Skip to main content

Forums / Games / Halo Wars Series

Analysis on Anti-Vehicle Infantry

OP legofan3225

  1. 1
  2. ...
  3. ...
  4. 2
I've noticed over the last few weeks that anti-vehicle infantry has been a popular topic of discussion. I figured I'd throw in my two cents on the unit type and how it should interact with other units.

Now, a lot of players keep saying "Anti-vehicle infantry is anti-vehicle, and therefore it should beat all vehicles, no questions asked." That line of thought makes sense. I mean, anti-vehicle is in the name. Why would it not kill vehicles? All vehicles should die to it.

The problem is, that line of thought is fundamentally flawed. Anti-vehicle infantry should indeed beat vehicles- but not all vehicles. It makes perfect sense for T2 anti-vehicle infantry to kill T2 vehicles, and scouts. However, when it can kill (not just kill, but STOMP) T3 heavy vehicles, we run into some problems.

Tech 3 vehicles are VERY expensive and time intensive units. Anti-vehicle is not. When a cheap, easy to mass unit can stomp a heavy unit that takes a huge recourse and time investment, why would you build that heavy unit? The answer is simple: you wouldn't. We saw this in the earliest versions of the game. Literally NOBODY would even consider building a vehicle building for anything but locusts, because vehicles are so easy to counter. When Wraiths and Scorpions were buffed to the point they can handle anti-vehicle infantry, people actually began to play vehicles. To keep the game balanced, there needs to be SOME unit type that can kill infantry, and all infantry, effectively. If the mainline tech 3 units are shut down by cheap tech 2 units, there's literally no reason to go to tech 3 outside of a bigger army population.

In the current state of the game, that is worked out well. When you hit endgame, the Scorpion and Wraith can both handle anti-vehicle infantry units. That makes it worth it to build vehicles. When you dedicate that amount of recourses into a unit (upgrading to T3, upgrading that unit, and buying that unit), you get some sort of payout. This makes turtles worth it, it makes techning worth it, and more. Otherwise, there's no reason to play the game defensively.

Now, why is this important? There two main reasons.

1.) Johnson and Forge. In the current state of the game, The Sarges are borderline unplayable. The reason for this boils down to one main reason- their core, specialty units are vehicles, and their supposedly "heavy" vehicles don't stand a CHANCE against anti-vehicle infantry. You don't start to dominate when you finally pump out your colossuses (or colossi? Who knows) or grizzlies. Instead, your opponent just needs to build 6 or so Hunters or Cyclopses and you're extraordinarily expensive tanks are dead. Nobody plays forge, and nobody plays Johnson (outside of those just screwing around), because they have no lategame answer to mass-infantry that works with their leader kit.

2.) Discussions on Nerfing T3 Tanks. This one is self explanatory. A lot of people in the community are crying out for a nerf to the core tanks. However, if we do this and tanks can be crushed by anti-vehicle again, tanks will literally be unplayable again, just like in early versions of the game, and as we now see with Johnson and Forge. Tanks shouldn't function on the level of the Colossus and Grizzly, they should function across the board on the level of Isabel's scorpions.

But how do we deal with tank spam, then?

The answer to this one is pretty simple. Buff air! It needs it. If air has a much heavier damage modifier against tanks, the game will be a lot more balanced. Air would still take losses from tanks, of course, because of anti-air vehicles. However, it should still come out on top unless there is a heavy dedication to anti-air. This would bring the game close to it's rock-paper-scissors roots and make it a lot better all around.

Hopefully this provided at least a bit of insight into my thinkings on the anti-vehicle and vehicle interaction scene. In conclusion, the answer isn't to buff anti vehicle any more, or make it any more effective against all vehicles. Heavy units need to come out on top for them to have any reason to be built. Tanks are in a pretty good spot as is (although a canister shell nerf in damage against other vehicles is much needed). I hope somebody from the dev team comes across this.

Feel free to argue in the comments, I'd love to address some of the more common arguments.
Lego you read my mind 👍

Air definitely needs a buff, but tanks should still kill equal population anti-vehicle
I don't think Air needs a buff in the slightest, I don't know what happened in the may 5 update but Air is finally viable. The only reasonable buff would actually be a Tank nerf against banshee fuel rod and hornet guns. Just reduce a bit their armor, make them vulnerable against air, but keep air units untouched as it can potentially unbalance many other things, it's like a ripple.

Currently tanks stomp anit-vehicle infantry due to their Y abilities. I don't think a single AV unit should kill one Tank, but equal resource ratio SHOULD, definetely, come on top no questions asked.

