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The Effect of Unchecked Navy
http://forums.customwars.com/viewtopic.php?f=118&t=13699
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Author:  MaraSargon [ Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:29 am ]
Post subject:  The Effect of Unchecked Navy

I'd like to do a little map analysis to show, not only what happens when airports are removed, but also the result of getting to the navy first. Enter Great Britain:

Image

Let us imagine that we take 3 COs from the same tier: We'll put Kindle on red, Sami on blue, and Drake on green. Drake will be helping us emphasize the effect of the navy here, but you don't really need him to make what I'm about to describe work.

We run into the first problem here: Sami and Kindle can't afford to ignore one another. Both of their HQs are a stone's throw away from an expansion base sitting next to a bridge chokepoint, and both need to secure that area to keep their HQs from being overrun. Though both could potentially build a navy to keep Drake hemmed into his island, practically speaking they just can't afford it. The moment one of them gets either a Sub of a Battleship, the other either has to build a counter and sacrifice the land front, or abandon the naval front and render all that saving a waste of time. Either way, you're looking at a fight where if both sides aren't absolutely determined to cover the entire center of the island, the one that doesn't commit just dies. As a result, Drake can never be hemmed into Ireland.

Drake's isolation allows him to bank on Infantry and just one Black Boat, and quietly go about his business until he gets a Battleship. There will be odd landings on the British coast to build up his SCOP, and he will occasionally absorb hits from Kindle's COP without significant problems. Once the Battleship is built, Drake has won the game, and he doesn't even have to try. Here's why:

  • Drake can cover the western expansion base indefinitely. That one Battleship can constantly shell that base while Mechs and Infantry are carted over on Black Boats. Drake can take advantage of Kindle's and Sami's necessary rivalry to start landing on the peripheries, Taking the northern city, Wales, and the city on the southern tip. Eventually, Drake's landings become irresidtable, and that base will be taken. Once this happens, he plops a Md Tank on there and lets it beat a path to the next nearby base, then heads to whichever HQ is most convenient at that point, and finally steamroll the remaining force.
  • The Battleship can't be threatened. By the time it's out, the other COs are too engaged in their battles to spare the funds. The Battleship could easily be dispatched by Copters... but there are no airports.
  • For the same reason, Drake can afford to turtle up. He doesn't need to worry about fighting a triangle war, because a critical piece of that triangle (the Copter) is missing, and another piece (the AA) is never needed as a result. And because Drake has been stockpiling and shuttling Infantry for so long, the lanes will be so clogged that his Artillery are extra destructive, and every space cleared is a space for a Tank to run in and get in a hit.
  • The Battleship has free reign. Once the base is in no danger of being re-taken, the Battleship is free to run up, down, and around Britain, accompanied by a couple of the Black Boats. Everywhere it moves it makes the two opposing COs choose between taking a free attack or a forced retreat, because they cannot do anything about that ship as long as no navy can be produced, and that Battleship has its escorts. (Those escorts do extra work with repairs if OS or BM is a mass damage CO with a power that will actually hit the ships.)

Hachi or Sensei could do something about this, of course, but they are quite literally the only COs who can't have their hands tied like this; Hachi because his navy is so cheap, and Sensei because he makes so many units that the green team will never land on the island before he finishes with red (unless green is also one of these COs).

This is why navy is considered unusuable: not because it literally doesn't work, but because you either have air units that completely nullify the concept, or you have the first person able to get a navy removing the ability of the other players to create and/or effectively maintain one themselves.

Perhaps you could argue that the situation described here is unique, and it just happens to be biased in green's favor. Fine, I'll accept that argument. But I would challenge you to bring in another map that would demonstrate the navy's usefulness more effectively when doing so, because in my experience this "good naval map" doesn't exist.

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