Monday, June 19, 2006

Battlegrounds, the Epic

I get a lot of references to my multiple battleground strategy posts located here and elsewhere. Unfortunately, they are so spread apart, they're difficult to analyze as a whole. So, this post will be a culmination of all the battleground strategies that I have written, and perhaps notes from other commenters regarding those strategies.

Ayæ in Warsong Gulch. [Note: Psyae is Ayae is Psyae]

I decided to visit Warsong Gulch Sunday evening while I was in the top half of level 29. It was this Ayae’s first visit to a battlegrounds, and, I’m sad to say, not much different from all of “my” visits there previously. I think I played about four games. The first one I don’t really count because I came in about ten minutes after it began. Subsequently, I think the Horde came out on top, 2-1.

I will say, though, that although the Alliance were all over the place (as usual), and lacking in uniform determination, there were enough pockets of Alliance that had a keen idea of what to do that we held our own very well throughout the games, even with different groups of Alliance and Horde. The trend I’m noticing in at least level 20-29 Alliance groups in WSG is to split the group into three. A defense group, consisting of 3 or 4, an offense group with 3 or 4, and the remainder acting as midfield offense/defense. Of course, I immediately volunteered for midfield. Later today, I’ll post some statements that were made about me by random people, and some screenshots of the scoresheets as well as the map of the field (showing the status quo scattering of our troops). I think they’ll be very informative if not humorous.Speaking to strategy: I’ve posted on this before, but will update. I’ve been on both sides of the field, Alliance and Horde, and, regardless of what you believe, they’re nearly the same in most regards. The differences you “think” you see are mostly based on random groupings in BG. If there is an overabundance of offensive-style horde in a few games that you play, your immediate reaction is to assume the horde are more organized, and offensively aggressive. The same goes for just about any random grouping and your subsequent impressions.

There are four primary WSG strategies that I have observed in mass use. I will explain them all, and give a few comments on each.

1) All Offensive, D on return
2) Hannibal
3) All Defensive, one flag runner
4) Mixed O/D

1) All Offensive, D on return: This tends to be what most groups start out doing, at least up until the first flag cap. It’s similar to a race, and the way WSG is set up, it seems one of the more obvious tactics. As soon as the gates are opened, everyone heads out the right-hand side (graveyard side), runs along that side of the field, en masse, to the opponent’s base, either runs up the tunnel or takes the ramp, grabs the flag, and runs back. This often takes place without any combat until the return. At this point, a few things may happen. One of the flag-bearers may get intercepted by offensives returning to base, and then the team that loses the flag has to turn around and chase the opponents back into the opponent base (which usually ends in a loss). Or, both offensive teams may clash in the center, losing both flags, wiping out most of each team, and having to start from scratch. Or, finally, both teams pass each other again with little loss, and it becomes a game of return your flag from your opponent while trying to keep theirs.
All in all, this is a tactic that tends to be tried only once, at the beginning, and, unless you have a powerful force, is not often attempted again.

2) Hannibal. This is a Horde favorite, whereby 7 or so teammates huddle together rather tightly, and, as a group, stomp their way across the field, pick up the opponent flag, and stomp back. Usually these groups have had lots of experience doing this, and/or they teamed up before entering BG. They provide constant support (healers constantly healing (not tanking), mages slowing, warriors tanking/destroying, shamans doing it all, etc.). If done correctly, this is the most effective strategy I have ever seen in BG. Generally, it’s based on the fact that at any one time, there won’t be more than two or three Alliance within sight of one another at any given time. Thus, a tight, stomping force like that can easily take down two or three opponents at a time, moving quickly (or slowly if they want), and just acting like one huge unstoppable tank. All the while, a few individually stronger players are left to defend the flag. Sometimes I’ve actually seen this tactic done without flag defenders, and they still win. Most of my observations of Hannibals were done in the 40-60 range of WSG, so that’ll give you something to look forward to!

3) All D, one flag runner. This is a tactic I’ve seen done on both sides to varying degrees of success. Usually a druid or shaman will bolt to the flag while a strong contingency of defenders await the initial onslaught (see #1) of the opponents. While most of the opponents are rushing, this leaves the opponent’s flag somewhat defenseless, allowing for the stealthy grab and rush back. If the timing is right, all the offensive party from the opponent will have been killed by the defenders, thus giving the flag runner an open field to return (or at least to hide out in till things settle down). This has also been accomplished by a rogue and healer combo, or just a solo rogue. (yes, I’ve pulled off my share of these with a variety of setups, mostly solo). The object here is to keep the opponent distracted while your stealthy runners do their job.

4) Mixed O/D. This is what I was describing earlier, where each player is “assigned” a duty. Optimal layout tends to be around 3D, 3M, 4O. But that varies depending on opponent strategy and strength. Although this seems to be a good overall strategy (at least for testing the strength of your opponent), it’s not great for using throughout the entire game, because if your opponent ends up doing the exact same thing, it usually comes down to the flip of a coin. What I’ve seen happen is just an exchange of some opponent players (”You take D this time, I’ll go O”), and it shifts the balance enough so that although you thought you were winning, you’re scratching your head, wondering how you lost.

There are many different strategies that can be employed in BG. Stick with what works, but only when it’s working, then switch! And, don’t be afraid either to take charge or demand organized leadership — that is what I’ve seen as the #1 BG downfall (everyone doing their own thing).

Comments on This section:

Windpaw Says:October 31st, 2005 at 1:07 pm e
The complete lack of any idea of what you’re getting into is both one of the most exciting, and most frustrating aspects of the battleground experience.

I can say with pretty fair certainty though, that when you show up in the assembly area in AB or WSG and hear 10-15 people yelling for invites - and no one is inviting - you’re in for a stomping.

As the players on [Twisting Nether] mature, I’ve been enjoying a much more balanced BG experience. I find myself on the winning side about as much as I find myself on the losing side, and only rarely are we getting pWnD into oblivion the way we were in the beginning.

Just this weekend, Sequoia jumped into back to back AB sessions - and each one was completely different.

In the first, the Alliance was like a ravening wolf. We were using the ‘all offense all the time’ strategy that I prefer and kept the Horde off balance and rezzing in their graveyard for most of the session. We won with a comfortable 800 point spread.

The very next session was a mess. The Alliance was split apart with a few people guarding the mine and the rest running around in ones or twos trying to assault fixed positions held by mobs of Horde. The loss was embarassing - made more so by the fact that it was one of those rare groups of players that really didn’t care if they lost or not.

