(Air) The dead horse still needs beating

Air is overpowered, and anti-air can’t keep up.

Judging by the other forum posts, I just triggered 90% of the player base. Hear this out, please. It will cover more than just “what force beats what.”

I’ve made it to Champion twice, back in season 4 and now in the current season. I can say without a doubt there is a problem with air and anti-air. Anti-air needs a buff across the board. Range, missile speed, and splash. When more than half of your population must be anti-air to combat an air force, that is a problem. Look at the game objectively, let’s say anti-air is powerful enough in numbers, like having a 70-80 pop (which if it is, is just BARELY powerful enough). What are you supposed to do when you beat that air force? You won’t be killing bases with anti-air units, and you won’t have enough of other units to do decent enough damage to bases without getting destroyed by turrets and emergency leader powers from the opposing team.

Now let’s say you do have enough building killers, and let’s say by some miracle the enemy leader doesn’t have leader powers to take down your paltry few of units that can actually destroy bases. The air force you are fighting will be well content with making the game a base race, and with the lack of base damage you possess, the enemy air force will win the base race. Air’s mobility make them nigh impossible to deal with even on the defensive side of things. It takes your entire force to fight the air force, but they will fly to another base and destroy your expansions instead. If the solution is to split your defenses between bases, that will require even more anti-air, and you will be left with almost nothing but a population of anti-air units alone, and you will be stuck on your bases while your opponent has total map control.

In some ways, this kind of stuff wouldn’t entirely be a problem, if it wasn’t for the pricing of units. Air units don’t cost energy, and while their supply cost can add up, it isn’t that much more than anti-air units. Anti-air units cost an absurd amount of energy however, and when they struggle with air, you will lose several anti-air units, needing to buy more and use more energy while the opposing team only needs to focus on high supply output. Anti units should cost a lot of energy, don’t get me wrong, but when they don’t even do a very effective job at destroying what they are supposed to destroy, it is a problem. A force of snipers can decimate infantry no problem, a force of hunters can delete tanks, but a force of anti-air does barely more than match a force of air in strength.

Even Anders’s Sentinels are on the map for being an extremely effective air strategy for reasons all her own.

And why in the world should a banshee be the same population cost as a marine squad, when the banshee has-

  1. Better mobility
  2. Better base killing potential
  3. Better damage vs vehicles
  4. Better damage vs air
  5. Has no fear of infantry besides the marine itself, which it merely needs to outrun
  6. Only has to be mildly cautious around anti-air

While the marine may be only half the cost, but they have-

  1. Bad mobility
  2. Average base killing potential IF they are fully upgraded
  3. Fears vehicles
  4. Fears anti-infantry

Marines and grunts are astonishingly better at taking down air forces than anti-air itself, but their lack of mobility means they have no chance in actually winning the, once again, inevitable base race.

Now, the topic of leaders needs to be addressed with this. Decimus, Colony, Arbiter, Anders. Everyone saw this coming. It doesn’t take much to explain why these leaders break the game with their air forces.

  1. Decimus’s siphons makes banshees unstoppable, outright.
  2. Colony’s Combat Repair is a close second to Decimus’s potential.
  3. Arbiter’s Phantoms or banshees, with Rage, can be up to par with the previous mentioned, but at least Rage doesn’t last forever and phantoms cost energy (though not that much)
    *Side note, Arbiter is my main leader pick, I can say for sure that phantoms are extremely powerful, nigh overpowered, but compared to other leaders his leader power radial isn’t the best.
  4. Anders Sentinels are cheap and low pop as well, and they only need one airpad for globals (which are cheaper and faster), and can still be at least double pumped from your typical main base and natural expansion.
    *Anders however, also suffers from a sub-par leader power radial, and is the one leader out of these four that at least doesn’t have her air force constantly healing in the fight

Here’s the thing. I don’t necessarily want these leaders to get nerfed, especially Anders. The abilities mentioned above are what make them special and fun to use. It is merely exploitative when these abilities are used with air.

To close this out, it isn’t just about “What force beats what.” There is more to it than that. Something needs to change, whether it be nerfs to air, or buffs to anti-air.

I for one, am not a fan of nerfs. If something is powerful and fun to use, that is a good thing in a game. I would much rather see something ‘buffed’ to take care of something that is either A) too powerful or B) too easy to use which in this case, is air. Circle strafing to spread the damage out among your air force, only one unit to worry about producing, powerful on bases and vehicles, this means air is powerful and easy to use, and in certain scenarios, can be too powerful.

My solution to the above mentioned?

