Team games: Spawning apart vs. Megabases + Cult Strategy

Discussion in 'Planetary Annihilation General Discussion' started by icycalm, September 6, 2014.

  1. icycalm

    icycalm Post Master General

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    Lots of people have told me and my friends to stop spawning at the same place, most recently today when we played against the Realm guys, and their advice certainly makes sense in terms of the competitive side of things. However, I want to take a moment to explain why we do this, and why we will probably keep doing this for at least a while longer.

    Spawning apart makes us feel as if we are a bunch of randoms. Spawning together makes us feel like a team, where each player has his own role: in a 4v4 game usually one economy guy, one production guy and two generals.

    Now, this strategy does not seem to work when we are massively outranked -- as we were with the Realm guys -- but then again no strategy can work when we have put in 100 hours into the game and they have put in 1,500. It DOES work however when we are playing with randoms or with semi-randoms (i.e. 2 of our opponents might know each other in a 4v4 game, etc.) As long as the opponents are around our own level of experience, we win a lot of matches. So I don't want to abandon this strategy that's so much more fun to us to play. I want to keep pursuing it for at least a little while longer, and maybe modifying it a little in the future (by, e.g., making forward bases or something, in order to capture more metal clumps).

    I think that there HAS to be some way to make the megabase work competitively. There HAS to be some way to profit from the synergy of specialization. Maybe we are just not doing it right yet, or very effectively, but we'll keep trying.

    So talk about your experiences of megabase-building, and whether you think they can work. Even if they can't work, they sure are a hell of lot of fun to make. I wouldn't mind a mod that forced everyone to spawn together, in fact. It would make for the ultimate team match setup.
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  2. igncom1

    igncom1 Post Master General

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    Do what you want man, don't do what you don't want to do if you don't wanna.

    Spreading out might be better, but if you can make mega bases work, then more power too ya!
  3. epicblaster117

    epicblaster117 Active Member

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    The best way to do this is pick 2 points far but still relatively close to eachother and build towards eachother, by the time you link up bases you have this crazy half planet covering base.
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  4. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    TL;DR Spreading out lets you cover more mex locations, but you risk losing a base if you spawn next to someone with 2 or 3 comms there.
  5. mered4

    mered4 Post Master General

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    The only reason megabases DO NOT work in team games is because PA is not a game about defense. Your goal is to attack attack attack and grow grow grow.

    With that in mind, starting in three or four separate spots gives you access to the metal from that many more metal spawns. Whereas, if you spawned all together, you would only have access to one, and be denied map control much easier by your opponent. The same applies to multi-planet games - if a planet has sufficient metal, it is almost always beneficial to split your forces among the different planets instead of foregoing one for more sure control on the other.

    The whole idea of the megabase goes against the concept of fluid, changing gameplay. Now, as games grow into the late game, you might get one such megabase stretching across half a planet, but that happens even in FFAs, and usually is accompanied by another player with a similarly sized economy and infrastructure.

    I'll quote this here specifically:
    "I think that there HAS to be some way to make the megabase work competitively. There HAS to be some way to profit from the synergy of specialization. Maybe we are just not doing it right yet, or very effectively, but we'll keep trying."

    The synergy of specialization is only applicable during the early game rush, if indeed one or both teams go for the rush. Then, you essentially build as much of one unit as you can, then cut through the hole in your enemies defenses and kill them before they can react. Any other point in the game, the other team will just overwhelm you with STUFF.

    There's also the SuperWeapon problem. Say you nuke them once, and them you once. Given both teams picked the best spot to nuke because both scouted well, the team who spread out will have lost maybe one base, while you will have lost a significant portion of your only base, with no place to fall back to. The same applies for holding one planet - you are just one Halley moon or Death Star from losing it all. It just doesn't work.
  6. thetrophysystem

    thetrophysystem Post Master General

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    This is a nice discussion to be honest. If you are too spread out and too divided, especially in unshared armies, you can get picked off early.

    If you are too dense though, you miss out on vacant metal.

    So, depending on the numbers, do both.

    In a 2 man team, choose the closest two points to each other if they are neighboring, you can grow them together.

    In a 3 man team, if you have a distant spawn then just use the 2 spawns that do neighbor, possibly scout for close commanders and comrush them?