Psyae Says:October 31st, 2005 at 1:51 pm e
I’d like to make it clear that Windpaw is discussing AB strategy with “all offense, all the time.” This is a tactic I think I discussed briefly either in a post or with Windpaw at some time. The concept is simple, but challenging to pull off. Your team basically acts like the Hannibal I mentioned in the WSG tactics, sticking together tightly, supporting each other, and attacking/taking over each flag one-by-one, but without “holding” them. If you’re quick enough, you might be lucky to have only one or two bases in contest. Depending on the opponent’s strategy, you could win before they know what’s going on, or, if they’re doing the same thing, it could be a test of stamina. If you are faster, and keep your team alive longer, you can catch up and overtake your opponent. Once you do, you’re nearly guaranteed to win.

The problem, as in all bg strategy, is getting everyone to work together and support each other.
Something I’ve noticed, as well. The one-player tank idea (I haven’t mentioned yet) actually has some limited success in WSG, as I’ve shown on my personal blog, and as Ayae in TN showed in her first few runs. However, in AB, I’ve never seen it happen. Yeah, I’ve taken over a flag or two solo in AB, but within seconds, I’m surrounded by opponents, losing what I’ve “gained.”

The other obvious AB strategy is advance, capture, defend, extend, capture, defend, extend, etc. If you took elementary math, you’ll quickly understand why this is often a losing AB tactic. It spreads your team too thin, and allows for any medium contingengy of opponents to take any of your bases with ease. Recovering from a base loss is difficult if you were relying on it, which, using this method, you most assuredly are.

In a few weeks, after Windpaw and I run a few more ABs, we’ll collaborate on an AB tactics post, and hopefully come up with some alternative successful strategies.

Elzandra Says:October 31st, 2005 at 2:11 pm e
So, Ayae, you are saying that it wouldn’t be effective to hold, say, the Blacksmith, Stables and Mines?

I was thinking that if you could keep just those, parking everyone at the stables while keeping a few defenders at the smith and mines you might do better than the run and capture strategy.
If you can assemble a good mobile “Hannibal” force to travel to either the mine or smith as necessary, while having one mounted person ready to scream for either the mill or farm if the numbers count shows too many horde at the upper areas to defend properly, wouldn’t that work as well?

The only time I have won in AB there was no strategy, but we seemed to naturally fall into defending those three bases. I have never seen that happen again. Usually it’s “run in circles scream and shout” time with some pitched battles at the stables.

I also find that many don’t play their class well. Everyone is looking to melee and no one supports each other. I have written about the lack of attention to the cloth wearers; as a Ret pally it makes much more sense for me to chase them down, unless a hunter is paying attention (my damage isn’t good enough to try for the rogues and warriors..especially not at 52 in the 50-59 bracket).

Healing, buffing..I try to do that at the same time, but I don’t dare sit and *just* do that. They have us dead before I run out of mana.

But, I don’t really know what I should be doing. Advice?

Windpaw Says:October 31st, 2005 at 2:35 pm e
In my opinion, regardless of what location you manage to take - the holding force should be nigh non-existant. If you have teams of 7 and 8 on the move, you’re much more capable of dominating whatever force the ‘other’ side has left behind to ‘defend’.

Since both teams are on the move you get excellent coverage across the field. I’m still in the 30-39 BG which means that there are no mounts. The rapid assault forces that we muster in order to retake or defend a contested objective are full of Hunters using AOC and Druids in Travel form. The key point is that they are a *force* and not solo.

The only defense that seems to work in the BG games I’ve played is the short term defense that comes from contesting and taking a location. You hit say - the “Mill” and scare off the defenders. During that time there is a lull of a few minutes where bad guys will trickle in and put up a fight.
These are folks that have been lured in from other areas. They were pulled in by all the calls for help coming from the Mill. So - being bored playing static defense and wanting to help - they run full tilt to the mill, arriving in pairs or one by one.

Once they show up - what they don’t realize is that the folks calling for help are already dead and the zone is already under enemy control.

So - from the George Patton school of warfare - the assault force that just took the mill only sticks around long enough to repulse the initial counter-attack. Once that is done - they’re already on the move and targeting their next objective.

While I call it ‘all offense all the time’ - there *is* a defense going on. A very fluid, and very mobile one. It’s much like playing constant ‘mid-field’ in WSG with your whole team. Your defense comes from a rapid fire offense that keeps the enemy off-balance and the ability to respond quickly and in force to threats.

As a Pally - you should be a critical member of one of those assault forces moving about the battlefield. You can do damage and heal and with your multiple seal based buffs, you are what is called ‘a force multiplier’. In other words you make *everyone else* stronger. The key for you is to find a purposeful team that seems to have a clue. Stick with them and support them. When they assault, you assault. When they move - you move with them. If they fix their position and try and dig in - despair….

Pally’s like Druid’s are a class that works as glue - binding units together. If the team you’re working with doesn’t have a healer - fill that roll as they slam into Horde defenses. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to take down a bad guy whose health bar *never* goes down.

Psyae Says:October 31st, 2005 at 2:55 pm e
I’m not saying that a partially defensive strategy is necessarily bad. I’m just saying I haven’t really seen it work that well in AB. Mind you, I have a lot more experience in WSG (as do most of us, since AB is so new). Ultimately, any strategy is useless unless everyone on your team is applying it and doing their respective jobs.

As for what role specifically you should be playing, again, it depends on the overall strategy. If there is NO overall strategy (par for the course), then I suggest finding a niche. In other words, just observe where and how you’re needed, and go for that. My other suggestion, perhaps more practical, is to buddy up with someone. I admit, I do fairly well on my own, but when some bored paladin/druid/priest finds me and decides to be my personal guardian healing angel, I’m a nearly unstoppable machine. Watch any skirmish, and you’ll see why. 99% of the time, most of the skirmishers target the BIGGEST, BADDEST guy running around out there. Who is that most of the time? The Tauren warrior. Why is that the stupidest tactic? Twenty paces back, there is a priest or shaman, usually undefended, usually left alone, constantly keeping Mr. Warrior alive. Yes, it’s quite true that rogues target and attack cloth-wearers with an instinct as keen as a hound chasing a fox. But a great fallback of many small groups is that they don’t quickly target the healing classes and eliminate them first. If they did, the warriors would fall so much more easily. [thanks to Windpaw for also pointing this out as I was writing this and juggling work simultaneously] — as Windpaw indicates, it works both ways.

