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Lets Talk About Anti Vehicle Units (Videos)

OP THEWALL766

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First off I hope the hog meta is treating everyone well. Its quite poetic how strong hog openers were in HW1 and now again in HW2. Because of how effective these types of openers have been, many people have raised the questions 1) How do we move away from hog quick techs without making them useless 2) Are Anti Vehicle (AV) units underperforming for their role. This post will hopefully cover the later question. Lets begin.

Equal Pop Hunters vs Warthogs
We started of by testing equal pop hunters vs equal pop warthogs. The hunters performed decently well, eliminating all 10 hogs with only one casualty and a few red bar units. Testing started off positive as it could be say that Hunters pound per pound beat their counter. Also note that the warthog ram barely tickles the hunters while doing damage to the hogs which are temporarily stunned and can get caught in awkward positions in the middle of an army. I recommend that you do not try to take on hunters with a ram ability, but I'm not your mother, so live your life.

60 pop Hogs to 30 Pop Hunters
This test disappointed me. The warthogs were able to beat the hunters when they outnumbered them 2 to 1. For comparison, wolverines in an a warthog army can beat air that outnumbers it 2 to 1. The hunters don't have this trade value and if I had to interpolate results, I would but the unit trade rate at 1.5 to 1 in favor of hunters. I think this should be higher. Hunters are the slowest unit in the game and therefore require significant micro in order to be in position to deal with vehicles. They are also more expensive than wolverines and unlike wolverines and reavers, they cannot shoot in 360 degrees (meaning they can fire while moving in all directions to and away from a fight). If I am a hog army, I can very realistically avoid the hunter army and move between bases as the hunters try to crawl back. On top of that, you will need more hunters in your army meaning there is less room for units that can do base dps or support. my recommendation is that 1 of 2 things need to change, the hunter to vehicle exchange rate needs to be more in favor of hunters so that more population can be used for other roles, or hunters as a unit should do more building dps so that the need for more building killers isn't needed.

60 Pop Hogs to 30 pop Assault Beam Hunters
The only thing different between this and the last test is the inclusion of assault beam. The hunters killed 2 more hogs which isn't very impressive considering how much of an advantage wingman gives hornets. I think this t3 upgrade either needs higher dps against t2 vehicles or SIGNIFICANTLY higher building DPS.

Equal Pop Hogs to Marauders
I am lazy, I didn't want to have to test hunters again against marauders so I tested if there was a major different between the 2 t2 vehicles. From the results of this test, it looks like without any upgrades, the engagement should be won depending on micro. Please direct all out your hate to my Instagram: BreezyStarfish.

Equal Pop Cyclops to Warthogs
Sit down. Let me tell you a story. I went to a military school for undergrad, and one of my most horrible experiences I had there was when I had to clean out a refrigerator that had been unknowingly unplugged for a week. This wasn't just your normal everyday spoiled food however. Two weeks before that, one of the members of my squadron had gone hunting and caught a deer. Intending to use this deer for food, he stored it in this freezer. Two weeks later, as I opened the door to this freezer a waterfall of rotting blood came pouring out as the horrific stench of decaying meat immediately filled my lungs. I had to pull each piece of rotting meat from the freezer and place it into a garbage bag, and then dump the full buckets of blood down the shower rains in the bathroom across the hall. It was so putrid that sometimes I still shiver thinking about having to pull pieces of meat from that freezer.

I wanted to share this with you because this video of the cyclops and warthog interactions is the most disgusting thing that I have ever witnessed in my entire life. Cyclopes cannot beat warthogs of equal population. Let that sink in. But its even worse. Warthogs can shoot in 360 degrees, meaning they can run circles around a unit and never have to stop firing. Cyclops appear to only shoot in 120 degrees, meaning that any micro within an engagement will surely mean that your cyclopes will stop firing while the hogs continue to cut your army to pieces. Finally, the ram on the cyclopes can bring a cyclops to almost red bar heath while only causing minimal damage to the hog. There is literally no winning this if you are he cyclops. Recommendation, Cyclops need an armor buff and a dps buff. They woefully underperform at the only the task they are designed to do. Please apply my previous logic about hunters combat efficiency to cyclops as well.

