it up between OH and PE.

the PE has 4 buidings and basicaly you could build armored vehicles in all of them. T1 and T2 have rather lightly armored vehicles and i mostly make no use of them. so those 2 buildings are - to me! - completely worthless. especially later in the game. there is no use of an armored car with a MG 42 against an IS2.  ;D
also did i notice the weakness of those vehicles even against infantry! man, those are no proper tanks, but they have some steel to protect the crew somehow and do have a MG42 and many of my armored vehicles are destroyed by enemy infantry - without any anti-tank-kit using only their rifles while they do exactly zero damage to the enemy.  ;D that is pathetic! those vehicles should get some improvement - at least enough to be usable in the early game stages. later in the game the PEs tanks are okay. you get the marder III - see above - and the panzer IV and between 1 and 3 jagdpanzers depending on your doctrine. but you do not get a tiger, panther or any other kind of very heavy tank on eye level of the IS2 and that is sad and again makes the game very hard in late game.

possible solution:
  • restructure the tiers
  • T0: stays the same but you can build scout cars to lock down sectors from the beginning on
  • T1: infantry-building. recruit any kind of infantry and research techs to better them. the STG44 or panzerschreck could be such a tech making the other buildings not necessary when playing infantry-based; also 2 panzerschrecks per squad from the beginning. if you equip honvéds or landser with panzerschrecks they could also get 2 in the beginning. why does the PE has to wait and also could only equip 2 schrecks in a special doctrine?  ???
  • T2: light vehicles building; builds all kinds of halftracks, scout cars and also the stummel and anti-tank-ht.
  • T3: medium vehicle building; builds the panzer IV, marder III and the bergetiger.
  • T4: heavy vehicle building: builds tank hunters like the jagdpanzer IV or the hetzer. if ever addet, a king tiger, tiger or panther could also be build here.
oh, and in all the buildings the specialized updates could be teched. e.g. in T2 the halftracks could be updated to Ausf. B or in T3 and T4 aprons could be researched and so forth.

the OH on the other side has a very good setting of buildings, techs and tanks. the OH can build the panther but the panther - and all other heavy german tanks are quite weak against infantry contrary to the IS2. the russians do have the KV1, KV2 and IS2 and the OH only the panther. that is rather weak.  :-\ jea, i know that a tiger is basicly the same like a panther but why not introduce the king tiger or jagdtiger or at least jagdpanther at least in one doctrine? if we talk about the IS2 we talk about a tank that was produced late in the war in substantial amounts (about 3.300). on the OH-side we have the zryny II. about 60 of them were built.  ??? why not a german tank that was produced late in the war in a substantial amount like the tiger (1.300), king tiger (450), sturmhaubitze 42 (1.300) or the nashorn (500)?  :-\ and also could i argue that the KV1 is just the same like the KV2 and the IS2 and that they all should be merged into one tank.  ;D
long story short - IS2 is overpowered, SU100 and T34/85 are made especially against tiger, king tiger or other late war german tanks but the OH only fights with panzer III, stugIII and - some - panzer IV in late game and sometimes one panther in very late game. in comparison a OH with panther, king tiger and jagdpanther would win pretty constantly against a red army only equiped with t34/76 and su76 and very late in the game some few t34/85 and maybe one su100.  ;)

possible solutions:
  • splitting up T34/85, SU100 and IS2 between the 3 doctrines. one should be the main battle tank doctrine and should be allowed in its comand tree to improve the t34/76 to /85. same for the tank hunter doctrine with its SU100 and for the breakthrough doctrine that can call in up to 3 IS2 at the same time.
  • ad tanks or tank improvements into the OH - especially for late game so OH can keep up to the red army

strong russia

Every German soldier must be made to feel that he is living under the muzzle of a Russian gun.
- Vasily Chuikov

my previous explanations show that there are not a few big balancing issues but many minor ones. i played several games as russians, OH and PE and in all games i tried to keep a constant style of gameplay on the same map. following from this i can tell you that PE and OH are much more harder to play. in many games as russian i even found time to lean back and let my allied AI do the job. so i had 2 russian extreme AIs defeating 3 OH or PE extreme AIs. and i had to do exactly nothing! not building a single unit or attacking a single position. i just built my buildings, researched my techs and built an army and awaitet the enemies attack which never came.  ;D
on the other hand playing as OH or PE was extremely difficult. in many games it wasn´t even possible to build any building. i had to rush with my pios right in the beginning to capture fuel. because if you are OH or PE you are extremely dependent on fuel whereas the russians could do quite goot without fuel at least for a time.

possible solutions:
  • the germans do have the luftwaffe HQ. why couldn´t the luftwaffe provide them with at least a little bit of fuel?  ;) let`s say you add a fourth tech to the already three preexisting ones. that tech could have 3 stages. first would add 5 fuel per minute, second 10 and the third 15. that would make the OH less dependable on fuel.
  • why have i to call in an medical airdrop to heal my infantry at my own base? thats totaly unfair. each faction is somehow in the position to do it automatically and basicly for free. why does OH has to pay for it?  ???
  • for the PE it would as mentioned before be a good thing to be able to build the sector locking vehicle from the beginning of the game. it also could help to make the marder III less fuel-expensive and to restructure the tiers

i know that most of my suggestions might seem strange and wrong for you and wouldn´t be implemented. but i hope that this critisism and feedback will be somehow evaluated so i could do my part as a user/gamer to help in the future development of that great mod! ;)

finaly let me thank you for reading through that whole comment.  ;)
it is now about 2:30 am and english is not my mother tongue, so please excuse any errors.  :-[ ;D
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 02:38:32 AM by »