Paladins are undoubtedly the most “annoying” Alliance class: they have at least two somewhat lengthy “immunity” powers, which they can use to protect themselves while they heal critical teammates, or heal/buff themselves. I’ve been up against a pair of Paladins before. Well, I beat them, but the point is, if they were supporting a DPS class, or if there had been one pally and one DPS class (rogue, warrior, mage), I would have been screwed (assuming they were working in conjunction). Rogues rely on taking enemies down FAST. If the rogue gets an opponent down to 3%, and before the rogue can take that fatal strike, the opponent pops back up to 100% health, you’ve pretty much beaten that rogue (or at least pissed the rogue off).

Try going duo with a reliable ally for a few games. See how it feels. Hopefully the teams you get will be better organized. However, if not, you’re still getting a boatload of HK if you’re covering one of the higher DPS players. (play a few games, look at the scores, then team up with one of the top 5 in subsequent games). You don’t even have to “tell” them what you’re doing. Just be there. Trust me, they’ll be grateful when they rip through legions of horde, and whoosh, are fully healed to take on the next onslaught.

[and hey, Windpaw, no fair changing your comments after you post! yeah, I saw that!]

Windpaw Says:October 31st, 2005 at 6:31 pm e
Hey - no harm no foul Read bad after I put it in - made more sense to edit for clarity
Back on target - I agree fully with your post - In switching from Sundance (full DPS combat/assasination spec Rogue) to Sequoia (Feral/Restoration based Druid) was a shock.

Life on the battlegrounds and in PvE as a rogue was a very simple combination of rapid fire hammer blows followed up with the odd interupt or three.

With a Druid - life is different. First off - until I level a fair bit more or put a lot more points in my Feral tree - there just aren’t any interupts. No 3-4 second gouge, no cheap-shot, and no kidney-punch.

At the moment the best Sequoia has is a single stun attack in bear form and it has a 20-30 second cool down (forever). I’ve got that stun talent pointed out to give me a 5 second buffer - but in bear - where your attack speed is *slow* - you’re usually using it to give yourself a chance to shift out and heal - vs. do more damage.

I won’t even go into ‘rooting’ people. Rooting is fine against melee classes, but rooting a Shadow Spec Priest, Warlock, Hunter or Mage is an exercise in futility.

Adopting a druid has forced me to change how I fight and how I behave on the battlegrounds.
With Sundance, I can operate *very* independantly. With Sequoia - I team up or I perish…(though admittedly there is much less‘perish’ going on now that I have travel form!)
The struggle with Druid is that you’re so adaptable - it’s easy to get stuck in one mode. I often drop into cat mode and *stay* there during PvE because the cat does such great damage. Problem is, in 1 on 1 fights - it will never out damage a *combat* spec rogue…or at least not *yet*)

The key to playing the class effectively is to learn *all* the play styles and know when to shift.
When I’m fighting and thinking clearly - I win a lot. But if I’m off my game at all a mistake happens and I’m a wisp. So many ways to skrew up. I can shift out of bear or cat too soon and waste mana. I can stay in caster too long and waste mana. I can forget to use ‘natures grasp’ or forget to root (just once) and it’s lights out.

With Sundance if I flubbed a move or missed an evis I always had the ability to vanish and restart the fight on my own terms.

Harder to do that with Sequoia.

Two things I learned in last nights duels.
1) Fear and Silence Suck. Dueling Romodi without a useable spell interupt ability has opened my eyes as to what path my next 10 talent points are going to take. By the time I’m done - he’ll be ribbons of bloody cloth with a confused look on his face

2) Ayae’s gouge/cheapshot/kidneypunch and kick suck. In bear form I have nearly 2000 armor - but because she can keep me stunned - she can hack through it eventually and get to the creamy druid inside. Because she knows I have to shift out to heal - she simply waits and KICKS my heal down just as soon as she see’s my hands turn green. I may *never* be able to out damage her - and I’ll not have a mana pool big enough to kite her for about another 8-10 levels.

The only answer is to be able to root her more often and more effectively early on. She can’t KICK what she can’t get to. Since she could easily kick my ‘roots’ spell too - the fastest way I can counter is to up my ‘natures grasp’ talent - an instant cast ability - and remember to use it.
Ultimately (getting back to the subject) - the Druid - like the Pally is more than just the sum of its own parts. Put Ayae and Sequoia together and you’ve created a monster. Together they can stealth, DPS, HEAL, and Interupt, AND Tank. Elzandra and Ayae together would be the same way.

A good duo that know how to play their class is darn near unbeatable.

Vzl Says:October 31st, 2005 at 10:14 pm e
Some druids use their hearthstone prematurely when shifting out to caster form. This makes a green glow similar to a heal spell and fools many a rogue to kick early. Additionally bash makes a great precursor to shifting out and a full heal with healing touch. Just don’t let Ayae read this…

Psyae Says:November 1st, 2005 at 8:56 am e

Anorn Says:November 1st, 2005 at 10:20 am e
what i find funny, and sad at the same time, is that when i play WSG with my horde toons we never have a plan. I’ve played about 10 WSG games in the last week. 10-19 bracket (may or may not matter). We have completely crushed the alliance in every single match. I dont think they’ve ever even scored on us.

We always seem to have a couple in base, majority in mid, and a couple runners who charge in at seemingly opportune times.

I log in with an alliance toon and get in WSG, and there’s all this strategizing. We end up getting crushed.

What’s the deal?

Psyae Says:November 1st, 2005 at 10:54 am e
Strategizing is useless if no one’s listening.

There’s also a lot of luck involved if there’s no strategy. Luck being, did you happen to get in a BG with individuals who individually know what the hell they’re doing? If so, you might pull off some amazing wins.

The issue really comes up when you’re stuck with a mixed bunch — a few excellent players, a bunch of mediocre players, and a handful of rotten players [mind you, I’m talking PVP here; it doesn’t really matter if they can RP or PVE when you run through those gates]. I’ve been in some of those horde groups, Anorn, just like you, where you have a handful of outstanding players, a few good defenders, and the rest just muddle about in the middle. Certainly, we won quite a bit. However, our Alliance opponents were so spread out, so disorganized, and even more so, so unqualified as pvp players, that the majority of my team could take out the opponent 1 of us vs 2 of them.

Honest to goodness, I played a game where I took the flag (score was 2-0, our favor), and literally pranced all over the battlefield. I sat down in the middle. I sat down on their end. I sat down on my end. I ran up to my opponents and yelled at them. The rest of my team also sat down, not fighting at all for about ten minutes. Needless to say, no one killed me, no one returned the flag. They didn’t even take their flag!!! We did nothing to stop them, but they couldn’t even kill me when I wasn’t defending myself!

