Sunday, 28 April 2013

Rambling Company of Heroes Suggestions


Not really sure what to post about today so I have decided that since I have been playing a fair amount of the Company of heroes 2 beta I would write about other potential settings and how they could play.

The Pacific

This is the most obvious setting and yet the most daunting for Relic I imagine chiefly because it involved a very different form of warfare and a nation that had a totally different philosophy on war.  The brutality of the front would also be a sticking point for Relic as the Japanese did some pretty desperate things in order to achieve victory or simply slow down the encroaching allied forces.

Factions -

Imperial Japan

This would be the only Axis force obviously and have a pretty wide selection of units and doctrines to choose from.  It's not that the Japanese were under equipped it was just a case of inflexibility on their part that prevented them from utilising all of their weapons effectively.  Standard infantry units could be supplemented with officers and extra weapons such as grenades, mines and Light machine guns.  Officers could activate Banzai charges when a certain percentage of the unit was lost.

SNLF trooper, basically IJ marines
I would also have Japanese infantry units be the largest seen in a company of heroes game somewhere around 8 or 9 men per squad, going up to 10 with the officer.  I would also make them difficult to suppress but have less overall health for balance purposes.  Other units would be the usual sniper, heavy machine gun and mortar teams.  Other specialised infantry would come from the doctrine selected, but the main emphasis would be on the large infantry units that could fill a variety of roles on the field.

Vehicle support would be different because of the relative weakness of Japanese armoured units during the war, but they would still be useful anti infantry units and used en masse could still destroy a base if it's not defended.  Artillery such as anti tank and self propelled are covered easily enough and like any other force be used the same way with their own quirks related to the Japanese army.

Would I include some of the more vicious elements of the war?  Yes starting with melee.  The Japanese army regularly engaged in hand to hand combat in the later years of the war and this mechanic should be added for the first time.  relic have experience with this system on Dawn of war so bayonet charges and rifle butts shouldn't be all that different.  It does conjure some rather nasty imagery as your digital men are skewered or beaten to death but since COH is a mature game this shouldn't be a issue.  More Japanese centric anti tank tactics though may or may not fit the game.  Troops running forward with mines on poles seems a little comical from a gameplay perspective and probably wouldn't work as would having booby trapped corpses and men playing dead to blow up a few GI's.  It should probably be more conventional for the Japanese since Company of heroes is about the tactics and not the gruesome nature of the fighting so much.

Doctrines would be interesting especially if they used the system seen in Company of heroes 2.  Air support is a pretty obvious one with strafing and bombing runs, paratrooper infantry drops and reconnaissance units.  The SNLF or special naval landing force is another, with special vehicles and infantry being the order of the day here.  They could utilise naval bombardment and special abilities linked to their tactics.  Finally as a starter doctrine I would have a armoured combat doctrine.  Yes armour wasn't as important for the Japanese but how else are you going to get in some of the more interesting units. 

Spider holes would be a big part of Japanese tactics.  Players could either build them or spawn them as a doctrine ability to ambush enemy troops from underground.  

USMC

LVT amphibious tank
I guess it would be hard to differentiate the USMC from the standard US army seen in Company of heroes outside of visual changes.  Certain units such as the LVT could be a doctrinal unit along with naval bombardment and air support.  Still the marines probably have plenty of alternative to the ETO units with a heavy emphasis on assaulting positions and using flamethrowers.  Depending on when it would be set, units could start with the Springfield rifle as their main rifle before upgraded to the vaunted Garand.  The BAR could also play a bigger role within infantry units to suppress Japanese forces when defending positions of importance.

Britain & Commonwealth forces

Although largely ignored in film and games the British and commonwealth forces fought a vicious war in Burma against a determined and well coordinated Japanese force.  Their offensives put the commonwealth on the defensive for years before the tide changed and Japan began to suffer at the hands of both American dominance in the island hopping campaigns and the reinforced British army.  The defensive aspect could still be used by the British army with trenches, rifle sections and gun pits. 

Seeing Indian troops would be cool, like the canadians in OF
This could be the first expansion to allow the introduction of Indian forces to the world war 2 genre considering how many Indian soldiers fought against the axis during the war it's a shame they aren't seen more.  A specific doctrine could basically alter the units to be Indian with some special call ins such as Gurkha units and support weaponry.  The commando tree could be changed to a Chindit tree with more emphasis on stealth attacks and infiltration.

Unique Features -

Since Company of heroes 2 features the winter war and the way the cold can kill units who are not properly sheltered then the Pacific could work with unique environmental features.  Since the jungles and hills of the Pacific make moving equipment difficult the game would rely on infantry more instead of vehicles, meaning late game combat would rely on infantry assaults with some support weapons.  The maps would have chokepoint's for armour since they wouldn't be able to pass through the thick jungle terrain.  These chokepoint's would represent the only safe way for armour and vehicles to move without hindrance, so capturing and holding these points would be crucial.

I wouldn't involved anything like malaria or other illnesses to the game as it would be annoying to keep reinforcing squads due to non combat losses.  Heat wouldn't be a major factor either as again it would be like fighting the game rather than the other players online if your men kept passing out.  The jungle on the other hand could be a different story.  Fire and how it could be used would be a major part of the game.  Burning down areas of jungle could allow units to take shortcuts or even allow tanks to move in.  Mass jungle fires could become a danger to both sides and the game would procedurally handle these events when a flamethrower ignites the trees.  Snipers could hide in trees while units moving through the jungle would move slower and have reduced line of sight, but receive cover bonuses.

Obviously not all maps would be things like Guadalcanal, others could be more conventional with more urban areas or less overgrown maps.  The choices are there for Relic.  Personally I would love to see this, but I feel it will never come from Relic as I imagine they will make another Company of heroes that encompasses the entire ETO instead for a third release.  Still as Professor Farnsworth said "a man can dream".

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow for TNA Analysed 3.


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