Shock Round Cyclopes to Warthogs
Just stop.

Warthog Cyclops to Warthogs
Warthogs that are supplemented with cyclops will outperform a normal hog army but you are doing so at significantly slowing down your army with infantry units, decreasing the build time of getting a full army out, and increasing the overall cost. Even with all of those things, what is not shown in the video is that my level 1 ark defense killed all of the surviving troops with ease.

Logically Composed Infantry Army vs Hogs
A logically composed infantry army with nightingales and what should be an adequate amount of counter units is cut to shreds.

Conclusions: Hunters should have a healthy increase to their combat efficiency so that they can more faithfully perform their roles as AV units. I would also like to see them fill the role of a late game heavy infantry unit capable of attacking buildings but I'm not as hung up on that. Cyclopes need massive buffs to armor and DPS. I'm not talking meme worthy buffs, it just need to be able to actually act like an AV unit.

Quick Tech Suggestions: If we cut the power available for pickup on the map by half, would this help with how easy it is to tech up and give more life to the T1 aspect of 1s again.

For Fun
Isabel Tanks and Nightigales vs Gauss Hogs
Wraiths vs Gauss Hogs

Well micro-ed Heavy vehicles beat gauss hogs which is a step in the right direction.
I agree with all of that, AV is so crappy I just don't build them, too slow, low dps to bases and does not counter their counter very well. With the hog meta running hot I've been trying lot's of things to counter it. This does not. Very good post wall, it is 100% accurate to my experiences.
I would like to see Cyclops and Hunters get a increase to defence vs vehicles. I dont see dps as much of the problem as much as they just get smashed by the very thing they are meant to counter.
I would like to see Cyclops and Hunters get a increase to defence vs vehicles. I dont see dps as much of the problem as much as they just get smashed by the very thing they are meant to counter.
I especially agree with the cyclops. The rams on the warthogs pretty much took them all to red bar.
This is great stuff. I remember when Cutter Cyclops used to run the show. Now very underwhelming.

Cyclops and Hunters building damage should be very low which it is.

But the damage vs T2 vehicles they should just murder them. Because Like you said the vehicles have the mobility and 360 attack.

You should be able to create a well balanced infantry army and rule the day against T2 vehicles.

Once the vehicle player gets T3 vehicles the tanks and Wraiths should kill the T2 hunters and cyclops.

Once hunters and cyclops get shock rounds or Beam cannon they should beat the unupgraded T3 vehicle.

Once the T3 Vehicle gets Canister Shell and Wraith Scorch Round then the fight should come down to better Micro.
Personally I'd like an armor buff to AV a and base damage buff.

Frankly, it's too hard to crack bases without either overwhelming numbers or Locusts and Vultures. An armor buff will increase survivability in this T2 vehicle meta, with the ability to counter push.
Great stuff.
Cyclops are embarrassing everyone.
I do have some complaints that I will be spamming to the BreezyStarfish Instagram, but, otherwise, good job!

As for the quick tech suggestion, I don't think that the speed of getting to T2 should be changed. I think getting to T2 fast should stay a viable strat.
BUT
It should be risky, and, currently, it's not. I would suggest:
1) nerfing turrets a bit. They make it way too easy to turtle and delay the game/carry you to T2, and can defend against rushes too well. An all out rush shouldn't fail because of one or two turrets. The quick tech person should have to at least try to defend. You could say "well, you get the map!" and that's true, but not for long when mass hogs push your base and you're still in T1 because you made base-breakers that got wrecked by base-turrets.
2) Either an increase to hog build time or a slight power cost added to core vehicles, or a hog price increase.
It's so easy to reserve all of your power for teching while double and tripple pumping core vehicles. And, made much worse by some leaders (Forge/Anders/Izzy) getting LPs that assist hog rushes.