Why do I tell this story? Because, like I said, you often get the luck of the draw as for the composition of the teams. Your mediocre team might look godly in a series of fights, but you might be fighting an opponent team where 90% of their players have never been in the battlegrounds before, or happen to be near the lower levels of the range [something I’ve not mentioned yet, but is a HUGE factor], or a myriad of factors leading to your amazing winning streak.

And, bam, it could (and often does) hit you here and there, that there’s an opponent team you just can’t beat. So, you have 1) easy wins, 2) back and forth wins, 3) consistent losses. Each of these is based on a combination of many factors including team makeup, average levels, individual experience, time of day, day of the week, weekend/weekday, bg level range, and strategy.

Why do I bother with this tirade? Because if you can’t control the other factors (which, most of the time you can’t), then at least try to control ONE factor: Strategy. You’ll boost your chance to win.

Windpaw Says:November 1st, 2005 at 12:02 pm e
Vzl - that hearthstone idea is dandy - I hadn’t thought of that at all.

Bash is indeed my ‘prep to shift and heal’ move. I’ve talent pointed it out for a full 5 second buffer (enough to shift and throw down a regrowth or a full Healing Touch (which is talented down to 3.5 seconds)

The problem with it is that the cool down is such that you really only get *one* bash. Don’t mess it up and don’t miss. If you do - chances are you’ll be dead before the cooldown finishes.

Against a combat rogue or a warrior or Pally, part of me wants to bash - then shift - then ROOT. Then run the hell away and heal. Against a high dps ranged class - it’s bash and hope the heal finishes. My heals are talented out such that I can avoid a great deal of interuption - but I’ll need a few more levels before they’re flawless.

rae Says:December 11th, 2005 at 12:25 pm e
I would like to posit some issues with the above mentioned AB strategies, the “all out offense” tactic.I was actually a big fan of this plan when I first started playing, mostly because I was a rogue in a new bg where people didn’t know what the hell was going on. I could do as a pleased^^But now that AB has been out for a while, this strategy is known, and simply won’t hold up against a decent team.First, if the oponant has even one good rogue on their team, the system is screwed. A rogues optimal roll, in my opinion, is stealthing to ungaurded or lightly gaurded flags and “spoiling” them. That is capping not necessarilly to take it over, but to prevent the oponant from getting points for a time. One or two rogues (or anyone, really) simply moving behind the attacking mob can cap everything as soon as they leave it. AB is about holding flags, not killing toons, so really a spread out force has a large advantage in that they can cap more flags more rapidly.Secondly, even when the above issues are covered (leave one or two bhind to cover capped flags) the all attack strategy loses its potency as toon mobility increases. i.e. mounts. After 40 the speed with which defenders can reach contested flags is massively increased, and at 60 with epic mounts the response time is almost nothing. A team with epics and even half their wits about them can decend on a contested or assaulted site in seconds. having two fairly large attacking forces is nice, but if their entire team can respond to an assult rapidly, and then respawn just steps away from the fight, the attacking forces are going to have a huge disadvantage.The system which I have come to support is based on the old “hold three” principle, but with a few tweaks. First, the three should be carefully selected to be easy to move between. For horde, the mill, smith and farm are an optimal configuration, due to the way the paths and bridges are situated. It is extremely easy for a large defensive force to remain mounted somewhere between these three, say at the south bridge, and move instantly to defend against any attacks. You need only one static defender at each base, freeing up the rest of the team to act as a hammerblow where it is most needed. Additionly, one to two rogues or druids should be moving through the back ranks, spoiling the other two bases if they are ever left undefended, picking of meding cloth wearers, sapping random toons, and generally causing havoc co-op style. this combination of distraction, mobility, and co-ordinated defense of the inside lines Napoleonic style makes, in my opinion, for optimal winning conditions.

Psyae Says:December 12th, 2005 at 9:29 am e
I agree. The Hannibal zerg strategy is actually really good against unmounted, newer players without decent stealth characters. I also agree that all strategies should be based upon the strengths of your team and the weaknesses of the opposing team, and that each game can require an on-the-fly change in strategy. It takes a good team that follows orders and a good leader to implement such impromptu changes. Without it, I’ve seen games that originally appear to be wins turn into terrible losses.

Recently, I’ve seen a strategy employed by a very good raid leader. The strategy was the classic take three, defend three, provide some offense and cover when needed. However, this leader was excellent at picking individuals in the group and assigning them new tasks on the fly. This allowed maximum flexibility, and we won a number of battles in a row.

Thanks for your comments, rae!

annlovelace Says:January 9th, 2006 at 10:06 am e
As an alliance priest going into the battlegrounds. be it warsong gulch or arathi basin, i have observed one stratagy that the horde continually use that the alliance do not, and it is really simple.

the horde protect their healers, and more than that, they attack alliance healers on site, and will ignore other classes to take down the healers, knowing that without their healers, the other alliance fighters will fall to a concerted attack.

alliance need to adopt horde tactics and use them against the horde, and this is one that is easy to implement, and surprisingly effective. a small group that defends its healers properly will tear through a much larger group in fairly short order.

using a stealthed rogue to protect the healer is also a great tactic, as the horde WILL attack the healer. effectively the priest is acting as bait.

if you have ever been in a party that has wiped seconds after your healer has gone down, you will understand just how important defending your healer is when in a party. the battlegrounds is no different.

so use horde tactics against them. protect your healers to the death if neccesary, and take out their healers on sight, ignoring other classes until the healers go down.

whether you are attacking or defending, the above tactic is essential if you want to win in the battlegrounds consistantly.


Quick note on Tactics:

As for tactics, I do a few things regularly:

I always go after the enemy flag-bearer. Not surprisingly, this usually gets me killed before I can even get one HK, but I believe it greatly benefits my team, because I can get to places fairly quickly, and without being noticed, if I don't want to be, and I'm often the first one on the scene, in the middle of the field, facing the enemy flag-bearer and about 5 of his team following closely. I don't wait. I just CS him, and try to slow him down. The more I cause them to pause in the middle, the greater chances my team has of getting there in time. Once the enemy gets back to their base with the flag, it's very difficult to recapture it because of the complexity of the base, and because the graveyard is right there.

[Depending on who has the flag and what kind of support the carrier is getting should greatly determine who you choose to target. If a warrior has the flag and is being escorted by a shaman and a priest, you will almost never win by targeting just the warrior. Cripple the warrior, if possible, and take down the healers asap. Then kill the warrior. Warriors go down very fast without healing.]