    In a 4 man team, make 2 commanders handy at any spawn. So if 2 spawns neighbor, each get 1 commander. If 1 spawn is seperated, have 2 commanders spawn there and 2 commanders cover the closer points to themselves.
    mered4 and icycalm like this.
  7. Murcanic

    Murcanic Well-Known Member

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    there are also times where on two planet systems if one team spawns on one planet and the other team spawn one commander between two planets if the pressure put on the 1 commander in the 2v1 situation is not quick and hard before a teleporter gets put up (even easier on shared armies) then one team will have a whole planets eco and the base on the other planet vs what ever part of the planet the 2 commanders can get from the single commander before reinforcements arrive... oh and even if they push that commander off the planet they have to tech up and rush to kill the other planet before nukes and other things start attacking them...
  8. philoscience

    philoscience Post Master General

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    First of all gauging your performance against randoms is a terrible idea. Many randoms are brand new to the game and have literally no idea of what strategies and meta are currently strong. Second of all beyond 50 hours gameplay it really doesn't make much of a difference in terms of skill. Plus many Realm members are also relatively new to the game or casual players. Good micro and APM only goes so far in a macro oriented game. Spawning together in a game like PA is a terrible idea for only one reason: You give up 4/5ths of your map control. If your enemy has 5 times the map control you do, they have 5 times the economy and 5 times as much durability. You are quite simply doomed if you all spawn together and there isn't really anything that could be done about this; it's a feature of the game. Or keep spawning together; it lets us know you will be easy to surround and kill.
  9. CounterFact

    CounterFact Active Member

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    Ok, I guess that's your tactic on singleplanet spawns. But let's say there are 3 spawnable planets. Then you have to spawn on each one of them, or else you risk giving them a planet without giving them a fight for it.
  10. ef32

    ef32 Well-Known Member

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    Megabase allows for quick T2, with power and efficiency of multiple commanders combined, you can have T2 in no time.

    But I'd prefer what epicblaster117 said, spread out, but not too much. Best risk/mapcontrol ratio.
  11. thefluffybunny

    thefluffybunny Active Member

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    think the above pretty much covers it.

    i'll add that as soon as the enemy see you are all clumped together it makes expanding much easier for them, they no longer need to scout and can expand everywhere at once with relatively unguarded fabbers. - once that happens you are doomed. if you are spread out they have to be more cautious, so slower expansion with fabber bodyguards.

    you spawn together for safety, which ironically makes the enemy safer and you more vulnerable as they know exactly where you are and where attacks will come from, and so where to defend, so less resources are required, where you will expand to, etc, its just too easy to predict. you dont win wars by doing exactly what they expect you to do.

    the role of the enemy 'general' to use your term becomes easier, no need for special sneak attacks, there is only one place to go. scouting you out is simply a matter of 1 air factory on patrol, or a couple of radar satellites, and they know everything you ar.

    get good at 1v1s and your team can spread out in confidence that each team member can hold their own. you dont need one to concentrate on economy as you all know how not to stall from your single player experience. i've only done about 20 1v1s as i much prefer team games, but i've played some to get a track-record so team mates will know i can hold my own.

    group spawn is good for beginners/casuals, - grouped they will last longer than separated - but they have a lower chance of winning, they just hold out longer.

    An exception to all this would be tiny planets, or planets with spawn everywhere enabled - especially if there are obvious massive metal clusters.

    the quick T2 argument of a megabase is imo invalid - the spread out team has more eco, knows where you are, and can arrange amongst themselves for one base to go T2 - with the better eco they can get their first through brute force of fabbers, and have enough eco to assist production of T2 units afterwards.
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  12. schuesseled192

    schuesseled192 Active Member

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    You can specialize as much as you want but when playing on a big system (big or multiple planets) spreading out your starting locations allows you to grab far more territory for your team. Are you trying to tell me you eco guy can't manage the eco across the entire planet(s)? Likewise for your other specialists.

    You can have the benefits of a quick t2 with multiple spawn points. 3 guys build up their base using very little build power, focusing on eco only whilst one guy spams out hundreds of engineers by getting them to assist the factory automatically then quickly pumps out a t2 factory and begins shipping t2 fabbers to his team. (through teleporters).

    In a recent game we had three guys spread over three planets, each of us had are own enemies to deal with. I almost defeated mine but he started turtlign up very well, quickly built a teleporter stole some artillery and won my battle then started pumping troops through the wormhole to help support my robbed team mate. Then a big lazer tears my planet apart woops, someone didn't go to that metal planet.
    Last edited: September 8, 2014
  13. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    Have you considered a different approach to this... The reason *starting together* is a bad idea is you give up to much in terms of resources, so you wind up behind from the get go.