If there were to be any nerfs, I don’t want to see air nerfed damage-wise.
NERF SOLUTION: Instead, make air cost more population. Make banshees require 4 population as a start, that much needs to happen regardless. Also, make air forces do less damage to anti-air units (except hunters in phantoms of course). Air shouldn’t be able to so easily wipe out anti-air units. This would make the air force not die any quicker, but it would make them not as effective against their own counter, which they shouldn’t be.

Anti-air does do appropriately alarming damage against air, but not enough, or at least, not in the right way.
BUFF SOLUTION: I already know there would be an outcry against air receiving more damage buffs, so instead, increase their splash even more. That would help against massive balls of air force and also entice the air force user to split and micro their force a bit more, making air harder to use. Also, increase anti-air unit missile speed. A circle strafing banshee/hornet/sentinel force can take out more anti-air units than they should merely because the missiles haven’t hit their targets yet, while banshee bombs are faster, especially against Reavers, hornets have pinpoint constant damage with no travel time at all, and sentinels are the same with laser beams. Lastly, buff the range of anti-air to at least be able to shoot air forces that are circle strafing your bases at a constant pace to play ring-around-the-rosie with you.

Thank you for taking the time to hear me out.

I hope my rank and close inspection of the game’s mechanics is enough to say that I’m not just sucking, so I would like anyone with solutions in-game to the air problem to let me know in the following comments.

Is it my leader pick of Arbiter that is holding me back?
Do I need to tier-1 rush like over half of the players in this game do?

Please keep this discussion healthy, informative, and full of good player feedback and good ideas.

Halo Wars 2 is an amazing game! So let’s all keep smacking that “all units!” button and have some good games to come.

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I… was triggered by every word in this post

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I’m just here for the comments.

Please check the videos here

They clearly show how little AA you need to beat mass air. Bare in mind this was before the recent buffs which made air obsolete.

Instead of writing a post outlining why I believe you to be wrong, I’m going to invite you to play some games against my friends and I.

I would like you to demonstrate to me why air is OP or why AA is UP. We can talk mechanics all day long, but I want someone to prove to me that air is a problem.

Fun fact; everyone that has taken me up on this offer has lost when they made air. Hopefully you can do better!

I hope youre just putting a lot of effort for trolling.
If not…
Dont mind me if i use you as an example of “Rank doesnt matter” from now on.

Oh btw with your highest CSR being 1803 you shouldnt claim yourself being a champion player.

> 2533274927740213;5:
> Please check the videos here
>
> They clearly show how little AA you need to beat mass air. Bare in mind this was before the recent buffs which made air obsolete.

Thank you for the videos. That hornet force didn’t focus down the wolverines as heavily as he should have however, and I will say that hornets are not nearly as big of a problem as banshees. Even the four leaders in question in my post don’t involve mention of hornets. I want to see a force that beats Decimus Banshees. If it really has to come down to it, then focus on the leader and not the air. Also, as I said in this post, it isn’t about what force beats what, it is about the mechanics of the game as a whole, the concept of the base race, and more.

> 2533274840435203;7:
> I hope youre just putting a lot of effort for trolling.
> If not…
> Dont mind me if i use you as an example of “Rank doesnt matter” from now on.
>
> Oh btw with your highest CSR being 1803 you shouldnt claim yourself being a champion player.

To be fair Waypoint shows his highest rank not the OP’s highest CSR. He could have had higher CSR but not higher rank.

> 2533274927740213;9:
> > 2533274840435203;7:
> > I hope youre just putting a lot of effort for trolling.
> > If not…
> > Dont mind me if i use you as an example of “Rank doesnt matter” from now on.
> >
> > Oh btw with your highest CSR being 1803 you shouldnt claim yourself being a champion player.
>
> To be fair Waypoint shows his highest rank not the OP’s highest CSR. He could have had higher CSR but not higher rank.

But he claimed being only champ twice so its unlikely that the other time he was oh so high.

Also i have that problem on my record too, want my #26 with 2k csr back >_>

> 2533274888442030;8:
> > 2533274927740213;5:
> > Please check the videos here
> >
> > They clearly show how little AA you need to beat mass air. Bare in mind this was before the recent buffs which made air obsolete.
>
> Thank you for the videos. That hornet force didn’t focus down the wolverines as heavily as he should have however, and I will say that hornets are not nearly as big of a problem as banshees. Even the four leaders in question in my post don’t involve mention of hornets. I want to see a force that beats Decimus Banshees. If it really has to come down to it, then focus on the leader and not the air. Also, as I said in this post, it isn’t about what force beats what, it is about the mechanics of the game as a whole, the concept of the base race, and more.