Now, reverse that, and there's where my numbers rise quickly. I also hunt people just like me. The soloists who chase after MY flag-bearer. They tend to come in groups of 1 or 2, and are easy to take down. Since I'm there fairly quickly, I'm usually the one who gets the HK and killing blow, and often my teammates are too far to get any HK credit. The third tactic is just basically being in the mix of things when there are huge clashes. I often get ignored, and can take down all the casters before I'm even noticed. This is all while my team's tanks are taking the biggest hits by their team's tanks. But after I take out the casters, I focus on their melee players like rogues and warriors and since they've now lost their support, they're much easier to take down. The only real dilemma I have when deciding what to do is to choose whether to initially focus on hunters or casters. I sometimes hit hunters first because it's like a two for one. You take down the hunter, and the pet goes with him. Honestly, it just depends on what the casters are doing. I almost always hit priests first. It's so annoying to go toe to toe with a warrior, and just as you're about to strike that killing blow, he's at full health. I don't like that. Not one bit. It's, of course, the fault of the priest. Just one ignored priest on the sidelines can turn the tide of any battle. (Priests... run.)

When I was doing BG regularly at lvl 50, I was nearly always at the top of the rankings. Other than what I just told you with those tactics, I really don't know why.Oh, one other thing. Back when I was 50, some other player (druid, maybe?) shouted, Psyae, I love you! I'm like, wha? He responded, every time I'm in trouble, you're always there! I think that's another "tactic" I overlooked. It's recognizing when a fellow teammate needs help, and saving that player. It's less of a tactic, and more of intuition or something, but I've been on the receiving end of attacks where I know my fellow players could have assisted me, but for whatever reason did not. This type of support is absolutely necessary if you're of the "must win" mindset. It's also good for guilds who raid a lot.

Arathi Basin Notes

In AB, there are two main strategies that seem to work: 1) capture and hold 3 bases 2) capture and hold 3 bases, then make offensive strikes to take the weaker of the remaining two, lose it, then take the other, lose it; rinse, repeat Although #2 might seem silly, both methods are viable, depending on your overall raid group makeup, and more specifically your small team makeup.

Most AB groups go with the default 5/5/5, with each team loosely assigned to go cap and defend a base. Two or three usually end up defending while the others go run off to find their personal fortunes elsewhere (often dying quickly as a result). Theoretically, if you can cap and hold 3 bases the entire game, you will win, albeit slowly. Assuming you have five fairly strong players on each base, and the horde can't organize a full assault, you can generally hold out. If the horde do launch a full assault, that leaves their other base open, and you can just move your newly dead there, and wait again for the next assault.

So, there are two main arguments that I see people yelling about in /raid while this is being attempted. One is, "no one move from your base, total D on three, and we win, don't go try capping other bases!" The other is, "yes, we need to hold, but we also need to keep the horde on D on the bases they have now so they can't mount a full assault!" Of course, I cleaned up the arguments a bit. Both, perhaps surprisingly, are right! But if you were the leader, which one would you do? (assuming anyone would listen to you). Well, that's where a guild raid comes in handy. You know your group's strengths and weaknesses, and you can assess the strength of the opponent. Based on how easily you've been holding the three bases, you should be able to determine whether you can afford to take people off of defense to mount small assaults to keep the horde on defense. I don't know how many times during those games that I was either assaulting or defending the blacksmith (take the blacksmith, it's worth it!) and just watched 4-5 horde standing, unmoving, at the farm flag. They weren't moving because if they did, and they came to help their comrades try to take the blacksmith or the mill, they knew that one of us would sneak back and ninja their flag while we mounted a small assault at their front door. This, I'm thinking, is great! I have a guaranteed minus four horde trying to pound me!

Enough of that. On to tactics. (strategy = big picture, tactics = small picture) Take a guess, if you dare, what I shout about most to the people who play nearby me? Go on, guess. No, it's not "HEAL ME!" Ah, "Morons!" is a good guess, but that's not it. Ah, finally, you got it. It's "KILL THE PRIEST!!!!" Every skirmish I get in, everyone does what they always do. They attack the warrior first, then the rogues, then the shamans, then maybe the druids, and then the priests. Oh, but wait. By the time they get the warrior to half health, we're all dead. Because the warrior has like 3-4 totally untouched healers! Arrgh! The horde has the same damn problem! Hah! As soon as I got with a healer that actually saw me as an asset that shouldn't be left to die immediately upon horde attacking (rare!), just a handful of us decimated every single horde attempt to retake the farm and the blacksmith.

The farm was my favorite. There were horde swarming us. Every single one of them was trying to tap the flag. Every time someone tapped it, I tapped them. I did the unroguely thing by switching targets just so I could get all the horde near the flag interrupted. When I interrupted them, they figured they needed to get rid of me first. So, instead of tapping the flag again, they went 1v1 with me. GOOD! Why was this good? They totally ignored the druid who "found" me and kept me from dying. End result? None could even come close to matching my DPS, so all I did was focus on one, whack him till he was dead, then the next, then the next, all the while staying barely alive thanks to the druid. I didn't have to think about running away, or how I hadn't had a healing potion in days, or anything. I was totally uninterrupted, and nothing survived. Why did this happen? No one attacked the druid! Hah! See, the moment a horde puts the heat on my healer, I'm SOL. I would have taken down one or two of them, but then I'd be done unless I could get to the druid and protect him. Surrounded by horde, that would be difficult.

We just need to reverse this mentality and totally focus on eliminating healers. There was one undead priest in a few of the games I kept hunting. She should have died about 20 times by my hands alone. However, every single ally around me totally ignored the priest and concentrated on every single other horde. Okay, given the choice, do you fight a druid in bear form or a priest? A shaman or a priest? A shaman in wolf form or a shaman in humanoid form? A shapechanged druid or humanoid druid? A shapechanged druid or a priest? Pick any combination, and your answer should always be the same (with some exceptions).You take out the humanoid healers first.

Priests first, druids second, shamans third. Priest are 100% healers, and have the mana to do so AND protect themselves, but they cannot withstand a bashing by 2-3 melee classes. Once they're out of the way, at least one of the shapechanging classes will have to convert back to humanoid in order to do any healing. Ones that are already in humanoid form are there for one of two reasons 1: crowd control or 2: healing. If a druid or shaman shifts back to humanoid, what do you think they're about to do? Ever duel a druid? Yeah, HEAL. Either themselves or an ally. Take out the humanoid druids first. They're surprisingly soft. Shaman are a bit meatier, but they heal a lot less than druids. Take them out next. In a skirmish, I've literally ignored one warrior, one shaman, and one druid who were all trying to pound on me just to get a priest. Since that time I actually had some support, I took down the priest. Then the druid, then the shaman, then the warrior.