I'm against a AV buff as well, in fact I think they're so effective right now that Warthogs and Marauders are completely out of the game. I had made a thread a while ago regarding armor types and upgrades.

My thinking is that AV and Air Core units should have a T3 upgrade that would make them a viable choice to combat T3 tanks. Why would this be balanced? Because Tanks require T3, whilst a fully upgraded AV unit would require T3 + 2 to 5 Upgrades. What this means is that the player that spends his resources on AV units would end up with a very very strong unit that has a single role. More Upgraded Units vs More Unit Diversity. You can choose any of those two paths (or both in a very very long match).
I'm not a high level player and I just like to screw around in Skirmish mode, but I agree on all points. As someone who messes around a lot on UNSC (not so much Covies aside from Colony and Shipmaster) I've come to a few conclusions:
  1. Scorpions are all around heavy vehicles. They should be most effective against infantry and the canister shell should decimate infantry armies, but the canister shell should do only minimal damage versus other vehicles. I think the scorpion itself is in a good place right now, but as you suggested, canister damage to vehicles should be decreased slightly.
  2. Grizzlies are severely underpowered. These are the core to Forge, they cost an arm and a leg to produce and take up the most population of any non-ultimate vehicle. These units should demonstrate this in combat. Personally, I think the Grizzly should be buffed via infantry and other vehicles and the population should be reduced to 9 to match Johnson's Colossus. This also puts it to the equivalent population of the Vulture. In rock-paper-scissors air beats vehicles and so 1 Grizzly of 9 pop. should lose to 1 Vulture of 9 pop.
  3. Colossus is in need of a massive buff and the behavior of the unit needs tweaking as well (unit will attempt to bunch together and will run at units it's attacking instead of maintaining range). It's description describes it as a slow moving, long range mech, while its current range does not live up to its description. In my mind I felt this unit was supposed to be the equivalent of a hybrid HW1 Cobra and Scorpion. I think it should receive an additional upgrade unlock to fill the Cobra/Scorpion role better. It should receive a buff to its range, DPS vs vehicles+buildings, armor or HP (or something that fixes it being completely decimated by everything). I think this is also why Johnson receives his Radar leader power (Colossus' range should be better).
  4. Air needs to be buffed a bit to fill the rock-paper-scissors role. People have been complaining that anti-air like Wolverines need a buff, and while I do agree, I also believe that versus other vehicles it should do more damage.
I don't think Air needs a buff in the slightest, I don't know what happened in the may 5 update but Air is finally viable. The only reasonable buff would actually be a Tank nerf against banshee fuel rod and hornet guns. Just reduce a bit their armor, make them vulnerable against air, but keep air units untouched as it can potentially unbalance many other things, it's like a ripple.

Currently tanks stomp anit-vehicle infantry due to their Y abilities. I don't think a single AV unit should kill one Tank, but equal resource ratio SHOULD, definetely, come on top no questions asked.

I'm against a AV buff as well, in fact I think they're so effective right now that Warthogs and Marauders are completely out of the game. I had made a thread a while ago regarding armor types and upgrades.

My thinking is that AV and Air Core units should have a T3 upgrade that would make them a viable choice to combat T3 tanks. Why would this be balanced? Because Tanks require T3, whilst a fully upgraded AV unit would require T3 + 2 to 5 Upgrades. What this means is that the player that spends his resources on AV units would end up with a very very strong unit that has a single role. More Upgraded Units vs More Unit Diversity. You can choose any of those two paths (or both in a very very long match).
I'm behind the buff to air only in damage to vehicles, that's what I was trying to convey in my post. I think a nerf to air armor on tanks would do just fine.

As for the tanks stomping AV, I agree that it shouldn't be all-out domination. Tanks should still take some losses, as is why canister shell needs a nerf. However, again look at the unit types. Tanks are hugely cost, time, and upgrade intensive. On equal pop, I think the tanks should have an edge. It's much easier to get an equivalent population of Cyclops or Hunters than it is to get tanks. Tanks should without a doubt take decent losses, but should in the end come out on top without a question. Otherwise we run back into the issue of having no reason to produce tanks.
Yeah Tanks should take out AV if in equal numbers because you can spam AV but not T3 Vehicles.

If they want a AV that decimates T3 Vehicles add Serena in as a leader and give her Cobras that are a T3 AV have them replace the Kodiak for her.
T1g3rs65 wrote:
Yeah Tanks should take out AV if in equal numbers because you can spam AV but not T3 Vehicles.