I’ll do some digging and find our Decimus video, I know we had one. Although I do agree that prior to last patch Deci Banshees were unreal when massed.

As for mechanics, AA beat Air as long as you use micro. Supplementing your AA with other vehicles results in a positive trade and potential to army wipe and push a base. Air only costs supplies yes, but it also expensive. Banshees are 100 supply per pop, one of the largest margins in the game and for such a weak individual unit. In addition to cost their build time is very long, which makes an army wipe or even doing a great amount of damage to an air army even more damaging to the person massing air because they can’t remax their army as fast as you.

I’m not just speaking tests, but also real game experience.

This is probably a troll post he can’t actually be serious

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> 2535408720103530;12:
> This is probably a troll post he can’t actually be serious

Don’t tell me he is actually serious because it’s a dead horse for a reason because it’s not even a problem and air sucks in this meta

I want to buff air and nerf AA

Maybe nerf the damage done to buildings by a little bit an buff damage towards units with the aa nerf

> 2533274888442030;8:
> > 2533274927740213;5:
> > Please check the videos here
> >
> > They clearly show how little AA you need to beat mass air. Bare in mind this was before the recent buffs which made air obsolete.
>
> Thank you for the videos. That hornet force didn’t focus down the wolverines as heavily as he should have however, and I will say that hornets are not nearly as big of a problem as banshees. Even the four leaders in question in my post don’t involve mention of hornets. I want to see a force that beats Decimus Banshees. If it really has to come down to it, then focus on the leader and not the air. Also, as I said in this post, it isn’t about what force beats what, it is about the mechanics of the game as a whole, the concept of the base race, and more.

You cant focus fire with air without having your units ball up and get wrecked by either leader powers or AOE. There is extensive video evidence that refutes any claim that Air was OP. There are also video posted by naka showing defense of the “hit and run” style of air. If your specifica gripe is with Decimus, Anders, or Kinsano, then they are actually founded arguments and are addressed in Nakamuras balance mega thread.

I looked at your last loss and here are somethings I can point out to you. You played on vault, a map that is inherently pro air because of its size. You played against a decimus, possibly one of the only leaders capable of going air because of his passives (again, something that a lot of people think could be toned down a bit). The deciums player quick teched to banshees and built his first one at the 4 ish minute mark. You teammate Jerome however did not build his first wolverine until 11:05. There is obviously going to be a numbers difference by this point. You as arbiter made nothing but grunts, which is fine, but if you are going infantry against air, you better be forcing engagements. If you play reactively with a grunt ball, you are asking to be out maneuvered, especially on vault.

I didn’t watch the game, so I cant tell you what actually happen, this is just what I gathered from your previous games. If you could show us a recorded video of a game where you lose to air, that would be a lot more helpful than arguing things such as “decimus banshees are unstoppable outright” because as someone that has both beaten decimuss going mass air and lost as decimus going mass air, that is factually inaccurate. I’m sorry that you lost but in all of my games and specific unit tests, I haven’t seen the issue that you are talking about so I will strongly disagree with your suggestions.

> 2533274840245702;16:
> > 2533274888442030;8:
> > > 2533274927740213;5:
> > > Please check the videos here
> > >
> > > They clearly show how little AA you need to beat mass air. Bare in mind this was before the recent buffs which made air obsolete.
> >
> > Thank you for the videos. That hornet force didn’t focus down the wolverines as heavily as he should have however, and I will say that hornets are not nearly as big of a problem as banshees. Even the four leaders in question in my post don’t involve mention of hornets. I want to see a force that beats Decimus Banshees. If it really has to come down to it, then focus on the leader and not the air. Also, as I said in this post, it isn’t about what force beats what, it is about the mechanics of the game as a whole, the concept of the base race, and more.
>
> You cant focus fire with air without having your units ball up and get wrecked by either leader powers or AOE. There is extensive video evidence that refutes any claim that Air was OP. There are also video posted by naka showing defense of the “hit and run” style of air. If your specifica gripe is with Decimus, Anders, or Kinsano, then they are actually founded arguments and are addressed in Nakamuras balance mega thread.
>
> I looked at your last loss and here are somethings I can point out to you. You played on vault, a map that is inherently pro air because of its size. You played against a decimus, possibly one of the only leaders capable of going air because of his passives (again, something that a lot of people think could be toned down a bit). The deciums player quick teched to banshees and built his first one at the 4 ish minute mark. You teammate Jerome however did not build his first wolverine until 11:05. There is obviously going to be a numbers difference by this point. You as arbiter made nothing but grunts, which is fine, but if you are going infantry against air, you better be forcing engagements. If you play reactively with a grunt ball, you are asking to be out maneuvered, especially on vault.
>
> I didn’t watch the game, so I cant tell you what actually happen, this is just what I gathered from your previous games. If you could show us a recorded video of a game where you lose to air, that would be a lot more helpful than arguing things such as “decimus banshees are unstoppable outright” because as someone that has both beaten decimuss going mass air and lost as decimus going mass air, that is factually inaccurate. I’m sorry that you lost but in all of my games and specific unit tests, I haven’t seen the issue that you are talking about so I will strongly disagree with your suggestions.

