Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Combat Skirmish Post-battle analysis Part 2

w.r.t topography of previous post.

Gametype: Rubix Assault
Each team has a Rubix Cube in a certain strategic location:
Red: Wishing Well
Yellow: Outside 5.17
The first team to solve their opponents' Rubix Cube wins. Otherwise, the team with a Cube in a visibly more completed state will win at the end of the time limit.
Red and Yellow swapped bases, with Yellow beginning in the IB block, and Red at the Old Audi.

One major difference between Round 1 and this round: Lives are henceforth expendable. The last round depended on inflicting more casualties than those taken, hence truly aggressive play was curtailed by the requirement of survival. Such a criterion is removed in this round, and as a result, the ability to take and hold ground is now of a higher importance than survival. This is because the objective (i.e. solving the Rubix Cube) depends on infantry (since that's pretty much the only basic unit around, save for perhaps support units like MGs or snipers) holding the area around the Rubix Cube long enough for the 'engineer' to solve it.

The most significant action in the early game took place at the IB bridge, with the bulk of Red and a significant mass of Yellow forces engaging there. Yellow committed fewer forces to the bridge, as a decent number, at least 10 were seen in the vicinity of the Admin Office. Another action which would have an impact on later game map control would be Yellow's occupation of the level 4 IB balcony (near 5.1, otherwise known as the Sniper's Nest): 2 MGs, 1 Sniper and 1 SMG.

As with the previous game, the firefight at the bridge produced a similar stalemate in the early stages, but once a base of fire had been established at the Sniper's Nest, Red started taking fast casualties, as there was no cover where Red infantry could simultaneously take cover from the support fire and resist Yellow's infantry on the bridge effectively. As such, the bridge control began to swing in Yellow's favour. Yellow's sniper was delirious with an almost sick kind of pleasure.

Despite the intense early-game action at the bridge, the main theater, if you may have it, of concern would have been the Spaceframe, the control of which would give either side a springboard to solve their opponents' Cube. Unfortunately for Red, the MG/Sniper positions at the SN ensured that any of Red's attempts to exert control over the Spaceframe would be blunted, at least until the SN was cleared. Which it was never, save for one possible close-call instance around mid-game.

Most of the mid-game was composed of pushes and retreats on the part of Yellow at the Spaceframe, likewise with Red, the main difference being the deeper advance of Yellow and hence greater success at solving the Rubix Cube. Effective leadership on the part of Yellow also ensured that pushes were made boldly and regularly. For Yellow, there were 2 components aiding in the success of their advances: Infantry and Support. Groups of about 8+ Yellow ground infantry would contest the Spaceframe, supported by the Support MGs and Sniper in the SN, the latter having a very large field of vision (and consequently, number of easy targets) due to their elevated position. The Spaceframe would be relatively easily taken, as MGs took out what they could see in the Spaceframe and shot at the legs of those at the Wishing Well, aiding the ground advance. Once inside, at the Wishing Well, the ground advance was on its own, unable to receive any support from the SN. Coupled with the ever-increasing numbers of newly respawned Red troops, I imagine it wasn't easy solving the Cube. Nevertheless, at the end of the game, Yellow's Cube was in a more completed state than Red's, thus winning the round. This success in pushing the advance forward came at the cost of more casualties among the assault troops of course, who as in the previous game seemed to all come back to respawn at the same time.

Inevitably, after a Yellow retreat, came the Red counterattack. However, despite the temporary advantage in numbers, Red pushes were not as effective in getting to its objective (the Red Cube). Also, when Red defeated the Yellow blob around the Wishing Well Cube, it inevitably came into line of sight for the SN's support fire crew, who blunted Red's advance at the Spaceframe with volume of fire, giving time for Yellow's ground troops to regroup and push again. In this way, Red barely got to their objective Cube, except for one instance when a small group of Red troops managed to get past the MGs to the General Office area, engaging 2 Yellow troops, including Yellow's SMG guard/close-quarters defence, causing the SN's support crew some short-lived panic.

This round was much more chaotic, and hence more difficult to assess map control as compared to the previous round, but the end found Yellow with a lead in the state of completion of their Rubix Cube. Frontlines kept changing with each push, but for the most part few Red troops managed to push as far as the IB Cube.

The strategic control the SN exerted on the battlefield was significant. The support fire crew at the SN had a full view of both the bridge and Spaceframe, essentially controlling all possible avenues of travel from the Red base to the IB Cube. This dominance was used to devastating effect at the sparse-of-cover, small bridge, with the bridge falling into Yellow's hands early on and staying there. On the Spaceframe side, it served as an obstacle to Red's advances, stopping or at least delaying the advances until Yellow could reinforce with ground infantry. Also, Red made few attempts to remove the SN, with only a few shots being fired at the general direction of its slightly high occupants. Few other vantage points in Red's possession could compare to the geographical advantage provided by the SN. One possible exception was the Old Audi windows, also on the 3.5th to 4th level, and these were used late-game to shoot at the Yellows on the bridge, inflicting some casualties. However, these snipers were spotted by the SN crew, who, mistaking them for dangerous counter-snipers, shot at them a lot, forcing them to withdraw.

Not to forget the ground advance of course, the basic point of playing aggressive and rushing infantry en masse worked yet again. Somewhat crude, but effective, especially against unsupported positions. Red displayed some excellent examples of localized diversion, where one member of the squad charged out as a distraction, while the others followed behind later to complete the killing.

Again, I have less of an idea how Yellow control of the bridge affected the game overall, though it is a high possibility that the action there tied up substantial amounts of Red's attention, easing the resistance encountered by the Spaceframe attacks.

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