Since priests love to run away, the warrior had a hard time landing shots on me and couldn't build up enough rage to make a difference, and the other classes just couldn't keep up with the druid that was healing me and my dodges. What we ended up with was a tank. And my gear sucks, too! hah What would have happened had the warrior, shaman, and druid ignored me and gone after my healer? We'd all be dead and we probably wouldn't have even gotten the priest. So, it's not as if my tactics were perfect, but they took advantage of the horde doing the same thing wrong that we always do.

Remember: Healers first. Then semi-healers. Then soft targets. Then hard targets.

On my oldest server, there was this tauren warrior who became the most notorious on the server. He was very good at pvp on his own, but he also attracted a following. He got to the point where he had a 4-10 priest escort everywhere he went. Entire parties of equal level alliance were slaughtered just by him and his priestly following. The priests all had assigned themselves duties within their group, so that they weren't double-healing each other or wasting mana otherwise, but each priest had another priest to watch out for. Basically, if you saw this guy, you ran. And ran, and ran. I don't know anyone who didn't hate him.

Dunno where that was going. But shows the relationship between melee classes and priests, and the importance to cut that link quickly.

*** Oh, one other tactical thing: Sometimes I rez and then run to the "happening" scene and there's a skirmish going on. Before I get even close to anyone, I've targeted all the horde in the skirmish. I'm looking for: -healers -anyone 30% or lower in health If I see a healer, I determine whether that healer is in an actively healing capacity in the skirmish. Then I determine whether anyone has engaged the healer. If no one has, then that healer is the most dangerous enemy in that skirmish, and that's my target. Even if I don't kill the healer, I've perhaps saved my teammates a few seconds and given them the opportunity to finish off their quarries without the enemy being fully healed all of a sudden. Then they can come help me finish off the healer. If the healer is preoccupied already, I look for a target with low health. (or even a low-level target). These I can usually take out with just a few hits, no matter what their class, as long as they don't have a supporting healer. So, if I've determined they're not going to be healed, I jump right in and finish them off. Am I breaking my earlier rule about healers first? No. Modifying it, perhaps, but the rule of take out the "weakest" comes into play, since even the weakest do full damage. If I'm sure I can take out a weaker opponent, I will do so quickly so my teammates can get some relief and focus on the other opponents. Remember, I only do this if I can either kill in one hit, or if the enemy healer is fully preoccupied and won't be able to heal anyone.

posted by Psyae at 11:55 AM

Pluto's Dad said...
I know this is an old article a priest, somewhat ironically I often find myself shouting to the raid "kill the priest!" So often I get ignored and heal over and over until the enemy is dead. I find, if I stick to heal-over-time spells, I REALLY get ignored, they don't even notice unless they see a big jump in health.The only time I get targetted is if I'm playing against an organized guild raid. They know what they're doing usually.Though yesterday, in a PUG I was quite happily suprised when the others on my team actually protected me when I got targetted. That almost never happens in PUGs.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 2:47:18 PM

Arathi Basin Notes #2

I have some observations about my multiple AB runs last night. [Ed. note: although the events took place a long time ago, they mirror just about every series of AB runs I've been on, so applies perpetually]On two occassions, we lost by a slim margin, due specifically to overreaching.

One of the most important things an AB leader needs is flexibility. Just having one set plan and enough players following that plan is often sufficient. However, when the plan is interrupted by an overwhelming force of opponents, the leader needs to quickly amend the plan, and bark orders accordingly. For example, if the plan is to take the stables, mines, and mill, and hold, but the alliance mill raiding party is taken by surprise by a superior number of horde at the mill, the alliance leader should (knowing the number of those horde) order a tactical retreat, regroup, and perhaps assault another base (farm, blacksmith) based on information provided by those who can scout those areas.

Back to overreaching. Often, both forces are just about equal, and each side toggles between holding two and three bases. In many of these cases, it's vitally important to defend what bases are held. The horde holding three bases to our two is not pretty, but the horde holding three bases and assaulting one of our only two is devastating. This happened a few times last night, but not because of the horde's superior or outnumbering forces. It happened because of individual overreaching.

There are two types of overreaching. Individual and group. Group overreaching is when a leader makes the decision to attack a fourth base when possessing three. Individual overreaching is when a roving band of independents decides to attack on its own. Group overreaching sometimes nets an extra base, but mostly results in the loss of one currently possessed. The net result is a loss. This is because the game does not rely on the number of bases you hold at any one time, but instead how long you hold onto those bases. A tradeoff (lose one base, win another) is necessarily a loss because it takes an entire minute to fully cap.

During the first base's conflict time and the new base's down time, the team is not gaining any resources from either base. Whereas, if the team had merely held the base it possessed with good defense, there would be an uninterrupted flow of resources. Obviously there are times when taking another base is strategically optimal. for instance, if it's determined that an overwhelming number of horde are desperately trying to capture an already held base, the alliance team can just shift focus, grab the most undefended horde base, and not suffer heavy losses. The one thing I heard most in those games, and the one thing I know that killed any chances of our winning was the report that this "roving band of adventurers" (usually about 2-5 players spread all over the map) repeatedly gave. Throughout the game, they were rarely near any of our held bases. They were hopping all over the place, looking for horde weak points. This is FINE, if that's part of the plan or a decision made based on a reasonable belief that the horde had major weak spots. But here was the report: "Blacksmith only has 5 horde guarding it!" What this means is that one of the roving band believes it's strategically sound to move our current base defenders forward to attack a currently held horde base, defended by 5 horde (that they can see).

What ends up happening is that the roving band thinks it's sufficient to take the base on its own, and fails to do so in the most miserable fashion. At the same time that that roving band is getting slaughtered, our undefended stables get taken, and the horde mount a massive assault on the mill while a few other horde pester our mill defenses. Net result? We end up with one base. Horde ends up with 3-4. What this roving adventurer fails to realize is that 5 horde at one horde-held base equals 10 horde somewhere else. If you don't know where those other 10 horde are, you'd be foolish to risk losing your currently possessed bases in order to try to gain a fairly well defended horde base.

Just think about the roving band of HORDE adventurers: "Hey, the stables have... uh... no defenders! Let's nab it and move on.".... "Holy crud, not only did we just totally get the stables for free, but there are like only 2 guys at the mines, and one of them looks like he's running away somewhere else!" NAB. "What, they're mounting an assault on our well-defended base? Let's distract them by attacking the mill! Everyone to the mill!" That's an awful scenario.