Thank you THEWALL, I appreciate your reply. That game I was going grunts after witnessing my anti-air units performing far less than I thought they would in previous games, and after doing some testing with grunts, finding that grunts do seem more efficient than AA at taking down air. That to me just seems wrong to me, but I digress. I’ll keep monitoring this post and see just how unanimous the player base is about this matter. Thank you for not being toxic too.

> 2533274888442030;17:
> > 2533274840245702;16:
> > > 2533274888442030;8:
> > > > 2533274927740213;5:
> > > > Please check the videos here
> > > >
> > > > They clearly show how little AA you need to beat mass air. Bare in mind this was before the recent buffs which made air obsolete.
> > >
> > > Thank you for the videos. That hornet force didn’t focus down the wolverines as heavily as he should have however, and I will say that hornets are not nearly as big of a problem as banshees. Even the four leaders in question in my post don’t involve mention of hornets. I want to see a force that beats Decimus Banshees. If it really has to come down to it, then focus on the leader and not the air. Also, as I said in this post, it isn’t about what force beats what, it is about the mechanics of the game as a whole, the concept of the base race, and more.
> >
> > You cant focus fire with air without having your units ball up and get wrecked by either leader powers or AOE. There is extensive video evidence that refutes any claim that Air was OP. There are also video posted by naka showing defense of the “hit and run” style of air. If your specifica gripe is with Decimus, Anders, or Kinsano, then they are actually founded arguments and are addressed in Nakamuras balance mega thread.
> >
> > I looked at your last loss and here are somethings I can point out to you. You played on vault, a map that is inherently pro air because of its size. You played against a decimus, possibly one of the only leaders capable of going air because of his passives (again, something that a lot of people think could be toned down a bit). The deciums player quick teched to banshees and built his first one at the 4 ish minute mark. You teammate Jerome however did not build his first wolverine until 11:05. There is obviously going to be a numbers difference by this point. You as arbiter made nothing but grunts, which is fine, but if you are going infantry against air, you better be forcing engagements. If you play reactively with a grunt ball, you are asking to be out maneuvered, especially on vault.
> >
> > I didn’t watch the game, so I cant tell you what actually happen, this is just what I gathered from your previous games. If you could show us a recorded video of a game where you lose to air, that would be a lot more helpful than arguing things such as “decimus banshees are unstoppable outright” because as someone that has both beaten decimuss going mass air and lost as decimus going mass air, that is factually inaccurate. I’m sorry that you lost but in all of my games and specific unit tests, I haven’t seen the issue that you are talking about so I will strongly disagree with your suggestions.
>
> Thank you THEWALL, I appreciate your reply. That game I was going grunts after witnessing my anti-air units performing far less than I thought they would in previous games, and after doing some testing with grunts, finding that grunts do seem more efficient than AA at taking down air. That to me just seems wrong to me, but I digress. I’ll keep monitoring this post and see just how unanimous the player base is about this matter. Thank you for not being toxic too.

If you would like to discuss the issue, feel free to add me GT: THEWALL766. We can run games against eachother with our teammates to see how things work out. This isn’t a challenge, its just an offer for a bunch of guys to play a video game, I don’t really do the whole “ill put you in your place thing” but I do feel very strongly about this particular issue. Maybe if we try somethings out in person we can open each others eyes a bit.

Air has never been a problem. Been saying this since Season 3 when it was meta to go choppers straight into banshees(3v3). We ran one unsc player who spammed wolves and chased around the banshees. Ultimately I think we dropped 3 games out of 100+ and none of the losses were due to air spam. Fast forward to present day and AA has revieved several unwarranted buffs while air has remained a very expensive option which only works if it isn’t properly scouted OR the opponent horribly mismicros. I don’t know how else to explain what SEVERAL others have already explained using video proof, but air certainly is not overpowered and imo never has been.

> 2533275001759937;4:
> I’m just here for the comments.

Same here.