If they want a AV that decimates T3 Vehicles add Serena in as a leader and give her Cobras that are a T3 AV have them replace the Kodiak for her.
I completely agree. A T3 "heavy" anti vehicle would be much more reasonable for killing expensive T3 vehicles.
This comment was a mistake. If a mod could delete it that'd be dandy.
Anti air is already pretty weak though, so if you buff air, do you also buff anti air to compensate? We are then put into a similar situation with tanks, should T2 anti air completely wreck T3 air? Do we buff infantry then?
Anti air is already pretty weak though, so if you buff air, do you also buff anti air to compensate? We are then put into a similar situation with tanks, should T2 anti air completely wreck T3 air? Do we buff infantry then?
I think the best solution would be having air do increased damage to ONLY tanks. That way AA can still successfully defeat mass air, but tanks don't have complete domination.
Anti air is already pretty weak though, so if you buff air, do you also buff anti air to compensate? We are then put into a similar situation with tanks, should T2 anti air completely wreck T3 air? Do we buff infantry then?
I think my statement on a buff to air war a bit misleading, but an adjustment to core infantry's effectiveness may be needed as well. The game, while saying it functions like rock-paper-scissors, doesn't do that too well right now.

I think the most effective "buff" to air would be to make the tank's armor modifier take more damage from aircraft fire. That way, air could kill the tanks (hopefully), but not the AA. It's not a perfect theory, but what I'm mainly trying to get at with this post is that anti-vehicle being strong enough to wreck tanks is a problem.
Very strong points indeed. I'm not too deep in the high-level leagues, but the role of anti-vehicle infantry seem to play their roles respectively.
My only complaint with your suggestion is that of buffing air units damage to vehicles. Wouldn't this undermine some of the player's attempts to help anti-air units' current situation?
Very strong points indeed. I'm not too deep in the high-level leagues, but the role of anti-vehicle infantry seem to play their roles respectively.
My only complaint with your suggestion is that of buffing air units damage to vehicles. Wouldn't this undermine some of the player's attempts to help anti-air units' current situation?
Honestly, anti-air is very functional in it's current state. I'm advocating for more damage to T3 heavy tanks, not Anti-air. That would, admittedly, break the game.
Air and cyclops are fine. A t2 army should stop a tech 3 guy from massing a large tech 3 army. I think tanks and wraiths are in a good place. I think the mech units need some help. Do not nerf cyclops or hunted. Buff the mech units.
Air and cyclops are fine. A t2 army should stop a tech 3 guy from massing a large tech 3 army. I think tanks and wraiths are in a good place. I think the mech units need some help. Do not nerf cyclops or hunted. Buff the mech units.
That's essentially what I'm trying to convey with this post. A lot of people are saying that the mech and grizzly are how ALL vehicles should function. That isn't a fair assessment at all, as those heavy vehicles should be functioning on terms with the current scorpion and wraith. I think the anti-vehicle is in a fine spot, and this post is calling for it NOT to be buffed.
Anti air is already pretty weak though, so if you buff air, do you also buff anti air to compensate? We are then put into a similar situation with tanks, should T2 anti air completely wreck T3 air? Do we buff infantry then?
I think the best solution would be having air do increased damage to ONLY tanks. That way AA can still successfully defeat mass air, but tanks don't have complete domination.
Tech 2 air should not dominate tanks with out having a tech 3 upgrade so people have to invest in air to combat tech 3 tanks.
H4RR0 wrote:
Anti air is already pretty weak though, so if you buff air, do you also buff anti air to compensate? We are then put into a similar situation with tanks, should T2 anti air completely wreck T3 air? Do we buff infantry then?
I think the best solution would be having air do increased damage to ONLY tanks. That way AA can still successfully defeat mass air, but tanks don't have complete domination.
Tech 2 air should not dominate tanks with out having a tech 3 upgrade so people have to invest in air to combat tech 3 tanks.
You fight tanks with tanks..
With the Colossus...imo, should replace the Kodiak, not the tank. And should be cheaper. It's kind of a stretch, but that unit is such trash. It makes playing Johnson a liability, and I think Johnson has a lot of potential. I've stopped playing Forge before they made tanks viable so I have no opinion, but I can't say I'm going back to playing him. I like where the tank is, and it's the only thing making Isabel worth playing. Not so sure on buffing air tho. Anti-air is at its limits I think as it is, plus that's a T2 unit for the most part too. Maybe make its T3 upgrade a lil better (wingman), but that's it.
I've noticed over the last few weeks that anti-vehicle infantry has been a popular topic of discussion. I figured I'd throw in my two cents on the unit type and how it should interact with other units.

Now, a lot of players keep saying "Anti-vehicle infantry is anti-vehicle, and therefore it should beat all vehicles, no questions asked." That line of thought makes sense. I mean, anti-vehicle is in the name. Why would it not kill vehicles? All vehicles should die to it.