The second time I found myself leading our raid group, we captured and held the stables, mines, and mill within moments, and were definitely pulling ahead in points. However, there was a group of 3-4 of us just randomly wandering around, giving reports like I said before, and acting totally on their own initiative, getting killed quickly by horde defense, and roaming again. At the same time, everyone I asked to stay at the stables ignored me, and ran to the mill (where there were already 5-6 of us) or to wander on their own. The mines were underdefended, and some of the stable defenders ran to the mines. Leaving... zero people at the stables! I even asked people BY NAME to stay at the stables. I indicated repeatedly that we needed at least three defenders on each base, and THEN the rest could toggle offense/defense based on the situation. No one wanted to defend the stables.

I can't count the number of times the stables got ninjad. What's that, you ask? It's when one or two players sneak up and snag the flag without any or with little opposition. It's a win/win situation for any side that can ninja a flag successfully because it interrupts resource flow, and causes the opponent unnecessarily to reinforce that base with defenders. Sometimes a ninja can turn into a win. I ninjad the mill last night (different game) when it was totally surrounded by horde. I figured, what the heck, at least I interrupted the flow. They came runnin after me (because I was purposefully leading them away from the flag), and I died with all of them pounding on me at the bottom of the hill. This was surprisingly more successful that I had imagined because another alliance team was mounting an attack on the mill from the other side, and since the flag was in contest, the horde couldn't respawn there. By the time I rezzed and got back, we were in full possession of the mill, defending it well.

Speaking of defending. I have learned to LOVE defending. I think it may be the new offense! Hah. My favorite places to defend are the stables and mill. And I consider myself pretty good at both. By myself and sometimes with another rogue, I successfully defended the stables against about 10-15 ninja attacks, and some duo attacks. This didn't take much effort at all. I mostly just stood there, hidden in the nearby bushes, waiting. However, my abilities allowed the leader to focus other people on offensive raids. (Like I said, flexibility!)

Stables are pretty straightforward. Not much terrain to deal with. The mill is a different story, and most people defend it rather shoddily. The absolute worst thing I see people do is rush from a well-defended, terrain superior position at the top of the hill (facing the farm) down to the bottom to intercept horde raiders. This is a total waste of defense resources, for one, and it's also a great danger to the mill flag. It prompts others who would normally have stayed at the top of the hill to go "rescue" the over-impulsive defender at the bottom, and soon few if any are left on the plateau at the top. This allows a druid or rogue to sneak up and ninja the flag. Once that flag is tapped, folks, all the defenders dying at the bottom of the hill cannot rez at the mill! It's vitally important to keep that flag from being tapped.

Just as important as when you are raiding a base, and need to tap the horde flag to insure no horde can spawn there. I use that tactic myself all the time. When a good number of people are with me on a mill raid, I stealth when I get to the top and ignore all the fighting, I'm sure much to the dismay of my teammates. But they don't realize that I'm actually increasing the chances of a victorious capture. While everyone is occupied on the ramp up to the hill, the mill horde defense rushes to the edge of the hill to attack the raiding alliance. Maybe one stays behind for a second or two to check out the flag to make sure it's not getting ninja'd (most players are so impulsive, the very moment they get to the flag, they tap it. you should wait if the situation warrants it so you don't have to fight (ask Seq about the waiting game)), then the impatient horde runs to help his teammates "defend." Only seconds have elapsed, so it's unlikely any have actually died on the ramp yet. I look, I make sure I'm free (and I use the flag itself to block the horde view of my name floating above my head), and I tag it. I rarely get interrupted, and if I do, it's usually only by one horde, and that quick skirmish usually ends up in my favor. Once I tag that flag, the horde loses all its rez defense for the mill. That means every horde we end up killing on that ramp must rez somewhere else! I rush to the edge, and help finish off the horde, knowing the horde won't suddenly appear at my back. This is an awesome tactic. TAG that flag, and make them work to defend it!

Back to defense. Imagine the situation is the same, but the sides are switched. You're defending the mill flag, but you don't have anyone AT the flag. It only takes 10 seconds, and BAM, you just lost it. The reason I stand at the top edge of the ramp isn't necessarily to intercept raiders. It's to determine when the mill is being raided, by how many, what levels, and what classes. I then can pick my personal target and indicate to the other defenders what that target is. By the time the raiders get to the top, we're ready for them. We can start attacking them at the top edge, but it's vitally important to slowly guide it to the area of the flag. I've defended the farm flag against a horde raid group because every single one of them was trying to tap the flag (a good idea in general), and I kept hitting them each in succession. I don't care if all I need to kill that ONE horde is hit him three more times. If the OTHER horde tapping the flag succeeds, I've just lost all my defense on that base AND potentially interrupted resources (depending on the state of the flag).

Worst case scenario is when the horde are trying to "defend" that flag because we tapped it, and all they have to do is re-tap it to get rez privileges at that base.

Now I can "sum up."


  • -follow the plan
  • -listen to the leader (even if the leader is "wrong", you'll still likely do better than roaming around)
  • -don't roam around unless that's your job
  • -defense is a good offense when you're playing the resource game
  • -defend your "flag", not the entire map (don't rush out of the range of your fellow defenders or they just might stand there and watch you die)
  • -play for the win, not for HK
  • -communicate what you observe so that the leader can make informed decisions (you say "5 horde attacking mill", buddy says "5 horde defending farm", guy at mines says "3 horde attacking mines" - leader knows only 2 horde at max are defending blacksmith, and it might make a decent target)
  • -although you can report observations, don't make your own strategic decisions, that's for the leader
  • -although you don't make strategic decisions, you DO make tactical decisions based on your assigned task (i.e., you don't initiate a raid on another base if your task is to defend mill, but you can make decisions about where your party should be placed at the mill, what raiders should be attacked in what order, etc.)

posted by Psyae at 1:32 PM

Arathi Basin Notes #3

Being Revered in Arathi Basin (nearly exalted), I have seen just about every strategy employed there. I've talked about a few earlier, but I want to share some of the more recent strategies, particularly the ones that seem most effective, especially with higher level groups.