    What if you start spread out (1 player per planet if there are enough available) then build a fac + teleporter each. Then you can send all the coms to whichever is the most 'important' planet in the system for your mega base, but now you have access to 3 other planets via gates + factories on each to start expanding. If your lucky one of the planets may be uncontested which = massive free resource field :)
  14. icycalm

    icycalm Post Master General

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    I would like to post a few more thoughts on this subject, in light of my clan's recent match against VoW, which can be viewed here:



    First off, I would like to point out that, in the real world, specialization is the strategy that works. That's why the cold war was fought between the US and the USSR instead of two loosely associated federations of little tribes, each of them geographically unrelated and each doing their own thing.

    So there is no doubt in my mind about the soundness of my strategy in the real world. The question is if it can also be made to work in PA. Because the better PA is at being a strategy game, the more it should be able to accommodate the use of real-world strategies in it.

    Now, as I mentioned earlier, the megabase works very well against randoms in the general MP lobby. We have no problems winning games in there. So the question is if we can also win against teams of the best players. And going by that video I just linked, the answer, as far as I can see, may very well be "yes". Our main mistake, as far as I can see, was not doing good scouting, and not acting decisively on what little scouting we did -- but if we had been a little more aggressive, we could have knocked out at least one if not two of VoW's bases, and at that point the match would have been anyone's to win or lose.

    Note also that our APM is very low and our efficiency in terms of build orders, etc., is again very much lower than VoWs, because we only have about 100 to 150 hrs of game time so far. PA is even the first RTS one of our players has ever played (Masahiro). In fact it is his first PC game ever lol. He has literally never played a game with a mouse before, and he was the one moving our armies around. I am just saying this to give people a sense of perspective in who we are and why we play the way we did. I myself have been playing games since Pong, and RTSes since Herzog Zwei and Dune II, but I have never played an RTS more than 40 or 50 hours, and I have almost never played against humans before (the exception was Red Alert 2, and even then I only played MP for a few days).

    And yet despite all that, our megabase strategy worked so well, that we ended up having twice the army size of our opponents a few minutes in, and gave us a real chance against them. Did they grab a lot more metal? Yeah, they did. But I believe we have room to improve in that area, and in many other areas. And that's why I am going to keep experimenting with this. The question is whether Exodus and the other clans and viewers are willing to stick with us while we rack up the losses to find out. Personally, I don't mind losing in the least. I even enjoy losing more than winning. If I won all the time I'd even stop playing the game. Obviously a little back and forth is preferable to being pummeled all the time, but as long as I can see measurable long term improvement, I am happy to keep struggling.


    Edit:
    And P.S. note that "megabase" does not merely meant that we spawn together. It means that all I am doing is spamming factories and churning out units, and that another player does only economy, and so on and so forth. Spawning together is simply what makes our specialization strategy possible. But the main element is the specialization, not the spawning.
    Last edited: October 13, 2014
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  15. stuart98

    stuart98 Post Master General

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    The problem is it's incredibly boring for viewers to watch you get curbstomped. Perhaps you could talk to some of our realm guys about practice sessions between our two clans?
  16. Alpha2546

    Alpha2546 Post Master General

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    I think a megabase can work on one planet systems but not with multiple planets. Cause if you're all on one planet then the enemy might have a planet for themselves. While you are trying to annihilate the enemy with your team the other guy sets up a teleporter to support the guy you're attacking. Then you're pretty much screwed since you're focusing on getting the whole planet while the other team has two planets.
  17. cptconundrum

    cptconundrum Post Master General

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    The clans are in it to win or just to have fun. It's our job to make it fun to watch. ;)
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  18. mered4

    mered4 Post Master General

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    In the real world, the US military has bases on every continent, establishing geographical control and access to most of the world in a little under a half hour. You don't see us cowering behind our borders in a massive underground complex spanning the Rocky Mountains, do you? :)
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  19. icycalm

    icycalm Post Master General

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    We were not cowering behind anything. Our armies were outside our base at all times, and we had no defensive structures at all. We never turtle. You are not getting what we are doing.
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  20. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    I have an idea:
    Since the enemies spawn apart, it means that each base is effectively 1/4 the strength of yours when you spawn together. So, if you were to use maybe 2, commanders to lead a large push onto one of the bases, you could take out each mini base one by one. It wont be easy, since you would leave the base less protected, but you would weaken the enemy guaranteed in the end.

    Try it, it might work. I know it does work on the games hosted by ZaphodX when the planet has 0 metal.

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