Tuesday, March 27, 2012

AWDS Battle Reports - Episode 5

It's time for a new AWDS Battle Report! I thought I'd get a new one out while I still had Biggabertha around.

These matchups finally exposed quite a few balance issues on this map, so I decided to do some tweaking. The original looked like this:

Here's the problem: Blue could reach both expansions in one turn, the south center in two, and could harass the north center in two. It takes red at least 3 turns to get boots on the ground by either center. This meant blue could dominate both centers with impunity, and thus dominate the map. I have solved this issue by doing the following:

Like red, blue can no longer reach its north expansion on day 2 even with APC boost. The north center is now equidistant from both teams. The south center is untouched in order to prevent FTA, but beyond that blue is no longer able to take a large advantage over red so quickly.

With that out of the way, let's get to today's matchups.

Match #1
Grimm - Bruiser, Combat Pay, APC Boost, Brawler
Max - Luck, Ranger, Prairie Dog, Pathfinder

This match was promising at the beginning, but as usual APC Boost gave Grimm a bit too much of an advantage. Grimm was able to reach the north center first thanks to it, and unlike in previous renditions of this map Max was not able to indefinitely tie up resources up there. Max had a good start down south as usual and was able to tie up resources down there for a long time, but Grimm's acquired funding advantage ultimately saw a route by day 24.

Match #2
Olaf - Prairie Dog, Pathfinder
Jess - Slam Guard, Invader, Slam Shield, Conqueror

This fight was a lot like riding on a great big teeter-totter: it goes one way, then the other, then back again. Jess took an early advantage, but then Olaf looked like he was going to start pushing back with his SCOP. They both began spamming Md Tanks, but with Jess' defense boosts that was a battle she ultimately won. She spammed the northern front with Mechs and shunted all her funds into a southern assault before Winter Fury could break the bank for her. Sheer force of persistence and capture skills saw her capturing Olaf's southern airport, and a pair of Bombers from there got her the base as well. Olaf had to put all of his funding into defending home base, causing the entire northern front to crumble. Winter Fury couldn't drain funds fast enough, and Jess won an HQ capture shortly after capping the north center base.

Match #3
Sonja - Combat Pay, Slam Guard, Gold Rush, Slam Shield

Another teeter-totter match. It looked for a little bit like Kindle might win with the financial damage she was causing to Sonja; she even took over the north center base very early on. Defense values combined with superior funding became an issue, though, and at the end of the day Kindle's damage ability wasn't able to keep Sonja's tech level down; actually quite the opposite, the more Sonja teched up the more money she made from the damage. She eventually go to the point where she was pumping out at least one Black Bomb daily. I don't think I need to explain any further than that.

Monday, March 26, 2012

AWDS Battle Reports - Episode 4

It's time for a new AWDS Battle Report! Apologies for the long wait, Biggabertha could not be reached to set up the matchups until now.

Match #1
Andy - Mechanic, Gear Head
Adder - APC Boost, Star Power

Our first matchup started with a stalemate up north as Andy tried to prevent Adder from taking it. This gave Adder time to secure his expansions and the southern center and come back up for another pass at the north. With four forward bases Adder quickly overwhelmed Andy with a numbers advantage and later a funding advantage.

Match #2
Andy - Mechanic, Gear Head
Koal - APC Boost, Star Power

This one went even faster than the Adder game with similar results. This time Andy poured more resources into the northern front to try and stop Koal from taking that northern base so quickly. The problem is that while Andy can get a unit on that base first due to FTA, with APC Boost Koal is able to reinforce that position much, much faster. It doesn't really help that there are roads running through the entire map, giving Koal the advantage on offense. All that Andy ended up accomplishing was wasting resources on the north while Koal secured his natural expansions and the southern center base. Koal took a 4 property advantage and maintained it for 6 turns, ultimately out-teching Andy and forcing a yield.

APC Boost gives COs one of the advantages Sensei holds on this map. You can outrun and out-position any CO that doesn't have it, and on this map at least you can reach center bases faster than the enemy can. Definitely a tier-bumper on its own merits.

Match #3
Andy - Sale Price, Gold Rush, Fire Sale, Gear Head

I pretty much knew where this was heading before the game started, but Bigga didn't quite believe that a mini-Colin without Soul of Hachi could beat a CO that much higher in the tiers. This belief was proven incorrect in epic fashion. On this map, with the exception of Kanbei any CO with money reductions can simultaneously expand and secure their home base. This leads to a rapid snowballing of funds culminating in a massive tech disparity. This is basically what happened in this game. Eagle's blitzkrieg tactics were not able to keep pace with Andy's ability to tech up and maintain rear-rank production. Andy has a particularly nasty advantage with this skill set since higher tech units don't die as fast, so the usual tactic of "ensuring kills" to nullify his repair abilities is much more difficult and often results in more casualties than it's worth. By the time Andy routed Eagle, he was capable of building B-Bombs every turn, but didn't because Eagle only had 3 units left on the board at that point.

Bigga and I have agreed to at least not use all of the money skills for future balancing.