Good Lord, Company of Heroes is good

Looking at Relic’s past performance with Dawn of War, it seems likely that they are focusing on the expansion right now, and that the expansion will include a major rebalance. As someone who generally prefers Chaos, I have seen Relic go far above and beyond the call of “balance tweaks” to improve the game.

What game do you advise that is better right now (and is relatively current) that has a large player base?

Don’t be pissing in my cheerioes!

Though, as a fellow Chaos player, you’re most likely right.

I can’t say I really get Relic in this regard. They create, so far, these really cool RTS games with sides that are both similar and different with cool game mechanics and so on. Then as they patch, they remove most of the stuff that makes both the races and the game mechanics different and interesting. They become more generic as time goes on. Or so it seems.

Chaos started out as barely more than a reskin of the Space Marines. Same reliance on Tac Squads with heavy weapons. It’s become much different, and I think much better, in subsequent patches and expansions. Now Chaos heavy weapon choices are very limited, and they are expected to use things like Horrors and Berserkers in a way that doesn’t have as much of a clear counterpart for the loyalist scum.

I do kind of wish there were Noise Marines, though.

Chaos first tier was a lot like the Space Marines, but they greatly diverged after that. And their first tier guys could select any weapon they wanted to upgrade, which made them very versatile.

Now, for all races, you have specific things for specific counters. It’s not half as much fun as having customizable troops.

So question, I think I just suck at this game, but I’m on mission 4 of the campaign, and I’m finding it very frustrating, even on normal difficulty. Not sure If I’m missing some grand strategy, but seems like I get to a point where there is just a deadlock on the map… Fighting over the same points that switch hands over and over. Thing I noticed is, as I gain more ground, the ground I’ve already taken becomes harder to defend. For instance, I’ll push forward and capture a point, but then the enemy AI will sneak a couple of squads around the back and take a point deep in my territory. Any tips on a well balanced, hold the map type scenario?

-Chris

Hmmm… I can’t remember what the number four mission was, but I’ll try to give you some general hints. First things first, remember to play defense. Keeping an mg at a choke point or overlooking the CP is a great way to do this. Also, build an Observational post on those important points. Next, figure out where those “sneaks” are coming from. Usually in CoH units don’t spawn from nowhere but from buildings that you can destroy.

Mission Four is The Redball Express, isn’t it? You’re hardly the first to find that one tricky. The old threads contain extensive discussion of this particular mission.

Here are the highlights as I see them: race into the town and save the dudes, then set up a line of defense, cap points (ALWAYS with listening posts, unless the point is contested and you’re not prepared to hold it), and build your base. I like to throw a cordon of AT guns (capture the German AT guns with Riflemen or Engineers for cheaper AT guns – they won’t get either the German or Allied AT gun special abilities, but that’s okay) and MG squads (later relieved with MG nests) across the middle of the map, with Shermans as rapid response (be sure to repair them regularly), and get a stealthed sniper to scout the lower right corner and carefully decrew the AT guns there. Then sweep your Shermans through to kill the rest, cap the points, and start looking north. If your defensive line includes the town, you’ll probably have a pretty good idea of where the German base is – northeast of the town. They have a couple of buildings in the backfield, but if you destroy the base to the northeast, they’ll lose nearly everything. There are a shitload of well-placed AT guns there, so lead with that sniper and not your armored column, but follow up with the tanks to take care of everything else. Once you’ve done that, rampage all over the map with your tanks up to the point where the hedgerows limit movement to two roads. Send a Sherman Crab (with mine flail) up one or both of those roads. You’ll be told when the mines are nearby; activate the flail and go up the road, then – when the conventional resistance pops up – drive back south for repairs. From there on it’s just a matter of killing all the shit on the far side of the main line of hedgerows, then capturing the crossroads point and getting off the roads so that the convoy can pass through.

DON’T CAPTURE THE POINT AT THE CROSSROADS UNTIL THE MAP IS SECURE. Capturing that point brings in the convoy, and the convoy is a bunch of vulnerable trucks. You can decap it so that the Germans don’t have it, but don’t capture it yourself until you’re ready.

None. I don’t know of a game that meets those criteria. Granted, I haven’t played C&C3 except for the demo (which I didn’t like). CoH had a big player base at first that quickly dropped to only a few hundred.

I’m assuming that Starcraft doesn’t fit the bill as “relatively current,” although I wasn’t sure precisely what you meant. I don’t pay close attention to upcoming RTSes, but I haven’t seen anything with a promising multi when I’ve looked. I think there are enough multi RTS players that a really solid game, with the proper continuing support, could form a fairly large, solid community.

Sorry, I didn’t see you had replied back when you did.

This is inaccurate, BTW. I just logged on to 813 people on Relic Online. I regularly see 1000+ on Relic Online in the middle of the day. The active player base will be larger than that, or course. CoH’s number of current players doesn’t look as good as AoE 3’s 4000, C&C 3’s 1500, or Warcraft 3’s 63,000 +, but it’s not bad, especially considering the install base.