Again, beautiful stuff, guys!
Fixes I could see to AV:
Power Cost decrease
Population Cost decrease
Build Time decrease (maybe)

I do like that warthogs en masse can beat them, but if they were easier to field, then this would be less of an issue IMO
Great stuff.
Cyclops are embarrassing everyone.
I do have some complaints that I will be spamming to the BreezyStarfish Instagram, but, otherwise, good job!

As for the quick tech suggestion, I don't think that the speed of getting to T2 should be changed. I think getting to T2 fast should stay a viable strat.
BUT
It should be risky, and, currently, it's not. I would suggest:
1) nerfing turrets a bit. They make it way too easy to turtle and delay the game/carry you to T2, and can defend against rushes too well. An all out rush shouldn't fail because of one or two turrets. The quick tech person should have to at least try to defend. You could say "well, you get the map!" and that's true, but not for long when mass hogs push your base and you're still in T1 because you made base-breakers that got wrecked by base-turrets.
2) Either an increase to hog build time or a slight power cost added to core vehicles, or a hog price increase.
It's so easy to reserve all of your power for teching while double and tripple pumping core vehicles. And, made much worse by some leaders (Forge/Anders/Izzy) getting LPs that assist hog rushes.

Again, beautiful stuff, guys!
yeah that seems like a good idea for the hog meta, perhaps even soften up the early leader powers a bit too.
Fixes I could see to AV:
Power Cost decrease
Population Cost decrease
Build Time decrease (maybe)

I do like that warthogs en masse can beat them, but if they were easier to field, then this would be less of an issue IMO
That’s that’s a pretty good way of thinking about it. They are infantry units so according to the triangle they should lose but right now they are rediculously expense just to not even trade 1to 1 with vehicles. Wolverines crush Air right now which I think violates the triangle but that opens up a whole new can of worms that I don’t want to deal with right now. I don’t think cyclopses should perform as well as wolverines but they shouldn’t lose the way they are right now at their cost.
THEWALL766 wrote:
Fixes I could see to AV:
Power Cost decrease
Population Cost decrease
Build Time decrease (maybe)

I do like that warthogs en masse can beat them, but if they were easier to field, then this would be less of an issue IMO
That’s that’s a pretty good way of thinking about it. They are infantry units so according to the triangle they should lose but right now they are rediculously expense just to not even trade 1to 1 with vehicles. Wolverines crush Air right now which I think violates the triangle but that opens up a whole new can of worms that I don’t want to deal with right now. I don’t think cyclopses should perform as well as wolverines but they shouldn’t lose the way they are right now at their cost.
I think cyclops' should be anti vehicle... and they aren't right now... They basically perform as well as marauders vs other vehicles but with much less damage to anything else. They should be anti vehicle and I would say they should perform as well as wolverines do with air vs T2 vehicles. En masse, the hogs should lose to a sizeable force of Cyclops. En masse anything should lose once it is found out. I am more in favor of diversified armies, with how Cyclops are, it doesn't pay to do much more than spam T2 vehicles unless it is late game. I think they need more damage against what they are supposed to counter (at least against T2) and the fact that they get wrecked by the warthog ram is silly.
THEWALL766 wrote:
Fixes I could see to AV:
Power Cost decrease
Population Cost decrease
Build Time decrease (maybe)

I do like that warthogs en masse can beat them, but if they were easier to field, then this would be less of an issue IMO
That’s that’s a pretty good way of thinking about it. They are infantry units so according to the triangle they should lose but right now they are rediculously expense just to not even trade 1to 1 with vehicles. Wolverines crush Air right now which I think violates the triangle but that opens up a whole new can of worms that I don’t want to deal with right now. I don’t think cyclopses should perform as well as wolverines but they shouldn’t lose the way they are right now at their cost.
I think the triangle applies to core units only.
DA Cleric wrote:
THEWALL766 wrote:
Fixes I could see to AV:
Power Cost decrease
Population Cost decrease
Build Time decrease (maybe)

