Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hardware issues

Sorry for the delay on Angry Peasant, having hardware issues, should be sorted out within the next two days.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Strategy Snippet: Bear trap

Strategy snippets are small micro-strategies that can be applied on a strategic level during a game.
In this article I would like to explain setting up a „bear trap“.This is a term I use for for a micro-strategy which involves a controlled and intended loss of terrain for the purpose of bleeding the enemy dry of units and money.
Let's look at an example. In the image below a typical start of game situation is described. Both teams hastily get some units and rush to the map center to claim flags.

After the initial contact, flag ownership is discussed in manly fashion with violence and guns involved. One possible outcome is show in image stage 1b. The right flag was successfully captured by your team. The center one is lost to the enemy. And now the bear-trap is initiated on the left side. You simply let the enemy get the center flag.

Allow the enemy to cap the flag and position your men in good cover from which they can fire into the flag area. Now ideally the enemy will probably get the flag but lose men in the process. This will create the impression on him (yes him, because girls don't play MOWAS) that he is barely holding on to the flag and that more reinforcements are needed to maintain this narrow lead. But in reality (assuming you lose less men than he does) he is simply throwing meat into your grinder. And by not over-aggressively claiming the flag for yourself, the enemy will feel compelled to 'hold the area at all costs'.
After a few minutes you should be able to cause enemy casualties three times as high as yours. And by this statistic you can see that your tactic is working. The enemy is basically trading a huge amount of material loss for a small gain in points.

After the enemy is bled out for a few minutes, you perform a counter-attack and claim the flag.

Useful units for a bear trap

Machine gun tripods
Any crew-served gun
Armored cars
Light tanks

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Strategy Snippet: The Bee-hive

Strategy snippets are small micro-strategies that can be applied on a strategic level during a game.
In this article I would like to explain „creating a bee-hive“. A bee hive is basically a pocket of units that are supposed to cause anyone that enters stinging pain. Just like a real bee hive, getting too close to it might be very painful but it won't kill you unless you have a specific allergy against bees. And this analogy serves this strategy well. Its main purposes are

1 demoralising the enemy
2 cutting off the enemy access to an area
3 divert enemy resources from the front line

Let us assume that the game situation is one that has a stable frontline with the enemy holding one more flag than you have, which means you are losing. Instead of trying to combat the enemy forces at the front line, the bee hive method is applied. Here is how it works:

1 Assemble a strike team
2 break through the enemy line
3 move to a specified location
4 create a bee hive

The units needed for bee hive are ideally well equipped infantry and a means of transportation. Depending on your cash this can either be a squad of army rangers with an M3 halftrack or a bunch of cheap recruits with no transportation at all. It should be obvious that the more expensive and better armed choice will have a greater chance of succeeding.

Now you have to select a position which you would like to attack. Ideally this would be a flag position behind the front line on the enemy part of the map.

Find a gap in the front line without much enemy resistance, either by scouting or bombing a gap into it with artillery. Then order your strike team to slip through that gap and make sure you do not engage with the enemy on the front line if possible. This works well with a halftrack because the gunner can still fire at targets while the passengers are more or less protected from enemy fire when the vehicle is speeding through the enemy line. The situation is different however for a strike team without a vehicle. Double-click sprinting past enemies will cause the AI to not fire at enemies, resulting a quick death for the raiding party. In that case, moving from cover to cover is important. In both scenarios, engaging too for a long time with the enemy on the way to the location will quickly diminish your chance at getting there, because the enemy chas more time to deploy something to counter it.

Once arrived at the location, quickly exit the vehicle and scatter your men in different locations with good cover. Walls, bushes, craters and houses are good places to hide. Scattering is important here because it diminishes the enemy's ability to mop your squad quickly.

Possible reactions
The enemy will have these options to deal with your attack.

1 Infantry
2 armored vehicle
3 artillery

1 infantry
Infantry is the cheapest solution, however it is also the easiest for you to fend off. If you placed your men well, behind hard cover, attacking infantry will be at a disadvantage when attacking and suffer a lot of casualties or be forced to retreat (good players will try to back off and save their units if they see an attack is going to fail).

2 armored vehicle
A very effective counter. This unit will most likely win the battle over your newly created beehive. The point here is not to wipe it out (unless you got infantry packing serious AT weaponry), but to delay the enemy tank as long as you can. Every minute you can hold on to that flag works in your favor point wise.
To scare a tank away, make it feel surrounded, if only part. If you can create the illusion that the enemy tank will end up in a half circle of enemy infantry, it will stay away. Eventually it will wear down your men and you will lose hold of the newly gained territory. But make sure the enemy pays for it with lost units and lost time.

3 arty
This is usually the first response if the enemy already has artillery in place. It is very effective against a beehive and there is no protection against it except being well scattered.

If you manage to successfully create a bee-hive, the enemy will suffer from various problems.

1 cut off supply line
2 demoralisation
3 destabilized frontline

Your newly created position blocks the enemies access to frontline positions which you and your allies can exploit. Any reinforcements will be stuck at your bee-hive and not be able to help where it is needed.

Once there is a massive pocket of enemy units behind one's assumed frontline, it creates insecurity and paranoia. Most enemy players will react in a more hectic fashion, resulting in panic quick buys (units bought out of sheer panic to quickly resolve the new situation), less careful micromanagement of units and lastly, less attention paid to other important units on the battlefield.
Your enemy will simply play worse.

The strongest physical effect is the destabilization of the frontline. Strong assets like expensive tanks will have exposed flanks, requiring the enemy to reposition a lot of units and buy more because there is more directions a threat can come from.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Angry Peasant #003

Secret special infantry unit (USA)

After digging through some MOWAS files, I found a special unit that was apparently cut from the game. It was too powerful probably. See for yourself!