I haven’t seen less that 700 people on in the last 2 months except the time I logged in during the middle of the night in the US (like 4 or 5am eastern)

Hey Unicorn, thanks for taking the time to write this up. Gonna give it a shot!

This is inaccurate, BTW. I just logged on to 813 people on Relic Online. I regularly see 1000+ on Relic Online in the middle of the day. The active player base will be larger than that, or course. CoH’s number of current players doesn’t look as good as AoE 3’s 4000, C&C 3’s 1500, or Warcraft 3’s 63,000 +, but it’s not bad, especially considering the install base.

I said a few hundred, and you just confirmed it. How many were actually playing? Probably a few hundred (500-600), or about 70-75%. You may consider this good/not bad, but I consider it lousy, as do most of the RTS multi players I know. I didn’t realize C&C3 was so low, and AoE3 so high. To fill in one of the missing comparisons; right now in Starcraft there are 40k users online, and 9500 games being played.

Relic doesn’t get an adjustment from me because of having a smaller install base. It certainly doesn’t offset or in any way change their online multiplayer offering.

Right, and that’s not that much. As I’m typing this there are just under 600 online. Of those, 448 are playing (little over 70%). There are 158 games being played. There are 9 games, that are not locked or full, available for play. There are 10 people looking for ranked matches. Back when I played (pre-1.6), I’d guess it took an average of 5 minutes to get people in your game, and and average of 1.5 minutes to load the map with everyone (me not being the slowest). Maybe 35% of the time someone would drop (2v2 matchups). It’s quite frustrating.

Those frustrations, heavily compounded by Relic’s approach to fixing and balancing the game, has driven a lot of multi players away. In other words, they didn’t have much multiplayer fanbase to start with, and they alienated a portion of them. What I’ve seen gives me little hope for the multi of their followup expand-alone game.

In an older thread, I drew a map! Not very well, but I drew it. Should have bothered to include it in that post. Here it is for posterity:

To reiterate the title of this thread, holy cow. Got this game both because I was intrigued by the reviews and because I wanted a pretty game for my new computer.

Screw “quarter to three”, this kept me up multiple nights this weekend until four in the fricking morning…I feel like this game is a sort of breakthrough where the gameplay mechanics almost disappear and I’m simply fighting a fucking war, not moving pieces around on a board. After playing for hours, my body is just ringing with adrenaline.

An amazing use of 3D for a stategy game…from earlier attempts like Warcraft 3 and Civ 4 and such, I wasn’t really sure 3D would ever totally work for turn-based or RTS games, but this shows it’s really the best way to play when done right.

Sound is awesome too, and a huge part of the experience.

It also feels like I can solve things any way I want…I spent a lot of time on mission 4 (as discussed above), but never once was tempted to look for a write-up. I played and re-played and re-played the mission until I learned the map well enough to clean up in my last run through, solving things in whatever way occurred to me. I never thought to use snipers as suggested to clear AT guns…I was just running rifle squads at them, and flanking them with gun trucks (gotta learn more of the hardware lingo), but now I’ll have to experiment with being more creative with snipers.

The only other RTS games where I was so motivated to find my own solutions were the Homeworld games (especially Homeworld 2), so Relic is really up there on my list now.

The only complaint I have is that the scripting does sometimes interfere with the feeling of reality. I kept replaying mission 3 in an attempt to keep the town hall from being shelled to pieces, but eventually I realized it seemed to be a scripted event that was going to happen no matter what. And “gaming” mission 4 by not taking the script trigger strategic point felt a little unfortunate.

I guess this didn’t sell so well? Damn shame. If anything, I’d think it would be a gateway game pulling in people who don’t usually play games. Very easy to control and understand.

And dammit, I want more!

There is an expansion coming for it,and from an interview in GFW they said that they would like to cover different conflicts .

Yer, I felt a bit proud I was able to clear mission 4 without a lot of strategy guide help. It was some seriously fluid back-and-forth in the center for a long time – and I screwed up by not capping enough points in the south – but it’s all live and learn. Combined arms for the total, utter win.

I agree, this is pretty much the ultimate “little guys on a battlefield” game. Fuck Army Men, THIS game is TRUE “army men”, done right.

I’ll definitely be getting the expansion even if I haven’t finished the original campaign (which is entirely possible given my current 8 hours of gaming per MONTH schedule). These guys do fantastic work and deserve more success.

I wish they would release the expansion already. I want to play this game so bad, but I’m not pro enough for the multiplayer, and none of my friends play this :(. So single player is the only way I can get my fix.

I’m totally unpro at any multiplayer, and would be willing to give it a try sometime. PM me if you’d like to set something up.

I try to host games friday night but I don’t see alot of people on.