I do like that warthogs en masse can beat them, but if they were easier to field, then this would be less of an issue IMO
That’s that’s a pretty good way of thinking about it. They are infantry units so according to the triangle they should lose but right now they are rediculously expense just to not even trade 1to 1 with vehicles. Wolverines crush Air right now which I think violates the triangle but that opens up a whole new can of worms that I don’t want to deal with right now. I don’t think cyclopses should perform as well as wolverines but they shouldn’t lose the way they are right now at their cost.
I think cyclops' should be anti vehicle... and they aren't right now... They basically perform as well as marauders vs other vehicles but with much less damage to anything else. They should be anti vehicle and I would say they should perform as well as wolverines do with air vs T2 vehicles. En masse, the hogs should lose to a sizeable force of Cyclops. En masse anything should lose once it is found out. I am more in favor of diversified armies, with how Cyclops are, it doesn't pay to do much more than spam T2 vehicles unless it is late game. I think they need more damage against what they are supposed to counter (at least against T2) and the fact that they get wrecked by the warthog ram is silly.
Hard counters are (or should be) exempted from the combat triangle balance. Given that AV units are more expensive than AA they should be performing in a similar fashion. Warthogs are a bit beefy for how fast they are, in my opinion, could be something to look at.

Also I enjoyed your story, you managed to make me feel bad for a cadet, something that I didn't think was possible.
Has anybody brought up that one of the other possible reasons the hog meta is so dominant is that Air is pretty bad right now? In your last unit interaction post, you showed just how badly AA units crush Air units. Thinking about the core units triangle and building the appropriate counter army, if you see your opponent quick teching into hogs, you should immediately turn to either straight Air or an AV/Air mix. But as you've obviously shown with all your data, AV sucks and even a decently sized Air army will get smashed by hogs supported by like 2-3 Wolverines. It's a double whammy. I know from a balance perspective that its not very healthy to change 2 or more variables at a time (AV buff AND AA nerf), and I am in no way advocating for a huge AA nerf, but I just thought it an important point to add to this discussion. Also, I'd like to add that we don't want a return to counter units wars. Counter units should smash what they counter, but they should be trash against everything else.. They should be additions to your main army, not the main army itself. They need to be risky. Giving Hunters and Cyclops base damage AND buffing them so they smash vehicles removes that risk.
Has anybody brought up that one of the other possible reasons the hog meta is so dominant is that Air is pretty bad right now? In your last unit interaction post, you showed just how badly AA units crush Air units. Thinking about the core units triangle and building the appropriate counter army, if you see your opponent quick teching into hogs, you should immediately turn to either straight Air or an AV/Air mix. But as you've obviously shown with all your data, AV sucks and even a decently sized Air army will get smashed by hogs supported by like 2-3 Wolverines. It's a double whammy. I know from a balance perspective that its not very healthy to change 2 or more variables at a time (AV buff AND AA nerf), and I am in no way advocating for a huge AA nerf, but I just thought it an important point to add to this discussion. Also, I'd like to add that we don't want a return to counter units wars. Counter units should smash what they counter, but they should be trash against everything else.. They should be additions to your main army, not the main army itself. They need to be risky. Giving Hunters and Cyclops base damage AND buffing them so they smash vehicles removes that risk.
An AA nerf is unnecessary, the interaction is as it should be. Air has the benefit of being the most mobile unit in the game, which needs to come at a price, frailty and an inability to effectively engage engage their counters. Hogs also benefit from high mobility and should not effectively be able to engage a comparable number of AV units.
Leave hogs/ marauders alone but buff av to counter them
Leave hogs/ marauders alone but buff av to counter them
Agree completely. They're finally useful.
Has anybody brought up that one of the other possible reasons the hog meta is so dominant is that Air is pretty bad right now? In your last unit interaction post, you showed just how badly AA units crush Air units. Thinking about the core units triangle and building the appropriate counter army, if you see your opponent quick teching into hogs, you should immediately turn to either straight Air or an AV/Air mix. But as you've obviously shown with all your data, AV sucks and even a decently sized Air army will get smashed by hogs supported by like 2-3 Wolverines. It's a double whammy. I know from a balance perspective that its not very healthy to change 2 or more variables at a time (AV buff AND AA nerf), and I am in no way advocating for a huge AA nerf, but I just thought it an important point to add to this discussion. Also, I'd like to add that we don't want a return to counter units wars. Counter units should smash what they counter, but they should be trash against everything else.. They should be additions to your main army, not the main army itself. They need to be risky. Giving Hunters and Cyclops base damage AND buffing them so they smash vehicles removes that risk.
I agree with a lot of things that you said and I think there are multiple ways to solve this problem. It just comes down to what direction 343 wants to take the game. I personally think that air is pretty weak right now and would love to see it have more use in 1s. I wouldn't mind seeing a base dps nerf but a vehicle dps buff to see if it can be reliable used an actual army, but that's just my opinion. As they stand right now, wolverines can beat air almost 3 to 1 which I think is a little too good, on top of that, wolverines can successfully kite air so as long as you have vision, that number is more like 10 to 1 in favor of wolves. I just don't have faith in making an air army right now in 1s besides maybe mass vultures to break a turtle or nightingales for support.
This was pretty disgusting, jeez. Halo Wars 1 handled hunters much much better imo. They need a base damage increase. No halfway decent army of hunters should lose outright to mass hogs. As is, even if they do win, you're left with units too weak to actually do anything with. Cyclops are simply horrid. I don't play UNSC much but holy crap that was the most useless unit I've ever seen.