[note: from Alliance perspective, but can be applied either way, in theory]

1 - Inverted C Zerg:-Despite the name, this is a rather simple strategy that has seen some success in the 40-59 range. I don't see this as viable in the "epic" 60 range, but it might be worth a shot against a horde pug. Alliance immediately rush the Mill, leaving one to cap stables. It's likely the Mill will be captured by the zerg quickly. The zerg then proceeds from the Mill to the Blacksmith, and then reinforces the captured bases while sending a roving offense to harrass the Farm or Mines. Pros: This is a great strategy to pull on an unsuspecting pug. It guarantees two bases within a few seconds of the game beginning. Some might say at least two bases are guaranteed anyway, and that might be true, but not in this quick timeframe. The original Ally strategy was to send half to the mines, half to the mill, and leave a few at the stables. In that situation, it's likely either the mines or mill will be targeted by the horde, and, even if the allies succeed, they have to fight with reduced numbers over a longer period of time to do so. Yes, they "could" feasibly cap both the mines and the mill, but not if the horde send only one or two to the blacksmith, and all the rest to counter the allied offense on the mines/mill. With the Inverted C Zerg, the allies guarantee a quick cap on stables and mill, and then have a huge offensive force to attack the blacksmith, instead of a scattered force often seen in more basic and pug strategies. There's always a chance that the horde underdefend the blacksmith because traditionally it was an "automatic cap" for the horde. Cons: Lately, the horde anticipate early attacks on the blacksmith, and defend it accordingly. Plus, the horde has become more keen on a "roving" team (more on that later), and can cause a lot of trouble for the zergers early on. The slight flexibility of the zergers being able to switch to the farm or mines if necessary (neither a great pattern) is probably not enough to provide sustainability throughout many games. Also, if the strategy is used against the same horde team, the allies could find themselves with absolutely no bases (e.g., horde zergs mines, stables, and mill (their own inverted C), and traps the alliance in a major blacksmith battle, while annoying the newly risen at the allied graveyard. This has the potential to be avoided if the allied stables defender keeps a sharp eye on the mines/bs path, an alerts the zergers to a major incoming force).

2 - The Modified Left Hand Middle Finger-Eh, I don't know why I pick these titles. This is a variation similar to the inverted C, but, as the title implies, the initial focus is the blacksmith. Two full teams hit the blacksmith immediately, while two smaller teams hit the mines, stables, and mill simultaneously. Usually, the mines team consists of two players, and the stables/mill team consists of four. One will stop at the stables, while a stealth team checks out the mill, and caps it early if possible. If the horde send a barrage to the mill, that team backs off and defends the stables. This is a "get three quick" plan, that's fairly effective if the blacksmith is capped early. If the blacksmith cannot be capped, chances are, it's a losing battle. Whichever faction grabs three bases first can usually hold out longer. Some basic principles of this strategy are that after the first wave, the bare minimum defense on each held base is two, optimal three. One of the first teams is a roving patrol (epic mounted), and goes where the action is. The stealth team can divide itself between defending the stables and trying to ninja the mill or farm, depending on how organized the enemy offense is. Pros: Compared to the inverted C, this strategy hits the smithy hard and fast, often before enough horde can arrive to fend off the epic mounted allied offense. It's flexible. Blacksmith, stables, and mines is the optimal configuration, but if the mines are overrun, it's not hard to mount a successful mill offense. Cons: Absolute teamwork is essential. Just one or two slackers or "individuals" or wannabe backseat leaders will crash the entire system. If the blacksmith is not taken within the first two minutes or so, things are usually bleak, and it's hard to catch up (having devoted all those forces to one base). Overreaching (in any strategy) can be fatal, especially against an organized opponent. Learn the names of your opponents and figure out what kind of strategy they're likely to employ, and whether you'd be better off sticking with a solid three, or going for a 4-cap against a loose pug group.

[Wow, friends. This post is insanely long. Worry not. I'll be editing it over time. Enjoy!]



Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK - I didn't read through all of the above, but I read your initial part, and the couple comments that followed... Thought maybe I would offer some input specifically about the "All O" tactic in AB.

I'm a Horde player on Hyjal, where my main is part of our primary PvP group that isn't guild-based. We win better then 95% of our matches; more often then not ina 4 or 5 cap. I'm not trying to brag, to be clear, I'm just trying to provide you with a point of refferrence as to my experience.

We reffer to the all-O tactic as "Zerging" and is easily overcome by our usual tactic of an agressive 5-cap attempt; I'll explain how it plays out.

We designate groups to the 3 mid-way nodes; 1 person hangs at the farm, and we run D rotations in each group. Thos enot on D, if no/little resistance is met, push to the stables. The node being zrged is a sacrifice... we're goign to loose it, we know it... the group assigned to the node in question simply stalls the cap as long as possible. Usually, by the time the cap occurs, the other 4 nodes are already in the bag, or at the very least, 3, and the 4th is in progress. You guys don't have any real defense, so there's no way you guys can actually hold on to the node.

What happens next can very, sometiems alliance get the cap and try and hold that node; sometimes they cap and simply move on to zerg another. In the latter, our "roamers" (anyone not assigned D that round) simply follow behind and recap until we can pin the "mobile zerg." In the prior, or after we trap the zerg group, we pin you at the node... assaulting as a group of 11 or so until we take it; at which point wetake up post outside thestarter hut and wait for the alliance to either try and break out or simply wait the remainging 30 seconds for the win.

The 1 person D works because all the person on D does is basically call out incomings and stall any cap... The roamers can then repsond accordingly; whether it's in defense of the node, or to take another one.

The Zerg tactic can beat many Pugs, but it won't beat coordinated groups...

Now, against us, the premier alliance guild on our server runs a counter-tactic to our own; they overload 2 of the mid nodes, leaving 2 people back to defend the stables. They are well geared & coordinated enough that if they gain control of the 3 nodes; you have lost the match, as retaking any of them essentially requires a zerg during which they'll recap your other nodes leaving you with 1 or none... We use basically the same tactic when we play them, resulting in the team first to get 3 nodes usually winning the match. Their group composition is generally better then ours, (as is their gear) and as I said, the level of coordination is scary... so they win probably 60-70% of the fights... but the games are fun. It's jsut kind of stagnant about 2/3 of the way through, unless we're node-swapping... but that isn't such a frequent occurance as 4 or 5 D is very hard to break.

Anyway, my point is primarily that the zerging, or the "Hannibal" tactic doesn't work well against coordinated groups in AB.... the lack of D is too easy to counter... any group that zergs can be 4 or 5 capped simply by agression and taking the nodes they're aren't at... Even if they were to say, snag 2 nodes; we're still up, our nodes have defense, and we have people to pressure on offense... AB isn't about single nodes, it's about 3 or more of them; your tactics should follow such a premise.

At least that's my 2 cents... ;)


Friday, June 23, 2006 2:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Alethos [Silver Hand] said...

Great post!

I'm still digesting it; but meanwhile I thought I'd drop a link here to another very nice resource, a WSG guide done by Galinth, a player from Battlegroup 9:

Psyae, if you get a minute check out his breakdown of WSG kill orders, subteam makeup, and playbook. I'd be interested in your analysis.

Monday, September 11, 2006 5:02:00 PM  
Blogger Psyae said...

Alethos, I'll check it out and try to respond in a new post.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 10:46:00 AM  
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