The problem is, that line of thought is fundamentally flawed. Anti-vehicle infantry should indeed beat vehicles- but not all vehicles. It makes perfect sense for T2 anti-vehicle infantry to kill T2 vehicles, and scouts. However, when it can kill (not just kill, but STOMP) T3 heavy vehicles, we run into some problems.

Tech 3 vehicles are VERY expensive and time intensive units. Anti-vehicle is not. When a cheap, easy to mass unit can stomp a heavy unit that takes a huge recourse and time investment, why would you build that heavy unit? The answer is simple: you wouldn't. We saw this in the earliest versions of the game. Literally NOBODY would even consider building a vehicle building for anything but locusts, because vehicles are so easy to counter. When Wraiths and Scorpions were buffed to the point they can handle anti-vehicle infantry, people actually began to play vehicles. To keep the game balanced, there needs to be SOME unit type that can kill infantry, and all infantry, effectively. If the mainline tech 3 units are shut down by cheap tech 2 units, there's literally no reason to go to tech 3 outside of a bigger army population.

In the current state of the game, that is worked out well. When you hit endgame, the Scorpion and Wraith can both handle anti-vehicle infantry units. That makes it worth it to build vehicles. When you dedicate that amount of recourses into a unit (upgrading to T3, upgrading that unit, and buying that unit), you get some sort of payout. This makes turtles worth it, it makes techning worth it, and more. Otherwise, there's no reason to play the game defensively.

Now, why is this important? There two main reasons. 1.) Johnson and Forge. In the current state of the game, The Sarges are borderline unplayable. The reason for this boils down to one main reason- their core, specialty units are vehicles, and their supposedly "heavy" vehicles don't stand a CHANCE against anti-vehicle infantry. You don't start to dominate when you finally pump out your colossuses (or colossi? Who knows) or grizzlies. Instead, your opponent just needs to build 6 or so Hunters or Cyclopses and you're extraordinarily expensive tanks are dead. Nobody plays forge, and nobody plays Johnson (outside of those just screwing around), because they have no lategame answer to mass-infantry that works with their leader kit.

2.) Discussions on Nerfing T3 Tanks. This one is self explanatory. A lot of people in the community are crying out for a nerf to the core tanks. However, if we do this and tanks can be crushed by anti-vehicle again, tanks will literally be unplayable again, just like in early versions of the game, and as we now see with Johnson and Forge. Tanks shouldn't function on the level of the Colossus and Grizzly, they should function across the board on the level of Isabel's scorpions.

But how do we deal with tank spam, then? The answer to this one is pretty simple. Buff air! It needs it. If air has a much heavier damage modifier against tanks, the game will be a lot more balanced. Air would still take losses from tanks, of course, because of anti-air vehicles. However, it should still come out on top unless there is a heavy dedication to anti-air. This would bring the game close to it's rock-paper-scissors roots and make it a lot better all around.

Hopefully this provided at least a bit of insight into my thinkings on the anti-vehicle and vehicle interaction scene. In conclusion, the answer isn't to buff anti vehicle any more, or make it any more effective against all vehicles. Heavy units need to come out on top for them to have any reason to be built. Tanks are in a pretty good spot as is (although a canister shell nerf in damage against other vehicles is much needed). I hope somebody from the dev team comes across this.

Feel free to argue in the comments, I'd love to address some of the more common arguments.
Honestly the only issue with tanks right now is Isabelle's Hologram. Any other power and you can still kill her tanks with hunter/cyclopes armies. When you add holo into the mix it gives her tanks an ungodly amount of survivability and allows them to defeat armies they otherwise would not have been able to. It's quite apparent to, when Isa is really the only one that can even play tanks effectively.

Honestly the main anti vehicle should be air. Then anti-vehicle infantry should be a soft counter, something more to just tip the odds in your favor. This is due to the fact that vehicles are supposed to counter infantry in this game. Right now though, infantry just hard counter the crap out of every vehicle for the most part. Which leads to late game armies like cyclopes/night's/hornets literally make playing tanks impossible or in Johnson's case mantis'.

This is why people tend to go air as late game UNSC. They are more mobile, cheaper, faster built, have healers, contain your super unit, pop cost is cheaper and their hard counters are more soft counters (also easier to deal with).
Great post, I agree with a lot of what you said. The only thing I'll add, is that killing Cyclops seems much easier than Hunters. There should be some more balancing, either a slight nerf to Hunters or a slight buff to cyclops. I think Grizzlies need a buff, and air should be more effective against ground.

Otherwise I think things are pretty on point.
  1. 1
  2. ...
  3. ...
  4. 2