Hunters and cyclops should definitely do bonus building damage. Hunters are t3 for crying out loud, expensive as hell, lose half their dps when 1 hunter in the squad dies, the only unit worth building from a raid camp late game (taking up a valuable building slot), slow movement speed and build itme, can only attack ground units, and all while only being semi-efficient against the vehicles they supposedly counter. They need building damage to have any kind of map presence.

Ideally, the cyclops should do more damage than hunters before hunters get their beam cannon and have more utility/be faster as well, but hunters should be tankier as well as slow but with about equal or more dps at full squad size w/ beam cannon. They both need buffs from their current states to reach this.

This is a kind of embarrassing lack of balance, did no one test this stuff ahead of time?
THEWALL766 wrote:
Has anybody brought up that one of the other possible reasons the hog meta is so dominant is that Air is pretty bad right now? In your last unit interaction post, you showed just how badly AA units crush Air units. Thinking about the core units triangle and building the appropriate counter army, if you see your opponent quick teching into hogs, you should immediately turn to either straight Air or an AV/Air mix. But as you've obviously shown with all your data, AV sucks and even a decently sized Air army will get smashed by hogs supported by like 2-3 Wolverines. It's a double whammy. I know from a balance perspective that its not very healthy to change 2 or more variables at a time (AV buff AND AA nerf), and I am in no way advocating for a huge AA nerf, but I just thought it an important point to add to this discussion. Also, I'd like to add that we don't want a return to counter units wars. Counter units should smash what they counter, but they should be trash against everything else.. They should be additions to your main army, not the main army itself. They need to be risky. Giving Hunters and Cyclops base damage AND buffing them so they smash vehicles removes that risk.
I agree with a lot of things that you said and I think there are multiple ways to solve this problem. It just comes down to what direction 343 wants to take the game. I personally think that air is pretty weak right now and would love to see it have more use in 1s. I wouldn't mind seeing a base dps nerf but a vehicle dps buff to see if it can be reliable used an actual army, but that's just my opinion. As they stand right now, wolverines can beat air almost 3 to 1 which I think is a little too good, on top of that, wolverines can successfully kite air so as long as you have vision, that number is more like 10 to 1 in favor of wolves. I just don't have faith in making an air army right now in 1s besides maybe mass vultures to break a turtle or nightingales for support.
Yes wolverines can beat air pretty well in a direct fight, not factoring in leader powers, but air units can destroy an entire base before the wolverines can stop them as long as healing units are supporting the air units. So if anything there is a trade off for better or worse.
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